PM calls for 100-day campaign to clean up water bodies, harvest rain water

UNDERLINING the importance of collective responsibility towards water conservation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for a 100-day campaign to clean up all water bodies and prepare them for rain water harvesting before the monsoon season starts. In his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ broadcast, Modi said water has been crucial for the development of humankind for centuries. “We have to understand our collective responsibility towards water conservation,” he said. The Prime Minister also said that ..

Farmers’ protest in Muzaffarnagar villages more about sugarcane issues than agri laws

THE old saying that agriculture is the best occupation and working for others the worst no longer holds true, says Raj Kumar, a farmer from western Uttar Pradesh, where farmers’ agitation seems to be driven more by “stagnant” sugarcane prices and the stray cattle menace, than by the three contentious agri laws. Kumar, a Rawa Rajput from Satheri village in this district, says sugarcane prices have not been raised for the past several seasons, whereas companies have reduced the size of Urea and DAP ..

Rajnath Singh attends adopted son’s wedding in Uttar Pradesh

DEFENCE Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said there can be no bigger irony than questioning the valour of the country’s Army. The Defence Minister said this while talking to reporters at Madaripur of the Saidpur area while attending the wedding of his adopted son Dr Brijendra. “We are proud of the might of the Indian Army. It is meaningless to doubt our Army. There can be nothing more ironic than questioning the Army. No one should doubt the valour and might of the Army of the country,” the Defence ..

CBI identifies 10 more victims of child sexual abuse by junior engineer

THE CBI has identified 10 more victims of alleged child sexual abuse by now-suspended Uttar Pradesh Irrigation department junior engineer Ram Bhuwan, the alleged paedophile also accused of selling the illicit acts with kids on the dark web, officials said. Further expanding its exhaustive probe, the central probe agency recorded the statement of these 10 male victims to buttress its charges against Bhuwan who was arrested along with his wife and a suspected accomplice, they said...

FPIs invest Rs 25,787 cr in Indian equities in February

AS THE Indian equities continued to scale new highs post the Union Budget for FY22, the net Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPI) into the Indian equities in February was Rs 25,787 crore. The total net FPIs in 2020 now stand at Rs 45,260 crore, as per NSDL data...

TN Governor gives nod to Vanniyar reservation Bill

TAMIL Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has accorded his assent to a Bill to provide 10.5 per cent internal quota to the Vanniyakula Kshatriya community within the reservation for Most Backward Classes (MBC) and Denotified Communities (DC). The Governor on Friday gave his assent to Tamil Nadu Special Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments of Posts in Services under the State within the Reservation for the MBC and DC, Act, 2021. The notification was ..

ISRO launches Brazil’s Amazonia-1, 18 other satellites using PSLV-C51

IN THE first dedicated mission of its commercial arm NSIL, the ISRO on Sunday successfully launched Brazil’s earth observation satellite Amazonia-1 and 18 co-passengers, including five built by students, onboard a Polar rocket from the spaceport here. The satellites were placed in precise orbits one after another after the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51 lifted off at 10.24 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), in the first mission this year for the Indian Space Research Organisation. ..

India records 16,752 fresh COVID-19 cases; biggest single-day jump in 30 days

INDIA’S COVID-19 tally climbed to 1,10,96,731 on Sunday with 16,752 new infections, the highest in the last 30 days, according to Union Health Ministry data. The country had recorded 18,855 new infections on January 29. The death toll mounted to 1,57,051 with 113 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The active caseload further increased to 1,64,511. It constitutes 1.48 per cent of the total infections, it showed...

Mah Minister Sanjay Rathod resigns from State Cabinet

MAHARASHTRA Minister Sanjay Rathod, facing flak from the Opposition BJP after being linked to a woman’s death, on Sunday resigned from the State Cabinet. Rathod made the announcement after submitting his resignation to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is also the President of his Shiv Sena party...

Govt extends due date for GST annual returns till March 31

THE Government on Sunday extended the deadline for filing GST annual returns for 2019-20 fiscal by a month till March 31. This is the second extension given by the Government. The deadline was earlier extended from December 31, 2020, to February 28...

School students in India discover 18 new asteroids

THE International Astronomical Union (IAU), an organisation which assigns official names and designations to celestial bodies, has recently confirmed the discovery of 18 new asteroids by Indian students as part of a global science programme. The International Asteroid Discovery Project was conducted by STEM and Space, an organisation working towards the learning of astronomy and space science in India, along with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) as part of a NASA citizen ..

Thieves dig tunnel into Jaipur house, steal silver buried under basement

IN A daring heist, thieves allegedly stole huge quantity of silver kept in a box buried in the basement of a Jaipur house by digging a 20-foot-long and 15-foot-deep tunnel, according to police. The owner of the house, who is a doctor by profession, has not disclosed the exact quantity of silver. Police said the accused had purchased a house right behind the doctor’s house for Rs 87 lakh in January and covered its wall with tin sheds to block the view and started the digging work. The accused dug ..

