National

Change negative perception of police among people: PM to IPS probationers

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday told Indian Police Service probationers that the spirit of ‘Nation First, Always First’ should reflect in every action of theirs and also asked them to work to change the negative perception of the force among people. Addressing the IPS probationers at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy via video-conferencing, he urged them to let their every action in field be guided by national interest and perspective. “You are the flag-bearers of ‘Ek Bharat, ..

SII chairman Cyrus Poonawalla to get Lokmanya Tilak National Award

DR CYRUS Poonawalla, chairman of the city-based vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII), will be honoured with the prestigious Lokmanya Tilak National Award for 2021. Deepak Tilak, president of the Lokmanya Tilak Trust, has made the announcement. “Poonawalla will be felicitated for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein he helped in saving many lives by manufacturing Covishield vaccine. Under his leadership, crores of doses of Covishield vaccine were made available to the world in record ..

11-time MLA Ganpatrao Deshmukh cremated with full State honours

INDIA’S second-longest serving legislator and Peasants & Workers Party (PWP) senior leader Ganpatrao Annasaheb Deshmukh, who passed away on Friday, was cremated with full State honours in Sangola here on Saturday afternoon, official sources said. Deshmukh, 95, breathed his last at a private hospital following a brief illness, his family said. As his mortal remains were taken from Solapur to Sangola on Saturday morning, thousands of people including farmers and labourers with moist eyes lined up on ..

India, China hold 12th round of military talks India presses for early disengagement in Hot Springs, Gogra and other friction points in eastern Ladakh

INDIA on Saturday pressed for an early disengagement of troops and weapons in Hot Springs, Gogra and other remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh during the 12th round of military talks with China that lasted for around nine hours, sources in the security establishment said. Both sides held detailed deliberation and the talks were comprehensive, they said without elaborating further. There was no official comment on the outcome of the meeting that took place at the Moldo border point on the Chinese ..

Afghanistan sees bloodiest day as forces repel Taliban attacks

AMID the ongoing violence in Afghanistan, the country witnessed the bloodiest day in a month as security forces repelled mass Taliban attacks on the capital cities of Herat, Helmand, Takhar, and Kandahar provinces, according to media reports. Besides being the bloodiest, Friday was also one of the busiest days for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in the past one month. The media reports said the Taliban entered Herat province and launched attacks on Afghan Government forces’ ..

Compliance not eased for GST taxpayers with over Rs 5 cr turnover, reconciliation statement remains

TAXPAYERS looking at ease of compliance requirement for filing annual GST returns for 2020-21 are in for a rude shock as the Government has not completely done away with the process of including the reconciliation statement along with the returns. The preparation of the reconciliation statement to tally with the numbers given in the annual returns is always a challenge for taxpayers and even tax experts face problems in finalising these. According to a notification issued by the Central Board of Indirect ..

Musk refutes claim that he tried to replace Cook as Apple CEO

ELON Musk has refuted a story based on an upcoming book about Tesla that he tried to replace Tim Cook as Apple CEO. The book, titled ‘Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century’ by The Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins, claims that Musk reportedly wanted to become the Apple CEO in a 2016 phone call with Cook, who suggested to Musk that the iPhone maker acquire the electric car-maker. Musk reportedly said that he wished to become Apple CEO, reports ‘The Los Angeles Times’, quoting ..

India, UK to conduct clinical trials on ‘Ashwagandha’ for COVID recovery

THE Ayush Ministry’s All India Institute of Ayurveda in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will conduct a study on ‘Ashwagandha’ for promoting recovery from COVID-19 in a boost to the traditional Indian medicine system. Both the institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct the clinical trials of Ashwagandha on 2,000 people in three UK cities -- Leicester, Birmingham, and London (Southall and Wembley), said the ministry. Ashwagandha ..

Rescue op resumes in cloudburst-hit Kishtwar after suspension due to rain

THE rescue operation to locate 20 people missing after a cloudburst in a village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar resumed on Friday after remaining suspended for hours together owing to inclement weather, officials said. Seven persons were found dead and 17 others were rescued in an injured condition after the remote Honzar village in Dacchan tehsil was hit by flash floods triggered by the cloudburst in the early hours of Wednesday, damaging 21 houses, 21 cow sheds, a ration depot, a bridge and a mosque...

Pune woman police officer’s ‘free biryani’ order lands her in soup

AN AUDIO clip in which a woman police officer is heard asking a subordinate to procure mutton biryani for her from a famous local eatery without paying for it went viral on social media on Friday. Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil said he had asked the Pune Police Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report. “I heard the audio clip and it is a serious matter. I have asked the Commissioner of Police to conduct an inquiry and submit a report. After that the Government ..

Israel launches probe into allegations against NSO

ISRAEL has launched a probe into the allegations of wrongdoing against the NSO Group in the Pegasus snooping scandal, with authorities inspecting the cybersecurity company’s offices over alleged abuses of its spyware by several Government clients which have raised eyebrows the world over. Representatives of several bodies visited the office of NSO to assess the allegations raised in regards to the company on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Defence said. When asked to share details, ..

SC to hear Anil Deshmukh’s plea in PMLA case on Aug 3

THE Supreme Court on Friday said that it would hear on August 3 the plea filed by the former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh seeking protection from ‘coercive action’ in a money laundering case. A Bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar posted the plea for August 3 along with similar petitions seeking no coercive action in money laundering cases. “List this plea on August 3 along with connected cases so that similar orders are passed in all cases with regard to no coercive action being taken,” ..

