National

US court ‘no’ to end work permits for spouses of H1B visa workers

IN a temporary relief to thousands of Indians living in America, a US court has refused to strike down, for the time being, an Obama-era rule that allowed spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in America.The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations...

Tens of thousands converge on Guru’s holy town

TENS of thousands of devotees from across the globe are converging every day in this holy town associated with the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, whose 550th birth anniversary falls on Tuesday. It is here that the Sikh first master gained enlightenment at the end of the 15th century...

Congress gets into huddle over Mah Govt formation

THE Congress party got into a huddle on Sunday night after the BJP declined to form a Government in Maharashtra and the Shiv Sena claimed it will have its Chief Minister in the State...

Legendary poll reformer T N Seshan passes away

FORMER chief election commissioner T N Seshan, who ruthlessly enforced the Model Code of Conduct and led the game-changing electoral reforms in the 1990s, died here on Sunday following a cardiac arrest. He was 86. The legendary Seshan was not keeping good health for the past couple of years and passed away around 9.30 pm, a senior police official told PTI...

The proposed Ram Mandir: 212 pillars, 128 feet high

NOW that the Supreme Court has cleared decks for temple in Ayodhya, the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas along with the help from VHP will like to start its construction at the earliest. Though, the VHP has toyed with many maps of the Ram Temple, as it conceived over the years; but there’s a blueprint based upon the most agreeable version that the majority believes, resembles the original Ram Mandir...

Doval holds interfaith meet to discuss peace

JUST a day after the Ayodhya verdict, National Security Advisor Ajit doval held a meeting at his residence of religious leaders cutting across faiths. Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad and Swami Chidanand Saraswati was present at the inter-religious meet at Doval’s residence on Sunday. Baba Ramdev, Swami Parmatmanand were also present there. Naved Hamid of Majlis-E-Mushawarat and Salim Engineer of Jamat-E-Islami Hind were also part of the meeting...

Governor invites Shiv Sena to stake claim to form Govt

HOURS after the BJP declined to form Government in Maharashtra on Sunday, Governor Bhagat Singh Khoshyari on Sunday night asked the Shiv Sena to “indicate the willingness and ability” of the party to stake claim, mounting suspense over formation of Government...

BJP not to form Govt in Mah, blames Sena for disrespecting mandate

IN A stunning political development, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday conceded its inability to form the Government in Maharashtra despite having the public mandate for its pre-poll alliance..

Justice Abdul Nazeer most sought judge in matters of religion in SC

JUSTICE S Abdul Nazeer, the lone Muslim judge in the 5-member Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, which on Saturday delivered a historic verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case, has been one of the most sought after judges in matters involving religion. Justice Nazeer was also the part of the five-judge bench in the ‘triple talaq’ matter but had delivered a minority verdict along with then Chief Justice of India J S Khehar. By the 3:2 verdict, the apex court had held issue of 1,400 year old ..

562 pilgrims visit Kartarpur gurudwara in Pak on first day

ON THE inaugural day, 562 pilgrims crossed over to Pakistan to offer prayers at the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur after the much-awaited corridor was opened, officials said on Saturday. The four-km-long corridor, which connects the revered gurdwara in Pakistan to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi...

Kartarpur corridor’s opening to improve Indo-Pak ties ‘enormously’: Manmohan

THE opening of the Kartarpur corridor will improve relations between India and Pakistan “enormously”, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday after he arrived here as part of the first batch of the Indian pilgrims through the cross-border pathway. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan formally inaugurated the historic corridor to facilitate the visa-free entry of Indian Sikh pilgrims...

Modi inaugurates Kartarpur corridor

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Kartarpur corridor here and flagged off the first batch of over 500 Indian pilgrims. The corridor links Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in this Punjab district. Modi flagged off the first batch of over 500 Indian pilgrims led by Akal Takhat Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib through the corridor, which was thrown open to public on the ..

No place for bitterness, fear, negativity in new India: PM after Ayodhya verdict

THE Supreme Court judgment on the Ayodhya issue has heralded a “new dawn” and should not be seen as win or loss for anybody, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, stressing that India’s credo of unity in diversity was visible in its totality as all sections of society accepted the verdict with an open heart. Addressing the nation after the verdict in the politically and communally sensitive case was pronounced, Modi invoked the fall of Berlin wall on November 9, 1989 and also referred to ..

SC clears Ram Temple in Ayodhya, offers alternate land for mosque

THE Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict on Saturday cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque. In one of the most important and most anticipated judgements in India’s history, a 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi put an end to the more than a century old dispute that has torn the social fabric of the nation. The apex court said the mosque ..

