National

Pawar working to unite Opposition: NCP

NCP chief Sharad Pawar is working to unite all Opposition leaders, party spokesperson Nawab Malik said while commenting on a meeting of Pawar with political strategist Prashant Kishor in New Delhi on Monday. The meeting at Pawar’s Delhi residence was held ahead of the NCP’s national executive meet scheduled on Tuesday. When asked about it, Malik said, “Pawar is working to unite all Opposition leaders. May be, the meeting was to discuss it. The party’s national executive meeting is also taking place ..

Record 82.7 lakh COVID vaccine doses administered on Day One of ‘Free Vaccination For All campaign’

OVER 82.7 lakh vaccine doses, the highest in a single day, were administered across the country on Monday as the revised guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination came into effect, the Union Health Ministry said. India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has reached 28.33 crore since January 16, it said. “Today’s record-breaking vaccination numbers are gladdening. The vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight COVID-19. Congratulations to those who got vaccinated and kudos to all the front-line ..

Centre clarifies to SC on ex-gratia aid to COVID victims’ families

Centre said that it has funds and it is being used for building health infrastructure, ensuring food to all, vaccinating the entire population and providing financial stimulus to boost the economy ..

Class 12 board result to be declared by July 31: CBSE to SC

THE Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)on Monday filed an additional affidavit before the Supreme Court informing that the results for class XII board exams would be declared by July 31. The CBSE in the affidavit said that the disputes regarding the result computation will be referred to a committee. The Board said that the optional examinations will be held tentatively between August 15-September 15, when the situation is conducive, and marks in the optional exam is to be treated as final ..

HC dismisses W Bengal Govt’s plea, NHRC to probe post-poll violence

THE Calcutta High Court on Monday dismissed the West Bengal Government’s plea for recalling its order that directed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to examine all cases of alleged human rights violations in post-poll violence in the State. A five-judge bench of the High Court dismissed the prayer of the West Bengal Government for recalling the order passed in respect of a bunch of PILs alleging displacement of people from their residences, physical assault, destruction of property and ..

Modi terms yoga ray of hope in pandemic

YOGA is a ray of hope and source of strength in the fight against COVID, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday as tens of thousands of people across the globe touched their toes, stretched towards the skies and breathed in and out mindfully to mark the seventh International Day of Yoga. From mountains to beaches and town squares to neighbourhood parks, and in homes in distant corners of the world and country, people spread out their mats to perform ‘asanas’ and ‘pranayama’ breathing exercises, ..

Cong again alleges scam in land purchase in Ayodhya

THE Congress on Sunday alleged a scam in the purchase of land by the Ram Temple Trust in Ayodhya and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Supreme Court to “fulfil their responsibility” by ordering a court-monitored probe to find the truth. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the “loot” of funds collected in the name of Lord Ram is “continuing” at the hands of BJP leaders in Ayodhya and questioned the “silence” of the prime minister and the Supreme Court...

Odia singer Tapu Mishra dies of post-COVID complications

POPULAR Odia playback singer Tapu Mishra died due to post-COVID complications while undergoing treatment at a private hospital here, family sources said on Sunday. She was 36. Her father had also succumbed to COVID-19 on May 10. The singer breathed her last on Saturday night. She was put on ventilator support two days ago after her oxygen level drastically dropped to 45...

New IT rules ‘designed to empower’ ordinary users of social media: India to UN

STATING that new IT rules are “designed to empower ordinary users of social media”, India on Sunday rejected apprehensions raised by the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and said that new rules were finalised after broad consultations with various stakeholders. The Permanent Mission of India at the United Nations in its reply to the communication of the ..

Can’t pay Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to COVID-19 victims: Centre to SC

THE Centre has told the Supreme Court that ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh cannot be paid to the families of those who have died of COVID-19 as it is beyond fiscal affordability and the finances of Central and State Governments are under severe strain. In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Centre submitted that it has by ways of “Minimum Standard Relief”, under section 12 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, taken several steps providing for substantial ..

PM holds meeting with Union Ministers over Cabinet reshuffle, Parlt session

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with top strategists of his Government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for well over three hours on Sunday to analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats vis a vis the Government and the party for the future. Among the issues discussed, sources stated, were probable Cabinet placements, forthcoming Assembly polls, dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the party’s strategy in taking on the Opposition in the forthcoming Parliament ..

India records less than 60,000 COVID-19 cases after 81 days

INDIA recorded less than 60,000 new coronavirus infections after 81 days taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,98,81,965, while the active cases further reduced to 7,29,243, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. A total of 58,419 fresh infections were reported in a day. The death toll climbed to 3,86,713 with 1,576 fresh fatalities, the lowest in 63 days...

NSA Doval involved in ongoing political process in J&K

HAVING played a role in handling the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has been working behind the ongoing political process in the Union Territory. The Centre’s effort led by the Ministry of Home Affairs to engage with the political parties would see an all-party meeting on June 24 which will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi...

Sena MLA under ED scanner writes to Uddhav to reconcile with BJP

SHIV Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik, who is under the Enforcement Directorate’s scanner for alleged money laundering, has written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray appealing to him to reconcile with the BJP “before it is too late”. In the letter dated June 10, Sarnaik said even though the alliance with the BJP has broken, personal and harmonious relations between leaders of the ‘yuti’ (Shiv Sena-BJP) remain...

