National

Taiwan holds anti-invasion drill as China threat heightens

AN F-16 screeched across the sky then landed among pineapple fields in southwestern Taiwan to quickly refuel before taking off again. A Taiwanese-made Indigenous Defensive Fighter, US-made F-16V, French-made Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K early warning aircraft landed on a highway surrounded by farm fields in Jiadong early Wednesday morning - simulating what they would do if their air base was damaged by enemy forces. The simulation is part of Taiwan’s five-day Han Guang military exercise designed to prepare ..

Rival Koreas test-fire missiles hours apart

THE rival Koreas test-launched ballistic missiles hours apart from each other on Wednesday in a display of military assets that came amid a faltering diplomatic push to strip North Korea of its nuclear programme. South Korea’s presidential office said that it conducted its first underwater-launched ballistic missile test on Wednesday afternoon. It said, a domestically built missile fired from a 3,000-ton-class submarine flew a previously set distance before hitting a designated target. The statement ..

PM Modi, Mamata, Adar Poonawalla among Time Magazine’s 100 ‘most influential people of 2021’

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla have been named among the world’s 100 most influential people of 2021 by ‘TIME’ magazine. ‘TIME’ on Wednesday unveiled its annual list of ‘The 100 Most Influential People of 2021’, a global list that includes US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan, former US President Donald Trump ..

I-T officials descend on actor Sonu Sood’s premises

INCOME Tax Department officials descended on the premises linked to actor Sonu Sood in Mumbai and some other places on Wednesday in connection with an alleged tax evasion probe, official sources. They said the action is being carried out in at least half a dozen locations in the metropolitan city and Lucknow. It was not immediately clear if the action was being undertaken at Sood’s residence also. A real estate deal is under the scanner of the department, they said...

Trust between Govt and industry increased: Rajnath

THE trust between the Government and the industry has increased following the scrapping of the retrospective taxation regime, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday. In a virtual address at the Indo-US Economic Summit organised by a leading industry chamber, Singh listed a range of measures initiated by the NDA Government to boost economic growth and said the global investors are now receiving “red carpet” welcome in India instead of “red-tapism”. “We have formulated progressive and investor-frie..

Big bang reforms for telecom sector

THE Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a big bang relief package for the stressed telecom sector that includes a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route. The measures, aimed at providing relief to companies such as Vodafone Idea that have to pay thousands of crores in unprovisioned past statutory dues, also include the ..

‘Arrested ISI-trained ultras got training from Lt rank officer near Gwadar port’

A DAY after the Delhi Police busted a Pakistan’s ISI trained terror module that has been closely managed by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s brother, an investigation into the matter has revealed that the operatives were trained under a Major or Lieutenant rank officer named Ghazi. According to the sources, Ghazi had two subordinates named Jabbar and Hamza. The police had arrested six operatives of Pakistan’s ISI-trained terror module. Two accused Zeeshan Qamar and Osama informed the police that they ..

Tatas among multiple bidders for Air India

TATA Sons -- the holding company of India’s largest conglomerate -- on Wednesday submitted a financial bid to acquire loss-making State airline Air India. Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary of the department that is running the privatisation process, tweeted of financial “bids” being received but did not say how many companies were in fray. A Tata Sons spokesperson confirmed to PTI that the group has put in a bid for the national carrier. No-frills airline SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh was considered to be another ..

Record 44 students score 100 percentile in JEE-Main

A RECORD 44 candidates have scored 100 percentile in the engineering entrance exam JEE-Main this year while 18 candidates have shared the top rank, according to National Testing Agency . The result for the crucial exam was announced post-midnight on Tuesday with the website crashing for several hours after that. The first rank holders included Gaurab Das (Karnataka), Vaibhav Vishal (Bihar), Duggineni Venkata Paneesh (Andhra Pradesh), Siddhant Mukherjee, Anshul Verma and Mridul Agarwal (Rajasthan), ..

MP students make Ganesha from alum in lab

STUDENTS of a Government school in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh have prepared eco-friendly Ganesha idols in their chemistry lab from potash alum, a water purifying chemical compound, to spread the message of “science for environment”. The group of eight students from the Venkat Higher Secondary Excellence School No 1 struck on the idea last week during their class with their chemistry teacher Dr Ramanuj Pathak. The idols, about 1.5 ft tall, were moulded and prepared on Ganesh Chaturthi ..

NHRC notice to Centre, States on farmers stir

THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Centre, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh Governments and other authorities asking for reports of ongoing farmers agitation against the new farm laws. The NHRC has asked National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health and the Government of India to submit reports with respect to the adverse impact of farmers agitation on various aspects and observance of COVID protocols at the protest ..

HC division bench to hear Deshmukh’s plea against ED summons

THE Bombay High Court on Tuesday said its division bench (comprising two judges), instead of a single-judge bench, would hear the petition filed by Maharashtra’s former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh against the summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case...

India troops display might in military exercise in Russia

INDIAN Army personnel conducted combat free fall, special heliborne operations and other defensive manoeuvres during multi-national military exercise ‘Zapad’ in Nizhny, Russia, military officials said. A contingent of 200 personnel of the Indian Army are participating in Zapad that started on September 3 and will end on September 16. Zapad aims to boost anti-terror cooperation between countries...