Hrithik records statement with Crime Branch against Kangana

BOLLYWOOD superstar Hrithik Roshan on Saturday recorded his statement with Crime Branch in an ongoing case filed against actress Kangana Ranaut. Videos shared by the paparazzi on social media show the actor alighting from his car and entering the Crime Branch office to record his statement. The actor wore a simple T-shirt with denims with a cap, and covered his face with a mask. He also avoided speaking to the media present at the spot. As per reports, the statement being recorded is with regards ..

Athawale demands 15% reservation for Kshatriyas in UP

UNION Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on Saturday demanded 15 per cent reservation for the Kshatriya community in Uttar Pradesh. Speaking to the media in Lucknow Athawale said, “People of any community who live below the poverty line should be given reservation.” Commenting on the farmers’ protest, Athawale said the current NDA Government is not against the farmer..

Private hospitals can charge up to Rs 250 per dose of Covid-19 vaccine

PRIVATE hospitals can charge up to Rs 250 per dose of COVID-19 vaccine, official sources said on Saturday as India prepares to vaccinate people aged above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities from March 1. The COVID-19 vaccine will be given free of cost at Government hospitals, while people will need to pay for it at private facilities. “Rs 250 will be the ceiling -- Rs 150 cost of vaccine plus Rs 100 service charge...

Countdown begins for ISRO’s PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 mission

IF THINGS go as planned, an Indian rocket will launch a Brazilian satellite for the first time from Sriharikota spaceport on Sunday. It’s also Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) first launch of 2021. Subject to weather conditions, the blastoff is scheduled at 10.24 hours from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, where countdown commenced at 08.54 hours on Saturday for the PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 mission. PSLV-C51 rocket, which is the 53rd mission of PSLV (Polar ..

Farmers thinning at protest sites

MORE than three months have passed since the farmers agitation began. At present the number of farmers at the Ghazipur Border appears to be thinning, particularly in the last one month. In fact this has been the case at the sites of protest on Delhi’s borders ever since the violence on Republic Day, January 26. At the Ghazipur Border in particular, the numbers have reduced signficantly compared to the same date last month. According to the farmers on the border, the number of agitators at the protest ..

Cong ‘getting weaker’, G-23 leaders meet in Jammu to ‘strengthen party’

SENIOR Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Anand Sharma on Saturday stated that the G-23 or the Group of 23 dissenting leaders are seeing the Congress party “getting weaker” and are raising their voice for the betterment of the party. “The truth is that we see Congress party getting weak. That is why we have gathered here. We had gathered together earlier too and we have to strengthen the party together,” Sibal said at the ‘Shanti Sammelan’ event here. Anand Sharma who addressed the ‘Shanti Sammelan’ ..

CAPF canines to undergo annual evaluation

COMBAT dogs of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) will now undergo an annual evaluation exercise to assess their efficiency and suitability for their specified tasks like sniffing out suspects, narcotics and hidden explosives, besides patrolling risk-prone areas, officials said on Thursday...

WB has to choose among devpt and cut money culture: Nadda

MAKING a strong pitch for a BJP Government in West Bengal to usher in ‘Asol Poriborton’ (real change), party chief J P Nadda on Thursday sought to punch a hole in the TMC’s main poll plank of Bengali pride and asked the people of the State whether they want to side with development or “cut money culture”. Nadda, while launching the ‘Lokkho Sonar Bangla’ (target to build golden Bengal) manifesto crowdsourcing campaign to seek suggestions from more than two crore people in the State ahead of the Assembly ..

Varanasi students develop glacier flood sensor alarm

THREE students of Ashoka Institute of Technology and Management have developed a glacier flood alarm sensor which will alert the people before any natural disaster. Anu Singh, one of the students who developed the alarm, told IANS: “A lot of people lost their lives in the Uttarakhand disaster. We have developed the sensor so that people can be alerted before such disasters. This alarm of the sensor will be placed near the dam or glacier and its receiver will be at the relief centre...

SUV with 20 gelatin sticks found dumped near Ambani’s house

IN A shocking development, an SUV filled with at least 20 gelatin sticks was found abandoned outside Antilia, the lavish multi-storied home of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, here on Thursday evening, officials said. “A Scorpio with 20 gelatin sticks was found near Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai residence. The Crime Branch of Mumbai Police is investigating the entire matter and the truth will emerge soon,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said late on Thursday evening...

TN announces ‘all pass’ for class 9, 10 and plus one students

STUDENTS of class 9, 10 and plus one in Tamil Nadu will not have to take the exams, Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced in the Assembly on Thursday as he declared them “all pass” this academic year in view of the coronavirus pandemic. “Taking into consideration the unusual situation being faced by teachers and students, the views of parents besides the opinion of experts, the students of standards: 9, 10 and 11, facing the annual/board exams in 2020-21 education year, are announced as passed without ..

India, Pak to follow all ceasefire pacts

INDIA and Pakistan have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and other sectors, according to a joint statement on Thursday. The decision on ceasefire, effective since Wednesday midnight, was taken at a meeting between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003, but it has hardly been followed in letter and spirit over past several years with more violations than ..

Nirav to be extradited to India

IN A major setback to fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, a UK court on Thursday ordered his extradition in connection with the nearly $2 billion (Rs 13,500 crore) Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case. The District Judge at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Samuel Goozee, accepted the prima facie evidence against Modi for money laundering, saying: “Many of these are a matter for trial in India...

