National

PM announces Rs 1,000 cr ‘Start-up India Seed Fund’

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the launch of Rs 1,000-crore ‘Start-up India Seed Fund’ to support start-ups and help budding entrepreneurs pursue innovative ideas. Addressing the ‘Prarambh: Start-up India International Summit’, Modi exuded confidence that the growth of startups will help in generating jobs and improving lives of people in the region. “In order to provide initial capital for start-ups, the nation is launching a Rs 1,000 crore Start-up India Seed Fund...

NIA summons farmer leaders, journalist, others in SFJ case

IN A surprise move, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sent notices to over a dozen of people, including a journalist, farmer leaders associated with the agitation against three farm laws and others, in connection with its probe into the Sikh For Justice (SFJ) case, officials said on Saturday. An NIA official related with the development wishing not to be named told IANS, “The NIA has sent notices to several people for examination.” The official said that they have been called as witnesses ..

WhatsApp delays policy update rollout to May 15

WHATSAPP has decided to delay the rollout of its new policy update to May 15 after massive criticism from users globally, including India, over concerns that data was being shared with its parent company Facebook. The move assumes significance for users in India given that the country is among the biggest markets for WhatsApp with over 400 million users. In a blog post, WhatsApp said it is moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. “No one will have their ..

Bharat Biotech to pay compensation if Covaxin causes side effects

BHARAT Biotech, which has received a Government purchase order for supply of 55 lakh doses of Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine, will pay compensation to recipients in case of any ‘serious adverse’ effects experienced after receiving the antidote. A consent form to be signed by the vaccine recipients said, “In case of any adverse events or serious adverse events, you will be provided medically recognised standard of care in the Government designated and authorised centres and hospitals.”..

‘Mild infection good sign, shows responding to vaccine’

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Saturday joined scores of healthcare workers across the country who were administered COVID-19 vaccine shots on the first day of the nationwide vaccination drive. Dr Guleria said mild infection or adverse reaction after vaccination is a good sign because it shows the immune system of the body is reacting to the vaccine and creating antibodies...

super shot: India rolls out world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive

THE first COVID-19 vaccine shots in India were given on Saturday to nearly two lakh frontline healthcare and sanitary workers as Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the world’s largest inoculation drive against the pandemic that has caused 1,52,093 deaths and upended millions of lives in the country. As Modi asserted that the two vaccines being deployed will ensure a “decisive victory” for India against the coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry said no case of post-inoculation hospi..

Poonawalla takes Covishield jab, wishes success on vaccine drive

ADAR Poonawalla, whose Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactured the first lot of COVID-19 vaccines, was among those who got vaccinated on Saturday, as India kicked off world’s largest immunisation campaign to bring the pandemic under control. He wished the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi success for the vaccination programme. As sanitation and healthcare workers around the country got the first inoculation, Poonawalla tweeted a short video of him getting the vaccine...

‘RBI open to examine proposal on bad banks’

IF there is any proposal on bad banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will examine the proposal, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das during 39th Palkhiwala Memorial lecture on Saturday. “Bad banks have been under discussion for a long time, we are open to looking up any proposal on bad banks...

Army has boosted country’s morale during stand-off with China: Rajnath

DEFENCE Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the Indian Army has boosted the morale of the country and also enabled the people to hold their heads high during the border stand-off with China. He said this while addressing a gathering here during the ‘bhoomipujan’ and foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Command Hospital...

382 birds from 9 Mah districts found dead, State tally rises to 3,378

CASES of bird flu are spreading in Maharashtra with 382 bird deaths reported from nine districts on Thursday, taking the toll to 3,378 across the State. According to the State Department, samples of birds from four more districts in the State Latur, Nanded, Nashik and Ahmednagar returned positive for bird flu. ..

Farm bills capable of bringing agri reforms in India: IMF

THE IMF believes the farm bills passed by Indian Government have the potential to represent a significant step forward for agricultural reforms, but a social safety net is needed to protect those who might be adversely impacted during the transition to the new system, a spokesperson of the global lender said here. ..

EC nod to use its data for vaccination drive

THE Election Commission will extend “full assistance” to the Government in identifying targeted beneficiaries at the polling station level for the COVID-19 vaccination drive, but wants health authorities to delete the data once the inoculation exercise is over, sources privy to the development said on Friday. ..

Historic moment: India all set for

ALMOST a year after reporting the first case of deadly coronavirus, which has claimed over 1.5 lakh lives in India till now, the country is set to witness a historic moment on Saturday with the commencement of the eagerly-awaited vaccination drive against the dreaded disease. ..

Don’t test Indian Army’s patience, warns chief

IN A clear message to China, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane on Friday said no one should make any mistake of testing India’s patience though it is committed to resolve the border stand-off along the northern frontier through talks and political efforts. In an address at the Army Day parade here, General Naravane said a “befitting response” was given to the “conspiracy” to make unilateral changes on the border and that the sacrifice of the Galwan heroes in eastern Ladakh will not go waste. ..