Masood, Saeed among India’s top 31 wanted terrorists

MAULANA Masood Azhar, the founder of Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) co-founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, and key Mumbai attacks perpetrator Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi feature in India’s list of 31 most wanted terrorists. These 31 terrorists have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and figure in the list of most wanted individuals by the Indian Government for their involvement in various anti-India ..

We will fulfill Milkha’s dream and bring Olympic medal soon: Rijiju

SPORTS Minister Kiren Rijiju has expressed condolences on the demise of track legend Milkha Singh. “Today is a very sad day for the entire sports fraternity of our country. We are deeply saddened by the passing away of the legendary Milkha Singh. I feel that a big chapter in the world of sports has come to an end today,” Kiren Rijuju told ANI. Kiren Rijiju has backed the Indian Olympic 2020 squad to complete the dream of Milkha Singh to win a medal in athletics/track and field. “We will leave no stone ..

I’ll be alright in 3-4 days: Milkha’s first response after contracting COVID-19

EVEN after testing positive to COVID-19, sprint legend Milkha Singh exuded optimism, a trait that he carried all his life, through triumphs and defeats. “Yes Bachcha, I tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday (May 19). But I am fine, I have no problem, no fever, no cough. It will go away. My doctor told me I will be alright in three-four days,” he had said when PTI rang him up to check whether the buzz on social media about him testing positive for the virus was correct. Milkha was first hospitalised ..

Milkha Singh: An unmatchable romance with a near miss

THE track, to him, was like an open book in which Milkha Singh found the “meaning and purpose of life”. And what a life he made for himself. Before his 91-year-old body lost to COVID-19 on Friday after fighting it for a month, Milkha won the kind of battles that not many would have survived, forget about living long enough to tell the world about them. “Don’t worry, I am in good spirits...I am surprised, How could I get this infection?...I hope to get over it soon,” Milkha had said in his last ..

Finance Ministry refutes reports of alleged Indian black money in Swiss banks

THE Union Finance Ministry on Saturday said that increase in deposits of Indians in Swiss Banks could be on account of increase in business of Swiss bank branches located in India and raised Inter-bank transactions, rather than due to an increase in alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland. It, however said that Swiss Authorities have been requested to provide the relevant facts along with their view on possible reasons for increase or decrease in deposits so that facts could be presented ..

3rd wave in 6-8 weeks if crowding not prevented, says AIIMS chief

IF COVID-appropriate behaviour is not followed and crowding not prevented, the next wave of the viral infection can strike the country in the next six to eight weeks, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria warned on Saturday. Until a sizeable number of the population are vaccinated, COVID-appropriate behaviour needs to be followed aggressively, he said and stressed on the need for stricter surveillance and area-specific lockdowns in case of a significant surge. Guleria reiterated that till now, there is no ..

‘Fake’ Mona Lisa sells for $3.4 million

A REPLICA of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa fetched about 3.4 million dollars at an auction in France on Friday (local time). The painting sold about ten times its estimate at an online auction by Christie’s Auction House in Paris, reported NHK World. The reproduction is believed to have been painted in the early 1600s, about 100 years after the Mona Lisa, which hangs in the Paris Louvre...

Ensure ‘carefully calibrated’ un-lockdown: Centre to States

THE easing of COVID-related lockdown norms has led to crowding in some markets and other places, the Centre said on Saturday, as it urged States to ensure the “extremely important” five-fold strategy of COVID-appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination to prevent the spread of the disease. In a communication to all States and Union Territories (UTs), Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also said that vaccination against COVID-19, in the present scenario, is critical to break the chain of ..

All J&K parties being invited for June 24 meeting with PM

AMID reports that New Delhi is extending invitation to all mainstream political parties in J&K, former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti confirmed on Saturday that she has received the invitation while NC patron, Dr Farooq Abdullah said he is yet to receive it. Former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has confirmed that she has received a formal invitation from New Delhi for the meeting scheduled on June 24. “Yes, I got a phone call from Delhi inviting me for a meeting on June 24. The meeting will be chaired ..

Calcutta HC snubs Mamata Govt on post-poll violence

FOUR days after West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleging that the State Government has been inactive and indifferent about the sufferings of the people due to post-poll violence, the Calcutta High Court on Saturday criticised the Mamata Banerjee Government and observed that the state has not taken any concrete steps to address the complaints pertaining to post-poll violence. “In a case where the allegation is that life and property of the residents ..

‘Indian Air Force undergoing monumental transformation’

THE Indian Air Force (IAF) is undergoing a monumental transformation with rapid infusion of technologies due to rapidly evolving security challenges coupled with rising geopolitical uncertainty in the neighbourhood and beyond, IAF Chief R K S Bhadauria said on Saturday. Addressing a Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) at the Air Force Academy here, he said, “IAF is undergoing a monumental transformation. ..

Iconic sprinter Milkha Singh passes away, cremated with full State honours

ICONIC sprinter Milkha Singh was on Saturday cremated with full State honours here, marking the end of an era in which his pioneering accomplishments on the track galvanised a newly-Independent India. Milkha, who was 91, was bid a tearful adieu in the presence of his family and dignitaries, including Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. ‘The Flying Sikh’, died on Friday night due to COVID-19. His son and ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh lit the funeral pyre. Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, Punjab Finance ..