NCM chief condemns Jilani, says Muslims are happy

NATIONAL Commission for Minorities chairperson Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi on Saturday claimed that Muslims are happy with the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict and condemned Sunni Waqf Board lawyer Zafaryab Jilani’s remarks that a review of the ruling will be sought. The NCM chief’s remarks came after Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board’s lawyer Jilani expressed dissatisfaction over the Supreme Court’s verdict, saying it has a lot of contradictions and they will seek a review of it...

SC verdict on Ayodhya highlights ‘truth and justice’, says Bhagwat

ASSERTING that the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya issue highlighted “truth and justice”, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday said it should not be seen as anybody’s victory or defeat. Welcoming the unanimous decision of the five-judge apex court bench, Bhagwat said everybody should now forget the dispute, which had continued for many decades, and work together to build a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. “We wanted the issue to end, this has happened...

Air pollution in Delhi did not drop by 25% as claimed by AAP Govt: Greenpeace

THE Delhi Government’s claim of a 25 per cent reduction in air pollution levels over the past few years is not true, Greenpeace India said on Thursday, inviting a quick rebuttal from city’s ruling party which dismissed the NGO’s report. According to a Greenpeace India analysis, “Historical ambient air quality monitoring and satellite data coupled with increasing fossil fuel consumption in Delhi and adjoining states contradict the government’s claims of a 25 per cent reduction in pollution levels over ..

‘Every State, district has role in helping India become 5 trillion dollar economy’

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said every State and district in the country had role in India’s effort to become a five trillion dollar economy by 2025. Modi was inaugurating a two-day event here to attract investment to Himachal Pradesh. “Every State and every district of the country has a great potential and they will play a vital role in achieving the target ,” he said at the Rising Himachal Global Investors’ Meet...

Be alert ahead of SC verdict: Centre asks States

THE Centre has asked all States to remain alert ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute and ensure security in sensitive areas, officials said on Thursday. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also dispatched around 4,000 paramilitary personnel for security deployment in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Ayodhya. A general advisory has been sent to all States and Union Territories asking them to deploy adequate security personnel in all sensitive places and ..

Amitabh Bachchan completes 50 years in Hindi cinema

MEGASTAR Amitabh Bachchan, who completes 50 years in Hindi cinema and continues to be one of the busiest actors in Bollywood, on Thursday shared a health update with his fans, saying doctors have advised him to cut back on work. Sharing several of his pictures alongside a photograph of a meeting with doctors at his home, Jalsa, Bachchan said he would be back to the grind despite the warning by “the stethoscope dressed messengers from heaven”...

Passport must for Indian pilgrims to Kartarpur, says Pakistan Army

SLAMABAD INDIAN Sikh pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib will need a passport to use the Kartarpur Corridor, which will be inaugurated this week, the Pakistan Army has said, according to a media report on Thursday, days after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Indian devotees would only need a valid ID to visit the revered Gurudwara Darbar Sahib...

Governor can ask single largest party to form Govt, says expert

THE onus is on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to act if no party stakes claim to form new Government in Maharashtra, a legislature expert said here on Thursday, two days before the present Assembly’s term ends. If no party comes forward, the Governor can invite the single largest party to form the Government, said Anant Kalse, former Secrertary of the State legislature. “If that party shows its inability to form Government, then the Governor will invite the second largest party to form the Government,” ..

PM steps in to stop farm fires, wants equipment for farmers

TO tackle stubble burning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday directed the Agriculture Ministry to distribute equipment on a priority basis to farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. This is Prime Minister Modi’s first direct intervention on the issue of air pollution in Delhi NCR. The Prime Minister had taken a review meeting on Tuesday on air pollution in the northern States. Stubble burning by farmers in these three States, especially Punjab, has been identified as a major cause of ..

It is a question of life and death: SC on Delhi pollution

THE Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it is a question of life and death of crores of people in Delhi-NCR region which is facing severe air pollution and the authorities have to be held responsible for its failure to curb it. “Can you permit people to die like this due to pollution? Can you permit the country to go back by 100 years,” observed a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra...

Cabinet nod to Rs 25K cr fund to help over 1,600 stalled housing projects

THE Government on Wednesday approved a Rs 25,000 crore fund to help complete over 1,600 stalled housing projects, including ones that have been declared bad loans or admitted for insolvency proceedings, as it looks to boost growth by steering consumption in real estate and associated sectors. Continuing with steps she began announcing within a month of Parliament approving her maiden Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) will comprise Rs 10,000 crore ..

