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Check: Osmania University Degree Supply Results October 2016 declared at osmania.ac.in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The long wait of anxious candidates are over. Osmania University has declared the Supply Results October 2016 of Under graduate Bachelors of Arts (BA), Bachelors of Science (B Sc) and Bachelors of Commerce (B Com) and Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA). It was declared on December 27 at Osmania University’s official website – osmania.ac.inHere’s how you can check the results: 1. Log on to the official website – osmania.ac.in2. Click on – Degree Supply Results 20163. You will be directed a new page.4. Select your course.5. Enter your hall ticket number.6. Your result will be displayed. You can take a print out for future reference.About Osmania University:Osmania University was established in 1918. It is the seventh oldest university in India and the third oldest in south India.All the best to the candidates.

Delhi: Brace yourself for foggier days ahead, says IMD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Delhiites gear up to usher in the New Year in style, weather might play a spoilsport, with dense fog and smog expected in the coming week. The national Capital was engulfed in a thick layer of fog on Sunday, resulting in a low visibility of around 300m.At 8.30am, visibility was recorded at 600m. It dropped down to 300m at 11.30am, before improving a bit three hours later. A shallow layer of fog enveloped the city till afternoon, while sun was not visible throughout the day. Maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded at 24.5 degrees Celsius and 8 degrees Celsius, respectively.According to an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official, the maximum temperature was expected to rise in the coming week, with shallow fog likely to occur in Delhi-NCR, especially on December 29 and 30. The weatherman said the maximum humidity was recorded as 98 per cent, whereas minimum was at 91%. “Though the weather was quite pleasant on Sunday, the coming days might be a little warmer, as maximum temperature is going to increase,” said R Vishen, Scientist-In-Charge, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), IMD.Meanwhile, despite the weather helping, air quality in the Capital remained in the “very poor” category. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Sunday marked the Capital’s air under “very poor” category. “The winter has finally begun to set in and there will be more smog in the coming days. The air quality might even reach the “severe” category,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, Head of the Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) clean air campaign.In the neighbouring east and west Uttar Pradesh, moderate fog with isolated dense fog in many areas is expected to build up in the next few days. This weather spells trouble for people with asthma and a weak immune system.

Check wbresults.nic.in for Calcutta University BA, B.Sc, B.Com Part II (Honours,General and Major) results 2016

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The long wait of anxious candidates are over. The University of Calcutta has released the result of the Bachelors of Arts (B.A), Bachelors of Science (B.Sc) and Bachelors of Commerce (B.Com), Part II, (Honours, General and Major) Examination 2016 results.It was declared at 1.00 pm on 23rd December. Here’s how you can check the results: Log on to the official website, wbresults.nic.in.Click on the link relevant for the candidates.You have to put your roll number to access the results.Click on the submit button after filling the relevant information.Take a printout of the results for future reference.All the best to the candidates.

Efforts to isolate Pakistan? India, Bangladesh, Iran pull out of key regional conference in country: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India along with Bangladesh and Iran have pulled out of a key regional conference on sustainable development which is being held in Pakistan, according to a media report.The three-day session of the Governing Council of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) started in Islamabad on Monday. The objective of the conference is to promote innovation for sustainable development and discus strategy of the APCTT.The Express Tribune reported officials of Ministry of Science and Technology initially confirmed New Delhi’s participation in the conference but later announced India’s decision to pull out.”Just hours before the meeting was due to start, the Indian delegation cancelled their trip saying that their head delegate had contracted food poisoning,” the official said.India had earlier in November boycotted the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that was to be held in Islamabad.It is believed that New Delhi’s decision is part of its efforts to isolate Pakistan internationally by staying away from such multilateral engagements hosted by Islamabad, media reports said here.The Ministry of Science and Technology is hosting the meeting of the 12th Governing Council of APCTT.According to sources, all of the 14 member countries of APCTT were invited, but India, Bangladesh and Iran decided not to attend the meeting.The governing council, which meets once a year, advises on the future and reviews the working of the centre located in India under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).The countries attending the meeting are China, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Samoa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.The meeting will approve projects to be undertaken in 2017. Out of the total five projects, India has submitted one titled ‘Feed the Future India’. The project is aimed at enhancing food security in selected least-developed countries through the establishment of an agricultural innovation accelerator platform in India with USAID funding of USD 1.5 million.The APCTT is a specialised regional Institute of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UN-ESCAP), based in New Delhi and a team from India have come to Islamabad to look after all the management related issues for the three-day conference.