Akshay donates Rs 1 cr for school building along LoC

BOLLYWOOD star Akshay Kumar on Thursday donated Rs 1 crore for a school building in remote Tulail village along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district. The actor reached Neeru village by a helicopter around noon and thereafter started interaction with locals and the deployed security forces. ..

Rule of land supreme, not your policy: Parlt panel to Twitter

AMID a tussle between the Union Government and Twitter over the new IT rules, members of a parliamentary panel on Friday strongly objected to Twitter India officials’ observations that they abide by their policy and categorically told them that the rule of land is supreme. ..

Petrol now above Rs 100 in B’luru, Mumbai, H’bad

BENGALURU on Friday became the third metro city in the country to see petrol price cross Rs 100 per litre mark after fuel prices were raised yet again. Petrol price was hiked by 27 paise per litre and diesel by 28 paise, according to a price notification of State-owned fuel retailers. The hike -- 26th in less than seven weeks -- pushed fuel prices across the country to new historic highs. In Delhi, petrol hit an all-time high of Rs 96.93 a litre, while diesel is now priced at Rs 87.69 per litre. Fuel ..

Vaccination reduced health warriors’ hospitalisation by 75-80 pc: Govt

STUDIES have shown that following vaccination the chances of hospitalisation among healthcare workers reduce by 75-80 per cent even after contracting COVID and oxygen requirement comes down to 8 per cent, the Government said on Friday. ..

Guterres gets 2nd term as UN Secretary General

UN General Assembly on Friday appointed Antonio Guterres as the UN Secretary General for a second term beginning January 1, 2022, days after the powerful Security Council unanimously recommended his name to the 193-member body for re-election. ..

Mid-day meals exempt from GST The CBIC clarified certain decisions taken by the GST Council in its 43rd meeting

SUPPLYING food to schools under mid-day meal scheme, pre-schools and anganwadis is exempt from GST, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has said. Issuing a set of clarification on certain decisions taken by the GST Council in its 43rd meeting on May 28, the CBIC said it had received representations regarding applicability of GST on the issues as to whether serving of food in schools under mid-day meals scheme would be exempt if such supplies are funded by Government grants and/or ..

Army vaccinates villagers near LoC

IN A bid to ensure that no one is left out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, a team of Indian Army and health workers reached Kerani village, the last village near the Line of Control (LoC), crossing the difficult hilly terrains of the region and flowing rivers on foot, to conduct door-to-door inoculation. The Indian Army is collaborating with the Union Territory administration to vaccinate people living in far-flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir. ..

PM Modi’s approval rating at 66%, ahead of all other world leaders, shows survey

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi’s approval ratings stand at 66 per cent and continue to be ahead of other global heads, according to a survey conducted by an American data intelligence firm. The Morning Consult shows PM Modi is ahead of other world leaders of 13 countries including the US, the UK, Russia, Australia, Canada, Brazil, France and Germany. ..

CJI seeks Singapore’s help for setting up International Arbitration Centre in H’bad

CHIEF Justice of India N V Ramana on Thursday said that he has sought the help of his counterpart in Singapore for establishing an International Arbitration Centre here to adjudicate commercial disputes, as the city is well connected to the world geographically. Chief Justice Ramana, who is camping in Raj Bhawan, in an informal chat said that he also suggested that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao provide support in terms of necessary infrastructure for the proposed facility initially. ..

SC ‘no’ to stay order for removing 10K encroachment in Aravali forest

THE Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay its order directing Haryana and the Faridabad Municipal Corporation to remove encroachments, consisting of around 10,000 residential constructions, in Aravali forest area near Khori village, saying, “we want our forest land to be cleared”. A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari asked the State and the civic body to comply with its June 7 direction in this regard. “We want our forest land to be cleared. We have given enough time, if you ..

SC ‘no’ to stay order for removing 10K encroachment in Aravali forest

THE Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay its order directing Haryana and the Faridabad Municipal Corporation to remove encroachments, consisting of around 10,000 residential constructions, in Aravali forest area near Khori village, saying, “we want our forest land to be cleared”. A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari asked the State and the civic body to comply with its June 7 direction in this regard. “We want our forest land to be cleared. We have given enough time, if you ..

Rajnath describes India as ‘Priest’ of world peace

IN A statement seen as an implicit message to Beijing, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that though India is a peace loving country, it has the capability to reply to aggression. Dedicating 12 strategic roads constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to the nation here, Singh described India as a priest of world peace but added that any serious disturbance to peace and tranquility in border areas would have adverse implications...

Ex-cop Pradeep Sharma among 3 held by NIA in Antilia bomb scare case

THE National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested former “encounter specialist” police officer Pradeep Sharma and two others in Mumbai for their alleged involvement in the ‘Antilia’ bomb scare case and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiren, an official said. Sharma is the fifth policeman to be arrested in the case by the NIA, which has so far held 10 persons in this connection...