‘Received 71,148 complaints, took down 1.54 lakh content pieces in May-June’

GOOGLE received 71,148 complaints from individual users in India in May and June combined, which resulted in the removal of more than 1.54 lakh pieces of content, as per the company’s latest monthly transparency reports. The number of complaints received in June from individual users in India was 36,265, leading to 83,613 removal actions - both the numbers were higher than the levels seen in May. In addition to reports from users, Google also removed more than 11.6 lakh pieces of content in May and ..

Afghan forces kill 100 Taliban ultras in 24 hrs

AT LEAST 100 Taliban militants were killed and about 90 others wounded during multiple offensives carried out by the Afghan security forces across the country in just 24 hours, officials confirmed on Friday. In Herat province, 52 Taliban militants were killed and 47 wounded when the security personnel backed by local Public Uprising Forces repulsed the militant group’s attacks on the outskirts of provincial capital Herat city and the neighbouring districts of Guzara, Karukh and Seyawoshan, ‘Xinhua’ ..

CBSE class 12 results declared; girls outshine boys

THE Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) recorded the highest ever pass percentage of 99.37 in this year’s class 12 results, declared on Friday, with girls outshining boys by a slender margin of 0.54 per cent. The pass percentage increased by over 10 percentage points against last year’s 88.78 per cent. The difference between the pass percentage of girls and boys was nearly 6 per cent last year...

COVID WAR: CII to work with SII to expand vaccination in small towns, rural areas

INDUSTRY chamber CII on Friday said it has entered into an agreement with Serum Institute of India (SII) to accelerate COVID vaccination in small towns and rural areas. The chamber said the partnership with Serum Institute will help catalyse industry participation to reach out to communities at large. “Overall, industry has been playing a responsible part in ensuring vaccination of workers and their families, but clearly given the scale and urgency of the vaccination program, we can complement and ..

Pegasus spyware a ‘non-issue’: Govt in LS

AS OPPOSITION protests over alleged snooping using Pegasus spyware continue to disrupt House proceedings, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi on Friday said the controversy was a “non-issue” and that the Government was ready for discussions on people-related issues. The Pegasus spyware issue has snowballed into a political controversy, disrupting Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha since the start of the Monsoon session on July 19. IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has given a statement on the issue in both the Houses ..

Lovlina assures another medal

DEBUTANT Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) assured India of their first boxing medal at the ongoing Olympic Games when she upstaged former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei to enter the semi-finals here on Friday. The 23-year-old Assam boxer prevailed 4-1 to make the last-four where she will square off against reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey, who hammered Ukraine’s Anna Lysenko in her quarter-final bout. Borgohain, a two-time world championship bronze-medallist and the first ..

Anti-Modi agenda alone won’t sustain Opposition front: Moily

AN ANTI-NARENDRA Modi agenda alone will not help sustain an Opposition front to take on the BJP, senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily cautioned on Thursday, calling for drawing up a common minimum programme for parties to work together. The former Union Minister also warned that such a front will not take off if parties debate on which leader or political outfit should lead it at this stage itself. “They (Opposition parties) should not bother about leadership now,” Moily told PTI here. “If they ..

Mamata calls on Gadkari, discusses infra projects in WB

WEST Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari here on Thursday and discussed with him several infrastructure projects in a bid to invite global investors to the State. She told the Union Minister that it would be good if West Bengal gets an electric vehicle manufacturing industry...

Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi meet Mamata

AFTER meeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Delhi, lyricist-poet Javed Akhtar on Thursday said there should be a change in the country and it is the history of Bengal that it had led the revolutionary movements. Javed Akhtar and actor Shabana Azmi met Banerjee in Delhi. Briefing mediapersons after the meeting, Akhtar said, “It is a courteous meeting...

Mah decides to cut 15 pc school fees

MAHARASHTRA Cabinet has decided to cut school fees by 15 per cent in the State, in wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said, “I am happy to inform you all that the Cabinet has decided to cut 15 per cent of the school fees in the wake of the pandemic. My department was following this up consistently. I thank my Cabinet colleagues for their support.”..

NEP is major factor in grand exercise of nation building: PM

AS THE new National Education Policy (NEP) completed one year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said it is one of the major factors in the grand exercise of nation building and assures the youth that the country supports their aspirations. Modi said in the last one year, teachers, principals and policymakers of the country have worked very hard in implementing the National Education Policy on the ground. Addressing a programme on the completion of one year of the NEP, the Prime Minister said ..

India’s gold demand up by 19 pc in Apr-Jun qtr at 76 tonnes: WGC

INDIA’S gold demand increased by 19.2 per cent to 76.1 tonne during the April-June quarter this year, largely due to low base effect, owing to the nationwide lockdown that hit economic activity last year, the World Gold Council (WGC) said in a report. The overall gold demand during the second quarter of 2020 calendar year stood at 63.8 tonnes, according to the WGC’s ‘Gold Demand Trends Q2 2021’ report. In value terms, India’s gold demand witnessed 23 per cent growth during April-June quarter at Rs ..

Govt announces 27 pc reservation for OBCs, 10 pc quota for EWS in medical, dental courses

THE Government on Thursday announced a 27 per cent quota for OBCs and 10 per cent reservation for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category in the All-India Quota (AIQ) scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses from the current academic year, 2021-22. Hailing the “landmark decision” taken by his Government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “This will immensely help thousands of our youth every year get better opportunities and create a new paradigm of social justice ..