‘Code of ethics’ to be applicable for news publishers, OTT players, digital media: Govt

THE Government on Thursday announced sweeping regulations for social media firm like Facebook and Twitter as well as OTT players such as Netflix, requiring them to remove any content flagged by authorities within 36 hours and setting up a complaint redressal mechanism with an officer being based in the country. The guidelines also make it mandatory for platforms such as Twitter and WhatsApp to identify the originator of a message that authorities consider to be anti-national and against security and ..

President’s Rule in Puducherry

PRESIDENT’S Rule was imposed in Puducherry following a recommendation by the Union Cabinet after a Congress-led Government lost power in the Union Territory in a vote of confidence. The notification, signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, said the decision was taken after the president received a report from the administrator of the Union Territory of Puducherry on February 22...

Subsidised, non-subsidised LPG price hiked by Rs 25/cylinder

COOKING gas LPG price on Thursday was hiked by Rs 25 per cylinder across all categories, including subsidised fuel and those availed by Ujjwala scheme beneficiaries. This is the third increase in rates this month on the back of spiralling international rates as demand recovered. A 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi now costs Rs 794 as against Rs 769 at which they were supplied on Wednesday, according to a price notification from State-owned fuel retailers. The increase is applicable across all categories including ..

Unnao’s survivor girl records statement before Magistrate

A 16-YEAR-OLD girl who had survived an alleged attempt on her life at a village here and was found in an agriculture field along with two others recorded her statement before a Magistrate on Tuesday, police said. Three girls—aged 16, 15 and 14— were found unconscious in an agriculture field in Babuhara village of the Asoha police station area on Wednesday night. They had left home to collect fodder for cattle but did not return. On finding them there, the locals rushed them to a hospital where two ..

Manipur CM felicitates Army Captain for Galwan bravery

MANIPUR Chief Minister N Biren Singh has felicitated Indian Army Captain Soiba Maningba Rangnamei for his bravery during the clash with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley last year. The CM felicitated Capt Rangnamei of 16 Bihar Regiment at his official residence here on Tuesday and said, “the State as a whole honours your courage which you have shown against the enemy.”..

Republic Day violence: 19 people arrested, 25 FIRs lodged, Centre tells High Court

AS MANY as 19 people have been arrested and 25 FIRs lodged in connection with the Republic Day violence in the national capital during the farmers’ tractor rally in protest against the three new agri laws, the Centre informed the Delhi High Court on Wednesday. Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma and Central Government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul further told the High Court that as many as 50 people have been detained and investigation was going on into the incident...

Prakash Javdekar uses Sanskrit for first time at UNSC on climate change

PRAKASH Javdekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Tuesday used Sanskrit for the first time in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Debate on climate change. Starting his UNSC debate on climate change, Javdekar addressed other dignitaries with the Sanskrit hymn from Shukla Yajurveda. “Om Dyouh shantih, antariksham shantih, prithvi shantih, aapah shantih, oshadhayah shantih, vanaspatayah shantih, vishve devaah shantih, brahma shantih, sarvam shantih, shantireva shantih, ..

Vaccination of 60+ people to begin on Mar 1

EVERYONE above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities will be able to get COVID-19 vaccine from March 1 for free at Government facilities and for a charge at many private hospitals, the Government said on Wednesday. The Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took the decision on the next phase of the vaccination, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javdekar said at a media briefing here...

President inaugurates world’s largest cricket arena, names it after PM Narendra Modi

PRESIDENT Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday inaugurated the world’s largest cricket arena here, the refurbished Sardar Patel Stadium, which will now be known as Narendra Modi stadium — named after the country’s Prime Minister. The state-of-the-art facility can accommodate 1.32 lakh spectators. “This stadium was conceptualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was President of the Gujarat Cricket Association at that time,” Kovind said in his address after the inaugurati..

Ready for talk with farmer unions if they respond to Govt’s offer: Tomar

THE Government is ready to resume talks with protesting farmers if they respond to its offer to put the three contentious farm laws on hold for one-and-a-half year and work out the difference during that time through a joint committee, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Wednesday. The Government and unions representing farmers, who have been camping at Delhi’s border for about three months in protest against the three laws that they see will end State procurement of crops at MSP, ..

Feels like homecoming: Jaishankar in Mauritius PORT

THE vibrant Indian diaspora in Mauritius is a “shining example” of the Indian values such as peace, pluralism and shared progress and universal brotherhood, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said during his address to the community here. Jaishankar arrived here in India’s strategically key maritime neighbour in the Indian Ocean region on Sunday night from the Maldives on the last leg of his two-nation tour. On Wednesday, Jaishankar visited the Ganga Talao, considered to be the most sacred ..

Historic increase in MSP, working to double farmers’ income: Modi

ON the completion of two years of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his Government ushered a historic increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops and was doing everything possible to double the income of farmers. He also said that over the last seven years, the Government has taken many initiatives for transforming agriculture. From better irrigation to more technology, more credit and markets to proper crop insurance, focus on soil health ..

Disha Ravi released from Tihar jail

CLIMATE activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested in connection with the toolkit case, was released from Tihar jail on Tuesday night after a city court granted her bail. “Disha was released after jail authorities completed all formalities regarding her release,” official said...