Twitter India MD was questioned by Delhi Police in ‘toolkit’ case: Officials

TWITTER India MD Manish Maheshwari was questioned by the Delhi Police last month in connection with its probe into the ‘COVID toolkit’ case, officials said Thursday. They did not divulge further details, but said he was also questioned about the company’s policy behind flagging tweets by users as “manipulated media”. This came after Twitter labelled as “manipulated media” a tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra on a ‘COVID toolkit’, attributed to the Congress, on how to target the Modi Government ..

Haryana man set on fire, dies; family alleges accused part of farmers’ protest

A 42-YEAR-OLD man died of burn injuries after four men allegedly sprinkled some inflammable material over him and set him afire here, police said on Thursday. The deceased family has alleged that the four accused are part of farmers’ protest at Tikri border near Delhi, they said. The man has been identified as Mukesh, a resident of Kasra village in Bahadurgarh in Jhajjar district, police said. According to the complaint lodged by Mukesh’s brother with the police, four men, who are part of the ongoing ..

No relook at decision to cancel class 12 exams: SC

THERE is no question of reversing earlier decision to cancel class 12 board exams, the Supreme Court said on Thursday and approved the assessment schemes of the CISCE and the CBSE, which has adopted 30:30:40 formula for evaluation of marks for students based on results of class 10, 11 and 12 respectively. The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) said however that it would consider the performance of students for last six classes, unlike CBSE which is taking note of performance ..

Indian Army top brass discuss threats from China, Pakistan

AMIDST border stand-off with China, the Indian Army holds a commanders’ conference led by General Manoj Mukund Naravane from Thursday to review the operational situation at the border with China and Pakistan. Indian Army Commanders’ Conference is an apex level biannual event, which formulates important policy decisions through collegiate deliberations. The conference is attended by senior officers of the Army including the Vice Chief of the Army Staff, all commanders, principal staff officers (PSOs) ..

Chirag calls meet in Delhi on Sunday after uncle elected as LJP President

LOK Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan on Thursday rejected his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras’s election as the party President, saying the meeting organised in Patna was ‘unconstitutional’ and lacked even minimum attendance of its national executive members. He told PTI that his party has also written to the Election Commission, urging it to stop the Paras-headed faction from using its symbol and flag in its meeting. LJP’s Secretary General Abdul Khaliq said a physical meeting of its national executive ..

Govt extends validity of motor vehicle documents till Sept 30

THE Government on Thursday extended the validity of motor vehicle documents like driving licence (DL), registration certificate (RC) and permits till September 30, 2021, in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) said it has advised the enforcement authorities that the validity of fitness, permit (all types), licence, registration or any other concerned document(s) may be treated to be valid till September 30, 2021. “This covers all documents whose ..

India targeted through cyber intrusions by RedFoxtrot linked to Chinese military

ACTIVE since 2014, RedFoxtrot predominantly targets aerospace and defence, government, telecommunications, mining, and research organisations in India among other countries. The other countries are Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, aligning with the operational remit of PLA Unit 69010. Recorded Future, the world’s largest provider of Intelligence for enterprise security, on Thursday, revealed cyber espionage activity attributed to a suspected Chinese state-sponsored ..

Mandatory gold hallmarking in India begins

THE mandatory gold hallmarking will be implemented from Wednesday in a phased manner, to begin initially with 256 districts, said the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. “Continuing our Government’s endeavour for better protection and satisfaction of customers, mandatory hallmarking in 256 districts will be implemented from June 16. No penalty will be imposed till August 2021. This will help develop India as a leading global gold market center,” tweeted Piyush Goyal, ..

Modi calls for ‘repair and prepare’ as India emerges from pandemic

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called for focus on ‘repair and prepare’ as the nation emerges out of a devastating pandemic. “Over the past year, we have witnessed a lot of disruption in different sectors. Much of it is still there. Yet, disruption does not have to mean despair,” he said at VivaTech Summit. “Instead, we must keep the focus on the twin foundations of repair and prepare,” he said referring to the need to augment healthcare infrastructure in the country as well as prop up ..

Firms owned by Choksi siphoned off over Rs 6,344.96 crore from PNB: CBI

COMPANIES owned by fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi have allegedly siphoned off over Rs 6,344.96 crore from the Punjab National Bank (PNB) using fraudulent letters of undertaking and foreign letters of credit, a CBI investigation into the scam has detected. The findings were submitted by the CBI in a supplementary chargesheet filed before a special court in Mumbai last week, where the agency said the PNB was conned by its employees who were allegedly hand in gloves with Choksi and his company executives ..

India may have 330 mn 5G subscribers by 2026: Report

INDIA is likely to have 330 million 5G subscribers by 2026 and the monthly data consumption per smartphone is expected to grow over 3-fold to 40 gigabyte per smartphone, telecom gear maker Ericsson said in a report on Wednesday. Average data consumption per smartphone at 14.6 GB per month in India continues to be the second-highest in the world, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2021. “In the India region, 4G subscriptions are forecast to rise from 680 million in 2020 to 830 million in 2026. ..

EPFO defers filing of PF return with Aadhaar seeded UANs till Sept 1

RETIREMENT fund body EPFO on Tuesday deferred implementation of its order mandating filing of PF returns with Aadhaar-verified universal account numbers (UAN) till September 1, 2021. This will give more time to employers to link their employees Aadhaar number with PF accounts or UAN. Earlier, the EPFO had set the deadline of June 1, 2021. The date of implementation for filing ECR (electronic challan cum receipt or PF return) with Aadhaar verified UANs has been extended to September 1, 2021, showed ..

