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Here’s why India’s first transgender college principal has resigned from her post

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s first transgender college principal Manabi Bandopadhyay has submitted her resignation after about one-and-a-half years in office, expressing frustration at “non-cooperation” of a section of teachers and students of her institution.Nadia District Magistrate Sumit Gupta today said he had received her letter of resignation from the post of Principal of Krishnagar Women’s College in the district on December 27 and forwarded it to the state Higher Education department yesterday. Manabi alleged that she started facing non-cooperation from a section of teachers soon after she took over as the principal of the well-known women’s college on June 9, 2015. On the other hand, the teachers also levelled the same allegation against the principal, resulting in a standoff.A four-member team, led by Joint Director of Public Instruction (DPI) RP Bhattacharjee, visited the college recently on a fact-finding mission and talked to the principal and teachers.Manabi said, “All of my colleagues went against me. Some of the students went against me. I tried to bring back discipline and an atmosphere of education in the college. Most probably, that is why they went against me. I always got co-operation from the local administration, but never got it from my colleagues and students.”She went on to say that she had been under tremendous mental pressure and could not take it anymore, forcing her to resign. “I feel tired due to the agitation and gherao by the students and teachers. I faced a lot of legal notices from their end. I had come to this college with new hopes and dreams but I was defeated…,” she said. Manabi (51), whose earlier name was Somnath, underwent a series of operations in 2003-2004 and became a woman. In 1995, she published the country’s first transgender magazine, ‘Ob-Manab’ (sub-human).

US woman’s gangrape: Accused to be produced before Patiala House Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The four accused and arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape of a US national in a five-star hotel, will be produced before the Patiala House Court on Tuesday.The Delhi Police yesterday arrested a tour guide, driver, tourist bus helper and a hotel worker. “On December 3, the Delhi police registered a case in connection with the gangrape. The complainant was kind enough to come down to Delhi, got her statement recorded before police and court and helped in collecting evidence,” said Deependra Pathak, Joint Commissioner of Police, South West District.The lady in her complaint said she had arrived in Delhi on a tourist visa in March this year and was staying at the hotel when the crime took place.Reports suggest that the tourist guide during her stay arrived at the hotel along with four friends one day. The men shared a few drinks in the lady’s room following which they allegedly took turns to rape her.The woman, who went back to the US traumatised by the incident, had gone into depression.

Racial violence against NE people: SC gives slew of directions to enhance sense of security

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday passed a slew of directions, including setting up of a three-member panel headed by a Joint Secretary-level officer, to enhance a sense of security and inclusion of the people from north-eastern states who faced racial violence and hate crimes.The panel — comprising Joint Secretary (North-east), the Ministry of Home Affairs, and two other members to be nominated by the Union government — has been given powers ranging from ensuring strict action in incidents of racial discrimination, racial atrocities and racial violence and suggesting measures to curb such hate and racial crimes.The court also directed the government that the effective monitoring mechanism suggested by the MP Bezbaruah Committee in its report should be implemented and “should not like innumerable instances of its ilk, languish in dusty shelves of long forgotten archives”.It was also of the view that involvement of the law enforcement machinery is alone not sufficient to resolve the problem and stressed that mindsets have to be changed including in universities, colleges and educational institutions, places of work and in society. After perusing report of the panel headed by Bezbaruah, a former bureaucrat and member of the North Eastern Council, and the Centre’s response to it, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said, “We are of the view that in order to enhance a sense of security and inclusion,…the Ministry of Home Affairs should take proactive steps to monitor the redressal of issues pertaining to racial discrimination faced by citizens of the nation drawn from the Northeast.””For that purpose, a regular exercise of monitoring and redressal should be carried out by a Committee consisting of the following members — Joint Secretary (North-east), Ministry of Home Affairs; and two other members to be nominated by the Union government (one of whom should be a public figure),” it said. However, the court refrained from passing any direction on the proposal for amending the Indian Penal Code by insertion of two new provisions — sections 153C and 509A — which was opposed by the Centre on the ground that sections 153A, 153B and 505(2) already exist as a part of the penal provision and covers the situation of racial crimes.Also, the court took note of the Centre’s submission that the proposal was under examination and said “whether the law should be amended is for the Union government to decide in its considered assessment of the situation, the nature of the problem and the efficacy of existing provisions. A mandamus to legislate cannot be issued.” The apex court, which dealt with several incidents of racial discrimination and crimes against the people of north-eastern region, said, “The involvement of the law enforcement machinery is alone not sufficient to resolve the problem.””Mindsets have to be changed including in universities, colleges and educational institutions, places of work and in society. Sensitivity and inclusion have to be fostered. “In order to achieve this, greater awareness of the history and the rich cultural traditions of the northeast is required to be inculcated. The problems faced by persons from the northeast traverse a whole range of issues, from the mundane issues of daily life to matters of education, employment, social security and the fundamental right to live in dignity.”The governments, both at the Centre and in the states, have a non-negotiable obligation to take positive steps to give effect to India’s commitment to racial equality. This commitment is embodied in constitutional rights, fundamental duties, statutory provisions and in the international obligations which have been assumed by India,” the bench also comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao said. In a slew of directions, the bench said the newly constituted committee’s work should be widely publicised in the electronic and print media, including in the north-eastern states, and the panel should be accessible to grievances, suggestions and complaints.It said the panel should meet periodically and preferably at monthly intervals to monitor the redressal of all such grievances including the implementation of the recommendations of the Bezbaruah committee, to the extent to which they have been accepted by the Centre. The bench also enumerated the functions likely to be carried out by the panel which would include monitoring, overseeing, pursuing and reviewing the implementation of the Bezbaruah committee’s July 11, 2014 report.Further, the committee will monitor the initiatives taken by the government to curb and deal with the incidents of racial discrimination/racial atrocities and racial violence and monitor action on such incidents and suggest measures and ensure strict action. The committee will also receive, consider and entertain complaints from individuals and groups of individuals who claim to be victims of racial abuse/ racial atrocities/ racial violence/ racial discrimination and forward it to the National Human Rights Commission and the State Human Rights Commissions and to the concerned police station as the case may be for enquiry and necessary action.The committee will issue necessary directions including calling for reports on incidents of racial discrimination/ racial atrocities/racial violence from the states and Union Territories, it said, adding that a decision may also be taken by the Centre on whether any of the other recommendations should be accepted. The apex court pronounced the verdict while disposing of the petition filed by Karma Dorjee and others following several incidents of hate crimes in Delhi against persons hailing from the northeast. The petitioners had said that the Bezbaruah panel had recommended changes in the IPC to curb and punish incidents of racial violence targeting people from the northeast.The petition had alleged that people from north-eastern region, who move out of their states in search of better opportunities in studies and jobs, were subjected to racial taunts and violence on a daily basis due to their physical appearance at the hands of people of their own country.The Bezbaruah panel was set up by the Home Ministry on February 5, 2014, to suggest “suitable remedial measures” which could be taken, in the wake of attacks on the people from the northeast in Delhi and other parts of the country including the death of youth Nido Tania, a student from Arunachal Pradesh.

DDCA defamation row: Arun Jaitley appears before Delhi HC, tenders evidence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finance Minister Arun Jaitley appeared before the Delhi High Court on Tuesday and tendered evidence in support of his civil defamation suit against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders. The union minister came to the court of a Joint Registrar at 2 PM along with a battery of senior lawyers and recorded his evidence during which he endorsed the documents and annexures filed by him along with the civil suit.Jaitley, who has already denied all allegations of financial bungling in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), had filed the suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages against the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in the cricket body of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.The senior BJP leader, who appeared before the high court in the matter for the first time since he had filed the suit in December 2015, corroborated his demand for Rs 10 crore as damages from Kejriwal and others. Senior advocates Rajiv Nayar, Sandeep Sethi and Pratibha M Singh, who appeared for Jaitley, submitted the files and documents during the one-and-a-half-hour long proceedings.The court fixed the matter for further hearing on March 6 next year, when Jaitley will be cross-examined by the counsel for Kejriwal and other AAP leaders. Advocate Rishikesh, appearing for the Chief Minister, sought a long date to cross-examine Jaitley as Kejriwal has engaged senior advocate Ram Jethmalani who will not be available for two months.Jaitley’s counsel opposed the contention and said that Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — were “unnecessarily delaying the matter”. After the hearing was over, Jaitley, along with his lawyers, headed to the high court advocates’ canteen.The Minister appeared to record his evidence after the high court on July 12 had framed issues against Kejriwal and others in the matter, notwithstanding their claim that they had not made any defamatory statement against him in the DDCA case.The issues were framed against them after Kejriwal’s counsel had denied the allegations and submitted that whatever was said against the Minister was in public domain and he has not said anything on his own. The court had framed issues against all the six AAP leaders and fixed the matter before Joint Registrar to decide whether any defamatory statements were made by them. In a civil suit, when one party affirms and other party denies a material proposition of fact or law, then only the issues arise.Some of the issues framed by the court include whether Jaitley was entitled for any damage for the alleged defamatory statements made by AAP leaders and what should be the amount. “Whether the statements which are in public domain are actionable or not,” the court said in one of its issues.Over the long date in the matter, Jaitley’s counsel urged the court to appoint local commissioner for speedy disposal of the matter. Jaitley’s contention was opposed by AAP leaders who did not give their consent to appointment of local commissioner. The Union minister has filed a criminal defamation complaint in a Delhi court on the same issue. The DDCA has also filed a criminal defamation suit against Kejriwal and suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad.

Demonetisation: Toll plazas to receive payment through credit, debit cards

New Delhi: All toll plazas in national highways will receive payments through credit or debit cards and e-wallet henceforth besides accepting old currency notes of Rs 500 till 15 December.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Home Ministry has also asked the states to deploy adequate police so that no potential law and order problem arises across the toll plazas. In a communication to chief secretaries of all states, the Home Ministry said to facilitate smooth passage of national highways users, several measures have been undertaken including fee collection through credit/debit cards through point of sale system installed by the banks.

Besides, the toll plazas will install fee paid instruments, e-wallet, electronic toll collection and accept old currency notes of Rs 500 till December 15 as a special case, Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Dilip Kumar said in a communication.

The ministry said anticipating a scenario of likely shortage of currency notes which may result in longer than normal traffic at the toll plaza booths, state administrations are requested to deploy adequate police forces and duty magistrates for facilitating smooth passage of national highway users.

It asked the states to ensure the availability and deployment of adequate officers and police forces so that no potential law and order problem arises across the toll plazas. Toll collection across all the national highways has resumed with effect from midnight of 2 December.

First Published On : Dec 5, 2016 20:41 IST

American tourist gang-raped in Delhi, police registers FIR

Sat, 3 Dec 2016-05:20pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police on Saturday registered an FIR based on a complaint filed by an NGO alleging that an American tourist was raped by five men at a five-star hotel in Connaught Place in March.The complaint was filed through an email. It alleged that five men had entered the woman’s room on the pretext of some tour and travel-related work and raped her.The victim did not approach police as she was scared and returned to the US. The accused also threatened her of dire consequences if she told anybody about it, the complaint said. “An FIR was today registered in connection with the incident,” Delhi Police spokesperson and Joint Commissioner of Police (South West) Dependra Pathak said.