‘Jaanta Raja’ fame Babasaheb Purandare turns 100

NOTED historian and author Balwant Moreshwar alias Babasaheb Purandare, known for his works on Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, celebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday. A recipient of Padma Vibhushan, Purandare expressed his gratitude towards his parents and teachers, and said he had learned a lot in his journey of 100 years. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari wished Purandare on the occasion and enquired about the latter’s health in a telephonic conversation, a release issued by ..

SC reserves verdict on Amazon’s pleas against FRL-Reliance deal

THE Supreme Court on Thursday reserved verdict on e-commerce giant Amazon’s pleas against the merger of Future Retail Ltd (FRL) with Reliance Retail and would rule whether Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator (EA) award, restraining the Rs 24,731 crore deal, was valid under Indian law and can be enforced. Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC and FRL are embroiled in a bitter legal fight over the deal and the US-based firm has sought in the apex court that the EA award was valid and enforceable. “So ..

14 Indian tiger reserves get global accreditation

FOURTEEN of India’s 51 tiger reserves have received prestigious global accreditation from Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CATS), it was announced at the Global Tiger Day event held by the Environment Ministry here on Thursday. Manas, Kaziranga, and Oran (Assam), Satpura, Panna, and Kanha (Madhya Pradesh), Dudhwa (Uttar Pradesh), Pench (Maharashtra), Sunderbans (West Bengal), Valmiki Nagar (Bihar), Parambikulam (Kerala), Mudumalai and Annamalai (Tamil Nadu) and Bandipur (Karnataka) tiger reserves ..

Search on for survivors in J&K cloudburst

RESCUE operations were underway on Thursday to trace 20 people missing after a cloudburst hit Honzar village in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir with authorities pressing more teams into action. Seven persons were found dead and 17 others were rescued in an injured condition after the remote village was struck by the cloudburst in the early hours of Wednesday, damaging 21 houses, cow sheds, a ration depot, a bridge and a mosque. The officials said the joint rescue operation by police, Army and ..

Taliban leader holds talks with Chinese Foreign Minister, terms Beijing as a ‘trustworthy friend’

A TALIBAN delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Wednesday made a surprise visit to China and held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during which the Taliban leader termed Beijing as a “trustworthy friend” and assured that the group will not permit “anyone to use” Afghanistan’s territory. This is the first meeting between China and the Taliban amid the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan. The ongoing offensive by the Taliban capturing a significant amount of territory ..

‘W Bengal to get 14 tigers from Assam, to release them in Buxa national park’

THE West Bengal forest department is set to get 14 tigers from Kaziranga in Assam to be released at Buxa National Park in North Bengal, State Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick said. The Forest Minister said that 10 female and four male tigers would be brought from Kaziranga forest as their habitat has similarities with the Buxa forest area. “This will be a major step in increasing the tiger population of the State. The tigers would be brought very soon,” he told PTI in an interview. However, the State Government ..

‘Strong economic recovery expected in coming months’

THOUGH the economic recovery slowed in May 2021 due to daunting impact of second wave of COVID-19, the decline in new coronavirus cases and gradual unlocking in many parts of the country have given way for rebound in the economic recovery once again, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said in its latest Economic Business Momentum (RBM) Index. The PHDCCI index is based on 25 leading economic and business indicators that have a bearing on country growth...

Oppn seeks debate on Pegasus

THE Opposition on Wednesday hardened its stand on the Pegasus spyware issue with 14 parties unitedly demanding a debate in Parliament in the presence of the Prime Minister or the Home Minister and a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the matter. Meanwhile, asserting that preventing a possible third wave of COVID-19 is the biggest issue now, the BJP hit out at Opposition parties on Wednesday for disrupting Parliament proceedings over “manufactured” matters like the Pegasus snooping and claimed it was ..

No problem if someone else leads, says Mamata on being face of Oppn

WEST Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said it will “depend on the situation” who becomes the face of the Opposition to take on the BJP, but added she has no problem if someone other than her leads. Banerjee, who is on her first visit to the national capital after defeating the BJP in West Bengal, said her party Trinamool Congress’ slogan for the Assembly election – “Khela Hobe” - will now reverberate across the country and it is time for “sachhe din” (truthful days) instead of “achhe ..

Recipient of first Arjuna Award, badminton great Nandu Natekar passes away

ONE of Indian badminton’s earliest superstar Nandu Natekar, whose on-court grace was often compared to a ballet dancer, died on Wednesday after suffering from age-related ailments here. The 88-year-old, who won over 100 national and international titles in his career, is survived by his son former Davis Cupper Gaurav and two daughters. “He passed away peacefully at home and we were all with him. He has been ailing for the last three months and he passed away peacefully,” Gaurav told to PTI. Natekar, ..

PM welcomes President Biden’s loyalty to India’s strategic alliance

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday welcomed President Joe Biden’s strong commitment to strengthen the India-US strategic partnership during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Good to meet US Secretary of State @SecBlinken today. I welcome President Biden’s strong commitment to strengthen the India-US Strategic Partnership, which is anchored in our shared democratic values and is a force for global good,” the Prime Minister tweeted. Blinken called on Modi after holding ..

Only 22 pc consumers happy with RERA’s grievance redressal system

AROUND 70 per cent of consumers are aware of realty law RERA and five out of six homebuyers seek grievances redressal through this legislations, according to a survey by Omidyar Network India and Boston Consulting Group released on Wednesday. However, the report pointed out that the implementation of the grievance redressal process still has many gaps as “only 22 per cent of the consumers involved in a grievance redressal process were satisfied due to the uncertain timelines involved”...