In death, 20-month-old girl gifts life to five people

THIRTY nine-year-old Ashish Kumar and his wife Babita were devastated when their 20-month-old daughter died last week after falling from a balcony of their house in Rohini. However, their grief turned into pride after they found that the death of their little one has given a new lease of life to 5 patients including a 5-month-old infant, who were on their deathbed. Dhanishtha has become the youngest cadaver donor. Her organs were donated to save the lives of five critically ill patients...

SEBI debars host of CNBC Awaaz show

HEMANT Ghai, an anchor with CNBC TV 18, has been debarred by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) from trading in stock markets and offering investment advice. Madhabi Puri Buch, wholetime member, SEBI, passed an interim order on Wednesday in the case of CNBC Awaaz show “Stock 20-20”, co-hosted by Hemant Ghai. “CNBC TV 18 is also advised to appropriately bring to the notice of the viewers of the shows co-hosted by Mr. Hemant Ghai that SEBI ..

Thousands take holy dip at Gangasagar on Makar Sankranti

THOUSANDS of pilgrims took the holy dip on Makar Sankranti at the confluence of the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal, and offered prayers at the Kapil Muni temple here on Thursday. The pilgrimage is taking place amid strict COVID-19 health safety protocols and a large number of volunteers and police personnel have been deployed to ensure people follow the guidelines, officials said...

Open to answering any queries from Govt on privacy policy update: WhatsApp

UNDER fire over its recent privacy policy update, WhatsApp on Thursday said it is open to answering any questions from the Government on the issue and is aware that the company will have to “compete” for users’ trust with rivals such as Signal. In an interview to PTI, WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart said the Facebook-owned company remains committed to privacy and security of users across India and will continue to explain to users that their messages are end-to-end encrypted. Rival messaging platforms ..

Srinagar records coldest night in 30 years, Dal Lake, other water bodies freeze

A MAJOR portion of Kashmir’s famous Dal Lake and several other water bodies froze on Thursday as the cold wave in the Valley continued with Srinagar recording the coldest night in 30 years, officials said here. Srinagar recorded a low of minus 8.4 degrees Celsius, which was the coldest temperature recorded in the city in 30 years, an official of the MET department said. He said while Srinagar had recorded minus 8.3 degrees Celsius in 1995, the temperature has fallen to minus 11.3 degrees Celsius in ..

Armed Forces acknowledge contributions by veterans, assure them full support

INDIA’S Armed Forces have displayed courage in times of conflict and compassion to support its citizens, and the ex-servicemen community has been a source of motivation for them, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said on Thursday. In a message on the occasion of Veterans Day, General Rawat said the Armed Forces continue to seek guidance of the ex-servicemen who had set high standards for the military to emulate...

PM to launch COVID vaccination drive tomorrow

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi will launch India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 via video conferencing and adequate doses of the two made-in-India vaccines have been delivered across the country to all States and Union Territories, the Government said on Thursday...

India’s maritime preparedness tested in 2-day mega exercise

INDIA’S preparedness to deal with all possible challenges in the maritime domain, including contingencies from peace to war-time, was tested in a two-day multi-agency military exercise that covered the 7,516 km-long coastline and exclusive economic zone, officials said on Thursday. The second edition of exercise ‘Sea Vigil’, which concluded on Wednesday evening, particularly focused on the efficacy of the measures initiated to plug gaps in the coastal security set up following the Mumbai terror attack ..

Govt-farmers talks to take place today

THE Government’s ninth round of negotiations with protesting farmer unions will take place as scheduled on Friday and the Centre is hopeful of positive discussions, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Thursday. “The Government is ready to hold talks with farmers’ leaders with an open mind,” Tomar told reporters here...

Woman accuses Mah minister Munde of rape; he says it is blackmail

A WOMAN has accused Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde of rape and claimed the Mumbai police ignored her complaint. The NCP leader denied the allegations, claiming he is being blackmailed by the complainant and her sister. Munde said he had been in a relationship with the complainant’s sister and sired two children. The 37-year-old woman, an aspiring singer, said she wrote to Mumbai police commissioner on January 10, stating that Munde repeatedly raped her in 2006...

Doval meets Afghan leadership; discusses issues of mutual interest, counter-terrorism cooperation

NATIONAL Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who arrived here on a two-day unannounced visit, on Wednesday met the top Afghan leadership and discussed issues of strategic mutual interest as well as on synchronising efforts to combat terrorism and build the peace process. Doval, who is leading a high-level delegation, called on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace here on Wednesday morning...