What are you scared of? Rahul Gandhi dares PM Modi to participate in demonetization debate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Continuing his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “absence” in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi asked what was he scared of, while daring him to participate in the debate on demonetization to clarify everything. Speaking to reporters at the Parliament premises, Congress vice president Gandhi said the Prime Minister had “laughed” at the misery of people post demonetization (during his visit to Japan earlier this month) and become emotional while speaking on the issue.”Let’s see what emotions appear on his face when he comes to the Lok Sabha,” Gandhi said as he dared the Prime Minister to take part in the debate.”The main issue is that the Prime Minister doesn’t come to the Lok Sabha for discussion. The moment he comes to Lok Sabha, doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani ho jayega (everything will be clear). “The PM doesn’t want to sit in Lok Sabha. We have been stopped from speaking in the Lok Sabha. What you are you scared of ?” Gandhi asked. Taking a dig at the Prime Minister over him addressing the Global Citizen Fest nearly a week ago, Gandhi said the Prime Minister can address “pop concerts” but doesn’t attend discussion on demonetization in House.Gandhi further stressed the moment discussion takes place in the Lok Sabha in the presence of Modi, it will become clear who the PM had allegedly told about in advance about the Novembe r8 move.Gandhi suggested the BJP leaders were aware of the move.”He (Modi) is speaking outside, in pop concert, but not in the Lok Sabha,” Gandhi said. “Modi ji was laughing (while addressing an event in Japan), then he cried. Come to House, then you will know what emotion his emotion will be in the House,” he said. Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma reiterated the opposition’s demand for Modi’s presence in the House during the demonetizationdebate, saying that accountability has to be fixed for the chaos and the financial anarchy caused due to the move. “Prime Minister has to come (to the House). He has to explain. Accountability has to be fixed…for the chaos and the financial anarchy. Prime Minister is also answerable and so is the RBI governor,” Sharma said.Stressing that the demonetization move is an “undeclared financial emergency”, he said the government needs to explain under which law it has put a curb on the withdrawal of “people’s own hard earned money”.”Who authorises them…under which provision of the law they have (imposed withdrawal limit)…what is happening in the country is that people have been denied access to their own hard-earned money. No country in the world will allow such a situation to arise which has happened in our country.”Reiterating the Joint Parliamentary Committee’s demand on the issue, he described demonetization as a “big scam” and suggested that there was a big surge in bank deposits in September as the information about the move was “selectively leaked.”

War on black money: PM Modi urges BJP MPs to explain benefits of demonetization to public

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants BJP MPs to publicise “benefits” of the demonetization and also counter the opposition’s charges against it during this weekend as the political battle over the measure heats up in and outside Parliament. Sources said the MPs have been asked to interact with people and the media to disseminate information about the move’s positive impact and also assuage public concerns caused by long waiting queues outside banks and ATMs to exchange old notes and withdraw money.The party leadership has asked its allies to follow suit and take on the opposition. BJP’s Parliamentary Party office has given all the MPs, including those of its allies, a compilation of the RBI’s and Finance Ministry’s communication over demonetization so that they could use the information to inform the masses and counter the opposition’s points, sources said.A party leader pointed out the relaxations announced by the government for farmers or families hosting wedding ceremony and said these should be spread among the masses.The saffron party is working overtime to dispel any negative publicity, especially in poll-bound states like UP, over the radical move and deployed its rank and file to project the exercise as an important step against black money, corruption and fake currency. SP and BSP, its main rivals in Uttar Pradesh, have flayed the measure, calling it “anti-poor”. Two other regional parties, TMC and AAP, have gone a step further and demanded a roll back failing which they will launch a country-wide agitation. Proceedings in both the Houses in Parliament were a virtual washout today due to noisy protests by opposition members over the issue. On a day the demonetization issue rocked both the houses of Parliament, scores of Youth Congress workers held a march, alleging withdrawal of high-value notes was part of a “big scam” and aimed at looting public money.Addressing the protesters, senior party leader Anand Sharma charged Modi with committing “injustice” to the country and “spoiling” India’s image globally by implementing the decision without preparation. He demanded that a Joint Parliamentary Committee be appointed to probe the alleged leak of information about the impending decision to demonetise the high-value notes.”A debate is on in the Parliament and there is a deadlock. Opposition has demanded that Prime Minister listen to us and explain his move. They (ruling party) say Narendra Modi is in Parliament premises but will not come to the House.What is this,” Sharma said.He also challenged the Prime Minister to a debate with the Opposition on demonetization.”We will not allow him to pile up miseries on the common citizens. It is such a big scam and loot of public money. We have demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe it. Our fight will continue till the government relents and demand for probe is met,” he said.Continuing his tirade against Modi over demonetization, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Prime Minister cannot decide the way people of the country live and warned of widespread protest against the “unacceptable” step.

Govt serious about bringing back Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya: Rajya Sabha told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government is serious about bringing back Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya, who are facing various allegations, to India, Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.In a written reply, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the two cases in question remain an issue under discussion between the governments of India and the UK and referred to the Joint Statement issued during the recent visit of British Prime Minister Theresa May to India.According to the statement, it was agreed that “ensuring simple and effective visa systems depended critically on cooperation to protect the integrity of border and immigration systems. This included ensuring the timely and efficient return of individuals to their country of origin, as required by their respective national laws,” she said.The Joint Statement stated that “the two Prime Ministers affirmed their strong commitment to enhance cooperation under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. The two leaders agreed that fugitives and criminals should not be allowed to escape the law,” Swaraj asserted.Giving details of both the cases, she also said the law enforcement authorities are contemplating various other steps available under the relevant provisions of the PMLA and the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the UK in order to bring them back.In case of Modi, former Chairman of Indian Premier League (IPL), a special PMLA court in Mumbai had on Wednesday allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to send a Letter of Request (LR) to the British government for execution of a non-bailable warrant against him and his transfer to India for facing probe in a money laundering case. Mallya, who has been declared a proclaimed offender by an ED court, also allegedly owes thousands of crores of rupees in loans to various banks in India.

Indo-China joint military training exercise from Tuesday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India-China Joint Military Training exercise, ‘Hand in Hand 2016’ will be held in Pune from Tuesday to November 27.The exercise is in continuation of the series of joint exercises between India and China, a Defence release issued here said on Monday. “This will be the sixth joint training exercise by the Indian Army with People’s Liberation Army of China. It is held annually, alternately, in India and China,” it said. The first exercise was held in China at Kunming of Yunnan province in 2007 and the last exercise was held in October 2015 in Kunming Military Academy, Yunnan Province in China, it said.As per the release, the aim of joint training is to share expertise in drills and practices while tackling insurgency and terrorism, thereby promoting healthy military to military relations between the two armies and developing joint strategies for conducting operations in a counter terrorism environment. It also said forming part of the different levels of the military to military engagement across the entire spectrum of operations, this exercise will enrich the two contingents in further honing basic military skills.”The exercise is planned at the company level with respective battalion headquarters controlling the training. The exercise is supervised by a Joint Directing Panel comprising senior officials of both the countries,” the release said. ‘Exercise Hand in Hand 2016’ will be conducted in three phases. The first phase consists of familiarisation with the weapons and equipment.The second phase consists of the conduct of basic training which includes combat conditioning, firing of personal weapon, support weapon and practice of drills like establishment of covert observation post, house clearing, cordon & search and humanitarian and disaster relief operations. The third phase is the conduct of joint exercise. The exercise will be attended by the senior military observers of both the countries, the release said.

India’s nominee to be re-appointed to UN Joint Inspection Unit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A top Indian diplomat will be re-appointed to the only independent external oversight body of the United Nations system following his endorsement as the sole candidate of the Asia-Pacific Group.Ambassador A Gopinathan is to be re-appointed to the Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations by the General Assembly, the only independent external oversight body of the United Nations system mandated to conduct evaluations, inspections and investigations system-wide. Gopinath’s re-appointment follows his nomination by India and endorsement as the sole candidate of the Asia-Pacific Group. He will serve from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2022. Gopinathan was first appointed to the UN body for a term from January 2013 to December 2017. At that election, he had secured 106 votes out of 183 votes and had defeated Ambassador Zhang Yan of China, India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said in a statement. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Joint Inspection Unit.India also won elections to key UN organs during the past few days. First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Mahesh Kumar was elected last week by acclamation to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). The committee plays a crucial role in helping the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee, which deals with administrative and budgetary issues, examine the organisation’s budget and numerous management initiatives.The Investments Committee appointed eight members to serve three-year terms of office, beginning January 2017.The eight members included India’s Madhav Dhar, Japan’s Masakazu Arikawa, China’s Simon Jiang and Germany’s Achim Kassow among others. Kumar’s election came just a day after 33-year-old Indian lawyer Aniruddha Rajput won a hotly-contested election in the UN General Assembly for membership to the International Law Commission, the United Nations organ tasked with the progressive development of international law and its codification. Rajput got 160 votes, topping the Asia Pacific group in voting that was held by way of secret ballot.

MoS MJ Akbar to co-chair first India-Palestine joint commission meeting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar is in Palestine to co-chair the first Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India and Palestine on November 8-9.The Palestinian side will be co-chaired by its Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki, said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs here.India and Palestine enjoy historic bilateral ties. In order to give a further impetus to this bilateral relationship, it was agreed to establish this JCM during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Palestine in January.The proposed JCM would cover a range of issues, including cooperation in economy, energy, tourism, agriculture, water and environment, education, health, IT, sports, culture, media etc.Akbar will also be visiting Jordanian capital Amman on November 10 for bilateral talks with his counterpart and other dignitaries.

Gurgaon: District administration bans burning of waste, garbage to check pollution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With high levels of pollution impacting the city, Gurgaon district administration on Monday exercised section of 144 of CrPC in Gurgaon and banned the burning of waste, garbage and other materials openly.The order applies with the immediate effect following the direction of TL Satyaprakash, Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon. It will continue till the city becomes smoke-free, he said.The order stated that action would be taken against anyone found burning waste material which increased the pollution level.The City SHOs, Joint Commissioner of MCG and other regional officers of pollution control board have been directed to register complaints against any violators.The DC also urged residents and city RWAs to support the district administration in curbing pollution level to maintain peaceful and healthy ambiance in the city.

Schools go up in flames in a tug of war between govt, separatists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two schools, including a Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya (JNV), were damaged since Saturday in mysterious fire incidents in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, police said on Sunday.More than 26 schools have been set ablaze by unknown people in Kashmir since the unrest began after the killing of Hizbul Mujahedeen poster boy Burhan Wani in an encounter at Bambdoora village on July 8.Latest being the Central Government-run Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Aishmuqam and Government Higher Secondary School in Kabamarg. More than 12 lakh students are sitting home since schools and educational institutions are shut across the Kashmir Valley following the unrest.The frequency in torching the schools has increased after the Mehboba Mufti government decided to conduct the class X and class X11 board exams in November.Separatists have accused the government of trying to portray normalcy by conducting the exams at a time when hundreds of students have been blinded and thousands of students have been arrested.Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti however hit back, accusing some people of using school-going children for their vested interests by keeping them away from schools in order to raise the arm”Since common people have realised the futility of the gun, forces averse to peace are now instigating youngsters to violence with stones… Certain people have utilised school-going children for their vested interests by keeping them away from schools,” said Mehbooba while addressing the cadets at the attestation-cum passing out parade at the Sher-e-Kashmir Police Academy.Mehbooba noted that some people are instigating poor children and misguiding them to violence. “Their only aim is that any reaction, if, leading to injuries or fatalities would become a fodder to prolong the turmoil, which has over a period of time only brought miseries to the people,” she said.Hurriyat Hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is one of the three leaders of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) leading the current unrest, has set five conditions for restoring education in the Valley. Those include releasing all people including students, withdrawing the cases against them, stopping police vigil, putting an end to the barbarism, night raids and allowing peaceful demonstrations.”It will help in creating a conducive and peaceful atmosphere”, Geelani said.Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Mohommad Yasin Malik, an important member of JRL who was released on Friday evening, however blamed Mehbooba and her education minister Naeem Akhtar for torching the schools,”For their politics of normalcy these people have waged a war against students and have irked them severely. Mehbooba and Nayeem Akhtar are hell bent upon taking revenge from these innocent students and are pushing them to the wall. People who burned down temples in 1986 for removing Ghulam Muhammad Shah from chief minister-ship can do same to school buildings for their dirty politics,” he saidExpressing disappointment and grief over incidents of schools being burnt in various parts of the valley, National Conference working president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah on said this was an abhorrent ploy to destroy the future of children.In “Our schools hold the key to the self-reliance, dignity and empowerment of our future generation. These are clear, unambiguous attempts to rob our children of education and intellectual growth and there can be no doubt that these elements who attack our schools are the enemies of our children and the enemies of enlightenment. Hurriyat leadership should realize the costs of its reluctance and delay to condemn such behavior unequivocally,” said Omar

Assam students’ union protests proposed amendment of Citizenship Act: Here’s what you should know

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has been protesting against the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act 1955 – introduced in Lok Sabha on 19 July – for granting refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan citizenship. They have been taking out marches across the state since 18 October.

Stating that the AASU will not accept giving religious colour to the illegal Bangladeshi issue and the proposed amendment is an example of political injustice, AASU adviser Samujjwal Bhattacharya said, “The proposed amendment to the Bill is a threat to the identity of local people. Since Independence, North East has been subjected to economic exploitation and political injustice.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“The latest Bill is another example of political injustice. The Centre is treating us as second class citizens.”