Bommai takes oath as K’taka Chief Minister

BASAVARAJ Bommai on Wednesday took oath as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka, ending months of speculation about the change of guard in the State. The 61-year-old leader was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot at the Raj Bhawan here. The Karnataka BJP legislature party on Tuesday evening elected him as its new leader to succeed B S Yediyurappa. Bommai, a Lingayat leader from North Karnataka, is a close confidant of Yediyurappa and, according to party sources, ..

18 killed, 25 hurt after truck hits bus in UP

AT LEAST 18 people were killed and 25 injured after a truck rammed into a stationary double-decker bus here amid heavy rain, police said on Wednesday. The accident took place on the Lucknow-Ayodhya highway under Kotwali Ramsanehighat area late on Tuesday night. The private bus was carrying over 130 passengers to Bihar from Punjab and Haryana, they said. The axle of the bus broke and it was parked on the road when a speeding truck coming from behind hit it, killing 18 people and injuring 25 others, ..

16 killed, many hurt, several missing as cloudbursts hit Himachal, J&K, Ladakh

A SERIES of flash floods in Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh killed at least 16 people on Wednesday and damaged several residential houses, standing crops and a mini power plant, officials said. In Kishtwar, a cloudburst hit a remote village around 4:30 am, leaving seven people dead and 17 others injured, while at least nine people are dead, two injured and seven reported missing in the flash floods in the hilly State, they said. In Ladakh, two cloudbursts ..

Harappan-era city Dholavira is UNESCO World Heritage Site

DHOLAVIRA, a Harappan-era city in Gujarat, has been conferred the tag of UNESCO World Heritage Site, the organisation said on Tuesday. This is the second site to be included in the world heritage list this month after the Ramappa temple at Palampet in Telangana’s Warangal. “Dholavira: A Harappan City, in India, just inscribed on the @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List. Congratulations!” UNESCO tweeted. Dholavira and the Ramappa Temple were included in the list during the 44th session of the UNESCO’s World ..

India records less than 30,000 fresh COVID-19 cases in over three months

INDIA recorded less than 30,000 fresh COVID-19 cases after 132 days while its active caseload fell below 4,00,000 after 124 days on Tuesday, according to Union Health Ministry data. As many as 29,689 new coronavirus infections took the country’s tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,14,40,951 while 415 fresh fatalities pushed the death toll to 4,21,382, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of active cases dropped to 3,98,100 and comprises 1.27 per cent of the total infections. The national COVID-19 ..

Visiting calamity-hit areas necessary to ‘wake up’ local administration: Fadnavis

SENIOR BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday defended visiting flood-hit areas in Maharashtra, saying it spurs authorities into action, hours after NCP chief Sharad Pawar observed that visits by VIPs to such spots should be avoided as they affect rescue and relief operations. Fadnavis also said he will visit more such areas in the coming days. Union Minister Narayan Rane, Fadnavis, and Opposition leader in Legislative council Pravin Darekar recently visited Taliye village in the worst-hit Raigad ..

Ensure edn of children orphaned during pandemic: SC to States

THE Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all States to ensure that children who have become orphans or lost a parent during the COVID-19 pandemic since March last year are permitted to continue in the same school, be it private or Government, at least for the current academic year. The apex court, while hearing a suo motu matter on contagion of COVID-19 in children protection homes, said that in its June 7 order it had asked the States and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure that there is no break in the ..

Indian-origin Sunjeev Sahota among 13 contenders for Booker Prize

INDIAN-ORIGIN British author Sunjeev Sahota is among the 13 authors longlisted for the prestigious 2021 Booker Prize for fiction for his novel ‘China Room’, alongside Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Powers. The 2021 longlist or “The Booker Dozen” of 13 novels was unveiled on Tuesday after judges evaluated 158 novels published in the UK or Ireland between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021...

Higher Q1 tax mop-up shows economy on recovery path: Govt

INCREASED tax collection in the first quarter this fiscal shows that the economy is on the recovery path, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said on Tuesday. Net direct tax collection in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal is over Rs 2.46 lakh crore, as against more than Rs 1.17 lakh crore during the same period of the previous fiscal. “Reasons for increase in the collections include revival of economic activities and positive sentiments among taxpayers during this current financial ..

Didi meets Modi, demands more vaccines, medicines

WEST Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for what she called a courtesy meeting. This is the first official meeting between Prime Minister and Banerjee in the national capital after she became Chief Minister of West Bengal for the third time after stunning victory in Assembly polls. The meeting, held at Prime Minister’s residence, lasted for around 45 minutes. It is learnt that during the meeting, Banerjee discussed COVID situation in the State and ..

‘Ready to cede land if law demands’

ASSAM will abide by any law enacted by Parliament that makes it even cede its land to another State but till then it will not allow even an “inch to be encroached”, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asserted on Tuesday amid border tensions with Mizoram. Sarma’s comments came a day after six Assamese people, including five police personnel and a civilian, were killed and over 50 injured in border clashes with Mizoram...

Hubble finds water vapour on Jupiter Moon

ASTRONOMERS have, for the first time, uncovered evidence of water vapour in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. This water vapour forms when ice from the moon’s surface sublimates -- that is, turns from solid to gas. The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy. Previous research has offered circumstantial evidence that Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, contains more water than all of Earth’s oceans. However, temperatures there ..

‘By 2025, Covid-19 will have cost world between $16 tn and $35 tn’

BY 2025, COVID-19 will have cost the world between $16 trillion and $35 trillion, as per McKinsey. The world is unlikely to reach global herd immunity ever, but it can contain the virus with a combination of vaccines, improved testing, and smarter quarantining, based on known outbreaks, rather than large, blunt lockdowns, McKinsey said in a report. Obstacles to worldwide vaccination remain huge: while 49.6 per cent of inhabitants of high-income countries had received at least one dose of the vaccine ..