India calls for rule-based order in Indo-Pacific

FLAGGING India’s concerns over security challenges in the maritime sphere, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday called for a rule-based order in the Indo-Pacific and underlined the need for ensuring freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded commerce in the international waterways including the South China Sea. In a virtual address at the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), Singh said that the developments in the South China Sea have attracted attention in the region and ..

No newborn calf serum in Covaxin final product, clarifies Health Ministry

FACTS have been “twisted and misrepresented” in some social media posts which suggested that indigenously developed Covaxin contains newborn calf serum, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. Newborn calf serum is used only for the preparation and growth of vero cells. Serum from bovine and other animal are standard enrichment ingredient used globally for vero cell growth, it said. Vero cells are used to establish cell lives which help in the production of vaccines...

PM to launch customised crash course for COVID frontline workers on 18th

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi will launch a customised crash course programme for COVID-19 frontline workers on Friday through video conferencing, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said. The launch will commence the programme in 111 training centres spread over 26 States, the PMO said. Prime Minister Modi will launch ‘Customised Crash Course programme for COVID-19 Frontline workers’ on June 18 at 11 am through video conferencing, it said. The launch will be followed by the Prime Minister’s address...

Twitter loses ‘safe harbour’ shield in India

TWITTER has lost its ‘safe harbour’ protection in India over non-compliance with IT rules and failure to appoint key personnel mandated under the new guidelines, despite repeated reminders, and the platform will now be liable for action under the Indian Penal Code for third party unlawful content, sources said. Earlier this month, the Government had given one last chance to Twitter to comply with the new IT rules, that came into effect on May 26, and had issued a stern warning that failure to adhere ..

Sonia asks Govt to come clean on Galwan Valley incident

CONGRESS President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday asked the Government to come clean on the Galwan Valley incident in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives a year ago and sought to know the progress made in restoring status quo ante at the border. She said no clarity is yet available on the Chinese transgressions at the border, which PM Narendra Modi has denied. Gandhi said the Congress has patiently waited for the Government to come clean and inform the nation about the circumstances in which the unprecedent..

Marathi actor nabbed for ‘objectionable posts’ on FB page against Eknath Shinde

A SMALL-TIME Marathi actor has been arrested in Thane for allegedly posting objectionable posts on the Facebook page of Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, officials said on Tuesday. The accused, identified as Mayuresh Kotkar, who has acted in some Marathi serials and films, was nabbed following a complaint lodged by Shiv Sena corporator Yogesh Jankar. Jankar, in his complaint last Friday, said that Kotkar posted allegedly defamatory and inciteful content on The FB page of the Minister ..

‘75% manufactured vaccines to Centre, 25% to pvt healthcare’

THE Central Government will procure 75 per cent vaccines produced in India directly from the manufacturers, who will be allowed to sell the remaining 25 per cent to the private healthcare sector, officials said on Tuesday. Addressing the press conference on vaccination and COVID pandemic situation in the country, NITI Aayog’s Member (Health) Dr V K Paul said that the State Governments will not procure vaccines directly from the manufacturing units. “The Centre will provide vaccines to all States and ..

I-T Department revokes charitable organisation tax exemption of PFI

THE Income Tax Department has revoked the tax exemption benefit given to Islamic organisation PFI after it found that its activities were allegedly “not genuine” as required to be undertaken by a legally notified charitable organisation. The department recently cancelled the registration of the Popular Front of India (PFI) granted under section 12AA (3) of the Income Tax Act, 1961...

Sukhbir Singh Badal detained for protest against scams in Punjab

SHIROMANI Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal along with several legislators and leaders were detained by Punjab police on Tuesday when they were marching towards the residence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh near here to lodge their protest. The Akali Dal-BSP combine was demanding the dismissal of Health Minister Balbir Sidhu and a CBI probe into irregularities in sale of vaccines and medical kits for COVID patients. “There is a scam in COVID-19 vaccination, there is a scam in Fateh Kit, there is ..

Recoveries outnumber daily new cases

INDIA saw a single-day rise of 60,471 new coronavirus infections, the lowest after 75 days, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,95,70,881, while the daily positivity rate declined to 3.45 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. The COVID-19 death toll climbed to 3,77,031 with 2,726 fresh deaths, the data updated at 8 am showed The active cases further declined to 9,13,378 comprising 3.09 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery ..

Nation remembers valour of Galwan bravehearts

CHIEF of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane on Tuesday led the force in hailing the valour of the 20 soldiers who laid down their lives while defending the country’s territorial integrity in the face of “unprecedented” Chinese aggression at the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh a year ago. On the first anniversary of the deadly clashes, the Army said the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers while fighting the adversary in the “most difficult” high altitude terrain will be “eternally etched” in the memory of the ..

SC closes case against Italian marines for killing 2 fishermen

THE Supreme Court on Tuesday brought the curtain down on 9-year old criminal proceedings that were initiated in India against two Italian marines accused of killing of two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012, after Rs 10 core in compensation was paid by Italy to the heirs of the deceased and the boat owner. The apex court also said that as per the international arbitral award accepted by India, Italy shall resume further investigation in the case against the marines -- Massimilano Latorre ..