Stating that if the Centre was actually encouraging infiltration by bringing in the amendment to the Citizenship Act, Bhattacharya warned of sustained movements across Assam if the Bill was not withdrawn immediately.

What is The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016?

The proposed 2016 Amendment Bill of the Citizenship Act 1955 – currently under consideration of the Joint Select Committee of the Parliament – will make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.

It is, however, required of the applicant to have resided in India during the last 12 months, and for 11 of the previous 14 years. The Bill, however, relaxes this 11 year requirement to six years for persons belonging to the same six religions and three countries.

The Bill would also violate the fundamental of Assam Accord of 1985, where the illegal migrants who had entered Assam from Bangladesh after  25 March, 1971, were to be extradited.

Key aspect of the Bill

The Bill provides that the registration of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders may be cancelled if they violate any law. This is a wide ground that may cover a range of violations, including minor offences (eg. parking in a no parking zone).

This amendment may also violate the right to equality guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution because it provides differential treatment to illegal migrants on the basis of their religion.

Article 14, which assures equality to all persons, citizens and foreigners, only permits laws to differentiate between groups of people if the rationale for doing so serves a reasonable purpose.

According to the PRS legislative brief, the reasons fails to explain the rationale behind differentiating between illegal migrants on the basis of the religion they belong to.

With inputs from PTI

Provide physical & visually disabled easier access, make buses differently-abled friendly: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the convenience of the differently-abled, the government has asked states to ensure that buses are adequately equipped with user-friendly features. “Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has directed all states to have 10% of the total fleet of buses to be equipped with disabled friendly features to provide people with physical and visual disabilities easier access,” industry body Assocham said in a statement today quoting Joint Secretary, MoRTH Abhay Damle.Addressing a conference on ‘Safe road-safe Life’, Damle said majority of people with disabilities are mostly apprehensive of using public transport as presently state owned and private buses are not equipped and do not meet the requirement of people with special needs. “State transport authorities have been asked to acquire and equip buses designed to enable people with disabilities to board and disembark without having to be assisted,” the statement said quoting him.It said that Ministry has also issued advisory to State transport departments to issue driving licenses to the differently abled clearing all normal driving tests and formalities. “A person without both the hands has been issued a driving license in Indore recently. Moreover, the state transport and Motor Vehicle registration authorities in the country have been asked to immediately register vehicles modified by the disabled without and certificate from the vehicle manufacturer,” said Damle.Regarding motor vehicle safety, Indian cars presently being manufactured are quite safe, the official said and that more stress should be given on two wheeler safety by vehicle manufacturers as 80% of the vehicles in the country are two wheelers. India is signatory to UN Decade of Action for reducing fatal road accidents by 50% by the year 2020 , but road accident deaths are on the rise with about 1.5 lakh deaths in crashes every year.

Odisha fire: 4 hospital officials including Superintendent arrested, 100 patients shifted elsewhere

Bhubaneswar: Four officials, including the Superintendent, of a private hospital were arrested and four employees suspended on Tuesday, a day after a massive blaze there claimed 20 lives and left many injured.

Meanwhile, over 100 patients, mostly from the ravaged ICU and dialysis units were shifted elsewhere for treatment.

While 20 deaths were officially confirmed, authorities of different hospitals where the injured were shifted last night put the toll at 22 after the devastating fire broke out in the Sum Hospital.

The arrests were made shortly after Odisha government filed two FIRs alleging negligence in conduct and safety
against Sum Hospital.

Two separate FIRs were lodged by Joint Director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) Umakanta Satpathy and Fire Officer (Central Circle) B B Das with Khandagiri police station.

Those arrested were Superintendent of Sum Hospital, Pushpraj Samantsinghar, Electrical Maintenance Engineer Amulya Sahu, Fire Safety Officer Santosh Das and Junior Electrical Engineer Malay Sahu, Commissioner of Police Y B Khurania said.

Khurania said the four officials were arrested on the basis of preliminary inquiry report of the fire officer and the FIR filed by Fire Services department at Khandagiri police station where a case in this regard has been registered.

The four were booked under Sections 304 (culpahbel homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire and combustible materials) and 34 (common intent) of the IPC, the police Commissioner said.

Meanwhile, Director General of Fire Service, Binay Behera submitted a report to the state government on the fire that ravaged parts of the private hospital last night in which 20 people died and many were injured.

Behera in his report has mentioned that the fire safety norms as per the 2013 guidelines were not followed by the hospital authorities, an official said.

A senior police official said more arrests in the case cannot be ruled out.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Health and Family Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the Joint Director of DMET also lodged FIR against the hospital for alleged violation of provisions under Odisha Clinic and Establishment Act, 1992.

DMET Prof P C Mohapatra, who has been leading an inquiry team, this afternoon visited the hospital and spoke to different people, including the staff. He said the guilty would definitely be punished.

“DMET had earlier issued guidelines to hospitals and clinical establishments across the state asking them to put in place fire safety measures. Licenses of those found flouting these guidelines will be cancelled,” he said.

The authorities of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) University, which runs the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, suspended four staff members and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the victims’ familes.

Those suspended were one fire officer, two engineers and one hospital manager, SOU vice-chancellor Amit Banerjee told reporters, rejecting allegations that there was any irregularity in the management of the hospital.

“We have suspended four officials as part of the hospital’s bid to maintain transparency. Tomorrow no one should accuse that evidence was tampered with.”

As many as 106 patients, who were shifted from Sum Hospital following the blaze last night, are now undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the city, Health Secretary Arti Ahuja said, amid reports that some of them are in critical condition.

Most of them were from the ICU and the dialysis unit, an official said.

Ahuja said the ICU and dialysis unit of the hospital have been sealed to ensure a proper investigation.

The blaze was suspected to have been triggered by an electric short circuit in the dialysis ward on the first floor which spread to the nearby ICU.

Governor S C Jamir and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited some of the hospitals, including AIIMS and AMRI Hospital here, to inquire about the condition of the patients undergoing treatment there.

The state government has already ordered a high-level probe by the Director, Medical Education and Training, into the incident.

In addition, a probe by the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) has also been ordered, an official said.

Health Secretary Ahuja, who visited the hospitals this morning, said that 14 and 5 bodies were received at the Capital Hospital and AMRI Hospital respectively, while a spokesman of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar said that one death was reported at their facility.

Most of the deaths in the four-storey hospital took place due to suffocation and asphyxiation, a senior official said, adding that the majority of those who died were at the ICU of Sum Hospital and were on ventilator support.

Some patients have also been shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack for treatment.

Health Minister Nayak said the priority was to provide proper treatment to the patients from the fire-hit hospital who have been shifted.

Meanwhile, opposition parties, including Congress and BJP held the state government and Sum Hospital authorities responsible for the fire tragedy.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Prasad Harichandan said the state government has not learnt anything from the AMRI hospital (Kolkata) fire accident of 2011 in which 89 people were killed.

“Besides the hospital authorities, I will say both Chief minister and Health minister are responsible for the tragedy. The state government must declare Rs 25 lakh compensation and a job to kin of each of the deceased,” Harichandan said.

Harichandan alleged that the mishap was caused due to total negligence by the state government.

“A judicial probe must be ordered into the incident and the culprits be booked,” he said.

CPI National Secretary D Raja, who visited several health institutions, where patients evacuated from Sum Hospital were undergoing treatment, said, “A neutral probe is required to find out the lapses in the fire safety management in the hospital. An amount of Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia is not adequate. Our party has demanded that the amount be increased to Rs 20 lakh.”

Supporters and activists of CPI(M) also staged a demonstration here demanding resignation of Nayak as the health minister.

BJP leader and Union Minister Jual Oram also blamed the state government and the hospital authorities for the tragedy.

A BJP delegation led by its senior leader Bijay Mohapatra visited the Sum Hospital fire site and other hospitals, where evacuated patients were being treated.

BJP state vice-president Pruthiwraj Harichandan said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was accountable for the non-performance of the health department. He also hit out at the state Health minister.

“The health minister should perform or step down,” he said.

Theresa May to visit India next month, focus on post-Brexit trade cooperation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Theresa May’s India visit next month will give a fillip to bilateral economic and commercial ties, a top Indian diplomat here has said and asserted that New Delhi is keen on working with the UK to ensure that the positive effects of Brexit are enhanced.May is scheduled to arrive in India on November 6 for a three-day visit, which will include a bilateral dialogue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Theresa May to India, following the highly successful visit (to the UK) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, will give a fillip to economic and commercial relations between both countries,” India’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK Dinesh Patnaik said.”India-UK economic relations are strong and vibrant, but there still remains considerable potential that needs to be tapped. India is keen to work with UK to ensure that the positive effects of Brexit are enhanced and negative effects are minimised,” he said.The envoy made the remarks while addressing a session on ‘Going Global: Doing Business in India’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with the Brexit and Global Expansion Summit and UK India Business Council (UKIBC) in Greenwich yesterday.The details of May’s first visit to India as Prime Minister are still being finalised, with Bengaluru expected as the second city besides New Delhi she is likely to visit. In the Indian capital, she will inaugurate the India-UK TECH Summit along with Modi.The two leaders are expected to hold their bilateral talks over a working lunch on November 7. May will be accompanied by her international trade minister, Liam Fox, who will be attending the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).The UK delegation will also include representatives of small and medium businesses from regions across the UK and a number of commercial deals are expected to be signed during the visit. According to official sources, India will be keen to cover a range of issues including discussions on a potential free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the UK after Britain officially leaves the European Union (EU) and a more nuanced approach from the UK on cross-border terrorism.

Parliamentary panel to seek law ministry’s views on ‘inordinate delay’ in filling SC vacancies

New Delhi: Amid a raging debate on shortage of judges, a parliamentary panel has decided to seek the views of the Law Ministry on “inordinate delay” in filling up vacancies in the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts of the country.

Representational image. IBNlive

Representational image. IBNlive

“The Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice has decided to examine the inordinate delay in filling up vacancies in the Supreme Court and High Courts,” according to a parliamentary bulletin.

The Law Ministry officials will present their position on the issue infront of the panel of MPs, it said. The move comes after Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had lamented “inaction” by the executive to increase the number of judges from the present 21,000 to 40,000 to handle the “avalanche” of litigations.

Addressing the inaugural session of Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts here on 24 April, the CJI had said that since 1987, when the Law Commission had recommended increase in the number of judges from 10 judges per 10 lakh people to 50 judges, nothing has moved.

There are 4,432 vacancies of judges in subordinate courts in the country as on 31 December, 2015, while the 24 high courts face a shortage of nearly 450 judges. Nearly 3 crore cases are pending in the courts across India.

The parliamentary panel has also decided to examine the functioning of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the bulletin said. The premier investigation agency is usually caught in the political slug fest. It is also looking into various cases
related to politicians from different parties. The panel will also have a look on appraisal and empanelment of civil servants under the Central government, it added.

Do away with handwritten passports: RPO tells citizens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Mumbai has asked citizens to immediately do away with their handwritten passports, saying not switching to machine-readable ones will cause them problem in getting visas. The move comes following a directive issued by the Joint Secretary and Chief Passport Officer in New Delhi. A toll free National Call Centre at — 1800-258-1800 — has also been set up for the purpose, the RPO said.According to the passport office in Mumbai, as of Friday, 2.5 lakh handwritten passports with 20 years validity are in the circulation across the country which need to be converted into machine-readable ones.Harish Fulpadia, Deputy Passport Officer of Mumbai region, told PTI: “In accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines, member countries had been advised to phase out these non-machine readable passport by November 24, 2015.” The details for conversion of the passports are available on www.passportindia.gov.in.Fulpadia said that converting the passport into machine-readable ones is in the line to implement the rules of the ICAO, which has decided to do away with non-machine readable (handwritten) passports globally, and since India is part of the ICAO, therefore the citizens have been asked to get their passport converted in new one that can be read by machines.Handwritten passports were issued before 2001 and are being phased out in many countries.According to another official at RPO, those who fail to renew or convert their passports into machine readable one may be denied visas henceforth. Mumbai’s Passport Office, being the only one in the region, caters to the residents from Greater Mumbai, over and above districts of Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Aurangabad and Beed in Maharashtra.