2nd wave may lead to some reassessment of economic growth estimates: K M Birla

THE deadly second wave of COVID-19 may lead to some reassessment of India’s economic growth rate in the current fiscal but the long-term prospects for the country continue to remain robust, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has said. The silver lining, however, was the lesser severity of disruptions to production and supply chains during the second wave of the pandemic than during the first wave, said Birla in the latet annual report of group firm UltraTech Cement Ltd. Moreover, a pick-up ..

Kumartuli artisan makes 10 ft fibreglass Durga idol for Indians in San Francisco

A KUMARTULI artisan has chiselled a 10-feet idol of Goddess Durga for the expatriate Indian community in San Francisco. He claimed that the idol is the tallest made for Durga pujas organised by the expatriate Indian community. Claymodeller Kaushik Basu, who only makes Durga idols for pujas outside the country, said on Sunday that he made the fibreglass Durga idol a bit taller than the standard size as requested and one cannot make out the idol was not made from earth. ..

NPAs decline to Rs 8.34 lakh cr at March-end 21: Minister Karad

NON-PERFORMING assets (NPAs) or bad loans of banks have declined by Rs 61,180 crore to Rs 8.34 lakh crore at the end of March 31, 2021, as result of various steps taken by the Government, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat K Karad said on Monday. Scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) were carrying NPAs worth Rs 8.96 lakh crore on their balance sheet at the end of March 2020. ..

Silver-girl Mirabai returns home

INDIAN weightlifter Mirabai Chanu returned to the country on Monday after her superb silver medal-winning performance at the Tokyo Olympics, walking into sheer chaos after stepping out of the airport where social distancing went for a toss. Chanu walked out of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, flanked by security and clad in a face shield and mask. “Happy to be back here in amidst so much love and support. Thank You so much,” she tweeted after landing. Inside the airport, the 26-year-old was ..

Yediyurappa resigns as Karnataka CM

AFTER months of speculation over his exit, B S Yediyurappa on Monday stepped down as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, coinciding with his Government completing two years in office. He termed these two years as “trial by fire”, pointing out that he had to run the administration without Cabinet in the initial days, followed by devastating floods and the challenge of COVID-19 management, among other issues. The 78-year-old BJP veteran who submitted his resignation to Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot at the ..

Nation salutes Kargil bravehearts on Vijay Diwas

PRESIDENT Ram Nath Kovind, who visited the Dagger War Memorial in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday, said it evokes profound respect for the brave fighters who laid down their lives for the safety and security of the country. Paying tributes to the soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in the Kargil war, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said their bravery “motivates us every single day”. ..

Nine killed, three injured after bridge collapses in Himachal’s Kinnaur

AT LEAST nine people killed while three were injured in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district on Sunday after a bridge collapsed as a result of boulders rolling down a hill due to a landslide. According to Saju Ram Rana, Superintendent of Police, Kinnaur district, the nine persons who died were tourists traveling in a vehicle. A rescue team is present on the spot...

PM praises AP youth’s work as weatherman

A TIRUPATI youth was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday for his efforts to help farmers by providing weather-related information in the local language. During his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ monthly radio programme, the Prime Minister mentioned B. Sai Praneeth, who calls himself the ‘Andhra Pradesh Weatherman’. A software engineer, Sai Praneeth observed that due to inclement weather, farmers of his area had to suffer huge losses...

Taliban restoring dark days in Afghanistan

THE Taliban, who are rapidly gaining territory in Afghanistan as the US withdraws its forces, are demanding that families marry off girls to their fighters and ordering men to grow beards and go to mosques. During the Taliban’s five-year rule (1996-2001) - which was almost universally shunned by other Governments but supported militarily and politically by Pakistan - women were prohibited from working, attending school or leaving home without a male relative. Men were forced to grow beards and wear ..

Indian startups rise sans Chinese money

THE great Indian tech startup story is being rewritten amid the COVID-19 pandemic as traditional sectors still bear the brunt. With 16 unicorns (startups with a valuation of over $1 billion) and more than $11 billion in funding, chiefly from the US-based investment firms (till June-end), the year 2021 has proved that Chinese investment is no longer needed in a ‘self-reliant’ India amid the new normal. The Indian tech startups started to shun Chinese investment in 2020 as desi corporates and wealt..

RBI central board short of 9 non-official Directors

THE central board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is facing shortage of nine non-official Directors, including seven from the category of people of eminence from various fields. The Government nominates 10 eminent persons from various fields to the central board of the RBI, besides four Directors (one from each of the four local boards). The Government is yet to appoint seven non-official Directors from the category of people of eminence from various fields while representations from local board ..

HDFC Bank’s Puri top earner among bankers

HDFC Bank’s Aditya Puri emerged as the highest grossing banker among the top three private sector lenders in his retirement year with total emoluments of Rs 13.82 crore. His successor Sashidhar Jagdishan, who took over as the chief executive and managing director of the largest private sector lender on October 27, 2020 grossed a salary of Rs 4.77 crore for the fiscal year, which included payments as a group head till his elevation. Puri’s overall payments included Rs 3.5 crore as post-retirement benefits. ..

Now, many have immunity against COVID-19 but don’t lower guard, say experts

WHILE a large number of people now have immunity against coronavirus due to previous infections or vaccination, a guarded approach is needed in terms of implementing restrictive measures to avoid a second wave-like crisis, experts said. Dr Yudhyavir Singh, who has been managing the COVID-19 ICU at AIIMS New Delhi, said it is important to lift a few restrictions to resume economic activities when cases are low. Dr Singh added that Delhi may have already achieved herd immunity, considering the massive ..