Parliamentary panel summons Twitter officials on June 18

DAYS after the Centre issued a notice to Twitter, a Parliamentary panel headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has summoned top officials of the micro blogging site to depose before it on Friday and give a representation on prevention of misuse of the social media platform...

Right to protest fundamental right, cannot be termed as terrorist act: Delhi HC

RIGHT to protest is a fundamental right and cannot be termed as a ‘terrorist act,’ the Delhi High Court on Tuesday said while granting bail to JNU student Devangana Kalita in a case related to the communal violence in north east Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. A Division Bench said the court must be careful in employing the definitional words and phrases used in the anti terror law UAPA “in their absolute, literal sense or use them lightly in a manner that would trivialise ..

Over 1.05 cr COVID vaccine doses available with States, UTs; more in pipeline: Govt

MORE than 1.05 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with States and Union Territories while over 47,43,580 doses are in the pipeline and will reach them within the next three days, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. So far, the Government of India has provided 26,69,14,930 vaccine doses to the States and UTs. Of these, the total consumption, including wastage, is 25,67,21,069 doses, according to data available at 8 am on Tuesday...

‘Abuse against elderly people increased during lockdown’

ABOUT 73 per cent of the elderly population experienced increased abuse during the lockdown imposed amid the second wave of COVID-19, according to a new report. The report by the Agewell Foundation, based on responses from 5,000 elderly, released ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day said, 82 per cent of the respondents claimed that their life has been affected adversely due to the current COVID-19 situation...

Colleagues remember SSR on 1st death anniversary

BOLLYWOOD personalities Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, producer Ekta Kapoor and filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor on Monday paid tributes to actor Sushant Singh Rajput on his first death anniversary. Rajput, 34, was found dead at his Bandra house on June 14, 2020. Ekta Kapoor shared a series of pictures on her Instagram page and hashtagged the caption, “Remembering Sushant Singh Rajput.” “Wished on the stars with you... Now I wish on a star knowing it’s you,” she wrote. Abhishek Kapoor, ..

3.5-year-old boy falls in borewell in Agra, rescued after 8-hr operation

A 3.5-YEAR-OLD boy was rescued following an eight-hour operation after he fell into a 130-foot-deep borewell while playing in Dhariyai village here on Monday, police said. District Magistrate, Agra Prabhu N Singh told PTI that the boy is now under observation of a team of doctors. With the joint efforts of the Army, SDRF, NDRF and Civil Police, the boy was brought out safely in a rescue operation that lasted from 8.30 am to 4.35 pm, Agra Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Muniraj G said...

A year after Galwan clashes, Indian forces deeply entrenched along LAC

A YEAR after the violent face-off with Chinese troops in the Galwan valley on June 15, 2020, the Indian defence forces have strengthened themselves in the entire Ladakh sector through multiple initiatives. These include building infrastructure to enhance connectivity and deploying additional troops to tackle any possible aggression by the Chinese. The strengthening of positions has taken place at all levels in the Indian Armed Forces including both the Indian Army and Air Force. The biggest achievement ..

Land degradation affects over two-thirds of the world: Modi

INDIA is working towards restoring 2.6 crore hectares of degraded land by 2030 and assisting fellow developing countries to develop land-restoration strategies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a high-level UN dialogue on Monday. Asserting that land degradation affects over two-thirds of the world today, Modi said if left unchecked, it will erode the very foundations of our societies, economies, food security, health, safety and quality of life...

Nine nuclear-armed states possess 13,080 weapons

THE overall number of nuclear warheads in global military stockpiles appears to be increasing this year, a new finding released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday reveals. “The nine nuclear-armed states - the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) - together possessed an estimated 13,080 nuclear weapons at the start of 2021. This marked a decrease from the 13,400 ..

Digvijaya remark part of a new counter-narrative in Kashmir

UNDATED: EVEN though the statement by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh about restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir may appear to be a matter of his habit of kicking up controversies, political observers suspect that it is a part of a larger design to start a fresh political activity in the Union Territory and push it to a boiling point when the country celebrates completion of two years after abrogation of the Special Status, on August 5, 2021. As part of this design, an alternate ..

LJP splits, Chirag Paswan sidelined

FIVE of the six Lok Janshakti Party MPs in the Lok Sabha have joined hands against their leader Chirag Paswan and elected his paternal uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras in his place, causing a big churn in Bihar politics. Paras on Monday lauded Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as a good leader and “vikas purush” (development-oriented man), highlighting the deep fault lines within the party as his nephew Chirag Paswan has been a strong critic of the JD(U) president. “I have not broken the party but saved ..

Govt invites bids for delivery of COVID vaccines to remote areas by drones

THE Government has invited bids for the use of drones to deliver COVID vaccines and drugs to remote and difficult-to-reach areas to ensure last-mile coverage in select locations of the country. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted a successful feasibility study in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and has developed a standard protocol for the delivery of vaccines using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), according to the bid document. On behalf of the ..