K’taka CM expands Cabinet, 7 Ministers sworn-in

KARNATAKA Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday expanded his 17-month old Cabinet, inducting seven ministers and indicated that excise minister H Nagesh would be dropped. Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to the Ministers at a ceremony at the Raj Bhawan. The new Ministers are MLAs Umesh Katti (Hukkeri), S Angara (Sullia), Murugesh Nirani (Bilgi) and Arvind Limbavali (Mahadevapura), and MLCs R Shankar, M T B Nagaraj and C P Yogeshwar. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, ..

Deaf, mute girl gangraped, eyes damaged in Bihar

A 15-YEAR-OLD deaf and Mute girl has been allegedly gangraped in Bihar’s Madhubani district and her eyes were damaged with a sharp object so that she couldn’t identify the perpetrators, police said on Wednesday. Both her eyes were damaged but it is yet to be ascertained whether she has completely lost her eyesight, doctors attending to the girl, who is in a critical condition, said...

Morena Collector, SP removed over hooch tragedy, toll 20

CHIEF Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered to remove Morena Collector and Superintendent of Police in the wake of Morena hooch tragedy. Instructions for suspension of SDOP of concerned area has also been issued. Excise Officer has already been suspended...

Shripad Naik conscious, recovering, says Goa CM

UNION Minister Shripad Naik, who was admitted in a Goa hospital after he met with an accident, is conscious and recovering, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said, adding that there is no need to shift him to New Delhi for further treatment. Sawant told reporters that a team from the Delhi-based AIIMS, led by Dr S Rajeshwari, in the morning reviewed the treatment being given to Naik at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) near here. “The AIIMS team is happy with the line of treatment...

Govt okays purchase of 83 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets for Rs 48,000 cr

THE Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the highest decision-making body for security issues headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the purchase of 83 Tejas fighter jets for the Indian Air Force at a cost of Rs 48,000 crore, including infrastructure. The CCS approved the largest indigenous defence procurement deal worth about Rs 48,000 crore to strengthen the IAF’s fleet of homegrown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Tejas...

Centre’s plea in SC to not decriminalise adultery in Forces

THE Centre on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court that its 2018 verdict decriminalising colonial era offence of adultery under the Indian Penal Code be not made applicable to Armed Forces. A bench comprising Justices R F Nariman, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph, after issuing the notice to the PIL petitioner one Joseph Shine and others on the Centre’s plea, referred the matter to Chief Justice S A Bobde for setting up of a five-judge Constitution Bench which can clarify the position. “Issue notice. ..

Serum Institute dispatches over 90 pc vaccines ordered by Govt

SERUM Institute of India (SII) has dispatched over 90 per cent of the COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, ordered by the Government of India. Official sources confirmed to ANI that about 10.99 million doses have been already dispatched from SII facility in Pune and only around 90,000 doses are left to be dispatched. Sources have also confirmed that the remaining volume of the vaccines will be dispatched either on Wednesday or Thursday from the SII facility. The Government of India had placed an order for ..

150-metre-long cross-border tunnel detected along IB in J&K

A 150-METRE-LONG tunnel constructed along the International Border (IB) to facilitate infiltration of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan was detected by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district on Wednesday, officials said...

SC takes cognisance of pollution in Yamuna river, issues notice to Haryana

THE Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of pollution in the Yamuna after Delhi Jal Board (DJB) alleged that water containing high pollutants is being released in the river from Haryana. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was hearing the DJB plea alleging that the water released by neighbouring State Haryana in Yamuna river has pollutants including high ammonia content which become carcinogenic after mixing with Chlorine. “We are issuing notice without argument...

New policy update doesn’t affect privacy of messages: WhatsApp

WHATSAPP on Tuesday said that its latest policy update does not affect the privacy of messages as the Facebook-owned company sought to address concerns around security of user data on the platform. In a blogpost, WhatsApp emphasised that it does not share users’ contact lists or data of groups with Facebook for ads purposes, and that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read messages or hear calls between users on WhatsApp. Last week, WhatsApp had informed users of an update in its Terms of Service and ..

IIT-G researchers find new clues to how and why stars die

RESEARCHERS at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, claim to have found important clues to understand the death of massive stars and have also revealed the problems with the existing models. The research in collaboration with Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich, Germany, and Northwestern University, USA, has also been published in international journal Physical Review Letters (PRL)...

Navy divers recover ‘black box’ from crashed Indonesian plane

INDONESIAN Navy divers searching the ocean floor have recovered a “black box” from a Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea with 62 people on board. The recovery of the device is expected to help investigators determine what caused the Boeing 737-500 plane to nosedive into the ocean shortly after takeoff from Jakarta on Saturday. TV stations on Tuesday showed divers on an inflatable vessel with a large white container containing the black box. It was unclear whether the device was the plane..