UP girl student found in mysterious half-burnt condition near highway

IN A shocking incident, a student of BA second year was found in a half-burnt condition under mysterious circumstances near the highway on Nagaria crossing here, police said. The woman, in her early twenties, was found without any clothes late on Monday evening. She is a student of the Swami Shukdevanand College. The local residents who saw her, informed the police...

CBI grills TMC MP Abhishek’s wife in coal pilferage case

A CBI team examined Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira on Tuesday in connection with the coal pilferage case, officials said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the residence of her nephew Abhishek in south Kolkata’s Harish Mukherjee Road minutes before the CBI team landed there. The CBI reached Abhishek’s residence just before noon and the examination went on for around an hour, sources said. The team left around 1.15 pm amid a heavy police presence...

India’s health sector overcame trial by fire during COVID-19: PM

THE prestige of India’s health sector and trust in it has increased manifold across the globe after it successfully overcame the trial by fire during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday and asserted that time has come to take accessibility and affordability in healthcare to the next level. Addressing a webinar on effective implementation of the Union Budget’s provisions in the health sector, he said the Budget allocated to health this year is unprecedented ..

‘Terrorism continues to be one of the gravest threats to humankind’

DESCRIBING terrorism as one of the gravest threats to humankind, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday that the bodies dealing with human rights should realise that terrorism can never be justified, nor its perpetrators ever equated with its victims. Speaking at the high-level segment of 46th session of Human Rights Council, Jaishankar said terrorism..

6 killed while disposing of explosives for quarrying in K’taka

SIX people were killed when the gelatin sticks they were trying to dispose of clandestinely exploded accidentally at a stone quarry site in a village in Chikkaballapur on early Tuesday, police said. The Government has ordered a CID probe into the blast. Police said preliminary investigation indicated use of petroleum gel and Ammonium Nitrate in the quarry that was operating clandestinely and was closed a few days ago following raids...

Govt approves purchase of Arjun tanks, arms worth Rs 13,700 cr

THE Defence Acquisition Council headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved capital acquisition proposals of various weapons and equipment including 118 Arjun tanks on Tuesday. “Three Acceptance of Necessities (AoNs) for an overall cost of Rs 13,700 crore were accorded,” the Ministry of Defence said. All these Acceptance of Necessities are in the highest priority category of Defence Acquisition -- Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)...

80-yr-old Ujjain woman completes PhD

THERE is a saying that there is no age barrier for reading and learning that a person can continue to learn and grow throughout life. This adage has come true for Sasikala Rawal of Ujjain, who has been awarded a PhD in Sanskrit at the ripe age of 80. She received her degree after retiring from the education department as a lecturer. Sasikala Rawal, a resident of Ujjain, retired from the state government’s education department as a lecturer. She had completed her MA in Astrology from 2009 to 2011. ..

Disha sent to 1-day PCR

A DELHI court on Monday sent climate activist Disha Ravi to one-day police custody in connection with the ‘Toolkit’ case, during which she will be confronted with co-accused Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk. Ravi faces charges of conspiracy and sedition in the ‘Toolkit’ conspiracy case related to the farmers’ agitation and was arrested from Bengaluru on February 13. After her arrest, Ravi was first sent to five days’ police custody, followed by three days of judicial custody. The climate activist ..

W Bengal not singled out, Forces’ deployment a routine practice, says EC

THE Election Commission on Monday said that Central Police Forces are being sent to all poll-bound States and not specifically to West Bengal, stressing that it is a routine practice for several decades. In a statement, the poll panel said the CPFs are routinely sent to all the States and UTs where Lok Sabha or assembly elections are to take place, for advance area domination, especially in the critical and vulnerable sectors...

Centre launches operational guidelines for critical illnesses including cancer, diabetes

UNION Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan launched the operational guidelines for Integration of NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) with NPCDCS (National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke), here on Monday. Expressing his elation at the timely importance of the event, Harsh Vardhan said, “NAFLD, the abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver in the absence of secondary causes of fatty liver, such as harmful alcohol ..

National positivity rate at 5.20%, 21.15 cr samples tested

INDIA has registered a record in the number of COVID-19 cumulative tests, with over 21.15 crore samples tested, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. The country’s national positivity rate is pegged at 5.20 per cent. Progressive countrywide expansion in testing infrastructure has played a crucial role in the steep rise of testing numbers, the Ministry underlined. With 2393 testing labs in the country including 1,220 Government laboratories and 1,173 private laboratories, the daily testing capacity ..

SC allows Karti to travel abroad

THE Supreme Court on Monday allowed Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, who is facing criminal cases that are being probed by the ED and the CBI, to travel abroad. A bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, asked Chidambaram to deposit Rs 2 crore with the registry and submit details on the places to be visited and the place where he would stay. Opposing the application, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju said earlier Chidambaram was earlier allowed to travel abroad, but with a deposit of Rs 10 crore...

Dubai boy who made Modi’s portrait receives letter of praise from PM

A DUBAI-BASED 14-year-old boy from Kerala who had made a six-layered stencil portrait of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a gift to him on the occasion of the country’s Republic Day, has received a letter of appreciation from the latter who told him that the sketch reflects his love and affection for the nation...