LJP MP Prince Raj booked in rape case

LOK Janshakti Party MP Prince Raj has been booked on rape charges by the Delhi Police while the lawmaker moved a court here on Tuesday for anticipatory bail alleging that he had been blackmailed by the complainant. The police said a complaint was filed three months ago by the alleged victim, who is a party worker, and the case was registered on the directions of a court under sections related to rape, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence. LJP spokesperson Shravan Kumar defended Prince Raj, ..

Mumbai CP orders ‘Nirbhaya squad’ at all police stations

A SPECIAL squad consisting of women officials should be set up at every police station and patrolling should be intensified in areas where the occurrence of crime against women is more likely, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said in a circular issued on Tuesday. The instructions came in the aftermath of the brutal rape and murder of a woman in suburban Sakinaka last week, which bore some similarity to the 2012 ‘Nirbhaya’ gang-rape case of Delhi. At every police station, there will be ..

GST Council may bring petrol, diesel under GST on Sept 17

THE GST Council might on Friday consider taxing petrol, diesel and other petroleum products under the single national GST regime, a move that may require huge compromises by both Central and State Governments on the revenues they collect from taxing these products. The Council, which comprises Central and State Finance Ministers, in its meeting scheduled in Lucknow on Friday, is also likely to consider extending the time for duty relief on COVID-19 essentials, according to sources in the know of the ..

Modi, Biden to address UNGA in-person next week

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden will address the UN General Debate in-person next week, as over 100 heads of State and Government arrive in New York to attend the annual high-level General Assembly session, which had gone virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Modi will address world leaders from the iconic UN General Assembly hall on the morning of September 25, a day after he participates in the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC hosted by Biden on September 24. ..

76% fall in proposed coal power since Paris pact: Report

JUST ahead of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres convening the High-level Dialogue on Energy, a new report on Tuesday assessed the global pipeline of new coal projects and found there has been a 76 per cent reduction in proposed coal power since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, bringing the end of new coal construction into sight. This leaves 44 countries without a pre-construction pipeline, and in a position to commit to “no new coal”, joining 40 countries that have made this commitment ..

Taliban kill 20 civilians in Panjshir: Report

AT LEAST 20 civilians have been killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, which has seen fighting between the militants and opposition forces, the BBC reported. Communications have been cut in the valley, making reporting difficult, but the BBC has evidence of Taliban killings despite promises of restraint. Footage from a dusty roadside in Panjshir shows a man wearing military gear surrounded by Taliban fighters. Gunfire rings out and he slumps to the ground. It is not clear if the man ..

Ford India yet to spell out plans for workers affected by closure

THE management of Ford India Private Ltd is yet to come out with their plans for the workers who will be affected by the closure of its three plants -- two in Chennai and one in Sanand, Gujarat, said a union official. On September 9, Ford India announced that it will wind down vehicle assembly in Sanand by the fourth quarter of 2021 and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022...

11 meet watery grave as boat capsizes in Warud

Tragedy struck Warud tehsil in Amravati district on Tuesday after as many as 10 relatives and an oarsman met watery grave in Wardha river in a boat capsize incident. The deceased include a 2-year-old girl. Till the filing of this report the rescue team had recovered three bodies while search for the others was on. Meanwhile, two persons from the family managed to swim back to safety. As per details, Matre family members from Gadegaon village in Warud tehsil and gone to Zunj village to attend post-death ..

ICMR gets approval for using drones for vaccine delivery at remote places

THE Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption from Drone Rules, 2021 to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B). The ICMR has got the permission for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) vaccine delivery in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, and Nagaland upto a height of 3000 meters using drones...

RBI warns against frauds in guise of KYC update

THE Reserve Bank on Monday cautioned people against frauds in the name of KYC updation and advised them not to share key information like account details or passwords with unidentified persons or agencies. In a release, the RBI said it has been receiving complaints/reports about customers falling prey to frauds being perpetrated in the name of KYC updation...

CBI, ED officers summoned by WB Speaker on Sept 22

WEST Bengal Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay on Monday said he has summoned senior CBI and Enforcement Directorate officers on September 22 to explain why no permission had been taken from the Speaker’s office before submitting chargesheets against legislators of the State in recent times. Bandopadhyay said the Speaker’s office was not kept in the loop and no permission was taken from it while initiating action against the elected representatives. Several legislators of the ruling Trinamool Congress, including ..

N Korea says, it tested new long-range cruise missiles

NORTH Korea says, it successfully test fired newly-developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, its first known testing activity in months, underscoring how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States. The Korean Central News Agency said on Monday the cruise missiles, which had been under development for two years, demonstrated an ability to hit targets 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away during flight tests on Saturday and ..

Shocker: Woman stripped, sexually abused in video

FOUR men have been arrested after a shocking video of a woman being stripped off, and then sexually abused and assaulted by a group of five in Karnataka’s Yadgir district went viral, police said on Monday. Yadgir SP Vedamurthy said the four arrested have told them that the incident had happened one and a half years ago. The police are yet to trace the woman and the video that has gone viral recently. The incident took place on the Yadgir-Shahapur State highway. The victim has not approached the police ..

SC to pass interim order in Pegasus row Govt says, it doesn’t wish to file detailed affidavit

THE Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that it does not wish to file a detailed affidavit on a batch of petitions seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping row, while the top court said it would pass an interim order on the issue. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, that if the Government re-thinks about filing a detailed affidavit in the case, he can mention the matter before it. “We are reserving order. ..