70-80 mn vaccine doses being made per month: SII CEO

THE Serum Institute of India (SII) makes 70 to 80 million doses every month and planning is underway for distribution to India and foreign countries, said Adar Poonawalla, CEO and Owner, SII. “We make 70-80 million doses every month. Planning is underway to see how many will be given to India and foreign countries. Health Ministry has made logistics plans. We also have a partnership with private players for trucks, vans and cold storage.” Poonawalla said many countries have been writing to India ..

Pak PM issues spl permit for Dubai royals to hunt endangered bird

THE Pakistan Government has issued at least seven special permits to Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and six other members of the ruling family to hunt the internationally protected bird houbara bustard during the 2020-21 hunting season, according to a media report on Tuesday. Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has earlier opposed such permits for Arab royals, this time personally approved the special pass...

SC stays implementation of new farm laws

THE Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of controversial new farm laws till further orders and constituted a four-member committee to resolve the impasse over them between the Centre and farmers’ unions protesting at Delhi borders. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said, “As a consequence, the Minimum Support Price system in existence before the enactment of the farm Laws shall be maintained until further orders. In addition, the farmers’ land holdings shall be protected, i.e., ..

Hopeful of solution; ready to deal with any eventuality: Army chief

ARMY chief General M M Naravane on Tuesday hoped for an amicable resolution of the military stand-off with China in Ladakh through talks and based on “mutual and equal security” even as he said the collusive and potent threat from China and Pakistan to India cannot be “wished away.” General Naravane asserted that Indian troops are fully prepared to deal with any eventuality along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and will hold their ground as long as it takes to achieve the “national goals and objectives.”..

‘Pay penalty if not already filed I-T returns, no more extensions now’

THE Central Board of Direct Taxes dashed hopes of all taxpayers waiting for further extension of due dates for filing tax returns rejecting all representation in this regard, citing that the process cannot be delayed ‘indefinitely’ and hamper the functioning of the tax department and welfare programmes of the Government...

Massive vaccine drive set in motion across country

A MASSIVE pan-India inoculation drive against COVID-19 was set in process with more than 56 lakh doses of the Covishield vaccine leaving Pune for 13 cities across India on Tuesday, four days before the vaccinations are scheduled to begin on January 16. The first consignment of the vaccines rolled out of the Serum Institute of India facility in Pune early on Tuesday and reached Delhi a few hours later...

Indonesia intensifies search for crashed plane’s black boxes

THE search for the black boxes of a crashed Sriwijaya Air jet intensified Monday to boost the investigation into what caused the plane carrying 62 people to nosedive at high velocity into the Java Sea. The Boeing 737-500 jet disappeared minutes after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, during heavy rain on Saturday, and the search so far has yielded plane parts and human remains but no sign of survivors...

Novelist Ved Mehta, who overcame blindness with literary prowess, no more

INDIAN-AMERICAN novelist Ved Mehta, who shone a bright literary light of evocativeness and imagery overcoming his blindness, has died here at the age of 86. The New Yorker magazine, where he had been a staff writer for 33 years, reported that he had died on Saturday. Mehta provided the first introduction to India for many contemporary Americans through his popular books and articles that ranged from the autobiographical to the political and historic...

HC relief to Sonu Sood in ‘illegal’ construction case

THE Bombay High Court on Monday extended till January 13 a civil court order granting interim protection to actor Sonu Sood from coercive action by the BMC against the alleged illegal structural changes made by him in a residential building in suburban Juhu without permission. Sood last week approached the HC, challenging a notice issued against him by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in October last year and an order passed by a civil court in December dismissing his suit against the BMC’s ..

CM launches biggest tunnel boring machine in Mumbai

MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday launched a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), touted as the biggest in India, for the Mumbai Coastal Road Project. The TBM will dig nearly 4-km-long tunnels as part of the ambitious Coastal Road project--an under construction 22.2-km long freeway that would run along Mumbai’s western coastline connecting Marine Lines in the south to Kandivali in the north. The tunnels are expected to be ready by June 2022, a senior civic official said...

Carpenter’s love for Hindi turns him into Wikipedia editor

CALL IT a love for his mother tongue ‘Hindi’ or his passion to invent something new that a school drop out, a carpenter by profession, turned into a Wikipedia editor and wrote 1,800 articles for its pages using his humble old vanilla plain mobile’s keypad. Knowing no fullstops, he also edited 57,000 pages on Wikipedia using the same keypad with Hindi alphabets, typing one mobile keypad stroke at a time. Looking at his immense passion, Wikipedia in 2016 gifted him a laptop and a free Internet connection...

Considering to give extra attempt to civil service aspirants: Centre to SC

THE Central Government on Monday told the Supreme Court of India that a proposal to give an extra chance to civil service aspirants affected by COVID-19 is under active consideration by the Government and the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar was informed by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju that the Government and UPSC are actively considering the proposal to give one more opportunity to affected students due to COVID-19...