NIA files chargesheet against 2 LeT ultras

THE National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed a supplementary chargesheet against two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists, who had actively participated in conspiracy meetings for targeted killings of important personalities belonging to the Hindu community in Bengaluru, Hubli and Nanded. An NIA spokesperson said here that the agency has named Sabeel Ahmed aka Motu Doctor and Asadulla Khan aka Abu Sufiyan under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities Prevention ..

Wangchuk makes mobile solar-powered tent for Army

LADAKH-BASED engineer Sonam Wangchuk, who inspired the character of ‘Phunsukh Wangdu’ in Bollywood blockbuster “Three Idiots”, has developed a mobile solar-powered tent, accommodating 10 soldiers, for use by the Indian Army in high-altitude locations. On how he came up with the idea, Wangchuk said that he decided to come up with the innovation after he came to know that around 50,000 Indian troops were deployed at high altitude areas in harsh winter conditions. “Indian and Chinese troops are being ..

India enhancing capabilities in defence manufacturing: Modi

INDIA is working hard to enhance its capabilities and capacities in the defence-manufacturing sector at a fast pace, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, noting that there were hundreds of ordnance factories before independence with large-scale weapons export from the country in both world wars but this system was not strengthened. Addressing a webinar on the effective implementation of the Union Budget’s provisions in the defence sector, the Prime Minister listed a series of measures taken ..

Cong Govt in Puducherry falls after CM resigns ahead of confidence vote

THE Congress Government in Puducherry fell on Monday after Chief Minister V Narayanasamy resigned ahead of the confidence vote sought by him in the Assembly after his Government was reduced to a minority due to a spate of resignations of party MLAs and a DMK legislator over the past few days. Narayanasamy met Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and submitted the resignation of his Cabinet, even as the ruling side’s strength was reduced to 11 as against the 14 of the Opposition...

India offers USD 100 mn line of credit to Mauritius to procure defence assets

INDIA on Monday offered a USD 100 million line of credit to Mauritius to facilitate procurement of defence assets as the two countries signed a landmark Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership Agreement following talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth here...

I-T raids on MP-based soya group unearth Rs 450 cr black money

THE Income Tax Department has detected undisclosed income of over Rs 450 crore after its raided a Madhya Pradesh-based Soya products manufacturing group, the CBDT said on Monday. The searches were carried out on February 18 at 22 premises located in Betul and Satna (both in Madhya Pradesh), Mumbai and Solapur in Maharashtra, and Kolkata in West Bengal. “Incriminating evidence in the form of digital media such as laptops, hard drives, pen drives have been found and seized...

Nearly 100 villagers in Odisha ill due to food poisoning

NEARLY 100 people fell sick due to food poisoning after eating at a marriage feast in Kendrapara district of Odisha, police said here on Sunday. Residents of Matia village had attended the marriage function on Saturday night. The villagers complained of vomiting, stomach pain and nausea in the early hours of Sunday, a district health official told reporters here...

Kareena-Saif welcome second baby boy

BOLLYWOOD star Saif Ali Khan, who welcomed his second child, a baby boy, with actor-wife Kareena Kapoor Khan on Sunday, thanked well wishers for their love and support. The star couple had announced the pregnancy in August. Their first child, son Taimur Ali Khan, is four. Saif, 50, said both the baby and Kareena were healthy. “We have been blessed with a baby boy...

Scientists decode how Mars may have lost its atmosphere

SOLAR winds may have led to Mars losing its atmosphere, according to a computer simulation study which confirms the long held belief that planets need a protective magnetic field to block such harmful radiations in order to sustain life. While factors like the existence of a moderately warm, moist atmosphere and liquid water determine whether a planet can host life, the study, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, noted that the ability of planets to generate magnetic ..

India will not allow any unilateral action on its border, says Rajnath

THE disengagement process by India and China in eastern Ladakh is ‘complete’ after nine rounds of diplomatic and military level talks between the two neighbours, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Sunday as he hit out at Congress for ‘doubting’ Indian soldiers’ bravery. The country will not allow any “unilateral action” on its border and will pay any cost to thwart such attempts, he told the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha’s (BJYM) State conference here. “After nine rounds of military and diplomatic ..

Govt is facilitator, pvt sector driver of growth: Nirmala

FINANCE Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the Union Budget 2021-22 is about the role of Government as a facilitator and the private sector as a key driver of economic growth, without which the country would be losing a big opportunity. The most important component or input required here is the participation of the private sector. Unless the private sector is energised enough, unless the private sector is facilitated enough, India is just losing a very big opportunity, she said here during ..

Indian man robbed of Rs 55,30,806 in Dubai

A 33-year-old Indian man in Dubai has been robbed of Rs 55,30,806 by a gang of four women after being lured into a fake massage parlour through a dating app, according to a media report. The case was heard at the Dubai Court of First Instance, the Gulf News reported...

Suspicion cannot take the place of proof: SC

SUSPICION, however strong, cannot take the place of proof, the Supreme Court has said, stressing that an accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There has to be a chain of evidence so complete as to show that in all human probability the act must have been done by the accused, a bench of justices Indira Banerjee and Hemant Gupta observed while upholding an order of the Orissa High Court which acquitted two men accused of murdering a home guard by electrocuting ..