‘Uberisation’ of India’s domestic work market has benefits and risks | Reuters

By Rina Chandran

MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A booming digital market matching Indian domestic workers with employers may offer benefits for some housemaids but won’t end low wages and discrimination and may exclude the poorest women who don’t have smartphones, according to new research.Domestic help in India is relatively cheap, and demand for cooks, cleaners and babysitters is growing as incomes rise and more women work full-time.Domestic workers, who are generally women, typically have little or no education, and the market is almost entirely unregulated, with no fixed wages or benefits for workers.On the back of the popularity of taxi-hailing mobile apps such as Uber and home-grown Ola, a handful of companies have launched apps that offer domestic workers on demand.”This ‘Uberisation of domestic work’ can offer some benefits, (but) it also risks further entrenching a culture of low incomes, insecurity and discrimination,” according to a study by the UK’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI).A typical middle-class Indian home may have a part-time cook and a part-time cleaner. Some households have a full-time worker, while wealthier households may have a live-in helper.Workers are typically hired by word of mouth. Most do not receive health insurance or retirement benefits.While on-demand technology can increase workers’ access to opportunities, it is “not automatically empowering, and there is a great risk that marginalised groups will remain excluded,” ODI said in the report released last week.DECENT WORK
Women make up about 80 percent of an estimated 67 million domestic workers globally, according to ODI.

In India, many domestic workers, most of them women, are forced to work up to 18 hours a day and face dire living conditions, abuse and violence.A draft domestic workers’ bill in 2015 had proposed a minimum salary of 9,000 rupees ($133) per month for skilled, full-time household help, along with benefits such as social security cover and mandatory time off. That bill was not passed.On-demand domestic work companies including MyDidi (sister), BookMyBai (maid) and TaskBob say they are helping meet demand for reliable help, while also enabling workers to secure better wages and conditions.”The workers are trained, they know what they are getting paid, they get regular hours and greater flexibility,” said Anupam Sinhal, co-founder of BookMyBai and NanoJobs.But campaigners say there is no oversight of agencies working to match domestic workers with employers and complaints of exploitation, trafficking and enslavement abound.

“There is no regulation or monitoring of agencies or these new companies that provide on-demand services,” said Shalini Sinha at WIEGO, a lobby group for informal women workers.”Do they really ensure fair conditions for the workers? Do the workers get paid on time? What we need is a law to protect these women, and regulation and monitoring of these agencies.”FIXED SALARY
ODI’s study of the on-demand model in South Africa showed that it disproportionately benefits employers. For the workers, it meant low wages and discrimination, it said.India’s on-demand domestic work companies are expanding by up to 60 percent month-on-month, according to ODI.

The model is different from Uber’s: BookMyBai gives workers on its payroll a fixed salary of 16,000 rupees ($235) a month, as well as health insurance and some benefits, regardless of how many hours they work, said Anupam Sinhal.Also, it is the company that designates a maid to a household, as many workers don’t have smartphones, he said.More than half of India’s domestic workers are illiterate, and few own smartphones or have bank accounts, making it harder for the women to navigate the platform themselves.MyDidi opens a bank account for each worker, while another company sends a text message to the husband of the worker every time she is assigned a job, so he knows her whereabouts. “The demand-supply gap is so huge, that we need these services to help address it,” Sinhal said.”The system gives the worker the benefits of a more formal economy, despite the challenges now.”($1 = 67.7347 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Rina Chandran @rinachandran, Editing by Ros Russell. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)

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First Published On : Dec 19, 2016 19:24 IST

Suez targets 10 percent revenue growth from Indian water supply | Reuters

Suez targets 10 percent revenue growth from Indian water supply | Reuters

Dec 16, 2016 22:31 IST

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PARIS France’s Suez sees potential for 10 percent revenue growth in India, where it already supplies water for 44 million people, a senior executive said on Friday.The Indian market is largely in public hands and Suez runs 23 drinking water and waste water plants owned by municipalities, mostly under a “Design, Build, Operate” (DBO) model in big cities.Suez had revenue of 100 million euros ($104 million) in India in 2015, of which 40 million came from building plants and about 30 million from services to industry.Our growth potential is about 10 percent per year in India for the next three to five years,” Suez’s chief for Africa, Middle East and India Pierre-Yves Pouliquen told Reuters.

India is small compared to China, where Suez had revenue of 1.2 billion euros in 2015, but rapid urbanisation is creating opportunities and Pouliquen estimates its drinking water market at $3 billion and its waste water market at $750 million.