Pakistan trying to maintain supply lines to terror groups using drones: J&K Police chief

THE Improvised Explosive Device (IED) dropped using a drone along the Indo-Pak border on July 23 was meant for triggering at a crowded market in Jammu region, and it shows that Pakistan is maintaining its supply lines to various terror groups despite the February ceasefire agreement, Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh said on Sunday. Singh, a 1987-batch IPS officer, said terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) have been running short of arms and ammunition ..

Hundreds missing after monsoon fury in Mah; CM visits Chiplun area

THE number of deaths due to flooding, landslides and other rain-related incidents in parts of Maharashtra reached 113 on Sunday with one more casualty reported in the last 24 hours, while 100 people were missing after the monsoon fury, the State Government said. So far, 50 people have also been injured in these incidents, the Government said in a statement. On Sunday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited Chiplun, the site of severe flooding in Ratnagiri district of the Konkan region. A group of ..

President in J&K, to participate in Kargil Vijay Diwas in Ladakh today

PRESIDENT Ram Nath Kovind arrived here on Sunday on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, officials said. Kovind arrived at the Srinagar airport here at 11.15 am and was received by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and senior officers of the police and the civil administration. During the July 25-28 trip, the President will visit Drass in Ladakh to pay homage to the indomitable courage and sacrifice of the Indian Armed Forces during the Kargil conflict of 1999 at the ..

Kerala vet doc gets patent for biodiesel from chicken waste

AFTER waiting for more than seven years, John Abraham, a veterinary-doctor-turned-inventor, has finally received the patents for inventing biodiesel from slaughtered chicken waste that offers mileage of over 38 km a litre at around 40 per cent of the current price of diesel and lowers pollution by half. After seven-and-a-half years, the Indian Patent Office finally granted us the patent on July 7, 2021, for inventing ‘biodiesel produced from rendered chicken oil’, Abraham, an associate professor at ..

SC declines info under RTI on elevation of top court lawyers as HC judges

THE Supreme Court has declined to part with information under RTI Act in connection with Supreme Court Bar Association letter, for proposing names of top court advocates for appointment as High Court judges. A lawyer, Amritpal Singh Khalsa had filed an application under the transparency law, after the SCBA president Vikas Singh had claimed to have written a letter in this matter...

India urges G20 nations to bring down per capita emissions to global average by 2030

INDIA has urged the G20 countries to bring down per capita emissions to the global average by 2030 in view of the “fast-depleting available carbon space”. In the two-day Environment Ministerial meet at the 16th G20 Summit held in Naples, Italy, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said, “We have noted the pledges made by some countries to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions for carbon neutrality by or around mid-century. However, this may not be adequate in view of fast depleting available ..

Millions of phone numbers of Clubhouse users ‘up for sale’ on Dark Web

MILLIONS of phone numbers of Clubhouse users have been allegedly leaked and are ‘up for sale’ on the Dark Web. The dataset of the popular audio chat app only shows mobile numbers and no other information. “A database of phone numbers of #Clubhouse users is up for sale on the #Darknet,” leading cybersecurity expert Jiten Jain tweeted. “It also contains numbers of people in user’s phonebooks that were synced. So chances are high that you are listed even if you haven’t had a Clubhouse login,” Jain added. ..

Good progress on UK-India roadmap to closer ties: Harsh Vardhan Shringla

THE UK-India dialogue on the roadmap towards accelerated talks on a free trade agreement (FTA), with an interim agreement factored in, is “going well” and will see “good progress” in the coming months, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Saturday. At the conclusion of his two-day visit to London to take stock of the Roadmap 2030 agreed between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson in May, the Foreign Secretary said he held a range of meetings with UK interlocutors on the full ..

ED likely to file PMLA, FEMA cases against Raj Kundra

RAJ KUNDRA, husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, will soon face money laundering and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) cases against him as Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to register cases under these Acts against him. Sources said the Central agency, mandated to probe financial frauds related cases, may file a case against Kundra under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and FEMA by the end of this month anytime after July 26. It is learnt that Mumbai Police as per protocol ..

CBI starts searches at 40 locations in J&K, Delhi in arms licence cases

THE CBI on Saturday started searches at 40 locations in Jammu and Kashmir, and in the national capital in connection with cases related to alleged irregularities in the issuance of thousands of arms licences to non-residents on forged documents, officials said. The search operation is spread across Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla and Delhi at the official and residential premises of public servants, including IAS officers, around 20 gun houses among others in an ongoing investigatio..

Mah floods death toll 112

THE death toll from the torrential rains that battered Maharashtra’s Pune and Konkan divisions over the last three days and triggered landslides in some areas rose to 112 on Saturday, including 52 in the coastal Raigad district alone, the State Government said in a release. As many as 1,35,313 people have been shifted to safer places including 78,111 in Western Maharashtra’s Sangli district followed by 40,882 in Kolhapur district. The Krishna river in Sangli and Panchganga in Kolhapur are in flood ..

3 militants killed, soldier injured in encounter

THREE unidentified militants were killed while an Army jawan was injured in an encounter in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, officials said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Shokbaba forest in the Sumblar area of Bandipora in north Kashmir following inputs about the presence of militants there, they said. The officials said as the forces were conducting searches in the area, the militants fired upon them. The forces retaliated, ensuing an encounter in ..