BJP’s mission is to work for country, its devpt: PM

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked BJP workers to strengthen and expand the party with the motto of ‘nation first’ and said its mission is to work for the country. Modi was addressing the first meeting of the BJP’s new set of national office-bearers, during which the party also passed a resolution thanking him for reforms in the agriculture sector and for his able leadership in effective handling of the COVID-19 situation. Prime Minister Modi at the meeting said the party’s mission is to ..

Gatherings to be banned in Mah from today: CM

MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that in view of the rising COVID-19 cases, religious, social and political gatherings will be prohibited in the State from Monday. Asking people to follow “COVID-appropriate” behaviour and safety norms, he said he would observe for a week to 15 days and then decide whether to impose another lockdown...

India signs $50 mn defence agreement with Maldives

INDIA on Sunday reiterated its commitment to the Maldives’ security and signed a USD 50 million defence Line of Credit agreement with it to boost the maritime capabilities of the strategic island nation, as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with the country’s top leaders to further strengthen bilateral ties and explore new areas of cooperation. The USD 50 million credit line agreement for defence projects was signed between the Finance Ministry of Maldives and the Export Im..

Need to increase pace of vaccinations: Centre to States

THE Union Health Ministry has written to all States and UTs highlighting the need to significantly enhance the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations, noting that a large number of healthcare and frontline workers still remain to be covered. In a letter addressed to Chief Secretaries of all States and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the number of days of vaccination in a week should also be increased to a minimum of four days per week at the earliest to speed up the process of vaccination and ..

Hyderabad Police rescue 3-yr-old kidnapped boy from Maharashtra

HYDERABAD Police has rescued a 3-year-old boy from the clutches of a kidnapper who had taken shelter in a village in Maharashtra. Addressing a press conference on Friday, Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said two police teams reached Amanwadi village in Maharashtra on February 18 and arrested the accused person. “A three-year-old boy was kidnapped by Shyam Bheem Rao Solanki from Maharashtra. On February 9, a complaint was filed by M. Shiva Kumar, the father of the boy named Rudramani...

Centre, States need to work together to lower fuel prices, says Nirmala

AMID an outcry over record high petrol and diesel prices, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the Centre and State Governments will have to together work out a mechanism to bring retail rates to reasonable levels. As much as 60 per cent of the retail price of petrol, which shot above Rs 100-mark in some places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and is at an all-time high elsewhere in the country, is made up of Central and State taxes. Taxes make up for about 56 per cent of the ..

IGP calls for strengthening security grid to prevent militant attacks in Srinagar

IN THE wake of the recent spurt in militant attacks in Srinagar, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar on Saturday called for enhancing surveillance of all vital establishments and to strengthen the security grid to thwart attempts of anti-national elements to disturb peace in the city. Kumar was speaking while chairing a detailed security review meeting at police control room, Kashmir, after militants struck twice this week in the heart of the city, targeting civilians and security ..

India’s first Digital University opened in Kerala’s Technocity

KERALA took a major step forward in its progress towards a knowledge society with the inauguration of the country’s first Digital University, based in Technocity at Mangalapuram near here on Saturday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presided over the function, where Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also the Chancellor of the Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology, unveiled the varsity plaque. Both the Governor and the Chief Minister addressed the function through video ..

‘Toolkit’ case: Disha deleted evidence, shows guilty mind: Police

THE Delhi Police told a city court on Saturday that climate activist Disha Ravi covered her track and deleted evidence, which, as per the prosecutor, shows her “guilty mind”. Ravi, who faces charges of conspiracy and sedition in the ‘Toolkit’ conspiracy case related to the farmers’ agitation, was arrested from Bengaluru on February 13. The contentions were made during the three-hour long hearing on the bail petition moved by Ravi. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana has reserved the order for ..

Petrol at Rs 97/litre in Mumbai, diesel crosses Rs 88 mark

PETROL price on Saturday touched an all-time high of Rs 97 per litre in Mumbai while diesel rate crossed Rs 88 -mark. Petrol price was hiked by record 39 paise per litre and diesel by 37 paise a litre, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers...

PM pitches for better coordination between Centre, States

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong case for repealing archaic laws and making it easier to do business in India, stating that the Centre and States need to work closely to boost economic growth. Addressing the sixth Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog via video conferencing, the Prime Minister said that the private sector should be given full opportunity to become a part of Government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat programme. As many as 26 Chief Ministers, three Lt. Governors and two ..

NASA rover sends 1st colour images of Mars, a selfie too

NASAs Perseverance rover has sent some stunning photos of the Red Planet, including a high-resolution colour selfie taken during its landing. The selfie is part of a video taken by several cameras as NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down on Mars on February 18. “While NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover sent back a stop-motion movie of its descent, Perseverance’s cameras are intended to capture video of its touchdown and this new still image was taken from that footage, which is still being relayed to Earth ..

India, China hold 10th round of military talks

INDIA and China on Saturday held another round of military talks with a focus on taking forward the disengagement process in Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang in eastern Ladakh and bring down the tensions in the region, official sources said. The 10th round of Corps Commander-level talks are taking place two days after the Chinese and Indian militaries completed the withdrawal of troops, weapons and other military hardware from the North and South banks of Pangong lake areas as part of an agreement...