Ship on way to Andamans anchors mid-sea due to technical snag

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A passenger ship which set sail from Vishakhapatnam for the Andaman Islands had to be anchored mid-sea due to some technical problem, officials said on Wednesday. MV Harshavardhan, carrying 500 passengers, had to make a halt six hours after it left Visakhapatnam port on Tuesday evening as its generators developed some snag, they said.The port authorities immediately sent a team of technicians to the ship, District Joint Collector J Nivas said. The technical team is attending to the problem and the ship was expected to resume its journey today, he said.

Unrest over, Kashmir comes alive on Sunday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Srinagar came alive with unusual hustle and bustle after 79 days of shutdowns and curfew on Sunday.For the first time since the unrest began, markets opened in the Valley during daytime on Sunday. Traffic snarls were back and streets were filled with shoppers. However, public transport was missing as transporters decided to stay back since the relaxation in curfew was only for half a day.The group which calls itself the Joint Resistance Leadership, headed by Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, incarcerated moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohommad Yasin Malik, has asked people to resume shutdowns during day from Monday and asked shopkeepers to open their shops from 6pm only.Ajaz Ahmad, 45, a small-time wholesaler dealing with bakery items, in the sensitive old city could not believe that he is opening his shop after 79 days. With a turnover of Rs 50 lakh per month, Ahmad has suffered a loss of Rs 3 lakh so far. “I suffered a net loss of Rs 1 lakh per month. Besides losing business, I have to pay idle wages to my employees, which cost me another Rs 25,000,” he said.Figures released by Kashmir business chambers show that the Valley has suffered financial losses worth more than Rs 10,000 crore since the unrest began after Indian security forces killed Hizb-ul-Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani on July 8. The tourism sector alone suffered a loss of around Rs 3,000 crore due to the unrest. The fruit industry, the mainstay of Kashmir’s economy, suffered a loss of Rs 1,000 crore.”We incur a loss of Rs 120-135 crore each day. The government has to see why it is happening. Kashmir is a political issue and it should be solved politically. Unconditional talks should be held with those spearheading this movement. But unfortunately, the government is acting as a silent spectator,” said Mohammad Yasin Khan, chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, an apex body of trade, transport, tourism and allied sectors.Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said: “The government will provide succor in the revival of economy but those who are out to damage the state’s interests and keep the pot boiling will have to change their mindset and methods so that the people do not suffer”.In the last 24 hours, the police have arrested 39 more miscreants who were wanted for harassing shopkeepers, disrupting traffic movement and damaging public/private property.”Trouble-makers will not be allowed to take law into their hands and they would be dealt with firmly,” said Dr SP Vaid, director-general of police (law and order). The only way to make the population survive is to make sure that the city stays open and the people can go about their business.

Attack Pakistan, get back PoK: VHP tells Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Tuesday asked the government to attack Pakistan and get Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir back, saying now is the opportune time to fulfill the resolution passed by Parliament on the issue.”India should attack Pakistan and capture PoK. It is our legitimate right. It belongs to us and Parliament has also passed a resolution to this effect,” VHP international Joint General Secretary Surendra Kumar Jain said on Tuesday.The Uri terror attack has drawn all-round condemnation and international opinion is against Pakistan, he said, adding that it is the right time to invade the country. Pakistan is presently isolated, he said.

5 Tamil Nadu fishermen rescued by Sri Lanka; remanded till July 7

Five Tamil Nadu fishermen were on Friday rescued by their Sri Lankan counterparts after their boat developed a snag off the island nation’s coastal waters. The fishermen were later produced in a court and remanded to custody till July 7.They were stranded in mid-sea off Velvettithurai coast after their boat developed a snag when they were rescued by the Sri Lankan fishermen, Joint director of fisheries, Subbraj said. The fishermen, all of whom are from Vedranyam hamlet, were later taken to the army camp at Velvettithurai, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They were produced before a court in that town and remanded to custody till July 7, he said, adding that they are now lodged in a jail in Jaffna.

Centre asks states to release funds to their respective high courts

New Delhi: The Centre has taken a grim view of “some” states not releasing funds to their respective high courts to buy new hardware for the prestigious e-courts project, with Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda asking them to to do so “immediately”.

DV Sadananda Gowda. PTI.

DV Sadananda Gowda. PTI.

In a letter to all chief ministers, Gowda has said Rs 202.23 crore has been allocated to states to make it available to high courts to procure hardware for the e-courts project.

“It seems some of the state governments have not made the funds available to high courts…the funds may be released immediately and adequate technical manpower may also be provided for smooth functioning of the project,” Gowda said in his letter sent this month.

India has 24 high courts.

He has also urged the chief ministers to take early action and intimate to him “periodical progress in this regard.”

Gowda, however, did not name the states which have not released the funds.

The issue of failure on part of the states to provide funds to the high courts was flagged during the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers of states and Chief Justices of High Courts held here on 24 April.

The eCourts Integrated Mission Mode Project is one of the national eGovernance projects being implemented in High Courts and district/subordinate courts across India.

The objective of the eCourts project is to provide designated services to litigants, lawyers and the judiciary through information communication technology enablement of district and subordinate courts in the country.

According to a note prepared by the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry, as on 1 March, 2016, more than 95 percent of the mandated activities have been completed.

As part of the project, laptops have been provided to 14,309 judicial officers.

A unified national core application software — Case Information System (CIS) software — has been developed and made available for deployment in all computerised courts. Entry of data regarding past cases has been initiated and data in respect of over 5.5 crore cases are available online.

Delhi Drunk driving case: Accused charged with culpable homicide

New Delhi: The gruesome accident in Janakpuri area on Monday, in which two persons were killed by a drunk driver, was the second such case in the city this year in which the accused was slapped with a more stringent charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder instead of charge of causing death by negligence, which is bailable in nature.

Earlier this year, in the Mercedes hit-and-run incident reported in north Delhi’s Civil Lines area, the accused, who was four days short of 18 years on the day of the accident, was slapped with the same charge in the case which was initially registered under IPC Section 304 A (causing death by negligence).

Representational Image. AFPRepresentational Image. AFP

Representational Image. AFP

In Monday’s incident, police claimed that they have adequate ground to register a case under IPC Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

“In this case, the 21-year-old accused, who was in a highly inebriated state, was driving at a very high speed and did not stop his car after hitting the first person, who later died.

“He did not stop even after hitting two others and pulled over only after reaching a certain distance, chased by a patrol team, suggesting that the act was done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to do so,” Joint Commissioner of Police (southwest) Dependra Pathak said.

IPC Section 304 is a more stringent charge as it is non bailable and punishable with imprisonment for life or for a term which can extend upto 10 years, apart from fine, unlike IPC Section 304 A which is bailable in nature and punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or both.

However, in Janakpuri case, police have so far not come across any record of traffic violation against the accused, Rishabh, unlike the Mercedes case in which the 17-year-old boy was found involved in at least four cases in one year.

But in the Mercedes hit-and-run matter, the minor, whose father was also booked for abetment to his crime, was not suspected to be driving under the influence of alcohol unlike Monday’s incident.

In that case, the relatives of the 32-year-old business consultant who died in the incident, met Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, following which the investigating officer of the case was changed and the charge was altered from causing death by negligence to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Two persons, including an elderly man, who were out for morning walk were killed and another was critically injured after they were knocked down by a speeding car being allegedly driven by a 21-year-old student in a highly inebriated state in Janakpuri area.

Check www.jeeadv.ac.in for JEE (Advanced) results 2016 to be announced in an hour

Candidates who appeared for Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) (Advanced) 2016 can stop waiting for the results. The JEE Exam Results will be announced today at 10 AM.Nearly 12 lakh students appeared for Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Main-2016 to be eligible to get admission in the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology across the country. Out of these candidates,19,820 have qualified for the JEE (Advanced) Online while 1,78,408 candidates have qualified for the JEE (Advanced) offline test.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The exam for JEE Main 2016 was conducted both online and offline in 132 cities by IIT Guwahati on May 22. The Joint IIT JEE Main results were declared by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in the month of April.Here is how to check IIT JEE Advanced results 2016 – 1. Log on to jeeadv.ac.in2. Click on the link for JEE Advanced Results3. Click on candidate portal3. Keep your details like registration number, date of birth, mobile number, and email address handy to access the result4. Keep a printout of the result for future referenceCandidates will not be given personalised rank cards. According to IIT Guwahati, getting a rank in JEE Advanced will not ensure admission in the IITs. The official answer key was released on June 5.Additional information for students willing to opt architecture programmes at IIT Kharagpur and IIT RoorkeeJEE (Adv) 2016 qualified candidates must also qualify Architecture Aptitude Test (AAT 2016). Such candidates must register for AAT 2016 on the candidate portal before 05:00 PM on 13-June-2016.AAT 2016 will be conducted on 15-June-2016 from 09:00 AM to 12:00 PM at zonal IITs only.

President Mukherjee to embark on a six-day visit to Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia from tomorrow

With India trying to boost its relations with African countries, President Pranab Mukherjee will embark on a six-day visit to Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia from June 12.During his trip, President Mukherjee will be accompanied by a Minister of State, four Members of the Parliament, senior officials and a business delegation. On his arrival, he will be received by Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur and will be accorded a traditional Ghanian welcome. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The President will hold meetings with respective heads of the three nations and a number of bilateral agreements are also likely to be signed during the visit. The President will address a Joint Business Forum and the students and faculty of University of Ghana besides having an interaction with the Indian community at a reception organised at the Indian High Commission. He will also unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi gifted by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.
ALSO READ Ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee’s tour, government alerts states on Africans’ safetyIn the second leg of his visit starting June 14, the President will arrive in Abidjan, where he will have a meeting with Republic of Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara and also sign a number of agreements. “The agreement regarding opening of EXIM Bank Representative/Regional in Abidjan would be handed over in presence of both the Presidents. The President would address a Joint Business Forum and also interact with the Indian Community,” a Ministry of External Affairs statement said.In the last leg of his visit, President Mukherjee will arrive in the Namibian capital Windhoek on June 15. “The visit, apart from consolidating bilateral interaction, will carry forward the momentum generated in India-Africa ties post-IAFS-III,” the statement said. It said during the visit, discussions will be held on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
ALSO READ President Pranab Mukherjee to get the highest award of Ivory Coast”President Mukherjee will also address a joint session of Namibian Parliament, an India-Namibia Business event, and the Namibian University of Science and Technology,” it said.

India, Nepal review ties

India and Nepal on Friday reviewed their overall bilateral ties including in areas of connectivity and trade during talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa. In the meeting, Swaraj conveyed to Thapa that development and stability in Nepal were in India’s interest.External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said bilateral mechanisms including political exchanges, connectivity and trade were reviewed in the meeting. “The External Affairs Minister reaffirmed India’s interest in development and stability in Nepal,” he said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thapa, also Nepal’s Foreign Minister, is here primarily to attend the convocation of South Asian university, a SAARC project which came into being in 2010. He arrived here today and will leave for Nepal on Sunday.Separately India and Nepal discussed issues relating security at the 12th meeting of their Bilateral Consultative Group (BCG) on security yesterday. The Indian delegation was led by Abhay Thakur, Joint Secretary (North), Ministry of External Affairs while the Nepalese delegation was led by Prakash Kumar Suvedi, Joint Secretary (South Asia), Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The delegations on both sides comprised officials from the respective ministries of Defence as well as from several Directorates/Departments of the Indian and the Nepal armies. The programme of the visiting Nepalese delegation included a courtesy call on the Chief of Army Staff Dalbir Suhag. “The BCG discussions covered issues relating to mutual security concerns as well as defence and training requirements, exchange of experts/instructors, cooperation in disaster management, and the 10th Surya Kiran Joint Military Exercises at battalion level to be held in Nepal in October-November 2016,” the MEA said.