Lawyers’ strike continues for third day

LAWYERS in all the six district courts here abstained from work for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, protesting against the clash between advocates and the police at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex on November 2, and denied access to litigants in some courts. The lawyers closed the main gates at Patiala House and Saket district courts and did not let litigants access the court premises as part of their protest. During the protest at Rohini district court, one lawyer took off his clothes and poured ..

SC verdict in Ayodhya case will be acceptable: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind

PROMINENT Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind on Wednesday said that the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case will be acceptable to it, and appealed to Muslims to respect the verdict. Jamiat President Maulana Arshad Madani asserted that Muslims’ claim in the case is based on historical facts and evidence that the Babri Masjid was constructed without demolishing any temple or any other place of worship...

Depression over Bay of Bengal may intensify into cylonic storm: MeT

A FRESH low pressure area formed over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a depression on Tuesday, the Meteorological Centre here said. It is likely to further intensify into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday, the MeT Centre said. “The depression lay centred over east-central and adjoining south-eastern Bay of Bengal and north Andaman Sea, about 950 km south-southeast of Paradip in Odisha,” Director ofMeT Centre in Bhubaneswar , H R Biswas said. It is likely to intensify into a deep depression shortly ..

Rajnath Singh urges Russia for joint defence manufacturing equipment

FOCUSING on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday urged Russian Defence Industry to jointly manufacture defence equipment with India to give a massive boost to the nations’ export to third countries. The request was made by Rajnath Singh, who is on three-day visit to Russia, while addressing CEOs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from Russian Defence Industry after jointly inaugurating ‘India-Russia Defence Industry ..

RBI hikes cash withdrawal from PMC Bank to Rs 50,000 again

THE Reserve Bank on Tuesday enhanced the cash withdrawal from the scam-hit Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank to Rs 50,000 per account. This is the fifth increase in withdrawal limit since the bank was placed under its direct control with an administrator on September 23. Since then as many as nine depositors have lost their lives including a 74-year-old man from Thane on Monday. The RBI also allowed the depositors of the bank to withdraw from the bank’s own ATMs within the prescribed limit ..

‘Good news can come at any time; not to discuss sharing’

MAHARASHTRA Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar on Tuesday hinted at a possible breakthrough in the ongoing deadlock with the Shiv Sena over formation of a Government, saying a “good news” can come at any moment. He was speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of BJP leaders called by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the latter’s official residence here in afternoon. “A good news regarding Government formation can come at any moment,” Mungantiwar said. BJP State unit ..

Country’s first indigenously designed standing wheelchair launched

PREMIER technical varsity, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, on Tuesday launched the country’s “first indigenously” designed standing wheelchair, which will enable a differently-abled person shift from sitting to standing position. Named ‘Arise’, the standing wheelchair was launched in the presence of Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot at the institute here on Tuesday. IIT, Madras “in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems has launched India’s first indigenously-d..

Modi reviews pollution situation in North India

WITH the air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas hovering in the “severe” and “very poor” categories, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the pollution situation in northern India. “PM Narendra Modi chaired a meeting in which the situation arising due to pollution in various parts of northern India was discussed,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted. The Prime Minister also reviewed the situation arising due to cyclone conditions in parts of western India...

Rs 7,000 cr bank fraud: CBI files 42 cases, searches 190 places in 16 States, UTs

IN A massive crackdown on alleged bank fraudsters, the CBI on Tuesday carried out searches at over 190 locations in the country after registering 42 fresh cases in scams involving cumulative funds of over Rs 7,000 crore, officials said. The exercise, launched early in the morning, was carried out throughout the day, with CBI teams knocking the doors of the accused to collect evidence and question them, they said. The cases pertain to State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Andhra Bank, Oriental ..

Delhi Police take to streets against attack on colleagues

IN unprecedented protests by Delhi police, thousands of its personnel on Tuesday laid siege outside the Police Headquarters for 11 hours and staged a virtual revolt sparked by two attacks on their colleagues before calling off their stir following multiple appeals including from their chief. The protests in which families of the personnel also took to streets were withdrawn in the night after an assurance by senior officers that their grievances will be addressed. Addressing the protesters, Special ..

Woman Tahsildar burnt alive in office over land dispute

IN A gruesome incident, a woman Tahsildar in Telangana was allegedly burnt alive by a man in her office at nearby Abdullapurmet in broad daylight on Monday over some land dispute, Police and Revenue officials said. Tahsildar Vijaya Reddy, in her mid 30s, died on the spot and two other staff attendant and a driver, in the office were injured trying to rescue her, Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat said adding the assailant also suffered burns in the daring attack that sent shock waves. ..