UN seeks $606 mn for Afghanistan, offers $20 mn aid

THE United Nations is hosting a high-level donors conference to drum up emergency funds for Afghanistan after last month’s Taliban takeover of the country that stunned the world. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was leading the world body’s call for more than $600 million for the rest of this year in a “flash appeal” for Afghans after their country’s Government was toppled by the Taliban and US and NATO forces exited the 20-year war in a chaotic departure. The Secretary General Antonio Guterres ..

BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal files nomination for Bhabanipur by-poll

BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal on Monday filed her nomination for the Assembly by-poll in Bhabanipur where she is up against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress candidate. Bhabanipur will go to the polls on September 30 and the results will be declared on October 3. The CPI(M) has fielded lawyer Srijib Biswas from the seat, while Congress has refrained from taking part in the by-election. Tibrewal, also a lawyer, filed her nomination at the Survey Building in Alipore. She was ..

Trust between Govt, industry critical: Finance Minister

FINANCE Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that the trust between Government and industry is critical for leveraging the opportunities thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic while assuring that the proposed DFI, the National Bank for Infrastructure Financing and Development (NaBFID), will become functional soon. This trust is also reflected in the Government’s actions, she said while addressing members of industry chamber CII here. Elaborating on the Government’s strategy for handling the pandemic, ..

Bhupendra Patel takes over as 17th Gujarat CM

FIRST-TERM MLA Bhupendra Patel was on Monday sworn in Gujarat Chief Minister, two days after Vijay Rupani’s surprise exit from the post, a year ahead of the Assembly polls. Patel (59), unanimously elected BJP legislature party leader on Sunday, was sworn in as the State’s 17th Chief Minister by Governor Acharya Devvrat at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhawan. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Goa CM Pramod Sawant and Karnataka CM Basavaraj ..

Super 30’s Anand Kumar gets Swami Brahmanand Award

MATHEMATICIAN Anand Kumar was on Monday conferred with the Swami Brahmanand Award 2021 for his contribution in the field of education through his ‘Super 30’ initiative, which prepares underprivileged students for the IIT entrance exam. He received the award from professor Roop Kishore Shastri, the vice-chancellor of Haridwar’s Gurukula Kangri deemed university, at a function in the Rath area of Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh. The award -- carrying Rs 10,000 in cash, a bronze medal, a bronze statue ..

Man rapes teenage girl after attacking her with hammer in Mah, arrested

A 15-YEAR-OLD girl was allegedly raped and assaulted with a hammer by a man close to the railway station in Ulhasnagar town of Maharashtra’s Thane district, police said on Sunday. The incident took place on Friday night and the accused, identified as Shrikant Gaikwad (30), a labourer, was arrested a day later, a railway police official said. “The girl was walking on a skywalk at the Ulhasnagar railway station on her way home from Shirdi, along with her two friends, when Gaikwad suddenly came there ..

India, US set to launch Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue

INDIA and the US would launch the Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) on Monday as US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry visits India as part of his multi-country tour in the run-up to the annual climate summit less than 50 days ahead. The CAFMD is one of the two main tracks of the US-India Agenda 2030 Partnership that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden had announced at the Leaders Summit on Climate in April 2021...

Zomato decides to stop grocery delivery service from Sept 17

ONLINE food delivery platform Zomato has decided to stop its grocery delivery service from September 17 mainly on account of gaps in order fulfillment, leading to poor customer experience. The company also said that it believes that its investment in Grofers will generate better outcomes for its shareholders than in-house grocery efforts. In an email to its grocery partners, Zomato said, “At Zomato, we believe in delivering best in class services to our customers and largest growth opportunities to ..

New training module for Forces

BORDER forces and armed police units deployed in the counter-terrorism grid have been directed by the Central security establishment to prepare and administer a new training module on the Taliban and its modus operandi to the troops in view of the “emerging” scenario following the Islamic militia taking over Afghanistan. Stating that the fall of Kabul to the Taliban last month may have a “serious bearing” on the security situation in India, the ground forces and their Intelligence setup have been ..

Bhupendra Patel to be new Gujarat CM

FIRST-TERM MLA Bhupendra Patel will be the new Chief Minister of Gujarat. Patel (59) was unanimously elected BJP legislature party leader here on Sunday. He will be sworn in as the Chief Minister on Monday, State BJP chief C R Patil said. The proposal to elect him the legislature party leader was moved by CM Vijay Rupani, whose resignation on Saturday, over a year ahead of the State Assembly polls, surprised many political observers. Most of the 112 MLAs of the party in the 182-member Assembly were ..

Police officer shot dead by militant in J&K

A POLICE officer was shot dead from point-blank range by a militant in the Khanyar locality of the city on Sunday, officials said. They said the militant fired at the officer and injured him. He was rushed to SKIMS in Soura but succumbed to injuries, they added. The incident took place at around 1.35 pm, the officials said...

All banks should embrace digitisation to ensure Govt schemes reach needy: FM

FINANCE Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said banks, including private sector should embrace digitisation towards ensuring that Government schemes reach the poor and downtrodden, besides adopting financial inclusion for a wider reach. Delivering her address at the centenary celebrations of the city-based Tamilnad Mercantile Bank here, Sitharaman said even during COVID-19 pandemic with the use of digitisation through banking correspondents, the Government’s financial disbursements were distributed ..