Suez competes in India with local water specialists such as Vatech Vabag and Ion Exchange and construction giant Larsen & Toubro.($1 = 0.9588 euros)

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes in New Delhi; Editing by Ruth Pitchford and Alexander Smith)

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First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 22:31 IST

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LIVE India Vs England Live Score

IND vs ENG | Dec 16th, 2016

ENG 284 4 90.0

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LIVE Australia Vs Pakistan Live Score

AUS vs PAK | Dec 15th, 2016

PAK 97 8 43.0

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Obama says told Putin to ‘cut it out’ over cyber attacks | Reuters

Obama says told Putin to ‘cut it out’ over cyber attacks | Reuters

Dec 16, 2016 21:21 IST

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WASHINGTON U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday said he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin in September to stop meddling in American political campaigns after hacks of Democratic Party emails in the lead-up to the Nov. 8 elections.In a pre-Christmas holiday press conference, Obama said he told Putin to “cut it out” during a face-to-face encounter in China where a G20 meeting was being held.Obama added that after warning Putin, there was no further evidence of Russian tampering. Russia has denied U.S. accusations of cyber attacks against U.S. political figures and institutions ahead of the presidential and congressional elections.Two senior government officials told Reuters that the FBI backs the CIA’s view that Russia intervened to help Republican Donald Trump win the presidential election.

Obama left open the door to U.S. retaliation against Russia to discourage it and other nations from further computer hacking.The president also said that he hoped that Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, should be similarly concerned about Russia’s actions and that the investigation should not become “a political football” between Republicans and Democrats.

Trump has maintained that he won the election fairly and has bristled at suggestions that Moscow influenced the outcome.But Democrats have repeatedly noted that Trump during his campaign has spoken glowingly about Putin and since winning the election has picked top aides in the incoming administration with ties to Russia.

At one point during the heated presidential campaign, Trump publicly encouraged Russia to hack Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s emails. (Reporting By Roberta Rampton, Jeff Mason and Julia Harte; Writing by Richard Cowan; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 21:21 IST

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LIVE India Vs England Live Score

IND vs ENG | Dec 16th, 2016

ENG 284 4 90.0

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LIVE Australia Vs Pakistan Live Score

AUS vs PAK | Dec 15th, 2016

PAK 97 8 43.0

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India’s cash crackdown linked to drop in child trafficking | Reuters

By Roli Srivastava and Nita Bhalla

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Business has been slow at the Thakkar Bappa Colony shoe manufacturing hub in eastern Mumbai since the Indian government withdrew high-value bank notes last month in an attempt to curb tax evasion and counterfeit currency.Orders to the numerous shoemakers lining the slum’s narrow streets have almost dried up due to a dearth of bank notes in circulation, say the businesses which mainly rely on cash transactions.Yet while factory owners complain of a slump in profits and a dip in productivity, child rights activists say “demonetisation” drive has a silver-lining: it has stemmed the steady stream of children trafficked here to stitch shoes. “Children came from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan to work here,” said Sugandha Patade from the charity Pratham which rescues and rehabilitates child workers in the area.”In the last month, no new child workers have come and those who were working here have been sent back to their villages as there are no orders for them to work on.”Police agree the cash crunch could be hitting traffickers who buy and sell children for labour, but say more detailed analysis is required before they can make a direct link.India has almost 6 million child workers, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), but activists say this is a gross underestimate. More than half are employed in agriculture and more than a quarter in manufacturing – embroidering clothes, weaving carpets or making match sticks. Children also work in restaurants, shops and hotels and as domestic workers.

The children – mostly from poor rural areas – are taken to cities by gangs who sell them into bonded labour, force them into sex work or hire them out to unscrupulous employers. In many cases, they are unpaid.ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE
The shock currency move, announced on November 8 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims to bring billions of dollars worth of unaccounted wealth which people are hoarding, or “black money”, into the mainstream economy and curb corruption.

High denomination 500- and 1,000-rupee bank notes have ceased to be legal tender for transactions and can only be exchanged at banks for smaller notes or the newly introduced 2,000-rupee note.Banks are meant to alert the Reserve Bank of India and tax authorities of any unusually large sums being exchanged which may be the product of illicit activities.There is no study on the impact of banning high denomination notes on child labour, but some children’s groups say they have anecdotal evidence of its repercussions in areas such as Mumbai, Delhi and other urban centres.Child rights activist and Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who has welcomed the demonetisation policy, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that human trafficking and child labour were among the largest sources of black money.