Centre released Rs 1 lakh crore GST compensation to States since Oct ’20: Finance Ministry

THE Centre has released Rs 1 lakh crore to States and UTs in four months since October 2020, to meet GST compensation shortfall, the Finance Ministry said on Saturday. The Ministry on Friday released the 17th weekly instalment of Rs 5,000 crore to 23 States and 3 Union Territories (Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir & Puducherry), taking the total amount released so far under the special borrowing window set up in October last year to Rs 1 lakhcrore...

Mangalyaan-2 will be an orbiter mission: ISRO chief

AS NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars in the early hours of Friday to look for signs of past life, ISRO chief K Sivan said India’s next mission to the Red Planet is likely to be an orbiter. He, however, did not provide an exact time frame for the mission -- Mangalyaan-2. The second mission to Mars will be undertaken only after the launch of Chandrayaan-3, he said...

One must be restrained and sensitive while in power: Modi

THE Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that one has to be restrained and sensitive while in power. Addressing the Visva-Bharati University convocation virtually, the Prime Minister said, “Responsibility comes with knowledge and power. Just as one has to be restrained and sensitive while in power, every scholar also has to be responsible towards those who do not have knowledge.” Addressing the students, he said, “Your knowledge and skill can make a nation proud or can push society into the ..

Pak chief exporter of Jihadi terror: Delhi Police at annual press meet

PAKISTAN is the chief exporter of Jihadi terrorism, host of Al-Qaeda leadership, D-Company and runs a network of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), Delhi Police said in its annual press conference on Friday. Mentioning seven neighbouring countries -- Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, and Bangladesh --, the Delhi Police told reporters how India faces consistent terror threat from elements present in these countries. For Myanmar, the Delhi Police said that it has an active ..

56 kg gold given to weigh then PM Shastri in 1965 to go to Govt

GOLD weighing 56.86 kg, given to the District Collector in Rajasthan’s Chittogarh for weighing then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in wake of the 1965 India-Pakistan war, will be passed on to the Government, a court has ordered. The gold, valued at Rs 4.76 lakh at that time, is now valued at Rs 27.29 crore. The District and Sessions Court in Chittorgarh on Wednesday directed the officials concerned to hand over the gold to the Assistant Commissioner of Central Goods and Service Tax. The controversy ..

Efforts made so Netaji is forgotten: Shah

UNION Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday that efforts were made to ensure Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is forgotten but his legacy of courage, patriotism and selfless service to the nation will endure till eternity and continue to inspire future generations. Shah, while inaugurating the “Shauryanjali Programme” - a tribute to the Bengali revolutionaries, urged the youth of the nation to draw inspiration from the lives and struggles of the freedom fighters. “Efforts were made to ensure Netaji ..

Baba Ramdev releases research paper on ‘first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19 by Patanjali’

YOGA Guru Ramdev released a research paper on the “first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19 by Patanjali” in presence of Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday in Delhi. Speaking at the launch event, Ramdev said that the research paper will clear all ‘suspicions’ related to Patanjali’s COVID-19 medicine Coronil. “When we launched Coronil, people raised questions on its validity and asked if we followed scientific parameters. People think research can only ..

Baba Ramdev releases research paper on ‘first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19 by Patanjali’

YOGA Guru Ramdev released a research paper on the “first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19 by Patanjali” in presence of Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday in Delhi. Speaking at the launch event, Ramdev said that the research paper will clear all ‘suspicions’ related to Patanjali’s COVID-19 medicine Coronil. “When we launched Coronil, people raised questions on its validity and asked if we followed scientific parameters. People think research can only ..

NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars

AFTER a nearly seven-month journey through space, Perseverance -- the largest and the most advanced rover NASA has ever sent to another world -- successfully touched down on the surface of Mars on Friday in a nail-biting landing that marks its first step in the search for signs of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet. Packed with groundbreaking technology, the Mars 2020 mission launched on July 30, last year, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, US. The rover streaked through the ..

Terrorist guns down 2 cops in upmarket Srinagar area

A TERRORIST gunned down two unarmed policemen in broad daylight in an upmarket Srinagar area, an incident witnessed by several people and captured on CCTV cameras, police said on Friday, two days after a similar shooting targeting the son of the owner of a city eatery. The two policemen were on duty at Baghat on the high-security airport road when they were attacked. The terrorist, identified as Saqib, can be seen pulling out an assault rifle hidden inside his ‘pheran’, a loose over-garment worn ..

China admits to casualties in Galwan Valley clashes

FOUR Chinese soldiers were killed in the fierce clash with the Indian Army in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) acknowledged for the first time on Friday. China’s military authorities have honoured two officers and three soldiers, including four who received the awards posthumously, for defending the country’s western border, the official Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese military...

Disha Ravi blames Nikita, Shantanu in toolkit case

THE Delhi Police on Friday told a city court that climate activist Disha Ravi has been evasive in giving replies during the interrogation in toolkit case and shifted the blame onto co-accused Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk. The police have served a notice to co-accused Shantanu, who will join the investigation on February 22, following which both will be confronted. “During the course of interrogation, Disha Ravi has shifted the blame on Nikita and Shantanu. All the accused need to be confronted ..