NCW team meets Mumbai rape victim’s family

A TEAM of the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Sunday met the family members of a woman who died after being brutally raped, and also visited the crime spot as well as the hospital where she was treated, an police official said. The 34-year-old woman was raped by a man inside a stationary tempo in suburban Sakinaka in the wee hours of Friday. She died at a hospital during treatment in the early hours of Saturday, police earlier said. The crime bore similarity to the 2012 ‘Nirbhaya’ gangrape ..

NEET 2021 held after several postponements

THE National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021 for admission in undergraduate medical courses was held across the country following COVID-19 protocols on Sunday. Ashutosh Kumar, a student while speaking to ANI, said, “The exam was getting postponed due to COVID-19 several times and we got lots of time for the preparation. I am all prepared for this exam.” The strict adherence to COVID-19 measures was taken by the students and the school authorities. “I am 100 per cent prepared for the NEET ..

PM Modi to launch NATGRID soon

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi is soon expected to launch the National Intelligence Grid or NATGRID that aims to provide a “cutting-edge technology to enhance India’s counter-terror capabilities”, official sources said. They said the final “synchronisation and testing” of the ambitious electronic database, which was mooted after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, is being carried out so that it can go live. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had recently indicated that NATGRID, conceptualised as a ..

9/11 was attack on humanity: PM Modi

TERMING the 9/11 terror attack an assault on humanity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asserted that a permanent solution to such tragedies can be found in human values. He said that on the same day in 1893, Swami Vivekananda had introduced to the world the human values of India during his address at the Parliament of World’s Religion in Chicago. Modi’s statements come on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and amid the developments ..

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani resigns

GUJARAT Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday resigned from the post, his sudden announcement coming over a year before the State goes to polls. It is not clear what prompted the development in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home State where elections to the 182-member Assembly are due in December 2022. Rupani (65), the fourth Chief Minister to demit office in BJP-ruled States during the coronavirus pandemic, was sworn in as Chief Minister – his second stint as CM - in December 2017. BJP’s general ..

Afghanistan must not be used for terror in any manner: India, Aus

INDIA and Australia on Saturday asserted that Afghanistan must not allow its soil to be used in any manner for terrorism and it should never again become a safe haven for “breeding and training” of terrorists, as the two countries held a detailed discussion on the situation in the war-torn country after its takeover by the Taliban. At the inaugural India-Australia two-plus-two dialogue, the Foreign and Defence Ministers of the two countries also vowed to work towards a free, open and inclusive ..

Mumbai woman who was raped dies in hospital

A 34-YEAR-OLD woman, who had been raped and brutalised with a rod by a man inside a stationary tempo in suburban Sakinaka area, died at a hospital during treatment in the early hours of Saturday, police said. The crime which bore a chilling similarity to the 2012 ‘Nirbhaya’ gangrape case of Delhi took place in the wee hours of Friday. The suspect who had been arrested within a few hours of the incident has been now charged with murder. While the city police formed a Special Investigation Team to ..

Barbaric video shows Taliban celebrating with severed head of their victim

THE Taliban beheaded an Afghan soldier, then chanted praise to their leader Hibatullah Akhundzada while holding the severed head of their victim by his hair in a video posted in a private Taliban chat room, Washington Examiner reported. The 36-second video, which was obtained by the Washington Examiner, was posted a week ago. It’s unclear when it was made, but on August 17, Taliban leaders promised amnesty for Government workers and protection for women. In the video, six Taliban fighters surround ..

No scientific body suggests vaccination of kids must to reopen schools: Govt

THE Union Government on Thursday said no scientific body suggests that vaccination of children against COVID-19 should be a condition for reopening schools, but inoculation of teachers, school employees and parents is desirable. At a press conference, NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul said whether children have to be vaccinated and who among them should get the jabs is an evolving scientific and public health discourse. Only a limited number of nations have introduced vaccination of children so ..

SC upholds arbitral award in favour of Reliance Infra

IN A major victory, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. on Thursday won a four-year battle for control of money from an arbitration award, as the Supreme Court upheld an arbitral award which went in its favour. A bench headed by justice L. Nageswara Rao dismissed a plea by DMRC and upheld the 2017 arbitration award in favour of debt-laden Reliance Group, ADAG, led By Anil Ambani. The amount over Rs 4,600 crore, including interest, will help the beleaguered group to repay its debt. A detailed order will be ..

HC asks Mah to transfer Gadchiroli IED blast accused to hospice

THE Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra Government to transfer alleged Maoist leader Nirmala Uppuganti, an accused in the 2019 Gadchiroli IED blast case, from prison to a hospice for palliative care on account of her terminal cancer. A bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar directed the State prison authorities to shift Uppuganti from the Byculla women’s prison in Mumbai to a hospice by September 15...

CBI gets more plaints from WB post-poll violence victims

THE Central Bureau of Investigation that is probing the cases of post-poll violence in West Bengal under the direction of the Calcutta High Court, has recently written to the National Human Rights Commission to send them the list of complaints that could not be probed because of circumstantial pressure. The central agency wanted to get the list because it was receiving a series of complaints from several people who are not in the NHRC list submitted to the High Court...