His own charity – Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), or Save the Childhood Movement – has reported fewer children in areas where there are small-scale factories and ‘placement-agencies’ which often traffick girls and women for domestic work. “These days, they don’t frequently see transportation of children by traffickers in these areas and they are not able to operate so easily because they cannot use the black money which funded their illicit businesses before,” said Satyarthi.BBA has for example found no cases of girls being trafficked at three popular railway stations in the northeast state of Assam over the last two months, compared to a monthly average of six before the demonetisation policy.In Uttar Pradesh, the charity Safe Society says five children were rescued in the last month from the town of Gorakhpur, against a monthly average of 15 to 20.But Satyarthi warned that child labour would persist unless human trafficking is addressed in the impoverished areas where the children are taken from.”This means punishing offenders, providing protection on the ground such as introducing social welfare programmes for the poor, raising awareness on trafficking and child labour, and providing good quality education,” he said. (Reporting by Roli Srivastava and Nita Bhalla; Editing by Emma Batha. Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

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First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 19:32 IST

Wanted Lashkar coomander gunned down

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dreaded Lashkar-e-Tioba suffered a major blow on Wednesday when security forces gunned down one of the most wanted militant Pakistani commander and its north Kashmir chief in the apple rich town of Sopore in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.Elsewhere an engineering student-turned-militant was killed by the security forces in Bewoora village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.Abu Bakar, a 27 year old Pakistani divisional commander who was operating in north Kashmir since 2009, was killed in an encounter with security forces in Bomai village of Sopore.Police said the commander , who had broken security forces cordon several times, was the main coordinator for the infiltration from across the LoC into Kashmir.”It is a great success for the security forces. Abu Baker was distributing and transporting the militants to south and other parts of Kashmir after their infiltration from across the LoC”, Harmeet Singh, senior superintendent of police, Sopore, told DNA.Singh said he was involved in attacks of security forces convoys and firing since 2009. “He had also fled from many encounters in the past”, he said.Operating in Lolaab, Kupwara and Sopore, Abu Baker had established Lashkar network across north Kashmir and he was one of the most wanted commanders for the security forces.In another incident, a local militant was killed in a brief encounter with security forces at Bewoora Marhama village of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.Basit Ahmed Dar alias Sameer, 24 year old B.Tech student had become militant just two month before. Son of a bank manager, he was had a student of Islamic University of Science and Technology Awantipora before he went missing and joined militancy post Burhan Wani’s killing.”Our highly qualified youth who prefer to join the freedom struggle instead of their luxurious and comfortable life, is a slap on those who weigh these unparalleled sacrifices in terms of roads, buildings, bridges and other developmental assets”, said Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Yahoo says one billion accounts exposed in newly discovered security breach | Reuters

By Jim Finkle and Anya George Tharakan

Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) warned on Wednesday that it had uncovered yet another massive cyber attack, saying data from more than 1 billion user accounts was compromised in August 2013, making it the largest breach in history. The number of affected accounts was double the number implicated in a 2014 breach that the internet company disclosed in September and blamed on hackers working on behalf of a government. News of that attack, which affected at least 500 million accounts, prompted Verizon Communication Inc (VZ.N) to say in October that it might withdraw from an agreement to buy Yahoo’s core internet business for $4.83 billion. Following the latest disclosure, Verizon said, “we will review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions.” A Yahoo spokesman told Reuters that the company has been in communication with Verizon during its investigation into the breach and that it is confident the incident will not affect the pending acquisition.Yahoo required all of its customers to reset their passwords – a stronger measure than it took after the previous breach was discovered, when it only recommended a password reset.

Yahoo also said Wednesday that it believes hackers responsible for the previous breach had also accessed the company’s proprietary code to learn how to forge “cookies” that would allow hackers to access an account without a password.”Yahoo badly screwed up,” said Bruce Schneier, a cryptologist and one of the world’s most respected security experts. “They weren’t taking security seriously and that’s now very clear. I would have trouble trusting Yahoo going forward.”Yahoo was tentative in its description of new problems, saying the incident was “likely” distinct from the one it reported in September and that stolen information “may have included” names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

It said it had not yet identified the intrusion that led to the massive data theft and noted that payment-card data and bank account information were not stored in the system the company believes was affected.Yahoo said it discovered the breach while reviewing data provided to the company by law enforcement. FireEye Inc’s (FEYE.O) Mandiant unit and Aon Plc’s (AON.N) Stroz Friedberg are assisting in the investigation, the Yahoo spokesman told Reuters.The breach is the latest setback for Yahoo, an internet pioneer that has fallen on hard times in recent years after being eclipsed by younger, fast-growing rivals including Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google and Facebook Inc (FB.O).