Petrol and diesel prices hiked for 11th straight day

PETROL and diesel prices maintained its northward rally on Friday, the eleventh consecutive day when its retail prices rose across the country, with the global oil market remaining stable but firm. Accordingly, oil marketing firms raised the pump price of petrol by 31 paise and diesel by another 33 paise per litre in Delhi. With this increase, petrol is now priced at Rs 90.19 a litre and diesel Rs 80.60 a litre in the national capital...

Fuel prices break into new highs across country

PETROL and diesel price continued to rally northward on Thursday, the 10th consecutive day when its retail prices rose across the country. In Sri Ganganagar town in Rajasthan, normal petrol price has shot up over Rs 100 per litre to stand at Rs 100.49 a litre. The global oil market remained firm and prices of both crude and products saw a big spike. Accordingly, oil marketing companies raised the pump price of petrol by 34 paise and diesel by another 32 paise per litre in Delhi...

Conspiracy against ex-CJI can’t be ruled out due to his stand on NRC, says SC

THE Supreme Court on Thursday said that the possibility of a conspiracy against former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi cannot be ruled out, as it closed an inquiry set up after sexual harassment charges were levelled against him in April 2019. A bench comprising Justices S K Kaul, A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said that the Intelligence Bureau Director had said, in a report, that then Chief Justice Gogoi had taken serious view in connection with the finalisation of the National Register of Citizens, ..

J&K LG Sinha meets foreign envoys, details devpt work

THE Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, on Thursday held an interaction with the foreign envoys who were on a two-day visit to J&K to have a firsthand appraisal of the Government’s efforts to restore normalcy and boost development in the Union Territory. As many as 24 foreign envoys visited the Raj Bhawan for the interaction. While interacting with the foreign envoys, Sinha spoke about the developmental changes which J&K is witnessing. He observed that an ecosystem of democratic ..

Disha Ravi moves Delhi HC to restrain police from leaking probe material to media

Climate activist Disha Ravi, arrested for alleged involvement in sharing a toolkit backing the ongoing farmers’ protest, moved the Delhi High Court on Thursday seeking to restrain police from leaking to the media any probe material in relation to the FIR lodged against her. The petition, which is listed before Justice Prathiba M Singh, also seeks to restrain the media from publishing the content or extract of any private chats, including those on WhatsApp, between her and third parties. When the ..

Army gets L&T’s 100th K-9 Vajra tracked self-propelled howitzer

CHIEF of Army Staff General M M Naravane on Thursday flagged off the 100th K-9 Vajra tracked self-propelled howitzer from a production facility of its maker Larsen and Toubro at Hazira near Surat. The Indian Army said Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has supplied 100 units of indigenously made K-9 Vajra-T 155 mm/ 52 calibre self-propelled guns to it so far. In a statement, L&T said with the flagging-off of the 100th howitzer, the company has successfully completed delivery of all guns under the existing ..

Airpower a critical factor at right time and place, says Air Force chief

Airpower can bring asymmetric results if the time and place are chosen correctly, said Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Thursday. Bhadauria was speaking at the Air Force Museum on Thursday after he released retired Air Marshal Bharat Kumar’s book ‘The Epic Battle of Longewala’. The Air Chief Marshal said the Pakistan Army’s plan of armoured thrust on Jaisalmer’s Longewala was brilliant, but the enemy force’s mistake was not factoring in India’s airpower. “Pakistan Army’s plan of ..

Double engine Govt of Centre, Assam made effort to reduce geographical, cultural gaps, says PM

THE double engine Government of Centre and Assam has made an effort to reduce the geographical and cultural gaps of this entire region, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday while inaugurating multiple development projects in Assam via video conferencing. “In the past few years, the double engine Government of Centre and Assam made an effort to reduce the geographical and cultural gaps of this entire region,” said Prime Minister Modi at the foundation stone laying ceremony of a bridge between ..

Negligible impact of ‘rail roko’ call by farmers: Rlys

AGITATING farmer groups on Thursday held a four-hour nationwide ‘rail roko’ agitation with the railways saying there was negligible impact on services though some trains were stopped by officials at stations as a precautionary measure. In Punjab and Haryana, farmers at several places squatted on railway tracks which led to disruption in normal movement of trains on some routes. Protests were also staged at some places in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. However, in many States, it was ..

Wedding celebration goes awry as car ploughs into revellers

IT WAS a celebration that went horribly wrong. A bride on her way to the wedding venue was dancing through the sunroof, while other family members were dancing around the car when another speeding car ploughed through them. One person was killed and at least 12 others were injured in the accident on Wednesday. A video of the accident went viral on social media platforms...

Stop vaccine nationalism, encourage internationalism: India at UNSC meet

INDIA, which has shipped ‘Made In India’ COVID-19 vaccines to 25 countries, on Wednesday appealed the international community to stop “vaccine nationalism” and actively encourage “internationalism”, underlining that hoarding superfluous doses will defeat global efforts to attain collective health security and combat the deadly pandemic. Addressing the UN Security Council, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar outlined nine points for consideration of the international community to help the world ..