IIT Madras ranked best institution in India

INDIAN Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras retained the top spot among institutes all over India for the third consecutive year whereas the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru was the best among research institutions, according to the Ministry of Education’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings. The sixth edition of NIRF rankings was announced on Thursday by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) -- IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, ..

India gets first emergency landing strip on national highway

UNION Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari inaugurated an emergency landing strip at Satta-Gandhav stretch on National Highway 925 here on Thursday for Indian Air Force (IAF) planes. A Hercules C-130J plane of the IAF, carrying the two ministers and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, conducted a mock emergency landing on the national highway on Thursday. NH-925 is India’s first national highway to be used for emergency landing of IAF aircraft. The two ministers also witnessed multiple aircraft ..

BRICS has adopted action plan to counter terror: PM

THE BRICS has adopted a counter-terrorism action plan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday while chairing a virtual summit of the five-nation grouping. The summit, which was hosted by India, was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazil’s Jair Bolsanaro. The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 per cent of the ..

Acting Afghan PM calls on former officials to return home; assures full protection

AFGHANISTAN’S acting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund has appealed to former officials of past Governments to return to the country and assured them “full protection”, saying the period of bloodbath is over and they face a humongous task to rebuild the war-ravaged nation. “We paid a heavy price for seeing this historic moment in Afghanistan,” Mullah Hasan said on Wednesday, a day after the hardline Islamic insurgents unveiled an interim Cabinet after seizing power in Kabul...

PM Modi felicitates Paralympians

INDIA’S history-making Paralympians presented Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an autographed stole on Thursday during a breakfast hosted by him to felicitate the contingent at his residence here. The Indian para-athletes returned from Tokyo on the back of a sensational campaign that saw them win an unparalleled 19 medals, including five gold, eight silver and six bronze. This was the country’s best-ever Paralympics campaign as it finished 24th in the overall tally...

Purohit shifted to Punjab as Governor

BESIDES some fresh appointment, the President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday ordered shuffling of Governors of some States which includes shifting Banwarilal Purohit from Tamil Nadu to Punjab. He was earlier holding additional charge of Punjab...

‘Old wine in new bottle, strong Pakistani imprint’: Ex-Indian diplomats on new Afghanistan Govt

TERMING the new interim Government in Afghanistan as “old wine in a new bottle”, former Indian diplomats on Wednesday said the Cabinet formed in Kabul has dispelled “myths” of Taliban 2.0, and asserted that it has a strong Pakistani imprint on it which is a “cause of concern” for India. The Taliban on Tuesday unveiled a hardline interim Government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, with key roles being shared by high-profile members of the insurgent group, including Sirajuddin Haqqani, a designated ..

‘SC-appointed panel’s report 100% in favour of farmers’

HOPEFUL of an early resolution to the long-running farmers’ protests on the national capital borders, a key member of the Supreme Court-appointed panel on contentious agri-laws on Wednesday said the report submitted by the committee is “cent per cent” in favour of farmers and the apex court must take up the matter without any delay. The panel member acknowledged that the Government and the Supreme Court have to consider the law and order issue that may arise with the release of the report for which ..

Boat sinks in Assam river after colliding with ferry; several people feared dead

SEVERAL people are feared dead as a large boat sank in the Brahmaputra river after colliding with a ferry near Nimati Ghat in Jorhat district of Assam on Wednesday, officials said. The collision occurred when the private boat ‘Ma Kamala’ was headed to Majuli from Nimati Ghat and the Government-owned ferry ‘Tripkai’ was coming from Majuli. “The boat ‘Ma Kamala’ capsized and then sank. We do not have much detail at this moment,” an official of the Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department said. Another ..

Nita Ambani cancelled trip to Guj after explosives-laden SUV was found outside ‘Antilia’: Security staff tells NIA

A SCHEDULED visit of industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s wife Nita Ambani to Gujarat was cancelled after the recovery of an explosives-laden SUV outside their house ‘Antilia’ in south Mumbai in February this year, the security head of the residence has said in his statement to the NIA. The statement is part of a chargesheet filed last week by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) before a special court here against dismissed police officer Sachin Waze and nine others in connection with the recovery ..

Waze paid ‘huge amount’ of cash to ex-cop to ‘eliminate’ Hiren: NIA

THE chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Antilia bomb scare and Mansukh Hiren murder cases revealed that dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze paid a huge amount of cash to Shiv Sena leader and former ‘encounter specialist’ of Mumbai Police, Pradeep Sharma to eliminate Hiren. The chargesheet filed by the NIA read, “On March 3, 2021, accused Sachin Waze met accused Pradeep Sharma at P.S. Foundation office, Andheri (East), Mumbai during evening time and handed over ..

Modi, Doval, discuss Afghan crisis with Russian Secretary Gen Patrushev

NATIONAL Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday held talks with his Russian counterpart General Nikolay Patrushev in mitigating any possible security threat from the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, a day after holding similar deliberations with CIA chief William Burns. Meanwhile, Nikolay Patrushev called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday when the two reaffirmed their intention to strengthen coordination in the field of enhancing regional stability, including on Afghanistan. According to ..