Hours before it announced the breach on Wednesday, executives with Google, Facebook and other large U.S. technology companies met with President-elect Donald Trump in New York. Reflecting its diminished stature, Yahoo was not invited to the summit, according to people familiar with the meeting.The Yahoo spokesman said Chief Executive Marissa Mayer was at the company’s Sunnyvale, California headquarters to assist in addressing the new breach. Yahoo shares were down 2.4 percent to $39.91 in extended trading. Verizon shares were little changed from their close at $51.63. (Reporting by Jim Finkle in Boston and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Dustin Volz in Washington and Jessica Toonkel in New York; Editing by Savio D’Souza, Bernard Orr)

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First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 05:54 IST

India’s current account gap widens in Q3 as imports rise | Reuters

By Suvashree Choudhury and Abhirup Roy
| MUMBAI

MUMBAI India’s current account deficit widened in July-September from the previous quarter after an increase in imports but it remains well below levels posted in 2015, central bank data showed on Tuesday.India posted a current account deficit of $3.4 billion, or 0.6 percent of gross domestic product, in the July-September quarter, wider than the $300 million or 0.1 percent of GDP posted in the previous quarter.But it compares with a deficit of $8.5 billion, or 1.7 percent of GDP, posted in July-September last year, and is likely to comfort investors as emerging markets face a period of uncertainty due to expected rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve. India also said the balance of payments was at a surplus of $8.5 billion, compared with a deficit of $900 million a year ago.”Core imports increased sharply in July-September, pushing the deficit higher, to still comfortable levels,” said Abhishek Upadyay, economist at ICICI Securities Primary Dealership.”Current account deficit for the entire fiscal will be closer to 0.5 percent of GDP, which can be funded easily via stable flows such as foreign direct investments.”

Although India has not been immune to foreign investor selling since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president sparked a shift of flows from emerging markets into the United States, analysts believe the country is among the better placed in emerging markets.BANK NOTE REFORM

Gross domestic product is also growing at the fastest pace among large economies, though analysts fear India will suffer from its unexpected move to ditch higher-valued bank notes.India’s improved standing contrasts with 2013, when fears of Fed tightening sparked a sell-off in emerging markets that hit the country hard, sparking its worst currency crisis in more than two decades.But risks remain to the current account deficit if the country’s demonetisation hits economic growth more than expected, sparking more potential foreign investor outflows, though that could be offset by reduced imports.

“If oil prices don’t rise sharply, imports will remain under control and that will help the current account deficit to also remain near zero percent of GDP,” said an analyst with a private bank who asked not to be named.Dollar outflows stood at $4.7 billion in November and this month so far total $2.3 billion.Outflows could also hit the rupee, which briefly touched a record low of 68.8650 last month, and is expected to weaken more as it remains about 11 percent over-valued in real effective exchange rate terms compared to its trading partners. (Writing by Rafael Nam; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 20:36 IST

Cyclone Vardah batters south India coast killing four | Reuters

CHENNAI, India A cyclone barrelled into the southeast coast of India on Monday, killing at least four people and bringing down trees and power lines as authorities moved tens of thousands of people from low-lying areas.Cyclone Vardah moved west over the Bay of Bengal before hitting Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu, as well as neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the Indian Meteorological Department said, describing it as a “very severe storm”.Strong wind of up to 140 kph (87 mph) battered the densely populated coast, uprooting trees and bringing down electricity pylons. Flights at Chennai airport were cancelled, railway services in the area suspended and schools and colleges were closed.Chennai is home to Indian operations of major auto firms such as Ford Motor, Daimler, Hyundai and Nissan. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said Vardah is passing over Chennai, drenching the city in heavy rain, but is expected to ease in intensity later.

“Winds and rains might still intensify. Do not venture out,” the NDMA said on Twitter, adding that four people had been killed. More than 23,000 people in Tamil Nadu have been moved to relief centres, with plans for tens of thousands more to be evacuated if needed, a senior state official, K. Satyagopal, told Reuters.