AI all-woman crew make history, fly longest distance over North Pole

CREATING history, Air India’s longest flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru with an all-woman crew landed in the city on Monday. As the flight (AI-176) landed at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and the crew members walked to the airport lounge, there was a huge crowd of people to receive them with elation and joy for setting a new record of an all-woman crew flying the longest distance over the North Pole. Air India had said earlier this will be the longest commercial flight ..

SC to pronounce orders on farm laws, farmers’ protests today

THE Supreme Court will pronounce orders on Tuesday on various issues related to the new farm laws and the farmers’ ongoing protest at Delhi borders and may take a call on setting up of a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India (CJI) to find ways to resolve the impasse. A bench, headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, which indicated during the hearing that it may pass orders in parts on the issues concerning farm laws and farmers’ protest, later uploaded the information on the websit..

Union Minister Shripad Naik hurt; wife, PA killed in mishap

UNION Minister for Ayush and Defence Shripad Y Naik was injured and his wife Vijaya and personal assistant killed when their car overturned at Ankola in Uttara Kannada district on Monday night, police said. The Minister’s condition was stable, they said. Police said Naik, along with his wife, personal assistant Deepak, his close confidante Sai Kiran, gunman and the driver were heading from Yallapur to Gokarna on Monday night...

India returns captured PLA soldier to China

THE Indian Army on Monday handed back to China a soldier of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), three days after apprehending him at the southern bank of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh, official sources said. The soldier was returned to China at the Chushul-Moldo border point in eastern Ladakh at 10.10 am, they added. The Chinese soldier was captured at the southern bank of Pangong lake in the early hours of Friday after he transgressed across the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC)...

Two made-in-India COVID vaccines more cost-effective than others in world: PM

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the two already approved made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines are more cost-effective than any other in the world and have been developed as per the country’s needs. Interacting with Chief Ministers of all States to discuss the COVID-19 situation and the vaccination roll-out in the country, Modi also said that apart from the two already approved vaccines, four others are in the pipeline. “Our experts have taken all precautions to provide the countrymen with effective ..

‘Over 20 lakh undeserving beneficiaries received Rs 1,364 cr under PM-KISAN’

THE Government has paid Rs 1,364 crore to 20.48 lakh undeserving beneficiaries under its ambitious PM-KISAN scheme, a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query by the Union Agriculture Ministry reveals. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sammann Nidhi (PM-KISAN) was launched by the Centre in 2019 and under the scheme, an income support of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments is paid to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding or ownership of up to 2 hectares...

Bird flu confirmed in seven States; test results of Delhi, Mah samples awaited

THE Centre on Sunday said bird flu outbreak has been confirmed in seven States -- Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, while test results are still awaited for Delhi and Maharashtra samples. No samples have been confirmed positive in wild birds from Balod district, Chhattisgarh which were tested earlier, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying said...

Mah Govt reduces security cover of Fadnavis, Raj

THE Maharashtra Government has reduced the security cover of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his family, former UP Governor Ram Naik and MNS President Raj Thackeray, and withdrawn the security cover of State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil. State BJP spokesman Keshav Upadhye termed the action unfortunate and a “vendetta” of the ruling coalition against his party’s leaders. Fadnavis, who is at present Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, alleged that the Government was now giving security ..

SC to hear pleas on farm laws today

AMID a deadlock in the Government’s negotiations with protesting farmer unions, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a clutch of pleas challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders...

Govt creates special unit in I-T Deptt for probe into undisclosed foreign assets

A SPECIAL unit has been created by the Government in the countrywide investigation wings of the Income Tax department for focussed probe in cases of undisclosed assets held by Indians abroad and possession of black money in foreign shores, officials said...

CM meets Bhandara fire victims’ families, orders safety audit

MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday met kin of the newborns who died in a fire at the Bhandara district hospital the day before and said orders have been issued for conducting safety audit of all hospitals in the State. Ten of the 17 infants, aged between one month and three months, died in the blaze erupted at the Special Newborn Care Unit of the four-storey State-run hospital here in east Maharashtra. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, “people co..

Yediyurappa meets Nadda, Shah, says, good news on K’taka Cabinet rejig soon

KARNATAKA Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday expressed confidence of soon getting a final clearance from the Central BJP leadership for the much-awaited Cabinet rejig in the State after he met senior party leaders including its chief J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. State party in-charge Arun Singh was also present in an hour-long meeting held at Shah’s residence in Delhi. “On Cabinet expansion, there was a detailed discussion. You will get good news soon,” Yediyurappa told reporters ..

NDRF to get UN tag of intl disaster response force

INDIA could soon be a part of the United Nations (UN) mandated international disaster rescue operations as the country’s federal contingency force, NDRF, is expected to obtain a globally recognised standardisation later this year, a top ranking official has said...