CCS clears procurement of 56 transport aircraft from Airbus for IAF

IN A major decision, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday approved procurement of 56 twin-turboprop C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force to replace its ageing Avro fleet. Sixteen aircraft will be procured from the Airbus Defence and Space in a flyaway condition while 40 will be manufactured in India by the aerospace major as part of a consortium with the Tata, according to the Defence Ministry. “Today, Cabinet Committee on Security approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport ..

Govt hikes MSP for wheat by Rs 40

THE Government on Wednesday hiked the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for wheat by Rs 40 to Rs 2,015 per quintal and for mustard seed by Rs 400 to Rs 5,050 per quintal for current crop year in order to boost crop area as well as income of farmers. The decision to increase the MSPs was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. MSP is the rate at which the Government buys the grain from farmers. Currently, the Government fixes MSPs for ..

Armed Forces to induct women in NDA: Centre tells SC

THE Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the Armed Forces have decided to induct women into the National Defence Academy (NDA). Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, told a bench headed by Justice S K Kaul that a decision has been taken at the highest level of the Armed Forces as also the Government that females will be inducted for permanent commission through the NDA. The ASG sought apex court’s permission to place the details on record through an ..

Farmers gather in Karnal for ‘Mahapanchayat’

FARMERS in large numbers gathered here for a Mahapanchayat as the local authorities braced themselves for a possible gherao of the district headquarters by protesters after talks between farm leaders and officials appeared to yield no result. Farmer unions had demanded action against officials over the lathi-charge against protesters on August 28 in Karnal. Otherwise, they had threatened, farmers will lay siege on the Karnal mini-Secretariat. As farmers gathered for the ‘Mahapanchayat’, an 11-member ..

Waze wanted to regain glory as ‘supercop’, says chargesheet in Antilia bomb scare case

DISMISSED police officer Sachin Waze placed an SUV with explosives near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house here to regain his reputation as a “supercop”, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said in its chargesheet. Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran was subsequently killed as Waze thought him to be the “weak link” in the conspiracy, the NIA said, alleging that Pradeep Sharma, a former police officer, was roped in to execute the murder. The Central agency last week filed the chargesheet before ..

37 pc students in rural areas, 19 pc in urban not studying at all: Survey

THERE have been “catastrophic consequences” of the prolonged school closure in the country due to COVID-19, with over 37 per cent of students in rural areas not studying at all and 48 per cent not being able to read more than a few words, a recent survey has claimed. The School Children’s Online and Offline Learning (SCHOOL) survey, titled “Locked Out: Emergency Report on School Education”, involving nearly 1,400 students from underprivileged households was conducted in August in 15 states and union ..

DGP lauds forces for handling situation professionally in J&K

DIRECTOR General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh on Tuesday complimented the cops, Central Armed Paramilitary Forces and the Army for handling the situation professionally following the death of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Geelani died last Wednesday night at his residence here after a prolonged illness. The body was laid to rest at a graveyard in a nearby mosque...

Mehbooba Mufti placed under house arrest Questions J&K administration’s normalcy claim

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti was put under house detention on Tuesday and she claimed that the decision of Jammu and Kashmir authorities to restrain her movement had “exposed the Government’s claims of normalcy”. She also hit out at the Centre alleging that while the Government was expressing concern for the rights of the people in Afghanistan, the same were being denied to Kashmiris...

SC grants more time to Centre, to hear pleas on Pegasus row on 13th

THE Supreme Court on Tuesday granted more time to the Centre to decide on filing a further response to a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the alleged snooping of certain people in India through the use of Israeli spyware Pegasus and slated the matter for further hearing on September 13. A 3-judge bench headed by CJI N V Ramana had issued a notice to Centre on the pleas on August 17, while making it clear that it did not want the Government to disclose anything which compromised ..

BEL signs pact for providing reliable power supply to security forces

THE Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has signed a pact for providing reliable and sustainable power supply to security forces operating in remote, Naxal-affected and high-altitude areas. The MoU between the Navratna PSU BEL and the SFC Energy-AG, Germany, and FC TecNrgy Pvt Ltd (FCTec), signed recently, will ensure cooperation in addressing the emerging requirement of sustainable energy to the security forces through supply of hydrogen and fuel cells, a press release said. Reliable and sustainable ..

PM launches key initiatives in education sector

THE teaching-learning process has to be constantly redefined and redesigned to make the education sector in the country world-class, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday. Noting that the transformations being undertaken in the education sector are not just policy-based but also participation-based, the Prime Minister launched several initiatives in the education sector which, he said, will play an important role in shaping India’s future. Addressing the inaugural conclave of ‘Shikshak Parv’ ..

India administering record 1.25 cr COVID-19 vaccines daily, says Modi

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India is administering a record 1.25 crore COVID vaccine shots every day, stressing that this figure is higher than the entire of population of several countries. Addressing the people of Himachal Pradesh virtually on achieving the target of administering the first dose of COVID vaccine to all eligible people, Modi said as many as 70 crore vaccines have been administered so far in the country. At the same time, Modi said, we should not forget the mantra ..

‘Climate action can’t wait for COVID to end’

THE world leaders need to take immediate action to limit climate change, restore biodiversity, and protect health, according to an editorial published in over 220 leading journals, including ‘The Lancet’ and the ‘National Medical Journal’ of India. The editorial is being published ahead of the UN General Assembly, one of the last international meetings taking place before the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, UK in November. It warns that the greatest threat to global public health into the future ..