Kovind opens SBI branch at Rashtrapati Bhawan

PRESIDENT Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday inaugurated a new branch of State Bank of India (SBI) at the President’s Estate here, according to an official communiqué. This is the first branch of SBI which is being opened within the premises of Rashtrapati Bhawan. The SBI branch has the President as its first customer, it said. Soon after opening his account, the president was handed over his passbook, the statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhawan said. ..

Girls outshine boys in class 12 in CISCE result

THE CISCE on Saturday announced results for classes 10 and 12, with class 10 girls and boys achieving the same pass percentage of 99.98 per cent. In the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) class 12 results, girls outshone boys by a margin of 0.2 per cent. The board said like last year, there will be no merit list this time too in view of the exceptional circumstances in which the results have been prepared. The CISCE had cancelled the exams for both classes this year in ..

Silver lining: Mirabai Chanu opens India’s medal account at Tokyo Olympics

A CONFIDENT smile never leaving her face, Mirabai Chanu ended India’s over two-decade long wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics, clinching the 49kg category silver medal five years after leaving the same platform in tears following a disastrous debut. With her historic triumph, she ensured that India was second on the medals tally for now, a feat that has never been achieved before by the country. The diminutive iron lady from Manipur lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam ..

UK Carrier Strike Group starts maritime exercises with Indian Navy

THE United Kingdom’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2021, led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, has met up with the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal for three days of complex maritime interactions, the British Government said on Thursday. The maritime partnership exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy will see the two navies conducting a range of multi-ship, air, sea and sub-surface maritime evolutions, as well as close quarter manoeuvring. This enables both forces to advance their ..

HC gives WB Govt ‘last chance’ to file affidavit on NHRC violence report by July 26

THE Calcutta High Court on Thursday gave the West Bengal Government a “last opportunity” to file an affidavit stating its position on the NHRC report on post-poll violence in the State by July 26. A five-judge bench hearing a clutch of PILs alleging that people were subjected to assault, made to flee homes and property was destroyed as a result of post-poll violence in Bengal, directed that the matter will be taken up for hearing again on July 28. The bench, taking note of a request by the counsel ..

12 BJP MLAs move SC over their suspension from Mah Assembly for one year

TWELVE BJP MLAs from Maharashtra on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging their one-year suspension from the state Legislative Assembly for allegedly misbehaving with the presiding officer. Advocate Abhikalp Pratap Singh said he has filed the petition in the apex court on behalf of these MLAs and they have challenged the resolution passed by the Assembly to suspend these lawmakers for one year. They were suspended on July 5 from the Assembly after the State Government had accused them of ..

Kundra paid police Rs 25 lakh to evade arrest, allege emails received by Mah ACB

THE Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Maharashtra on Thursday informed that they have received four emails alleging that businessman and actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra, who has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a case relating to the production of pornography, bribed Mumbai Police officials with Rs 25 lakh to evade arrest. According to an ACB official, the emails were sent by a Yash Thakur, another person accused in the pornography case. A similar amount was allegedly demanded from ..

TMC member snatches IT Minister’s papers, shreds those in RS

A TRINAMOOL Congress (TMC) MP snatched papers from Communications and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday and tore those as the Minister was about to make a statement on the alleged snooping row using Israeli spyware Pegasus. TMC, Congress and other Opposition party members, who had earlier forced two adjournments of the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, rushed into the well of the House as Vaishnaw was called to make a statement on the issue. TMC MP Shantanu ..

Rs 6,322 crore PLI boost for specialty steel manufacturing

IN A major development for the country’s steel sector, the Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing of specialty steel, with an outlay of Rs 6,322 crore. An official statement said that the scheme will boost the production of high-grade specialty steel in the country. Further, it will lead to enhanced exports and minimise dependence on imports for high-end steel. The scheme is expected to bring in investment of approximately Rs 40,000 crore and ..

CCI accuses Amazon of concealing facts in deal for Future Group unit

THE Competition Commission of India (CCI) has accused Amazon.com Inc of concealing facts and making false submissions when it sought approval for a 2019 investment in a Future Group unit, a global news wire reported. The report said the letter complicates Amazon’s bitter legal battle with Future Group over the Indian’s firm’s decision to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries - a matter that is now before India’s Supreme Court. Amazon has argued that terms agreed upon in its 2019 deal to ..

Paytm has filed for Rs 16,600 crore IPO

INDIA’S leading digital payments and financial services platform Paytm has filed for a Rs 16,600 crore IPO, which is touted to be Indias largest market debut. The company filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus on Friday, which gave insights into how the most well known brand in financial services is growing. One of the factors that stood out was Paytm’s Gross Merchant Volume is growing at a phenomenal rate, over a 100% growth in just one year. In Q1FY22, Paytm’s GMV hit Rs 1,469 billion in Q1FY22, ..

FIR against Param Bir Singh, five other cops on charges of extortion

MUMBAI police have registered an FIR against senior IPS officer Param Bir Singh, five other police personnel and two more persons for allegedly demanding Rs 15 crore from a builder to withdraw cases against him, an official said on Thursday. Based on the builder’s complaint, the case was registered at the Marine Drive police station in south Mumbai, he said. The five other cops accused in the case are - DCP (crime branch) Akbar Pathan, inspector Shrikant Shinde, Asha Korke, Nandkumar Gopale and Sanjay ..

Rain batters coastal, western Mah

NEARLY 6,000 passengers were stranded as train services on the Konkan Railway route in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district were suspended on Thursday after a river overflowed following heavy rains in the area, officials said. So far, nine trains have been regulated due to disruption of services on the route, they said. Regulating trains means they have been either rerouted, short-terminated or cancelled. Konkan Railway officals said these trains were at safe locations on different stations and the passengers ..