Modi In US: Obama backs India’s NSG bid, vows to be with India in fight against Pak-based terror

President Barack Obama has backed India’s bid for membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) amid a major push to the strategic ties between the two countries which finalised a “roadmap” to give India the status of US’ close partner in the defence sector.Obama, who held over hour-long talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, also promised to cooperate with India against terrorist threats from groups such as Pakistan-based Jaish-e Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as well as ‘D’ Company, a reference to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In this context, they (the two leaders) directed their officials to identify specific new areas of collaboration at the next meeting of US India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group,” said a Joint Statement issued after the talks.Significantly, the American side also committed itself to treating Pathankot attack at par with 26/11 terror strike in terms of ensuring punishment to perpetrators based in Pakistan.The two countries also decided to start work on construction of six American nuclear reactors in India amid affirmation that the Liability issue has been addressed.Six pacts, including one on exchange of screening of terror information, besides two other documents were signed after the talks that mainly covered issues like terrorism, clean energy, climate change, defence, regional security, cyber security, economic ties and people-to-people contacts.Addressing the media jointly with Modi at his Oval office, Obama said it was natural for India and the US, two biggest democracies, to “deepen and broaden” partnership.Progress made in the Civil Nuclear agreement was among the issues discussed, Obama said.”I indicated support to India being a part of NSG,” the US President said in remarks which assume significance since China is opposing such a move.Obama underlined that India needs technology, which is critical for its progress and prosperity.The 50-point Joint Statement said, “President Obama welcomed India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and re-affirmed that India is ready for membership. The United States called on NSG Participating Governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary later this month.”The United States also re-affirmed its support for India’s early membership of the Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement.”Modi later said, “I am ever thankful for the help and support that my friend President Obama has extended with regard to membership in MTCR and NSG.”

President Mukherjee to visit Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia

President Pranab Mukherjee will undertake a three-nation visit to Africa from June 12 to 17. He will be undertaking visits to Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia. During his state visit to Ghana from June 12 to 14, where he is going at the invitation of the President of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, the president will be accompanied by a Minister of State, four Members of the Parliament, senior officials, business and a media delegation. President Mukherjee will be received on his arrival in Ghana capital Accra by Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur and will be given a traditional Ghanian welcome. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thereafter, the President will have a one-to-one meeting with President Mahama followed by delegation-level talks. A number of agreements are under process for signing, including the setting up of a Joint Commission between India and Ghana and a renewal of an existing cultural exchange programme. President Mukherjee would be delivering an address at the Joint Business Forum and at the University of Ghana, and would also interact with the Indian community at a reception organized by the Indian High Commissioner in his honour. President Mukherjee will unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi gifted by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and also plant a sapling at the Flag Staff House (Ghanaian Presidential Complex), an iconic building built with the Indian assistance through a Line of Credit. President will also visit the India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre of ICT Excellence in Accra, set up with modest Indian assistance of USD 2.86 million. Bilateral trade and investments have been steadily growing. India’s cumulative investments in Ghana till date have exceeded USD 1 billion and bilateral trade crossed USD 3 billion mark in 2015-16. President Mahama will also host a state banquet in honour of President Mukherjee and the accompanying delegation. After completing his two-day visit to Ghana, President Mukherjee will pay an official visit to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire from June 14 to 15 at the invitation of President Alassane Ouattara. This will be the first ever high-level visit from India to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. India and Cote d’Ivoire enjoy warm and friendly relations sharing common values of democracy, development and secularism. Bilateral relations are marked by mutual respect and understanding. India and Cote d’Ivoire bilateral trade grew from USD 344.99 million in 2010-11 to USD 841.85 million in 2014-15. India, with in the rubric of South-South Cooperation, has extended lines of credit amounting to USD 156.3 million to the Government of Cote d’Ivoire for developmental projects in diverse fields such as public transportation, rural electrification, rice self-sufficiency, cashew nut processing, vegetable oil processing, coconut fibre processing, fisheries processing etc. and Mahatma Gandhi IT and Bio-technology Park. During his stay in Cote d’Ivoire, the president will have a one-to-one meeting with President Ouattara followed by delegation level talks. President Mukherjee would be conferred the National Order of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, the highest Order of the country and would also be handed over the Key to the city of Abidjan. The agreement regarding opening of EXIM Bank Representative/Regional in Abidjan would be handed over in presence of both presidents. President Mukherjee would also address a Joint Business Forum and also interact with the Indian community before emplaning for Namibia on June 15.

Pathankot terror attack: Not allowing NIA to visit Pak would be ‘betrayal’, says Rajnath Singh

Issuing a stern warning, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said if Pakistan doesn’t allow the National investigation Agency (NIA) to visit the neighbouring nation to probe the Pathankot air base attack then it would be a ?betrayal? to India. “When the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of Pakistan proposed to visit India for investigating the Pathankot attack, it was mutually agreed that after their visit, a team of the NIA would also visit the neighbouring country for the probe and interrogate some people,” Singh said while addressing a rally in Amroha. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But so far Pakistan has not given permission to the NIA to visit there. If the NIA team is not allowed to visit Pakistan, it will be a betrayal to India,” he added. The Union Home Minister yesterday visited the Pathankot airbase, which was attacked by the terrorists on January 2. Speaking about security concerns in the state, Singh said that the safety of citizens was the foremost priority of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) govt. “We know that the first step to development is security; every citizen needs to feel secure and borders too need to be secure”, said the Home Minister while addressing a rally in Pathankot. He also touched upon the sensitive Kashmir issue and said that Kashmir as a whole has never been an issue; it is always the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and this issue needs to be addressed with priority. Four terrorists were killed when they carried out a suicide attack on the strategic Indian Air Force base in Pathankot during the intervening night of January 1-2. Seven security personnel were also killed during the 80-hour-long gun battle. The Pathankot air base was attacked by heavily armed terrorists during the intervening night of January 1-2reportedly having allegiance to the Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in which four terrorists and three security forces personnel were killed. A five-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT), comprising Additional Inspector General of Police (IGP), a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), two Lt. Colonels and one inspector, from Pakistan had visited India between March 27-31 to collect, review and document physical evidences and to interview key witnesses and victims through the NIA in connection with the Pathankot attack. Just a few days after the Pakistani JIT probing the Pathankot attack admitted that the four terrorists who attacked the Pathankot Indian Air Force base were from Pakistan, the JIT had said that the attack had been staged by India, according to a Pakistani media report. The JIT “says the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan,” according to a report in Pakistan Today. It further said that the JIT report, which was submitted to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the next few days, had even concluded that Indian authorities had prior information about the terrorists.Meanwhile, on April 28, the Centre had told the Rajya Sabha that Pakistan had been clearly told that it should allow an Indian probe team to visit that country in connection with Pathankot terror attack as reciprocity was the principle on which Pakistan’s JIT was allowed to visit here.

Not Kashmir, but Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is the issue between India, Pakistan: Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday came down heavily on Pakistan saying if the neighbouring country does not allow an NIA team to visit there for probe into the attack on the Pathankot airbase, it would be a “betrayal” to India.Singh also said that Jammu and Kashmir has never been an issue between India and Pakistan and if there is an issue between the two countries, it is the issue of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing a gathering of prominent persons and intellectuals here, the Home Minister said when the Joint Investigation Team of Pakistan proposed to visit India for investigating the Pathankot terror attack case, it was mutually agreed that after the visit of the Pakistani investigators to India, a team of National Investigation Agency would also visit the neighbouring country for probe and interrogate some people.”But so far Pakistan has not given permission to the NIA to visit there. If the NIA team is not allowed to visit Pakistan, it will be a betrayal to India,” he said.Referring to the Jammu and Kashmir, the Home Minister said Kashmir has never been an issue for India and Pakistan.”If there is an issue, it is the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, not Kashmir,” he said. The Home Minister said Pakistan should prove that it was not supporting terrorism by allowing the NIA team to visit Pakistan. Singh said it was established that the attackers of Pathankot airbase came from Pakistan and India has taken the issue very seriously.

Dadri lynching: Lab report says meat in Mohammed Akhlaq’s home was beef

The meat in Dadri lynching victim Mohammad Akhlaq’s home has been found to be beef, reports The Hindustan Times. Fifty-two year-old Mohammad Akhlaq and his son Danish were attacked by a mob in Bisada in Dadri over rumours that they had slaughtered a cow and kept beef in their home. A fast track court had permitted the lawyers of the suspects in the case to get a copy of the forensic report which was submitted to the court in April. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the final result section of the report, signed by the Joint Director of the Forensic investigation Laboratory, Mathura, states, “On the basis of chemical analysis the sample belongs to cow or its progeny.” This is contradictory to the preliminary reports which said that the meat was that of a goat. The incident had sparked a nationwide debate over intolerance, with the opposition parties launching a full-fledged attack on the ruling government over the alleged growing intolerance in the country. In December 2015, the documents submitted by the Uttar Pradesh Police as part of the first chargesheet of the case revealed that according to preliminary report submitted by Dadri’s Government Veterinary Hospital, the meat confiscated by the authorities from Akhlaq’s home on the night of the murder was that of a goat. Akhlaq was lynched on September 28, 2015. His wife Ikraman had alleged that 10-15 armed people barged into their house and started beating up her husband and son Danish with an intention to kill.The police has so far arrested 18 people, along with two juveniles, in the case.With agency inputs.

NEET: West Bengal govt to conduct common medical entrance exam on July 20

The West Bengal government on Monday decided to conduct its own common entrance exam on July 20 for admission to MBBS and BDS courses.Officials said it was decided in a meeting that the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examinations Board will hold the state common entrance examination WBJEEM-2016.The syllabus will remain same as it was declared earlier and candidates will not be required to submit any fresh application or deposit fees for appearing in the examination.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The board had earlier cancelled the exam for admission to medical colleges after the Supreme Court rejected a plea of state governments and other institutions to allow them to hold separate entrance exams for MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17.Later, an ordinance passed by the Union Cabinet kept state boards out of the ambit of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for this year.

‘Anti-national’ slogan raising man still active on campus, claims JNUSU Joint Secretary

Saurabh Sharma, the Joint Secretary of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) on Thursday alleged that a person named Mujeeb Gattu, who had raised ‘anti-national’ slogans on February 9, is still active on the campus.The JNU office bearer’s remark came after a video purportedly showed Mujeeb Gatto present in the varsity.”Mujeeb Gattu was present in the gathering outside the communication centre here. He is the same person who had raised anti-national slogans on the campus,” Saurabh told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He had covered his face with a cloth while raising the slogans. His video has been shot and is doing the rounds in the media,” he added.Gatto recently met JNU students when they sat on a hunger strike, he added.The JNUSU Joint Secretary said the sad part of the episode is that the university administration, even after being aware of the happenings, has been silently supporting them.”There should be a probe in the matter. The Delhi Police have not taken any action in this regard. Even a high level committee found Mujeeb Gatto guilty in the anti-national sloganeering and his name is also mentioned in the report,” he added.Mujeeb Gatto guilty in the anti-national sloganeering and his name is also mentioned in the report,” he added.Meanwhile, Delhi High Court has put on hold the disciplinary action taken by the JNU administration against students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, accused of sedition in connection with a February 9 event, till their appeals against the decision are decided by the university’s appellate authority.The university had rusticated Umar Khalid, Anirban and Mujeeb Gattu and fined JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar with Rs 10,000 for the event held on campus in Afzal Guru’s remembrance.

MEA trying to bring back Indian boy stranded in Bangladesh

The External Affairs Ministry is trying to bring back an Indian boy from Jessore in Bangladesh, after he was said to have gone missing from Delhi in 2010. A senior official in the Indian High Commission in Dhaka is travelling to Jessore in southwestern Bangladesh to meet 12-year-old Sonu on the directive of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. “Our Joint Secretary Bangladesh Sripriya Ranganathan has met Mehboob and Mumtaz who claim that #Sonu presently in Bangladesh is their son. Our High Commission officials in Dhaka will visit Jessore where Sonu is lodged in a Children’s Shelter Home in Pulerhat (Jessore),” Swaraj tweeted. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We will match Sonu’s DNA with couple claiming to be his parents. In case DNA test is positive, we will bring Sonu to India without delay,” she said in a series of tweets. Earlier, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup had tweeted: “A First Secretary from @ihcdhaka is going to Jessore today to meet with Sonu.” Yesterday, Swaraj had said the MEA will resolve the issue soon. “Thanks for bringing this to my notice. We have initiated action already. We will resolve this soon,” she had tweeted after her attention was drawn to Sonu’s plight.Sonu had reportedly gone missing from Delhi in 2010 and a man from Jessore recently contacted his family here and gave details about the whereabouts of the boy, who is reportedly in a child care home in Jessore. The details of how the boy had gone missing are not yet known.