India’s July-Sept GDP growth seen at 7-8 per cent: Report

THE growth rate of India’s GDP for the July-September quarter is likely to remain in the range of 7-8 per cent. In the first quarter of financial year 2021-22, India’s GDP witnessed a growth of 20.1 per cent compared to the same period of the last fiscal. According to the EcoScope report of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Limited (MOFSL), there would be some moderation in Economic Activity Index-Gross Value Added (EAI-GVA) growth in July 2021, largely on account of weaker fiscal spending...

Navy underscored country’s vision of being the ‘preferred security partner’: President

PRESIDENT Ram Nath Kovind awarded the President’s Colour to the Indian Naval Aviation near here on Monday and said the prompt and effective deployment of the Navy in the time of crisis has underscored the country’s vision of being the ‘preferred security partner’ and ‘first responder’ in the Indian Ocean region. The President was addressing the event held at the INS Hansa base located in Vasco town, about 40 km from the State capital Panaji, where he was given the guard of honour by the Indian ..

ED to summon more people in PMLA case against Deshmukh

THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) has widened its probe into the alleged money laundering and kickbacks case registered against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and others as it plans to soon question a number of people linked to him, officials said on Monday. Deshmukh has refused to comply with at least five ED summons for questioning in the case and has instead suggested the agency to interact with him over an online link saying he was a “law abiding citizen.” The agency also has notified ..

GSI delineates 100 geologically potential mineral blocks for auction: Government

IN ORDER to realise the vision of self-reliant India, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has delineated 100 geologically potential mineral blocks for auction, the Government said on Monday. Handing over of 100 mineral blocks’ reports to State Governments will ensure continuous supply of minerals in the country and more revenue to State Governments by bringing more mineral blocks under auction, the Mines Ministry said in a statement...

Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft completes over 9,000 orbits around Moon: ISRO

INDIA’S Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has completed more than 9,000 orbits around the Moon, and imaging and scientific instruments on board have been providing excellent data, officials said on Monday. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is holding a two-day Lunar Science Workshop 2021, which began on Monday, to commemorate the completion of two years of operation of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft around the lunar orbit...

India’s history-making Paralympians return to rousing reception

THE last batch of India’s triumphant Paralympic athletes, including shooting sensation Avani Lekhara and shuttler-cum-bureaucrat Suhas Yathiraj, returned home to a rousing reception on Monday with their supporters and families thronging the airport for a glimpse of the heroes. India returned with an unprecedented 19 medals, including five gold, eight silver and six bronze to sign off the country’s best-ever Paralympics campaign by finishing 24th in the overall tally on Sunday. Among the medal-winning ..

Appointment of HC judges is made after considering seniority, merit: SC

THE process of appointment of judges to High Courts is through a well established process where the HC collegium considers seniority, merit and all inputs received by the Government, the Supreme Court has said while imposing a cost of Rs 5 lakh on an advocate for abusing the court proceedings by trying to stop the elevation of a judge. A bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh made the observation while dismissing a plea filed by an advocate seeking directions to consider the representation submitted ..

‘Commendable how teachers ensured education of students continues during Covid times’

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday greeted the teaching fraternity on Teachers’ Day, and said it was commendable how teachers have innovated and ensured the education journey of students continues in COVID times. He also paid tributes to former President S Radhakrishnan on his birth anniversary which is celebrated as Teacher’s Day. “On Teachers’ Day, greetings to the entire teaching fraternity, which has always played a pivotal role in nurturing young minds,” Modi tweeted It is commendable how ..

Will hang myself publicly if any corruption allegation is proved: Abhishek Banerjee

SENIOR Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday said that he would get himself hanged if any central agency can bring to the fore his involvement in any illegal transaction. Speaking to reporters at the Kolkata airport on his way to New Delhi to attend a summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged coal scam case, Banerjee accused the BJP of indulging in political vendetta having lost the State Assembly elections...

RSS disowns Panchjanya article on Infosys

AFTER Panchjanya’s article attacking software company Infosys for hurting the country’s economic interest was published, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Sunday distanced itself from the comment made in it. In a social media post RSS’s Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh, Sunil Ambekar said that the article published by Panchjanya reflects the individual opinion of the author. “As an Indian company, Infosys has made seminal contributions to the progress of the country...

Now, EPF contribution of over Rs 2.5 lakh per year requires 2 PF accounts

PEOPLE with Employees’ Provident Fund and Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF) contribution of over Rs 2.5 lakh per financial year will now have two separate PF accounts. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced, in this year’s Budget, that PF contribution of more than Rs 2.5 lakh in a fiscal will be taxable. In line with the decision, recently, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notified the rules for taxation of the interest on the excess EPF contributions. “For the purpose of calculation ..

Govt’s Excise collection jumps 48% in Apr-July

THE Government’s collections from levy of Excise Duty on petroleum products have jumped 48 per cent in the first four months of the current fiscal year, with the incremental mop-up being 3-times of the repayment liability of legacy oil bonds in the full fiscal, official data showed. Data showed Excise Duty collections during April-July 2021 surging to over Rs 1 lakh crore, from Rs 67,895 crore mop-up in the same period of the previous fiscal. After the introduction of the GST regime, Excise Duty is ..