IIT Kharagpur researchers use wet clothes to generate electricity

RESEARCHERS at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, Mechanical department here have generated electricity from clothes drying in natural ambience. The research was done at a ‘dhobi ghat’ using 50 wet clothes with a surface area of 3,000 square meters which was put for drying by washermen in a remote village...

Delhi CM calls Day 1 of Odd-Even scheme successful

THE third edition of Odd-Even road space rationing scheme came into force in the national capital on Monday amid persistent high levels of pollution, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claiming that the exercise on the first day was “successful” as 15 lakh cars were off the roads. Nearly 200 violaters were fined including BJP leader Vijay Goel who in a “symbolic protest” drove his odd number SUV from his residence at Ashoka Road to Janpath. His party has termed the scheme as an “election stunt” by ..

138 labourers from J&K arrive in Kolkata

A TOTAL of 138 labourers, working in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir, arrived in the city on Monday by Jammu Tawi Express, an official said. Of them, five are from Assam, he said. The labourers were received by Kolkata Mayor and minister Firhad Hakim at Kolkata railway station. The State Government had arranged for a special coach for the workers, who expressed their desire to return in the wake of the brutal killing of labourers in Kashmir on October 29, the official said...

People can’t be left to die: SC to Chief Secys of 3 States on Delhi pollution

AT A marathon hearing on air pollution, the Supreme Court on Monday passed a slew of directions, as it expressed its displeasure at the failure of the Centre and State machinery, to be followed by the Chief Secretaries to the lowest officer in the administration, to comply with its directions. “You can postpone the Assembly, people cannot be left to die”, said a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra seeking the presence of Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The court scheduled the ..

Need to form Govt soonest: CM after Shah meet

THERE is need to form a Government in Maharashtra at the earliest, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah. As the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena continue their tussle over Government formation in the State, Fadnavis reached here on Monday morning to meet Shah, also the BJP President at his residence, party insiders said. “There is need to form the Government in Maharashtra at the earliest... I am sure, I am confident that the Government will be formed,” ..

To ward off death, this UP man daily dressed up as bride for last 30 years

THE story of Chintaharan Chauhan may seem weird and even bizarre but it is true nonetheless. Fear of death and a superstition has forced this labourer from Jaunpur to stay dressed as a bride for 30 years. Chauhan’s is a tale of loss, despair and helplessness. Every day since the past 30 years, Chauhan of Hauzkhas village in Jalalpur, dresses up as a bride - complete with a red sari, huge nose ring, bangles and ‘jhumkas’ -- to ward off death...

India, Thailand decide to boost defence cooperation

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha on Sunday agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the defence industries sector and explore possibility of boosting trade ties during their talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit. Both the leaders also discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries, including in the areas of physical and digital spheres, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. In a tweet, the Prime Minister’s office said both leaders ..

Prasad asks BSNL/MTNL to start dialogue with staff on VRS

TELECOM Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has directed the ailing telecom PSUs, BSNL and MTNL, to start a dialogue with their employees on the terms and conditions of the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and prepare a roadmap for its successful implementation, highly placed sources said. The Union Cabinet had last month approved a revival package for BSNL and MTNL which includes a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for their staff...

70-year-old man serves food to people for free

Sitaram Baba daily feeds more than 500 to 600 people who come to Rameswaram A 70-year old man, Sitaram Das Baba is a living example of undertaking social service. A native of Gujarat who settled in this holy town of Rameswaram has been providing free food for pilgrims, tourists. Sitaram Baba’s day starts at 5 am when begins cooking a huge amount of food for people coming to his Ashram. He daily feeds more than 500 to 600 people who come to Rameswaram. He offers both North Indian food and South Indian ..

‘It bothers me, when I see judges feeling harassed’

TAKING a grim view of unrestrained criticism of judges on social media for some of their judicial actions, Chief Justice of India designate Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde says it bothers him when he sees judges feeling ‘harassed’ and finds the attack difficult to ignore. Justice Bobde, who will assume charge as the 47th Chief Justice of India on November 18, also said the unrestricted criticism was not only scandalising but also tearing apart judges’ reputation. Criticism of judges instead of their judgements ..