H’bad boy battling rare disease receives world’s most expensive medicine

THREE-year-old Ayaansh Gupta from Hyderabad, suffering from a rare disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), has been administered with the world’s most expensive medicine ZOLGENSMA, after his parents mobilised Rs 16 crore through crowd-funding. Ayaansh, son of Yogesh Gupta and Rupal Gupta, who is suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) was given Zolgensma on June 9 at Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Secunderabad, under the supervision of Dr. Ramesh Konanki, Consultant Pediatric Neurologist. ZOLGENSMA ..

Children orphaned in pandemic stare at uncertain future, scramble for aid

LOSING a loved one is never easy but if one were to compare, there would not be a loss that could quite match the severity of losing one’s parents, especially for dependent children. The death of a parent strips away the child of not just the emotional blanket of comfort, but also in several cases takes away the financial support, leaving their futures in a lurch. According to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), 3,621 children have been orphaned during the pandemic, and ..

Mizo man with one of world’s largest families passes away

ZIONA Chana, who is believed to head one of the world’s largest families, with 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren from Mizoram, passed away at a private hospital here on Sunday. He was 76. An official of Aizawl district administration said that Chana was unwell since June 7 and a few days back admitted to a private hospital in the capital city after his diabetes, hypertension and other old age related problems deteriorated and breathed his last on Sunday afternoon. “The last rites and other ..

Foundation stone laid for Lord Venkateswara temple in Jammu

THE foundation stone for the Lord Venkateswara temple of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) was laid here on Sunday and the ceremony was attended by Union Ministers G Kishen Reddy and Jitendra Singh, as well as Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. The Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple and its allied infrastructure will be built on a 62.06-acre piece of land at Majeen village near Jammu...

Over 50 shanties of Rohingya refugees gutted in fire in Delhi; no casualty

MORE than 50 shanties were gutted in a fire that broke out at a Rohingya refugee camp near Kalindi Kunj Metro station in South-East Delhi, officials said on Sunday. The incident took place on Saturday and the fire department received information about it around 11.55 pm, a senior fire official said. No one was injured in the fire, the official said. Five fire tenders were rushed to the spot near Kalindi Kunj Metro station, Madanpur Khadar. The fire was brought under control around 3 am, the official ..

PM calls for ‘one earth one health’ approach for pandemic at G7

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for following a “one earth, one health” approach to effectively deal with the coronavirus pandemic globally, and sought the support of the G7 grouping to lift patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, during a virtual address at an outreach session of a summit of the bloc. Calling for global unity, leadership, and solidarity to prevent future pandemics, Modi also emphasised on the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies to deal ..

Cong needs widespread reforms to show it’s no longer in inertia, says Kapil Sibal

THE Congress must bring widespread reforms across all levels of the organisation to show it is no longer in a state of inertia and to present itself as a viable political alternative to the BJP, party veteran Kapil Sibal said. Sibal, who was among the G-23 leaders whose letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi last year demanding a meaningful overhaul of the party had triggered a storm, hoped the organisational polls, recently postponed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will “happen sooner than ..

Rajnath Singh approves Rs 499 cr for innovations in defence sector

DEFENCE Minister Rajnath Singh has approved budgetary support of nearly Rs 499 crore for research and innovation in the defence sector for the next five years. The Defence Ministry on Sunday said the funds will be used to provide financial support to nearly 300 start-ups, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and individual innovators with a larger goal of ensuring self-reliance in the defence sector. The scheme is in sync with the Government’s push to cut imports of military hardware and weapons ..

Army rescues 41 civilians stranded due to heavy rains on Jammu’s Mughal Road

THE Indian Army rescued 41 civilians stranded at blocked Mughal Road in Jammu following heavy rains, informed Defence PRO, Jammu on Saturday night. During a 3-hour-long night rescue operation, the stranded civilians were evacuated. According to Defence PRO, the Mughal Road was blocked due to heavy rainfall, uprooted trees and lightning. “In swift 3 hrs long night rescue ops, #IndianArmy rescued 41 civilians, stranded at blocked #MughalRoad due to heavy rainfall, uprooted trees and lightning at between ..

Concrete floor caves in, car sinks into water in Mumbai

A VIDEO of a car sinking into a pool of water in Mumbai following the caving in of the concrete floor on which it was parked went viral on social media on Sunday. The incident took place in a residential society on Cama Lane in Ghatkopar West on Sunday morning, police said, adding that no one was injured in the incident...

No heat wave conditions likely in next five days: IMD

IN A sign of relief from the sweltering summer heat prevailing in most parts of the country, the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) on Saturday also forecast “no heat wave conditions likely over any part of the country during the next five days”. As per the MeT department, the conditions are favourable for further advancement of south-west monsoon into some more parts of Madhya Pradesh, remaining parts Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, and some parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh ..

Stalin seeks meet with PM on 17th to discuss major TN issues

TAMIL Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday said he has sought a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 17 to discuss major State- related issues with him. Though the Prime Minister’s Office has given a nod tentatively, the actual time would be announced later, Stalin told reporters after releasing water from Mettur Dam in Salem district for irrigation in 12 delta districts during the Kuruvai season...

Digvijaya stokes controversy by stating Cong would restore Art 370 in Kashmir

SENIOR Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Saturday courted a fresh controversy during a ‘Club-House Chat’ in response to a question from a journalist of Pakistani origin saying that the Congress would restore Article 370 in Kashmir when it returns to power. “Democracy was not there in Kashmir when they revoked Article 370. Then ‘insaniyat’ (humanity) was not there because they put everyone behind bars and ‘Kashmiriyat’ is something which is basically the fundamentals of secularism. Because in a Muslim-majo..