Petrol prices cut by 15 paise

OIL marketing companies reduced petrol prices in the key metro cities after keeping them unchanged for three consecutive days. In the national capital, petrol price was cut by 15 paise to Rs 101.19 per litre, from the previous level of Rs 101.34 per litre. Similarly, petrol prices in the other key cities of Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata were reduced to Rs 107.26, Rs 98.96 and Rs 101.62 a litre, respectively, down from the previous levels of Rs 107.39, Rs 99.08 and Rs 101.72 a litre. In line with ..

12-yr-old boy dies of Nipah virus in Kerala 2 health workers showing symptoms isolated

A 12-YEAR-OLD boy died due to Nipah virus infection at a hospital here, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said on Sunday. The samples of the boy, which were sent to the Pune National Institute of Virology, confirmed the presence of Nipah virus. The Central Government has rushed a team of the National Centre for Disease Control to the State. The team will provide technical support to the State. Nipah virus is spread by saliva of the fruit bats. Giving details of the case, the Minister told reporters, ..

President confers award on 44 teachers

PRESIDENT Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday conferred the National Teachers’ Awards on 44 teachers from across the country for their contribution to developing innovative methods of teaching. The national-level awards are given on Teachers’ Day to celebrate the unique contribution of some of the finest teachers and to honour those who, through their commitment, have not only improved the quality of school education but also enriched the lives of their students. Noting that every child has different capabilities ..

About 600 Taliban killed in Panjshir, claim forces

ABOUT 600 Taliban have been killed in Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Panjshir, Sputnik reported citing the Afghan resistance forces as saying on Sunday. “About 600 Taliban have been liquidated in various districts of Panjshir since morning. More than 1,000 Taliban have been captured or surrendered themselves,” the resistance forces’ spokesperson Fahim Dashti tweeted. The spokesperson further added that the Taliban had problems with getting supplies from other Afghan provinces, Sputnik reported. ..

Thousands attend ‘Kisan mahapanchayat’ in UP

THOUSANDS of farmers from Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring States on Sunday gathered at Muzaffarnagar for a ‘Kisan mahapanchayat’ aimed at “saving the country”, just months ahead of the crucial UP Assembly polls. The event was organised by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) at the Government Inter College ground in Muzaffarnagar in protest against the Centre’s controversial farm laws. “These meetings will be held across the country. We have to stop the country from getting sold. Farmers should be saved, ..

Women-led protest in Kabul turns violent; Taliban resort to tear gas

A PROTEST led by women rights activists in Kabul turned violent after Taliban forces prevented them from marching towards the presidential palace. According to ‘Tolo News’, the Taliban prevented the demonstrations from continuing by spraying tear gas. The women in Kabul are staging protests, demanding their rights and representation in the new Government...

Rana Kapoor’s wife, daughter get interim bail in Yes Bank-DHFL case

A SPECIAL CBI court here on Saturday granted interim bail to Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor’s wife and daughter in a case involving private sector lender DHFL. Kapoor’s wife Bindu and daughter Radha were named as accused in the supplementary chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation recently, but the duo was never arrested in the case. The court, after taking cognisance of the chargesheet, had summoned the accused, and the two appeared before court on Saturday...

Thousands of farmers reaching Muzaffarnagar for ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’

THE Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Saturday claimed that thousands of farmers from 15 States have started reaching Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district to participate in ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ on Sunday. The umbrella body of 40 farmer unions spearheading the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s three farm laws said the ‘mahapanchayat’ will prove that the agitation has the support of “all castes, religions, states, classes, small traders and all sections of the society. “The ‘mahapanchayat’ of September ..

ISRO-IISc team develops device for extra-terrestrial experiments

RESEARCHERS at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have developed a modular, self-contained device to cultivate microorganisms, which could enable scientists to carry out biological experiments in outer space. In a study published in ‘Acta Astronautica’, the team showed how the device can be used to activate and track the growth of a bacterium called ‘Sporosarcina pasteurii ‘ over several days, with minimal human involvement, Bengaluru-based IISc said ..

Another BJP MLA, fourth so far, returns to Trinamool

ON A day when the Election Commission announced the by-polls in Bhowanipur from where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will seek to get elected to the West Bengal Assembly, the Trinamool Congress received a boost with another BJP MLA joining the ruling party on Saturday, taking the tally of BJP MLAs joining the Trinamool camp to four. Kaliaganj MLA Soumen Roy on Saturday joined the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata in the presence of state minister and party leader Partha Chatterjee. Justifying his return ..

SC collegium recommends 68 names to Centre for appointment as judges in 12 HCs

IN AN unprecedented decision, the Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana has recommended as many as 68 names in one go for appointment as judges in 12 High Courts, including in Allahabad, Rajasthan and Calcutta, that are facing a severe crunch of judges. The three-member Collegium, of which Justices U U Lalit and Justice A M Khanwilkar are also members, has created yet another first as Marli Vankung becomes the first woman judicial officer from Mizoram whose name ..

EC announces by-polls for three Assembly seats in WB, 1 in Odisha

THE by-poll to the Bhabanipur Assembly seat in West Bengal, from where Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee plans to contest, will be held on September 30, the Election Commission announced on Saturday. Polling for three “deferred adjourned” elections in two Assembly seats of West Bengal and one of Odisha will also be held on September 30...