IIT-JEE (Advanced) 2016: Maths, physics add up to problems for examinees

The national-level engineering entrance exam, Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced 2016, was held smoothly in the city on Sunday, with as many as 1.56 lakh students across the country appearing for this competitive exam, meant for those who aspire to into the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).Candidates can take a crack at JEE a maximum of two times, and hence many students who had appeared for this exam last year registered again for it this year.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JEE is divided into two different papers, and candidates have to attempt both Paper I and Paper II, with their results being judged on the basis of the average marks obtained by them in both the papers.
ALSO READ IIT-JEE (Advanced) 2016: Nearly two lakh students appear for the examVinay Kumar, CEO, Rao Academy, said: “Paper I of JEE Advanced 2016, which was held from 9am to 12noon, and Paper II, held from 2pm to 5pm, were difficult overall this time around. With negative marking even for multiple choice questions (MCQs), wherein two marks will be deducted for every incorrect MCQ answer, only added to the difficulties that the students faced. Mathematics was the toughest section of all, followed by physics. Chemistry was slightly on the easier side. In comparison with the last six to seven years, JEE Advance 2016 is being viewed to be the most difficult of these. So we are expecting much lower cut-offs this year.”Candidates who appeared for the exam said that, this time, the questions were of a moderately difficulty level, with physics and mathematics being tougher than chemistry.Akshay Arora, an engineering aspirant, said: “This was my second attempt at cracking JEE and I didn’t expect such difficult questions to be asked. The mathematics section in Paper I took comparatively more time than the Paper II sections. Overall, I found it quite difficult even though I was well prepared for the exam this time around.”

Bengaluru: 6-year-old bitten by pack of 10 stray dogs

Stray dog menace continues in Bengaluru. The latest victim is six-year-old Ramya from Anjana Nagar on Magadi Road. According to the local residents, Ramya along with her friend, was playing in front of her house on Thursday when around 10 stray dogs attacked her.Daughter of Ramu and Jayalakshmi, she has been admitted to Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) for treatment. According to the residents, while Ramya’s friend managed to escape, the stray dogs attacked her face, hands and legs. The neighbours chased away the stray dogs and admitted Ramya to a private hospital where she was given First Aid and later shifted to KIMS. The residents blamed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities for their failure in controlling the stray dogs in the area.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking with iamin, Dr Maheswar Gowda, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Maheswar Gowda, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Department, BBMP, said the staff of animal husbandry department had visited the spot on Friday morning. “The dog squad of BBMP caught four stray dogs. These dogs are kept under observation. We will continue combing the area for the next two days. As of now, around 60% of stray dogs were operated under the animal birth control (ABC) programme. Effort will be made to catch the remaining dogs and sterilise them as per ABC norms,” Dr Maheshwar Gowda said.Maheshwar Gowda said.He said that dog squad is not able to catch more stray dogs since there is huge (around 30 acres) vacant land adjacent to Anjanapura. “The vacant land is full of bushes and weeds. Since it is a vacant land, stray dogs come here from other areas,’’ he said, adding that Ramya’s medical treatment cost would be borne by the BBMP.

Modi to be fifth Indian PM to address the joint session of US Congress

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a two-day visit to the US from 7 June during which
he will address a Joint Meeting of the US Congress and hold talks with President Barack Obama to review the progress made in key areas of defence, security and energy.

Modi, who is leaving for Iran on Sunday, will also pay a two-day visit to Qatar from 4 June.

At the invitation of the US President Barack Obama, the Prime Minister will visit Washington DC on 7-8 June 2016, the External Affairs Ministry announced on Friday.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image courtesy PIB

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image courtesy PIB

“The main objective of the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister would be to consolidate the progress made in diverse areas such as economy, energy, environment, defence and security, and to intensify cooperation for the future,” it said.

The Prime Minister has also been invited by the Speaker of the US House of Representative, Paul Ryan, to address a Joint Meeting of the US Congress which he has accepted, it added.

Modi, who was invited by Obama for a bilateral visit when Modi travelled to the US for the nuclear summit in March, will be the fifth prime minister of India to address a joint meeting of Congress.

Earlier, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh (19 July 2005), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (14 September 2000), PV Narasimha Rao (18 May 1994) and Rajiv Gandhi (13 July 1985) addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress.

The US Congress has been a source of strength for the India-US strategic partnership and the India Congressional Caucus is the largest such group in the US Congress, the MEA said.

During the visit, Modi will have interaction with CEOs of major US companies.

Realization of the full potential of Indo-US economic partnership has been a key priority for both the countries and the progress achieved in this regard is reflected in the increased investment flows, the ministry said.

Jammu and Kashmir Guv NN Vohra reviews security measures for Amarnath Yatra

Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra on Monday held a meeting with senior security officials for the smooth conduct of the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra. Vohra, also the Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), chaired a high level meeting at Raj Bhavan here to review the security measures with regard to the 48-day Yatra which is scheduled to commence on July 2 from the twin routes of Baltal in Ganderbal district and Chandanwari in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesman said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the Governor stressed on the need for all agencies concerned to keep a close watch and maintain effective co-ordination to ensure the smooth conduct of the pilgrimage. The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary and senior officers of civil administration, police, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), Military and Central and state intelligence agencies, the spokesman said.He said extensive discussions were held with regard to issues relating to obtaining a secure environment in the state, preparedness in handling any unforeseen situation arising on the route to the pilgrimage, functioning of the Joint Control Rooms at every Yatra Camp, linking up Joint Control Rooms with the MeT Department and the District Disaster Management Units and deployment of Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) of the state Police along with rescue teams of various security forces at identified locations on both the Yatra routes.Deployment of fire fighting teams at pre-determined points, installation of X-Ray baggage scanning units at appropriate locations, Access Control Arrangements at Neelgrath, Panjtarni and Pahalgam helipads and elecommunication facilities along the Yatra routes also came up for a detailed review, he said.The Governor directed police and the divisional administration to effectively enforce regulatory mechanisms and ensure that only those pilgrims who possess valid permits are allowed to undertake the Yatra on the date and by the route for which they had got registered. Vohra directed Chief Secretary B R Sharma to issue clear directions to ensure that the road from Jammu to Srinagar and Srinagar to Baltal are in proper condition for smooth pilgrimage.Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) was directed to undertake regular review of the arrangements being made for the Yatra. The Governor also ordered stationing medical teams at appropriate places and distances along both the routes of the pilgrimage.

Parliament roundup: Lok Sabha adjourned sine dine; RS passes Finance Bill

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha session was on Wednesday brought to a sudden end, two days before the scheduled culmination of the session during which the budgetary exercise was the highlight.

Congress members during the ongoing session in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. PTI

Congress members during the ongoing session in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. PTI

Ten bills, including the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and the Anti-Hijacking Bill, were passed during the three-week session which saw no adjournment due to disruptions.

The Eighth Session of the 16th Lok Sabha, which commenced on 25 April, had 13 sittings spread over 92 hours and 21 minutes.

“I am happy to inform you that in the recent past this is the first session in which House was not adjourned even for a single minute due to interruptions and I thank the entire House for cooperation extended to the Chair,” Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said in her valedictory address.

The session, which was initially the second part of the Budget session, was a new one as the House was prorogued after the first phase that ended on 10 March.

This session was to conclude on 13 May but was brought to the sudden end on Wednesday.

The session also saw discussion on the alleged irregularities in Agusta Westland Helicopter deal during which the government and Congress traded charges.

In response to the Calling Attention, the concerned Minister made statement and also replied to the clarifications sought by the members.

Another highlight was the passage of the Budget in respect of Uttarakhand for 2016-17. The Hill state was brought under President’s rule on March 27 which was revoked on Wednesday.

The drought situation in several parts of the country was also discussed.

Some of the important Bills passed are the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016; the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015; the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, as Reported by Joint Committee; and the Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2016.

Motion for reference of one Bill namely, the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to the Joint Committee of the Houses was also adopted.

The House also held one short duration discussion under rule 193 regarding drought and drinking water crisis in many states and need to consider inter-linking of rivers and water resource management.

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday discussed and returned two important bills to the Lok Sabha.

The upper house debated for over four hours the Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2016, and the Finance Bill, 2016, which have already been passed by the Lok Sabha.

The bills were returned after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gave a detailed reply on the members’ concern on issues related to the bills.

These bills could not be taken up for consideration in the Rajya Sabha on Monday due to chaos over Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s remarks on Sonia Gandhi pertaining to the AgustaWestland chopper deal.

On Tuesday, the upper house was in chaos over the Uttarakhand issue and the discussion was then postponed to Wednesday.

272 Indian fishermen lodged in foreign jails: VK Singh

As many as 272 Indian fishermen are currently lodged in foreign jails, including 220 in Pakistan and 34 in Sri Lanka, government said on Thursday.Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told the Rajya Sabha that the main reason for frequent arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan authorities was due to the allegation that they indulge in bottom trawling and there being no physical demarcation of international maritime boundaries.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As on date there are only 34 fishermen and 19 boats which are in custody of Sri Lanka. From time to time, government secures the release of Indian fishermen. The last release that took place was of 99 Indian fishermen on April 9 in exchange for 9 Sri Lankan fishermen,” he said.Singh said this problem was “acute till we achieve some sort of an understanding between fishermen of both sides …The understanding has not been reached even after three rounds of talks between the two fishermen associations.” Asked why an agreement is not put in place despite three rounds of meetings between fishermen associations in which governments are involved, he said “Sri Lankan fishermen have said that you all are involved in bottom trawling.Till the time that is stopped we cannot have an agreement on fishing in each other’s waters. That is the main reason that is stopping a proper agreement to come into place between two countries.” Singh said bottom trawling is considered very bad in fishing circles as it wipes out the complete marine life and the Sri Lankan authorities say that “if you give an undertaking that your fishermen will not be involved in the practice, then they can take a different view.” He said government accords highest priority to the safety and security of Indian fishermen and provides regular consular access to those detained in foreign countries and secure their early release by intervening at the highest level.On Pakistan, Singh said as per bilateral agreement in May 2008, India-Pakistan Joint Judicial Committee consisting of retired judges of superior judiciary from two countries are meeting every six months and visiting jails to ameliorate the conditions, ensure humane treatment and expeditious release of prisoners. To a supplementary that while India is inviting people in Pathankot and it is not being reciprocated by the other side, Singh said “judicial commission has nothing to do with things like Pathankot.”

In 2017, people in Lahore will wake up to see the tallest Indian flag!

By January 2017, the BSF is planning to put up the tallest national flag near the Attari-Wagah Joint Check Post (JCP), which will be 350 feet high and will be visible from ‘Lahore and Amritsar’.Ashok Kumar Yadav told Indian Express: “At that height, the flag would have to be proportionately sized, therefore it would also be the largest Tricolour. There is an intense atmosphere of patriotism during the Retreat ceremony, and the crowds are highly charged. The flag will serve as a beacon for them.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Currently, the tallest flag is on a 293-ft-high mast in Jharkhand’s Ranchi, which was hoisted in January 2016 by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar but was brought down for repairs after it got stuck at half-mast.The new flag will be monitored by CCTV cameras will be installed around it to make sure it’s not damaged by rain and high winds.

Talk to Pakistan from position of strength: Congress advices Centre

Congress today raised the Pathankot terror attack issue in the Lok Sabha and advised the Narendra Modi government to negotiate with Pakistan from a position of “strength” and not “emotions”.Just before the House was to take up Question Hour, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed Jyotiraditya Scindia (Cong) to raise the issue with a rider that it would not be politicised. Amid opposition by treasury benches, Scindia recalled that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from Pakistan had a member from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Quoting a Pakistani media report, he said the JIT told the government there that “a drama was staged” to malign Pakistan and the Indian authorities did not cooperate with the team. Referring to the remarks of Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit that the investigation into the attack does not include reciprocity, he said the government should negotiate with Pakistan from a position of “strength” and not “emotions”.Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu urged the Speaker to expunge Scindia’s remarks against the government. When Scindia kept on speaking even after the House took up Question Hour, Speaker quipped that “you never listen…that is why I don’t allow you.” Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, who was responding to a question on Ganga rejuvenation, said it is sad that more than Ganga, the Congress thinks of Pakistan.

JEE Main 2016 Result: Nearly 40,000 girls qualify for JEE (Advanced) test

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Wednesday declared the results of Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Main 2016 which is used to shortlist candidates who want to join the IITs and other top engineering colleges.The exam was held online as well as offline in 132 cities earlier this month.Nearly 12 lakh candidates had taken this exam of which 19,820 have qualified for the JEE (Advanced) Online while 1,78,408 candidates have qualified for the JEE (Advanced) offline test.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 40,000 girls have qualified for the JEE (Advanced) test while the rest are boys, according to data released by CBSE.