After Army’s op ‘Maa’ 50 ultras return to families

IT WAS a quiet humane operation of approaching “Maa” (mother) launched by Kashmir-based XV Army Corps that saw around 50 Kashmiri youths return to normal life this year, after abandoning the terror groups they had joined. In this operation, the Army, on the directions of General Officer Commanding (GoC) of 15 Corps Lieutenant General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, undertook an exercise in the hunt for missing youths and approached their families...

India, Uzbekistan ink 3 MoUs on military medicine, education

INDIA and Uzbekistan have inked three MoUs pertaining to military medicine and military education during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s three-day visit to Tashkent, officials said here on Sunday. As had been reported by IANS earlier, the MoUs between the two countries had been on the anvil and were inked following a bilateral meeting that Singh held with his Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov. “India and Uzbekistan inked an MoU on cooperation in the field of military ..

Pollution level in Delhi shoots up

    NEW DELHI :   POLLUTION level in Delhi peaked to a three-year high on Sunday notwithstanding claims of heightened checks and curbs by authorities, while the Centre reviewed the situation with the Governments of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab and announced that Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba would monitor it on a daily basis. After Delhi, all schools up to Class 12 were also closed in the National Capital Region till Tuesday following spike in pollution level.   The heavy ..

ED opposes PC’s bail plea in HC citing gravity of offences

THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday opposed in the Delhi High Court the bail plea of former Union Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case, saying the gravity of offences allegedly committed by him does not entitle him for the relief. The ED, in its affidavit filed in response to 74-year-old Chidambaram’s bail petition, said the contention of the senior Congress leader that no offence is made out against him is “untenable in law” and his plea is liable to be rejected...

PoK in Union Territory of J&K, Gilgit-Baltistan in Ladakh in India’s new map

PAKISTAN-OCCUPIED Kashmir (PoK) is part of the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, while Gilgit-Baltistan is in the UT of Ladakh in the fresh maps released by the Government on Saturday following the bifurcation. In a notification, the Ministry of Home Affairs also released the new map of India depicting the two UTs with PoK ‘capital’ Muzaffarabad within the geographical boundary of the country. As per the new map, PoK remains with Jammu and Kashmir UT and Gilgit-Baltistan with the ..

Delhi BJP website hacked from Pak

THE website of BJP’s Delhi unit was on Saturday hacked by suspected Pakistani hackers, who defaced the page and posted abusive language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A hacker group called _Muhammad Bilal TeAM (PCE) has claimed that it has hacked the website with a message like “Ghar main ghuss kar marain gy (will beat after entering the house) and “I can lie a lot, can I also get a ‘Vir Chakra’ like Abhinandan” with an email ID - [email protected]

Hold urgent meet on pollution: CMs to Centre

AMID a blame game over failure to check toxic haze that has enveloped the national capital and neighbouring areas, the Governments of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana on Saturday called for urgent intervention by the Centre to develop and implement a joint plan with the States to address the “serious” situation. Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar of postponing meetings with State Environment Ministers thrice, on September 12, October 17 and on ..

Chandrayaan-2 not end of story: Sivan

CHANDRAYAAN-2 is not the end of the story about the country’s attempts to conquer the moon, and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will attempt another soft landing ‘in the near future’, the space agency’s chief K Sivan said. Sivan, who was in the national capital to attend IIT Delhi’s golden jubilee convocation said a number of advanced satellite launches are planned in the coming months. “You all have heard about Chandrayaan-2 mission. On the technology part -- yes, we could not achieve ..

Economist Surjit Bhalla appointed as Executive Director for India at IMF

THE Government on Tuesday appointed Economist Dr Surjit S Bhalla as Executive Director for India at International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a period of three years. “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Dr Surjit S Bhalla, Economist, as Executive Director (India), International Monetary Fund for a period of three years from the date of assumption of the charge of the post or until further orders whichever is earlier,” an official release said...

3 Pakistanis among 6 found guilty for 2008 attack on CRPF camp

THE court of the additional district judge in Rampur on Friday convicted six of the eight accused in the attack on a CRPF camp 12 years ago. Two of the accused, Qauser Farouqi and Gulab Khan, have been acquitted. Of the six accused who were convicted on Friday, three are Pakistani nationals. The quantum of punishment will be announced on Saturday...

‘Have no dealings with any underworld people’

A DAY after appearing before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Businessman Raj Kundra, husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, on Thursday said that he has ‘no dealings’ with the close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and he has explained his case to the central probe agency..