Body parts, debris found from Indonesian aircraft crash site

FIVE bags of human body parts and three bags of debris were collected by search and rescue officials on Sunday from the waters off the Indonesian capital of Jakarta where a Sriwijaya Air plane crashed the previous day shortly after take-off “We received three bags containing the debris of the plane and five bags of human body parts,” Operation Director of the National Search and Rescue Agency Rasman M S said. All the eight bags were carried by the navy’s KRI Kurau ship, according to the director...

‘Quake resistant techniques seen in Guj structures of 2nd-3rd century’

THE preliminary study of 2nd-3rd century CE structures excavated in Gujarat’s Vadnagar has revealed that people there might have known about earthquake resistant techniques, experts said on Sunday. Experts said no cracks or stress were found in these structures despite the area, some 100 kilometres from here, being prone to earthquakes, though they added the observations need further corroboration...

WhatsApp says, latest update does not change data-sharing practices with FB

FACEBOOK-owned WhatsApp on Saturday said its latest update - which has received criticism from a multitude of users globally - describes business communication and does not change its data-sharing practices with the social media giant. Earlier this week, WhatsApp had started rolling out in-app notifications to users about an update in its Terms of Service and privacy policy regarding how it processes user data and partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the social media giant’s products. ..

Cold conditions persist in N India; Kashmir receives fresh snowfall

THERE was no let-up in cold weather conditions in north India on Saturday with fresh snowfall in parts of Kashmir affecting flight operations. A thick layer of fog enveloped parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said. Heavy rainfall was observed at isolated places in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Kashmir...

Minor who inadvertently crossed LoC repatriated

A MINOR, who had inadvertently crossed the Line of Control (LoC) from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir, has been repatriated, the Army said on Friday. Ali Haidar, 14, had crossed the LoC into the Indian side on December 31 and was apprehended by a police party near the Batar nallah in Poonch. He has been handed over to the Pakistan Army...

Over 1,200 birds found dead across India; UP becomes 7th State to report bird flu

OVER 1,200 birds were found dead across the country on Saturday, including 900 in a poultry farm in Maharashtra, with the Centre saying that the outbreak of avian influenza has been reported in Uttar Pradesh, taking the total number of affected States to seven. The Centre said confirmation of bird flu in Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, is awaited as the samples have been sent for testing, it said...

Indian Army apprehends Chinese soldier in Ladakh

IN A second such incident in nearly three months, a Chinese soldier was apprehended by the Indian Army at the southern bank of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh on Friday morning after he transgressed across the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), official sources said on Saturday...

Indonesia plane carrying 62 people goes missing

A SRIWIJAYA Air passenger jet carrying 62 people lost contact with air traffic controllers minutes after taking off from Indonesia’s capital on a domestic flight on Saturday, officials said. Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said Flight SJ182 was delayed for an hour before it took off at 2:36 pm (local time)...

300 terrorists were killed in Balakot airstrike by India: Ex-Pak diplomat

IN an embarrassing development for Pakistan, a former Pakistani diplomat Agha Hilaly admitted on a news television show that 300 terrorists had died in the Balakot airstrike on February 26, 2019. The admission by the former Pakistani diplomat, who regularly takes the Pakistan Army side in TV debates, goes against the zero casualties claim made by Islamabad at that time...

India’s ‘Institutions of Eminence’ can now set up campuses abroad

INDIAN universities and colleges with the Institutions of Eminence (IOEs) tag, which include several IITs, will now be able to set up campuses in foreign countries with the University Grants Commission (UGC) issuing fresh guidelines on the same. The Education Ministry had launched the IoE scheme in 2018 as per which 20 institutions were to be selected -- 10 public and 10 private ones -- that would enjoy complete academic and administrative autonomy...

90 detected with new UK mutant

THE Central Government on Saturday said that a total of 90 persons have been detected with the new ‘more transmissible’ UK coronavirus mutant strain. They are kept in physical isolation in health facilities. “Total number of persons infected with the UK mutant strain of COVID-19 now stands at 90 in the country,” the Union Health Ministry said in a statement...

COVID-19 vaccination drive to start in India on Jan 16

INDIA will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world’s largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers. The decision, the Government said on Saturday, was taken at a high-level meeting where Modi reviewed the status of COVID-19 and vaccine preparedness across States and ..

Ex-Union Minister, Cong veteran Madhavsinh Solanki no more

FORMER External Affairs Minister and Congress veteran Madhavsinh Solanki, who had also served as Chief Minister of Gujarat for four times, died in Gandhinagar on early Saturday morning, Congress leaders said. He was 93. “The death of Madhavsinh Solanki has brought extreme grief. May God give peace to his soul. He had made place in the hearts of people by his actions and deeds,” Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda, who is also a relative of Solanki, tweeted. He had served as External Affairs Minister ..