JEE Main result 2016 (jeemain.nic.in): Check cbseresults.nic.in CBSE JEE MAIN EXAM RESULTS 2016 finally declared

The long wait of all the candidates is finally over. More than 12 lakh students who gave Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) exams can now check how they have fared as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced (JEE) Main paper I and paper II results. On April 9 and April 10, the online examination for paper I and paper II was conducted. The offline exam was held on April 3 for both the JEE Mains papers.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JEE Main is a vital exam for candidates as it will pave the way for entrance in premier institutes such as IITs and NITs. JEE Main scores for 2016 will be the basis for admission into institutes with technical sources funded by the centre. Candidates who have been successful in their JEE Mains will then be eligible to take the JEE Advanced exam 2016. The JEE Advanced exam will be held on May 22. Students can check results on the CBSE website cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.nic.in or www.jeemain.nic.in now. Steps to check JEE Main Results 2016 results:1. Visit cbseresults .nic.in, cbse .nic.in or www.jeemain.nic.in now. 2. Click on the link ‘JEE Main 2016 Results’3. Enter all the login details such as application number, date of birth and name of the candidate.4. Click on submit5. Your results will be displayed on the screen with other relevant details.6. Take a printout of the result for future reference.We wish all the candidates best of luck for this exam and for all their future endeavours.

JEE Main Results 2016: Check jeemain.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main Result 2016 tomorrow

Over 12 lakh students will heave a sigh of relief as Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main paper I and paper II results are going to be declared by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on April 27 i.e tomorrow.The online exam for paper I and paper II was conducted on April 9 and April 10, 2016 whereas offline exam was conducted on April 3 for both the papers of JEE Mains.JEE Main scores for 2016 will be the basis for admission into institutes with technical sources funded by the centre. These include premium institutes such as the IITs and NITs, which is why the JEE Main result is considered of significance. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Once candidates have been successful in their JEE Mains will be eligible to take the JEE Advanced exam 2016Students can check results on the CBSE website cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.nic.in or www.jeemain.nic.in tomorrow to know how much they have scored.All you have to do is put in the login details along with necessary details such as the registration number, name of the candidate and date of birth and your result will be flashed on the screen. Steps to check JEE Main Results 2016 results:1. Visit cbseresults .nic.in, cbse .nic.in or www.jeemain.nic.in2. Click on the link ‘JEE Main 2016 Results’3. Enter the login details such as application number, date of birth and name.4. Click on submit5. Your results will be displayed on the screen like your score and other details.6. You can now take a print out of your results.Good luck!

Use of IT in judicial process will increase efficiency: Maharashtra CM Fadnavis

New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday pitched for introduction of Information Technology in the legal process and in the administration of justice, saying it will increase transparency and efficiency.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

Maharashtra CM was speaking at the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High courts in New Delhi on Sunday.

“The move from paper to electronic forms is a vital step in the evolution of a modern system. The introduction of Information and Technology into the legal process and the administration of justice will increase transparency and efficiency in the state.

“Protecting the secrecy of court information is obligatory,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying in a statement.

He said the Joint Conference is an occasion for the executive and the judiciary to reaffirm their resolve to support a speedy, efficient and quality justice delivery in the country.

Also to discuss steps required to surmount the various challenges facing the justice system, such as inordinate delays in disposal of cases in courts, facilitating access to speedy resolution of commercial disputes by economic operators, making the justice system user friendly and affordable to all and improving the quality of legal aid services in the country, the statement said.

Kanhaiya Kumar’s allegations untrue, says Mumbai Police

The Mumbai police said on Sunday that the allegations made by Kanhaiya Kumar of being strangulated by a co-passenger in a flight ‘were not true’.Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner as per The Indian Express, said, “Whatever has been alleged by Kanhaiya’s friend, in our inquiry we’ve found it not to be true.”On Sunday morning, Kanhaiya Kumar had alleged that a co-passenger had tried to strangle him inside a Jet aircraft flying from Mumbai to Pune. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kanhaiya then made several tweets in connection with the issue:Following the incident, the man, identified as Manas Jyoti Deka (33), an employee of TCS in Pune, was detained and a non-cognisable offence filed at Mumbai airport, police said.Deka dismissed the charge of attack and dubbed it as a “cheap publicity” stunt by the 29-year-old student leader.”My hand just happened to brush his neck as I was trying to balance myself on an aching leg. I do not know him personally though I have seen his pictures. This is being done for cheap publicity,” Manas told reporters in Mumbai.Following the incident, Maharashtra Minister of State (Home) Ram Shinde said Kanhaiya was trying to malign the image of the BJP-led state government. “He had been provided full security by the state government till the time he boarded the aircraft. Nobody can be given security once inside the plane. I, too, do not get security while I am flying,” Shinde told PTI.”Kanhaiya Kumar was travelling with three other persons. He had been allotted a window seat and thus, while crossing over a passenger who was seated in the middle, he got into a fight with him. The other passenger did not even know this man was Kanhaiya Kumar and he, too, is alleging he was beaten up by the student leader,” Shinde said.(With PTI inputs)

North Korea fires submarine-launched missile – South Korea | Reuters

SEOUL North Korea fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on Saturday off its east coast, South Korea said, amid concerns that it might conduct a nuclear test or a missile launch ahead of a key ruling party meeting in May.

The North fired the missile to the northeast from an area off its east coast at about 6:30 p.m. local time (0930 GMT), the South’s office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

North Korea will hold a rare congress of its ruling Workers’ Party in early May for the first time in 36 years.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the missile flew “for a few minutes,” citing a source. There were no further details.

The North first attempted a launch of the submarine-based missile last year and was seen to be in the early stages of developing such a weapons system, which could pose a new threat to its neighbours and the United States if it is perfected.

However, follow-up test launches were believed to have fallen short of the North’s expectations as its state media footage appeared to have been edited to fake success, according experts who have seen the visuals.

South Korea’s military has said it is on high alert over the possibility that the isolated North could conduct its fifth nuclear test “at any time” in defiance of U.N. sanctions after setting off what it said was a hydrogen device in January.

Satellite images show that North Korea may have resumed tunnel excavation at its main nuclear test site, similar to activity seen before the January test, a U.S. North Korea monitoring website reported on Wednesday.

South Korea and the United States, as well as experts, believe the North is working to develop a submarine-launched ballistic missile system and an intercontinental ballistic missile putting the mainland United States within range.

(Reporting by Jack Kim and Ju-min Park; Editing by Toby Chopra and Susan Fenton)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Senior US lawmakers want PM Modi to address US Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the US on June 7 and 8, a bipartisan group of four top American lawmakers said on Tuesday and asked the Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan to invite him for a joint meeting of the Congress.There has been no official announcement from either the White House or the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi.”Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Washington on June 7 and 8 of this year,” Congressmen Ed Royce, Eliot Engel, George Holding and Ami Bera said in a letter to Ryan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Royce is Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee and Engel is its Ranking Member. Holding and Bera are Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans.What lawmakers wrote in the letter”Given the depth of our relationship with India across a range of areas — defence, humanitarian and disaster relief, space cooperation, conservation, and innovation, — we believe this is an ideal opportunity for the Congress to hear directly from the Prime Minister,” they said.”Therefore, we ask that you invite Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting of Congress. It is our understanding that if invited, the Prime Minister would accept,” the four lawmaker said in their letter dated April 19, a copy of which was released to the press.The bipartisan group of Congressmen said the US partnership with India is based on a foundation of shared values, including the rule of law, electoral democracy, and religious pluralism.”This renewed partnership has found champions in the leadership of both parties, including both President Clinton and President George W Bush, and has been further emboldened in the United States by a strong, proud, and growing Indian-American diaspora,” the letter said.US-India relationshipObserving that US-India relationship has seen significant growth, the Congressmen said the US President Barack Obama has visited India twice, and Modi reciprocated with two trips of his own to the United States.”Our two countries have signed a defense framework agreement to increase military cooperation and the civilian nuclear agreement, signed in 2008, will result in the construction of nuclear power plants in India,” the letter said.”Additionally, the United States and India are forging closer ties to address humanitarian crises, such as the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal, in the renewable energies sector, and in space exploration. It is no wonder that the partnership has been characterised as the defining partnership of the 21st century,” it said.”The US-India relationship consistently garners strong bipartisan support. Inviting Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting will allow Congress to express support for this special global partnership,” the four top American lawmakers said.

Indo-Pak relations: Dialogue is best option, says top Pakistan official

Islamabad:  Dialogue is the best option between Pakistan and India and the two sides should not think in terms “foreclosing any options”, a top Pakistani official said on Thursday.

“During Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s visit to Pakistan in December last, it was decided that the two Foreign Secretaries should meet soon. It is hoped that both sides would work out modalities for the Foreign Secretary-level talks,” Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said when asked if the word “suspended” correctly defines the
current state of the bilateral peace process.

“We need to look ahead and not think in terms foreclosing any options. Both sides are in contact with each other. Once the modalities are worked out Secretary-level talks would take place,” he said.

“Dialogue is the best option! Diplomacy is for interaction and engagement between countries,” he said.

Zakaria’s comments came days after Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said the bilateral peace process stands “suspended”.

When asked if the position in Islamabad is similar to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to New Delhi, he said, “There is a difference between comments on day to day ground situation as compared to broader policy and future vision and prospects. At our level here in the Ministry, we do not give a day to day running commentary on official policy.”

He said Pakistan was committed to resolving all outstanding issues with India through a sustainable, uninterrupted and meaningful dialogue without any preconditions, in order to address each other’s concerns, and establish lasting peace.

On a question regarding the death Indian prisoner Kirpal Singh in a Pakistani jail, Zakaria said he died due to heart attack and preparation were underway to send his body to India.

He said Singh was convicted by an anti-terrorism court for spying.

Representational image. IBN LiveRepresentational image. IBN Live

Representational image. IBN Live

“It is not appropriate to see everything through the prism of suspicion and conspiracy. He was kept in intensive care at the hospital but he could not survive,” he said.

“We have communicated this information to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. We are in contact with the Ministry of Interior and the India High Commission with regard to transportation of dead body to India,” he said.

India had raised the issue of Singh’s mysterious death with Pakistan authorities and sought a probe into the matter.

On Pathankot investigation, Zakaria said that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) after visiting India was “evaluating the information shared by the Indian side” which is part of the ongoing investigation into the Pathankot attack.

On a question about alleged Indian ‘spy’ arrested in Pakistan on charges of terrorism, Zakaria said investigations are still going on regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav and some arrests were already made as a result of interrogation.

“As investigations continue more aspects related to this may come to light,” he said.

He said Pakistan expects that its neighbour would respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity by refraining from any interference or subversive activities.

The recent arrest and confessional statement by the RAW’s officer has vindicated Pakistan’s position that Indian state institutions are involved in conducting terrorist activities in Pakistan, he claimed.

Zakaria said that Pakistan was a peace-loving nation and maintenance of peace and stability in South Asia is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s policy.

“We are opposed to conventional or nuclear arms race in the region. Pakistan’s conventional military and nuclear capability is solely for self-defense and we are committed to credible minimum deterrence,” he said.

He said there was an increased understanding at the international level of Pakistan’s genuine concerns regarding rapidly growing Indian conventional and nuclear capabilities and their offensive force postures and military doctrines such as the Cold Start Doctrine.

He said Pakistan remains ready to discuss arms control and restraint measures with India.

“Our proposal for Strategic Restraint Regime (SRR) can provide a basis for mutually agreed restraint measures and avoidance of unnecessary arms race in the region. We believe that the limited resources of Pakistan and India should be channelled to meeting the social needs of our people,” he said.

He also expressed concern over recent violence in Kashmir.

“We expressed our deep concern on what is going on in Handwara,” he said.

“We have always condemned these violations and would continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people,” he said.

Zakaria said that the issue of unprovoked LoC ceasefire violations are responded appropriately and also taken up strongly with the Indian side.

“We believe in observance of 2003 LOC ceasefire agreement. The issues related to the international borders, LOC and Working Boundary are addressed in the spirit of rules of engagement on ground. The mechanism of DG MOs’ consultation plays an effective role,” he said.