More than 10,000 people from two districts in Andhra Pradesh had also been moved, its disaster management commissioner, M.V. Seshagiri Babu, said.The NDMA warned fishermen not to venture out to sea for the next 36 hours, and urged residents to stay in safe places.Navy ships and aircraft, as well as 30 diving teams, were on standby to help move people and deliver aid if needed, a navy spokesman said.

India’s cyclone season usually runs from April to December, with storms often causing dozens of deaths, evacuations of tens of thousands of people and widespread damage to crops and property.Wind speeds topped 300 km per hour (186 mph) in an Indian “super-cyclone” that killed 10,000 people in 1999, while a cyclone packing speeds of more than 200 kph (124 mph) lashed the east coast in 2013. (Reporting by Jatindra Dash, Tommy Wilkes and Anuradha Nagaraj; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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First Published On : Dec 12, 2016 21:10 IST

Trump dismisses reports Russia helped him in U.S. election | Reuters

By Doina Chiacu and Howard Schneider
| WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON U.S. President-elect Donald Trump rejected as “ridiculous” reported U.S. intelligence findings that Russia intervened in the presidential election on his behalf through targeted hacking, saying he did not believe it, according to an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”The Republican president-elect’s comments casting doubt on reported U.S. intelligence findings pits him against some leading foreign policy voices in the U.S. Senate from his own party who on Sunday expressed alarm about election meddling by Moscow.”I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Trump said in the interview, which was taped on Saturday.He blamed Democrats for putting out the media reports and said he did not believe they came from the Central Intelligence Agency.Trump’s dismissal was perhaps aimed at squashing doubts about whether he won the Nov. 8 election fairly. However, his comments could also portend conflicts between the new president and the intelligence agencies he will command and feed criticism that his administration will be soft on Russia.The Republican real estate magnate was expected to appoint as secretary of state Exxon Mobile Corp Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, who has close ties with Moscow and has spoken out against U.S. sanctions on Russia.

U.S. intelligence agencies have told Congress and the administration of President Barack Obama that Russia has grown increasingly aggressive in Syria and Ukraine and has stepped up activities in cyberspace including meddling, sometimes covertly, in European and U.S. elections.A senior U.S. intelligence official told Reuters intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that not only did their Russian counterparts direct the hacking of Democratic Party organizations and leaders, but they did so to undermine Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The Republican president-elect questioned whether the Central Intelligence Agency was behind the reports that indicated Moscow wanted him in the White House. “I think the Democrats are putting it out,” he said in the interview.

Two leading Republican voices on foreign policy in the U.S. Senate, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, joined two Democratic senators on Sunday in expressing concern over possible Russian interference in a U.S. presidential election.”For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyber attacks at America’s physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property. Now our democratic institutions have been targeted,” the senators, including Democrats Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed, said in a statement.”Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American.”

“This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country,” the senators said in a statement. Reince Priebus, the Republican Party leader Trump picked to be his chief of staff in the White House, attacked the news reports for relying on unidentified sources and denied a New York Times report that the Republican National Committee was hacked. He was speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”Russian officials have denied all accusations of interference in the U.S. election. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Howard Schneider; Editing by Mary Milliken and Phil Berlowitz)

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First Published On : Dec 11, 2016 21:11 IST

India’s southeast coast braces as cyclone approaches | Reuters

India’s southeast coast braces as cyclone approaches | Reuters

Dec 11, 2016 19:09 IST

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MUMBAI India’s weather office called on Sunday for fishermen to stay ashore hours before a very severe cyclone storm was due to strike the southeast coast, including Chennai, one of the most populous Indian cities.The cyclone “Vardah” is moving in from the Bay of Bengal and will landfall along and off Chennai on Monday afternoon with wind speed of 100 kmph, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its latest bulletin.From Sunday evening coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh will start getting heavy rainfall and extremely heavy rainfall is likely over Chennai and adjourning areas on Monday, the IMD said.

India’s cyclone season generally lasts from April to December, often causing dozens of deaths, evacuations of tens of thousands of people from low-lying villages and widespread crop and property damage.

In 1999, a “super-cyclone” battered the coast of the eastern state of Odisha for 30 hours with wind speeds reaching 300 kmph. It killed 10,000 people.