10 newborn babies die in Bhandara Distt Hospital fire

Ten newborn babies died in the fire that broke out in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Bhandara District Hospital in the early hours of Saturday while seven babies were rescued by the security staff of the Hospital and fire fighters. The incident has shocked entire nation with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top leaders express their shock and grief at the loss of little lives...

Indian-American becomes US Army’s first CIO

INDIAN-AMERICAN Dr Raj Iyer has taken over as the first Chief Information Officer of the US Army, after the Pentagon created the position in July 2020. One of the highest ranking Indian-American civilians in the US Department of Defence, Iyer, who holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Army and directs representation of the secretary in matters relating to information management/information technology (IT), the Pentagon said in a statement...

Army troops help pregnant woman reach hospital in knee-deep snow

AS HEAVY snowfall threw life out of gear across Kashmir Valley this week, Army troops helped a pregnant woman in Kupwara reach hospital by carrying her a distance of about 2 km in knee-deep snow before she could be driven to a hospital, sources said on Thursday...

ED raids in Bhopal, H’bad, B’luru in MP’s Rs 3,000 crore e-tendering racket case

THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) has conducted searches at multiple locations in Bhopal, Hyderabad and Bengaluru as part of its money laundering probe in the over Rs 3,000-crore alleged e-tender rigging racket of Madhya Pradesh, official sources said on Thursday. They said, the agency launched the searches to collect evidence early this week at locations of various suspects involved in the case, and the action is being conducted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)...

Rs 28,400 cr devpt scheme announced for J&K

THE Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday announced a new industrial developmental scheme (IDS) with a total outlay of Rs 28,400 crore to encourage new investment and to take industrial development to the block level. “In a major decision of far-reaching consequence, Government of India has approved a new Industrial Developmental Scheme for Jammu and Kashmir,” Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced at a press conference here...

‘Govt must be shaken no matter how many Hindus killed’, Umar Khalid had said to AAP’s Tahir Hussain

“NO MATTER how many houses need to be set on fire or Hindus killed, the Government must be shaken at any cost,” former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Tahir Hussain has said quoting Umar Khalid, in a disclosure statement in the supplementary chargesheet filed by Delhi Police against former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Khalid in the northeast Delhi riots case. The disclosure statement forms part of a 55-page supplementary chargesheet filed against Khalid in the case related to communal violence ..

Jaishankar discusses role of provincial councils with Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka

EXTERNAL Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday met the Tamil leadership in Sri Lanka and discussed issues pertaining to the development and devolution and the role of provincial councils as part of national reconciliation. The meeting assumed significance against the backdrop of moves by the ruling Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP) allies to mount a public campaign for abolition of the country’s provincial council system...

PM launches goods-only rly freight corridor

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the “mahayagya” to modernise the country’s infrastructure is now picking pace as he launched a section of another railway freight corridor, calling them corridors of development. In an event held through a video link, Modi dedicated to the nation the 306-km New Rewari-New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, terming it a “game changer.”..

TN Governor welcomes Jaishankar’s comments for Tamil people in Lanka

TAMIL Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Thursday welcomed External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s statement in Sri Lanka, which he said signified the Centre’s concern towards Tamils and would be welcomed by people of Tamil Nadu. Jaishankar unequivocally stated the Indian position on the 13th Amendment to the island nation, Purohit said in a statement...

Ahead of talks with Govt, farmers take out tractor march against farm laws

AHEAD of talks with the Government, thousands of farmers on Thursday took out tractor-march from protest sites of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders and Haryana’s Rewasan against the three agriculture laws amid heavy police deployment. According to the protesting farm unions, this is just a “rehearsal” for their proposed January 26 tractor parade that will be moved into the national capital from different parts of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Bharati Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) chief Jo..

Be prepared to receive 1st supply of vaccine: Centre to States, UTs

THE Union Health Ministry has informed States and Union Territories that they are likely to receive the first supply of COVID-19 vaccine shortly and asked them to remain prepared to accept these consignments. In a communique, the Ministry said, vaccine will be supplied to the identified consignee points of 19 States and Union Territories — Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil ..

Modi ‘earned and achieved’ prime ministership: Pranab in memoir

THE decisive mandate the BJP got in two consecutive general elections in 2014 and 2019 indicated voters’ preference for political stability, according to former President Pranab Mukherjee, who said Narendra Modi “earned and achieved” the prime ministership. Mukherjee also said in his memoir that Narendra Modi became prime minister “through popular choice” unlike Manmohan Singh “who was offered the post by Sonia Gandhi”...

I was poisoned 3 yrs ago, claims top ISRO scientist

A TOP ISRO scientist on Tuesday claimed he was poisoned more than three years ago. Tapan Misra alleged he was poisoned with deadly arsenic trioxide on May 23, 2017, during a promotion interview at ISRO headquarters here. “Fatal dose was probably mixed” with chutney along with Dosa, in snacks after lunch, he said...