Mass surveillance tech needs just a missed call to hack you

AS INDIANS break their heads over WhatsApp spygate where an Israeli bug infected select users smartphones to access their personal details, the mass surveillance technology has truly come of age and now the governments just need to make a missed call to install an “exploit link” into the device of a person they want to bug and listen in. From the days when surveillance methods involved bugging the phone or cable wires to tap phones (remember Radia tapes!) to track a person’s vehicle by installing ..

MTNL to be BSNL subsidiary, receives Govt letter on plan

STATE-RUN MTNL will be a subsidiary of BSNL by transferring the Government’s shareholding to it following the Union Cabinet’s in-principle approval to their merger. Government holds 56.25 per cent in MTNL. Its share price was up after a long time...

Sena’s brinkmanship continues

THE political picture in Maharashtra continues to be hazy even one week after the results, with Shiv Sena indulging in brinkmanship of extreme order trying to forge alliances with traditional foes Congress, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Even as Congress and NCP denied any willingness to forge an alliance with Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sudhir Mungantiwar hinted at a possible President’s Rule if political solution did not emerge by November 7...

India, Germany ink 20 pacts

INDIA and Germany inked over 20 agreements, including in the field of Artificial Intelligence, green urban mobility and agriculture, and resolved to jointly combat terrorism, as visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here as part of the 5th Inter Governmental Consultations...

J&K ‘state subjects’ equal to other Indians, won’t get preference: MHA

THE Centre has declared omission of “permanent residents or hereditary state subjects” in two newly-created Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — which came into existence on Thursday, ending their seven-decades-long privileges over land and jobs. In a notification, the Home Ministry announced a slew of measures to be applicable in the two new UTs that include many central laws hitherto out of bounds in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir due to its Special Status. “...There are ..

Marathi author Girija Kir passes away

NOTED Marathi author Girija Kir died on Thursday following a prolonged illness, said a family member. She was 88. Kir has written dozens of books, including her autobiography. The veteran author’s literary work includes books for children and novels...

Need to step out of comfort zones: PM to civil service probationers

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday emphasised on the need to step out of comfort zones and associate with people and noted that Government officials sometimes commit the mistake of remaining confined to air-conditioned offices and perceive that everything is all right. Addressing the civil service probationers here on National Unity Day to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbahi Patel, Modi said that it is necessary to do an honest assessment of the feedback received...

74 killed in massive fire on train in Pak

LAHORE A MASSIVE fire broke out on a moving train in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province on Thursday after two gas cylinders exploded while some passengers were cooking breakfast, killing at least 74 people, mostly Islamic preachers travelling to attend a religious congregation. The train, Tezgam Express, was on its way to Lahore from Karachi when the fire broke out early morning, gutting three bogies which had over 200 passengers, including women and children, at Liaquatpur near Rahim Yar Khan, some ..

Unity in diversity our pride; Art 370 acted as wall in J&K: PM

PAYING glowing tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on National Unity Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday defended the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, saying the Special Status provision only bred terrorism in the erstwhile State. He also hailed India’s unity in diversity, calling it the biggest challenge for the country’s enemies...

J&K transitions from State into two Union Territories

AS THE clock struck 12 and a new day beckoned, Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday transitioned from a State into two Union Territories with a wary Valley shutting down as it has for 88 days and Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the “new system” is aimed at “building a strong link of trust”. President Ram Nath Kovind revoked President’s rule imposed in the restive state, long the centre of global attention, and took control of the administration of the two new Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and ..

Rich tributes paid to Indira Gandhi on death anniversary

CONGRESS leaders on Thursday paid tributes to late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 35th death anniversary and remembered her contribution to national security, economy and foreign policy. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former President Pranab Mukherjee, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot were among those who paid floral tributes to the late Prime Minister at a remembrance ceremony held at Shakti Sthal, her memorial ..

Rights of minorities safe: Naqvi

COMMUNAL harmony and tolerance is in the DNA of the majority community in India, and the social, religious and constitutional rights of minorities are absolutely safe in the country, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told a visiting US delegation on Wednesday. The delegation led by US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback met Naqvi. During the hour-long meeting, the Minority Affairs Minister talked about various programmes being undertaken by the Indian ..

Court sends P Chidambaram to judicial custody till Nov 13

FORMER Finance Minister P Chidambaram was on Wednesday sent back to Tihar jail till November 13 in the INX Media money laundering case by a Delhi court which said sufficient time has been given to the ED for his interrogation. Dismissing the agency’s plea seeking one day custodial interrogation of Chidambaram, special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar said 15-day custody under the law is not a ‘ritualistic formality’. “I think sufficient time has been given for the custodial interrogation of the accused. No ..