(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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First Published On : Dec 11, 2016 19:09 IST

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LIVE India Vs England Live Score

IND vs ENG | Dec 8th, 2016

ENG 182 6 47.3

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The name game…

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Old name, Oshiwara. New name, Ram Mandir; old name, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. New name, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. William Shakespeare might have famously asked ‘What’s in a name?’ but try telling that to officials from the home ministry to the railways to the survey offices dotting the country.According to officials, in a nation with so many states, cultures, languages and historical personalities and interpretations, the request for renaming places, stations, roads and airports is an unending affair.Of course, much angst has also been expressed nationally about the number of institutions, government programmes and public works that are named or renamed after members of the Nehru-Gandhi family.Speaking to DNA, Pankaj Mishra, Technical Secretary to the Surveyor-General of India said the department receives an average of 20-25 requests annually for renaming existing places. The numbers for naming new railway stations is much higher.“There are several new lines being built by the Railways across the country, and all these lines obviously have new stations. So we do get a lot of requests for naming these stations,” he said.The process itself is a protracted one. After all, a change of name can sometimes change just about everything. Explaining the process, Mishra said, “Names are contained in two lists, one called the Central Gazetteer (CG) maintained by the Union government and the other in the state Gazetteer maintained by the respective state governments. The thumb rule is that it is tougher to change names in the Central Gazetteer as the entity might be a very expansive one with a lot of historical value.”Renaming any entity in the CG means that the final approval must come from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. “The MHA sends it to the Department of Science and Technology under which the Survey of India works. An extensive ground check is conducted wherein the name proposed is verified with old maps, general usage of the name among local populace, its historical significance, etc before a call is taken. Once the change is approved, the name’s ‘transliteration’ (conversion of a text from one script to another) is also suggested by us,” said Mishra.For naming new railway stations, the Ministry of Railways sends requests directly to the Survey of India officewhich after due diligence forwards the request with its suggestions to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The state in which the railway station is placed has the dominant say in naming a new station. It was this right that was exercised by the state government when it came to renaming the yet-to-be-commissioned Oshiwara station to Ram Mandir station, said officials.As far as the railway stations are concerned, a somewhat obscure department called the Indian Railway Conference Association (IRCA) also plays a role. Once the name is approved, the IRCA, an organisation in existence since 1903 and which functions out of the annexe office of the Divisional Railway Manager’s Office Complex, Northern Railway in New Delhi, give the station an alphabetical code.However, as some officials put it, it is also a double-edged sword. “We really do not want a situation where just about all our railway stations and cities are named after political or historical figures with little or no connection to the geographical value of that place. For instance look at what has happened with Kadapa or Cuddapah in Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. A place famous for its blackish limestone- called Cuddapah stone worldwide, has now been submerged into a politically significant entity called the YSR district, named after former Andhra Chief Minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy,” explained a senior bureaucrat.Speaking to DNA, Subodh Jain, former Member Engineering, Railway Board said it is best not to tinker with names. “The general rule is that the railway station’s name should be true to the geographical details of the area. It is mostly based on the nearest tehsil, or any important government office nearby, or the village through which it passes, or some place with overwhelming historical importance. For example, Abu Road station is a ways from Mount Abu but because the latter has such historical importance, it is only imperative that the station servicing it be called Abu Road. A rule which has been long-standing is that it should not be named after historical figures, though that too has been done post-Independence which is not the best sign,” said Jain.Commuter Manish Chaturvedi hits the nail on the head on nomenclature. “How does it matter if the name of a station changes but the infrastructure at the station remains just as inadequate. Commuters want facilities, not names. Infact on the ground, people continue to call a station by its old and simpler name rather than the newer more fancy one,” said Chaturvedi.If William Shakespeare had been tuned into the political theatre of India, he would have possibly got the answer to his question ‘What’s in a name?’ The answer to that would most likely be: ‘Politics’.HOW THE NAME CHANGE WORKSLocal authorities or politicians propose a new name for a place or station.
The proposal is sent to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The MHA forwards it to the Department of Science and Technology.
The Department of Science and Technology sends it to the Survey of India (SoI) office.
The Department of Science and Technology sends it to the Survey of India (SoI) office.
Once approved by MHA, the state government and the union government make the changes in the respective gazettes with a notification. A STATION CALLED SEX?The IRCA gives railway stations an alphabetical code which is used in the official railway timetable.For example Kolhapur might be now called Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus, but its IRCA-provided alphabetical code remains the old KOP.Similarly a small narrow gauge station called Seroni Road in North Central Railway’s Jhansi division in Madhya Pradesh has its alphabetical code as SEX.WHAT’S A TOPONYM?Geographical names, or toponyms, provide a widely recognised and easily understandable reference to a place or location. They serve a range of purposes, from identification of a location in official documents such as passports and birth certificates, to providing an authoritative reference system for online search tools, web-based interactive mapping, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. They describe our landscape, highlight our multicultural and multilingual heritage, and record the history that shapes our values.NAME CHANGE OR ATTITUDE CHANGE?A survey carried out early this year, commissioned by the Environment & Housekeeping Management Directorate of the Railway Board and conducted by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation through TNS India Pvt. Ltd, showed that people want much more than just change in names.The survey, covering 407 stations of which 332 were A Category stations and 75 were A1 Category stations, gave out the 6 most impacting parameters in commuter satisfaction when it came to a railway station. As expected the name of the station didn’t figure anywhere.a) Absence of stench in the station premisesb) Adequate availability of dustbinsc) Promptness in cleaning of extremes of dirtiness like night-soil /vomitd) Cleanliness of platform arease) Availability & condition of toilets and availability of water in toiletsf) Condition of flooring surface at platforms