Case filed against Mah farmer leader for threatening to kill RSS Chief

A CASE has been registered in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh against the secretary of the Maharashtra State Kisan Mahasabha, Arun Bankar for threatening to eliminate Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat and blow up the Sangh headquarter in Nagpur. The Kotwali police has registered a case on a complaint filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) District President Aditya Babla Shukla. Santosh Pandre, Kotwali police station incharge, said that Shukla has lodged a complain..

Around 400 terrorists in launch pads across LoC waiting to infiltrate into J&K: Officials

AROUND 400 terrorists are currently in launching pads across the Line of Control (LoC), waiting to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir during the winters, after a tight anti-infiltration grid frustrated attempts by Pakistan to push them into the Indian side, according to security officials. A top police official said that Pakistan is trying to infiltrate terrorists along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir even during the winters when most of the passes and mountainous areas along the border are covered in heavy ..

US to supply 3 medium caliber guns to Indian Navy from its own inventory

MILITARY ties between Indian and American defence forces are growing further in the middle of a conflict with China as the US Navy would be providing three 127 medium caliber guns from its own inventory to urgently equip warships of Indian Navy as part of a Rs 3,800 crore deal. India has issued a Letter of Request to the US Government for acquiring eleven 127 mm medium caliber guns which are to be equipped on the large-size warships of the Indian Navy including the Visakhapatnam-class destroyers...

Saudi Arabia, allies restore diplomatic ties with Qatar

DIPLOMATIC relations have been restored between Qatar and four Arab States that imposed an embargo against it for three years, the Saudi Foreign Minister says. Prince Faisal bin Farhad told reporters that the countries had agreed to “fully set our differences aside” at a Gulf Co-operation Council summit on Tuesday...

COVID can’t dent India’s ties with Lanka: Jaishankar

ASSERTING that the coronavirus pandemic has not been able to dent the bilateral relationship between India and Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday that the two countries are now looking at post-COVID cooperation. Speaking at a joint media briefing with his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena, Jaishankar said, the pandemic has given the two sides an opportunity to collaborate even further...

We encourage consultations: SC on farmers’ protest issue

THE Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it would hear on January 11 a batch of pleas challenging the new farm laws as also the ones raising issues related to the ongoing farmers’ protest at Delhi borders. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, which observed that there is no improvement on the ground regarding farmers’ protests, was informed by the Centre that “healthy discussions” are going on between the Government and farmers over these issues...

Govt issues advisories as bird flu outbreak reported in four States

THE Centre on Wednesday said, Avian Influenza, or the bird flu outbreak, has been reported at 12 epicentres in four States -- Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh -- and advisories have been issued to contain further spread of the infection in poultry ducks, crows and migratory birds. In a statement, the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said that other States have been asked to keep a vigil on any unusual mortality amongst birds...

I-T Deptt grills Robert Vadra for second day

THE Income Tax Department questioned Robert Vadra, son-in-law of interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi, for the second consecutive day on Tuesday in connection with its probe against him under the benami assets law, official sources said. A team from the Chandigarh investigation unit of the department, that is handling the probe, was seen going inside Vadra’s office in the Sukhdev Vihar area of the national capital around 3 pm...

Extremists attack two Niger villages, kill over 100 people

MORE than 100 civilians were killed in Niger over the weekend by extremists who attacked two villages, as insurgent violence mounts in the West African nation. The attacks on the western villages of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye took place on the same day that Niger announced that Presidential elections would go to a second round on February 21. Nigers Prime Minister Brigi Rafini visited the two villages on Sunday...

Residual terrorist strength in Kashmir below 200: MoD

RESIDUAL terrorist strength in Jammu and Kashmir is currently below 200, said the Ministry of Defence in its annual review. The Ministry also pointed out that local recruitment is decreasing giving a serious blow to the nefarious designs of Pakistan to “indigenise” the movement and fuel unrest in the Valley. “Well synergised, Intelligence-based operations have resulted in significant successes and have considerably degraded terrorist leadership and their capabilities in Jammu and Kashmir,” the ..

Goal of Government is ‘One country, one gas grid’: PM

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the goal of the Government was to have ‘One country, One gas grid.’ He was speaking after virtually inaugurating the GAIL pipeline project from Kochi to Mangaluru. He said the Centre was on a major initiative to connect all the gas grids across the country. Modi also said this was a historic moment for the nation and the States of Kerala and Karnataka in particular. He said the project became a reality due to the cooperation of the people and the State ..

SC clears Central Vista Project; new Parliament

THE Centre’s ambitious Central Vista Project, covering a 3-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi, got the green signal on Tuesday from the Supreme Court which found “no infirmity” in grant of environment clearance and other permissions. The top court said it cannot “jump to put a full stop on execution of policy matters” and the courts cannot be called upon to “govern”...