No changes as of now in gap between Covishield doses, say Govt sources

AMID calls to reduce the gap between two doses of Serum Institute of India’s COVID-19 vaccine Covishield based on the new findings by Public Health England, the Central Government will not take the decision to change the dosage interval immediately, said sources, adding that the authorities will review the scientific evidence for the same. “There is going to be no changes in the interval between Covishield doses immediately. However, scientific evidence has been collected to review the decision in ..

SAD, BSP form alliance for 2022 Punjab Assembly polls

THE Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party formed an alliance on Saturday for the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections, coming together after a gap of 25 years. Under the tie-up, the BSP will fight 20 of the 117 Assembly seats while the rest will be contested by the SAD, said Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal while announcing the alliance here. The SAD-BSP alliance had contested the 1996 Lok Sabha polls together and won 11 out of 13 seats in Punjab. While three seats were won by the BSP and the ..

Mehul Choksi denied bail by Dominica High Court

THE Dominica High Court has denied bail to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi in the case of illegal entry into the island country after his mysterious disappearance from neighbouring Antigua and Barbuda where he is staying as a citizen since 2018, local Caribbean media reported...

2 cops, 2 civilians killed in militant attack in J&K

TWO policemen and as many civilians were killed and at least three others injured on Saturday when militants opened fire targeting security forces in Sopore town of Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. Militants fired upon a joint party of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police near Main Chowk Sopore in north Kashmir district around noon, they said...

DGCI approves Colchicine for clinical trial on Covid patients

THE Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval to the CSIR and Laxai Life Sciences Private Limited to conduct clinical trial of Colchicine on COVID-19 patients, according to a statement on Saturday. Ram Vishwakarma, the advisor to the CSIR Director General, said Colchicine in combination with standard care will be an important therapeutic intervention for COVID-19 patients with cardiac co-morbidities and also for reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to faster recovery. A number ..

GST rates on COVID items slashed; vaccine still taxed at 5%

AMID calls for lower levies on items and medicines required in COVID-19 treatment, the GST Council on Saturday decided to slash rates of several COVID-relief items to 5 per cent from existing 12-18 per cent levels, although it kept the much talked-about tax rate on vaccines unchanged at 5 per cent. Addressing the media post the GST Council meet, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the council agreed to go with the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) that was single point agenda ..

Mumbai innovator develops 3 robots to assist healthcare workers, patients amid COVID

A MUMBAI-BASED innovator Santosh Hulawale has developed three robots to assist healthcare workers and patients amid the ongoing pandemic. Santosh, with the help of his eight-member team, has developed a Multiple Service Robot (MSR), a Service Humanoid Robot (SHR), and a Disaster Management robot (DMR). According to the innovator, the robots have been developed completely in India. Santosh claimed that the MSR can be custom pre-programmed for any kind of health facility...

China’s artificial Sun attains 120 mn C temp for over 100 seconds

CHINA’S “artificial Sun” recently broke the world record as achieved a plasma temperature of 120 million Celsius for 101 seconds and 160 million Celsius for 20 seconds, setting new records in the field of nuclear fusion, media reports said. The experiment was achieved by Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) device, or the “Chinese artificial Sun,” located at the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the ‘Global Times’ reported. EAST is part of ..

China-based hackers luring Indians into fake Tata Motors gift campaign

CYBER-security researchers in India on Thursday said they have discovered a malicious free gift campaign pretending to be an offer from Tata Motors that is collecting users’ data, and the campaign has been traced to China-based hackers. The research wing of New Delhi-based CyberPeace Foundation received some links via WhatsApp, related to a free gift offer from Tata Motors, collecting browser and system information as well as the cookie data from the users. “The campaign is pretended to be an offer ..

Mah waives interest on crop loan up to Rs 3 lakh

THE Maharashtra Government on Thursday said farmers who repay crop loan up to Rs 3 lakh regularly will be charged zero per cent interest. A decision to this effect was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray here. Earlier, there was 1 per cent concession in interest rate if crop loan between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 3 lakh was repaid on time. The concession has been now raised by 2 per cent (total 3 per cent which has been waived), a statement from the Chief Minister’s office ..

Asian Games gold-winning former boxer Dingko Singh no more

ASIAN Games gold medal-winning former boxer Dingko Singh, who inspired a generation of Indian pugilists with his swashbuckling ring craft and flamboyant personality, died on Thursday after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 42 and had been fighting the disease since 2017. He is survived by his wife Babai Ngangom, a son and a daughter. During his battle with cancer, the former bantamweight (54kg) boxer’s health woes were compounded by a bout of jaundice and COVID-19 last year. Prime Minister Narendra ..

Pak spies ring illegal Indian telephone exchanges for secret info

A CALL from a Pakistani spy agency to an Army installation in eastern India has led to the unravelling of an illegal telephone exchange in Bengaluru, raising questions whether similar systems were operational in other parts of the country, officials said on Thursday. The entire racket was busted by the Military Intelligence wing of the Army’s Southern Command which had intercepted the call received at the Army installation in eastern India a few weeks back. During the call, a spy from Pakistan ..