Govt to move motion seeking suspension of TMC MP today, say sources

THE Government will move a motion seeking suspension of Trinamool Congress MP Shantanu Sen for snatching papers from Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, sources said. The Government will move a motion seeking suspension of Sen on Friday. They said some Opposition MPs ‘misbehaved’ with the treasury bench members, including a Minister, even after the House was adjourned...

Biggest ever Indian contingent looks for a watershed at ‘Game of Hope’

THERE is palpable tension, a sense of dread actually, but the COVID-hit Olympic Games starting Friday or the ‘Games of Hope’ as the IOC desperately wants the world to believe, could prove to be a watershed for the biggest ever Indian contingent with shooters, boxers and wrestlers expected to lead an unparalleled medal rush. The Games were postponed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic which hasn’t slowed down as much as the world would have wanted despite the advent of multiple vaccines. The ..

108-year-old man dies just before SC admits his land dispute case for hearing

A 108-YEAR-OLD man did not live to see that the Supreme Court has admitted his appeal in a land dispute case he had been pursuing since 1968 and had remained pending before the Bombay High Court for 27 year before being dismissed. On July 12 this year, the apex court agreed to hear the appeal after Sopan Narsinga Gaikwad’s counsel pleaded that the delay in filing the appeal may be viewed from the perspective that the aged petitioner belonged to a rural area of Maharashtra and learned of the high court ..

Former Pakistani diplomat’s daughter murdered in Islamabad

A FORMER Pakistani diplomat’s daughter has been murdered here, according to a media report on Wednesday, just days after a major diplomatic row broke out between Pakistan and Afghanistan over the alleged abduction of the daughter of Afghanistan’s Ambassador in Islamabad. Noor Mukadam, 27, daughter of Shaukat Mukadam, was found dead in the capital’s upscale Sector F-7/4 area on Tuesday, Dawn newspaper reported. Mukadam has in the past served as Pakistan’s ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan. Noor ..

1.5 million children worldwide lost parents, guardians due to COVID

MORE than 1.5 million children around the world, including 1,19,000 from India, have lost at least one parent, custodial grandparent, or grandparent, as a result of Covid-19, according to a new study published in The Lancet. Of those, more than 1 million children experienced the death of one or both parents during the first 14 months of the pandemic, and another half a million experienced the death of a grandparent caregiver living in their own home, the study estimates. In India, the researchers ..

All-women Nirbhaya Squad to catch eve-teasers in Raj

NIRBHAYA Squad, an all-women super cop team in Jaipur, is all set to take on eve-teasers in the city. The all-police women team that rides motorbikes and contributes to the cause of policing in the Pink City, will also provide surveillance in the public transport. They will be on guard in plain clothes to keep a check on eve-teasers and teach them a lesson if they are caught red-handed. The tagline of the campaign is “So Rahe ho to Jag Jaiye, Mahilaon ke Adhikaron ke Baare Mein Jaan Jaiye (If you ..

NBW issued against Salman Khurshid’s wife

A LOCAL court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Louise Khurshid, wife of former Union Minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid, in a case of misappropriation of over Rs 71 lakh received i n central grants by Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust that is run by her. Chief Judicial Magistrate Praveen Kumar Tyagi, on Tuesday, issued the non-bailable warrant against Louise Khurshid and Trust Secretary Athar Farooqui and has fixed August 16 as the next date for hearing...

‘India should aim to be Vishwaguru in education’

VICE PRESIDENT M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the World Universities Summit 2021 organised by O P Jindal Global University on “Universities of the Future: Building Institutional Resilience, Social Responsibility and Community Impact” on Wednesday. In his address, the Vice President said, “There are pressing issues facing higher education today as we embark on a path of recovery from the pandemic. Education drives the economy of the nation to chart the course of prosperity through the useful application ..

Narco trafficking fuels terror in J&K

NARCO terrorism is becoming a major challenge for the security forces as the smuggling of narcotics in over 95 per cent cases has been linked directly with financing of various terrorist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir. Intelligence agencies believe that all cross LoC and cross international border smuggling rackets in J&K are directly linked to financing and sustaining terrorism from across the border. “In over 95 per cent narcotics smuggling cases, we have been able to establish a direct link ..

Fuel price cut relief may come soon as global oil softens

CONSUMERS bearing the brunt of rising fuel prices for more than a couple of months may expect some relief over the next few days as Oil marketing companies (OMC) have begun evaluating the fall in global oil prices and its resultant impact on fuel prices in the country. The benchmark Brent crude that had risen to $77 a barrel late last month has shed more than 10 per cent in the last fortnight to reach a level of $68.85 a barrel now...

India, Pak security forces exchange sweets along LoC, IB to mark Eid

SECURITY forces of India and Pakistan exchanged sweets along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha on Wednesday, officials said. Officials of the Indian and Pakistani armies exchanged sweets at Poonch-Rawalakot and Mendhar-Hotspring crossing points along the LoC in Poonch district. They said the ceremony is seen as an enhanced confidence- building measure in the backdrop of a ceasefire between both countries...

DRDO flight-tests Akash-NG, MP-ATGM missiles successfully

DEFENCE Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Wednesday successfully flight-tested indigenously developed low weight, fire & forget Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) and New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG) a Surface to Air Missile. As per an official statement, Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile was launched from a man-portable launcher integrated with thermal site and the target was mimicking a tank. The missile hit the target in direct attack mode and destroyed it with ..