Circus continues, another red-corner notice against Masood Azhar

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday said that it had initiated a process to update a pending Red Corner notice (RCN) against Masood Azhar, the alleged mastermind behind the Pathankot terror attack, which claimed the lives of seven security personnel and a civilian.”The process is under way and we will soon be hearing an update,” said NIA IG Sanjeev Singh. It, however, remains to be seen how much of an effect a mere update will have on the activities of one of the most-wanted terrorists in India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An Interpol RCN is already pending against Azhar for his alleged involvement in the attacks on Parliament and the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. Another is pending against his brother Asad Rauf in connection with the IC-814 hijacking case of 1999.While the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is supposed to correspond with the Interpol regarding the RCN against Azhar, said that it had not officially received a request from the NIA, the CBI is likely to request the Interpol for a fresh RCN against Kashif Jaan and Shahid Latif in connection with the terror attack at the Pathankot airbase.While the NIA said that the RCN move was a procedure in terror attack cases, the development comes soon after China stopped the UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as a terrorist.This was seen largely as a negative development but was not the first one in the month of April. Earlier, according to reports in Pakistani media, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which had visited India to probe the Pathankot terror attack, had stated that “the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan”.While media reports did not quote any JIT member who had come to India, Pakistan Today quoted the JIT report as saying: “Indian authorities made it a three-day drama to get maximum attention from the world community in order to malign Pakistan”. While the report attributed the quote to an anonymous source, no official correspondence between the two countries regarding Pakistani media reports has been reported so far.While India tries to draw international attention towards Azhar and his brother Rauf, investigating officials of the Pathankot probe are not 100% sure about the intentions of authorities in Pakistan.”We would like to see the Pathankot probe reach its logical conclusion. For now, we are following all the required procedures on our end,” an NIA official told dna.

NIT Srinagar: Over 55 outstation students leave for home towns

Over 55 outstation students have left the NIT Srinagar campus for their home towns following the unrest.The institute’s Board of Governors, meanwhile, will be meeting tomorrow to discuss various issues. “Over 55 students have left the NIT Srinagar campus. As more students have expressed the desire to leave, the actual number of students leaving could be more. It has been decided that they will be allowed to take exams later,” officials of HRD Ministry said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They said the Board of Governors of NIT Srinagar will also meet tomorrow where issues raised by students of the institute will be discussed. The ministry is also sending a Joint Secretary level official for the meeting, officials added.Trouble had broken out on the campus when groups of local and outstation students clashed following India’s defeat at the hands of West Indies in the semi-final match of T20 Cricket World Cup.

Pakistan calls off peace talks with India unilaterally; MEA reminds Pak that JIT visit was on a reciprocal basis

Pakistan on Thursday suspended the peace talks with India, with its high commissioner in New Delhi, Abdul Basit, saying that Jammu and Kashmir was the root cause of mutual distrust and attempts to put it on the back- burner would be counterproductive.The move comes a day after foreign secretary S Jaishankar mentioned that India has succeeded in keeping the focus firmly on the central issue of terrorism in its relationship with Pakistan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Basit even ruled out the possibility of allowing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to visit Pakistan to reciprocate India’s gesture of allowing their Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to travel to Pathankot to carry forward the investigations.”It was more about extending cooperation in investigations, rather reciprocity. It is not a question of reciprocity..You can draw inference from my statement,” said Basit.Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the JIT visit was on a reciprocal basis.”The work of JIT in India was as per the terms of reference which were agreed between the two governments through their respective foreign offices. They are on a reciprocal basis and in accordance with the existing legal provisions,” Swarup added.On Thursday, while inaugurating the American think tank Carnegie’s India office, foreign secretary Jaishankar discussed the problems in relations with Pakistan, while counting successes in neighbourhood diplomacy.”Pakistan, of course, is in a category by itself. But given the challenges of that relationship, we have fared well in keeping the focus firmly on the central issue of terrorism….we also look beyond to a more normal relationship, featuring the economic cooperation and people-to-people ties,” he said.Though there was no official word from the MEA, an official referred to the statement by DG, NIA, on April 1, soon after the conclusion of the visit of the Pakistan JIT. The statement, prepared in full concurrence with the Pakistani team, said that interactions were held in accordance with terms of reference mutually agreed on the basis of reciprocity.”The Pakistan JIT assured us their full cooperation and promised to execute the LR which has been received by them. The Pakistan JIT was informed that a team of NIA officials would like to visit Pakistan to carry forward the investigation in the Pathankot attack,” it added.Earlier, while addressing media at the Foreign Correspondents Club, Basit said there were no short-cuts to achieving a lasting peace, nor does cherry-picking work, making a case for engaging uninterruptedly, comprehensively and meaningfully.He also mentioned that the recent arrest of retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadav corroborated Pakistan’s allegations of external forces creating unrest and destability. He also revealed that Pakistani authorties have arrested scores of terror operatives with foreign linkages.Referring to India’s thrust of building a regional cooperative structure, Basit said it cannot be built on unpredictable bilateral relations. “We need to move on all fronts simultaneously, if we are to benefit from the opportunities unleashed by globalisation,” he said.Pakistan is hosting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in November. PM Modi is also looking to visit Islamabad to attend the meeting of grouping.On the issue of dangers of nuclear weapons, he said that Pakistan had offered a mechanism of strategic restraint regime, that needs to be put on the table to prevent an arms race in the region. He also rejected any impression about Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, saying they were fully in safe hands.He supported the Chinese viewpoint to block India’s plea to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. “I subscribe to Chinese viewpoint,” the envoy said.External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is also expected to raise the issue of China’s veto with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. Swaraj will be meeting Wang on the sidelines of a trilateral in Moscow on April 18.

Get 75% in Class 12 exams if you want to write JEE

New Delhi: Aspirants for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for premier engineering institutes from 2017 onwards will be required to score 75 percent marks in their Class 12 board exams, an official statement said on Thursday.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“For the candidates to qualify in the JEE, they shall have secured at least 75 percent marks or be in the top 20 percentile in the 12th class examination conducted by respective Boards. For Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes students, this condition shall be relaxed to 65 percent marks,” said the human resource development ministry statement.

“The performance of the students in the 12th class examination shall be a crucial parameter for determining the eligibility of the student for the JEE,” it said, adding that this decision was taken after examining the report of the Ashok Misra committee and considering the public feedback, and had been notified in the JEE pattern from 2017.

The present system of giving 40 percent weightage for the Class 12 marks in calculating the ranks in the main round of JEE has also been done away with, it said but all other JEE systems shall remain unchanged.

Peace process between India and Pakistan suspended, says Pak envoy Abdul Basit

In a dramatic media conference on Thursday, Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit said that according to him the peace process between India and Pakistan at present ‘is suspended.’

Basit, however, remained evasive on whether a team from the NIA would be allowed to visit Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attacks which took place earlier this year. In March, Pakistan’s Joint Investigative Team was in India to probe the attack, after which reports suggested that NIA could go to the neighbouring for its investigation.

Speaking to the media, the official said, “Personally I feel that this whole investigation isn’t about reciprocity, but about extending co-operation to get to the bottom on this.”

“Therefore, a fair and just resolution is a must and attempts to put it on backburner from our perspective will be counterproductive,” he said.

Four months after the terror attacks in Pathankot, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had said that its team might visit Pakistan to probe the attack.

A file photo of Abdul Basit. AFPA file photo of Abdul Basit. AFP

A file photo of Abdul Basit. AFP

“The Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) welcomed the idea that an NIA would like to visit Pakistan and carry forward the probe,” Sharad Kumar, DG, NIA had said.

The JIT team which was in India in March, to probe the Pathankot attacks was given a detailed presentation on the probe and was taken to the scene of the attacks in Pathankot. The team was also handed some documents which included the DNA report of the four terrorists and also given access to witnesses.

New Delhi had claimed that the attack on the airbase was masterminded by Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

Recently, China had vetoed the UN sanctions committee’s attempt to designate Azhar as terrorist, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council. This had come after India had taken up at a “fairly high level” with China the issue of Beijing blocking its bid to have JeM chief and Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar as designated terrorist by the UN.

On Thursday Basit said that he agreed with the Chinese on the Masood Azhar issue.

Basit went on to say, “There shouldn’t be any doubt that Pakistan wants to have a normal & peaceful relationship with India. We all are aware of those who seek to create unrest in Pakistan and destabilize it are bound to fail as the people of Pakistan are united to effectively counter anti-Pakistan subversive activities.”

On India’s request for consular access to Kulbhushan Yadav, the alleged spy arrested by Islamabad, Basit said, “The request is under consideration, but can’t say when they would be given consular access,” reported The Times of India.

Basit announced in the media conference that the 19th SAARC Summit would be held in Islamabad. He said, “We sincerely hope the summit, building on the past achievements, would help create more synergies and win-win situations.”

The official further said ,”It is the Jammu and Kashmir dispute that is the root cause of mutual distrust (Indo-Pak) and other bilateral issues.”

Pakistan JIT report on Pathankot attack a slap on the face of India, says JDU

Janata Dal(U) on Tuesday attacked the Centre over Pakistani JIT reportedly putting the blame on India for Pathankot terror attack saying it was a “slap” on the face the country for which Narendra Modi dispensation “is responsible”.”It is a matter of shame for our country that the report of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted to investigate Pathankot terror attack is reported to have stated that India had staged the drama. “As a citizen of this country, my first question is that whether any country in the world would allow the investigation team of another country to come and investigate the terrorist attack. The answer is no and this has never happened in any country of the world,” party President Sharad Yadav said in a statement. He said “ours is a government which has allowed such a team to investigate and that team has slapped on us”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I do not understand as to who is advising such actions to the high command in this country. This action of the government was not advisable at all and not only we have shown our weakness but also they have made fool of us,” Yadav said.Holding that a lot of maturity is required in taking high- level decisions concerning foreign policy, Yadav said the development is not only an “insult” of the BJP-led government but that of 125 crore Indians. He said while he is in favour of continuance of talks with Pakistan as this is the only way to bring peace in both the countries, efforts for having good relations with the neighbouring countries “cannot be at the cost of dignity and respect of our people”.”We have established one after the other expert agencies such as IB, RAW, NIA, Police, Army and so on but to allow the agencies of other countries to investigate such attacks is demoralisation and insult of the personnel of our agencies. Government has to make it clear that either they do not have confidence in our own agencies or there was something else behind such a step,” Yadav said.

Nepal to summon Indian ambassador over ‘inappropriate’ statement on its constitution

Nepal Deputy Prime Minister CP Mainali on Saturday has said that the government would seek clarification from the ambassadors of India and European Union regarding the joint statement issued by India and European Union.Nepal on Friday had hit out at the India- EU joint statement that referred to the need for an “inclusive Constitutional settlement” in the country, saying it was “uncalled for” and has hurt people’s sentiments. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mainali, who was speaking at an interaction organised at the Reporters’ Club today, claimed that the joint statement issued by the European Union and India over the reference to Nepal and its new Constitution was inappropriate.”The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will summon ambassadors of India and European Union within a couple of days and seek clarification from them,’ The Himalayan Times quoted Mainali as saying.India and the European Union pledged continued support to Nepal in its reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquakes in 2015, including capacity building and long term development, said a joint statement issued after 13th India-EU Summit in Brussels. “They also agreed on the need for a lasting and inclusive Constitutional settlement in Nepal that will address the remaining Constitutional issues in a time bound manner, and promote political stability and economic growth,” the statement said.The Nepalese Foreign Ministry, in a statement issued a day after the EU-India Summit on Wednesday, maintained that the Constitution-making and its promulgation were essentially Nepal’s internal matters. “Nepal promulgated the Constitution through a democratically elected Constituent Assembly and the Constitution has fully accommodated the aspirations of the people of Nepal,” it said.Nepal has now moved ahead along the path of political stability and economic development, the Nepalese Foreign Ministry said and made it clear that the promulgation of the Constitution formally concluded the nationally-driven peace process initiated in 2006 and institutionalised significant democratic gains including the federal and republican system. “Against this backdrop, the EU-India Joint Statement not only hurts the sentiments of the people of Nepal but also defies the fundamental principle of non-interference in internal affairs of a country in breach of UN Charter and norms of international law,” the statement said. “The Nepalese government called on all sides to fully respect the sovereign and democratic rights of the Nepalese people and refrain from making uncalled for statements,” it said.The statement asserted that the government and people of Nepal are fully capable of resolving their issues themselves within the framework of the Constitution. The 13th India-EU Summit, held after a gap of four years, was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and EU leaders.

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