Taliban chief reinforces position with backing of two key members | Reuters

Taliban chief reinforces position with backing of two key members | Reuters

Dec 10, 2016 20:04 IST

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KABUL Hardline cleric Mullah Haibatullah Akundzada has reinforced his position as the new leader of the Afghan Taliban by winning the support of two senior members, the insurgent group said on Saturday.Former Taliban interior minister Mullah Abdul Razaq Akhund and Mullah Abdul Sata Akhund “pledged their full support” to Akundzada during a meeting of Taliban scholars at an undisclosed location on Friday, the group said on its website. Akundzada in May replaced former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour who was killed by a U.S. drone strike.

Senior members of the insurgent group hope Akundzada will be able to bring disparate factions together and repair the splits that emerged last year when Mansour was appointed.Afghan security forces have struggled to hold off resurgent Taliban fighters, who are estimated to control more territory in Afghanistan than at any time since 2001 when the U.S. invaded.

(Reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Writing by Randy Fabi Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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First Published On : Dec 10, 2016 20:04 IST

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IND vs ENG | Dec 8th, 2016

IND 451 7 142.0

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India’s industrial output unexpectedly contracts in October | Reuters

India’s industrial output unexpectedly contracts in October | Reuters

Dec 9, 2016 17:44 IST

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NEW DELHI India’s industrial output INIP=ECI unexpectedly fell 1.9 percent in October from a year earlier, driven down by a contraction in manufacturing and mining sectors, government data showed on Friday.Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a 1.0 percent growth in output compared with a 0.7 percent year-on-year rise in September.

(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Malini Menon)

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First Published On : Dec 9, 2016 17:44 IST

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IND vs ENG | Dec 8th, 2016

IND 146 1 52.0

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AUS vs NZ | Dec 9th, 2016

NZ 147 10 36.1

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Wounded Kashmiris blocked from medical help during clashes – rights group | Reuters

By Nita Bhalla

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Indian security forces in Kashmir blocked medical care for injured protesters by firing on ambulances, holding up emergency vehicles and preying on hospital patients during clashes in the restive region this year, a health rights group said on Tuesday.At least 80 civilians were killed and more than 10,000 wounded in almost five months of clashes between protesters and security forces, sparked by the killing of a leading separatist militant in a joint army and police operation on July 8.Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said not only did police and paramilitary forces use excessive force during the unrest, they also delayed wounded people seeking medical attention, increasing the likelihood of permanent injuries and deaths.”Such delays in care are violations of the longstanding protections afforded to medical workers and facilities in times of conflict and civil unrest,” said Widney Brown, director of programs for PHR, a New York-headquartered advocacy group.”What’s more, the doctors we interviewed said police were present in their hospitals, intimidating patients and monitoring those being admitted.”The report also said security forces harassed medical workers attempting to treat protesters and prevented doctors from reaching the hospitals where they work.

Police in Kashmir said they would respond to the allegations once they had studied the PHR report. Kashmir is at the centre of a decades-old rivalry between India and Pakistan, which rules a northwestern section of the divided region, and backed an insurgency in the late 1980s and 1990s that Indian security forces largely crushed.The unrest, sparked by the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular separatist militant leader, is the worst in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region for six years, and critics accuse Indian security forces of heavy-handedness in quelling the protests.

Many of those killed in the clashes died from shotgun pellets or rifle bullets fired by police and paramilitary troops. Hundreds of bystanders were blinded by the pellet rounds, the report said.While Indian authorities say the use of such weapons was meant to reduce the potential for injuries or fatalities, PHR found that their use actually caused serious injury and death.Police in Kashmir say pellet guns are non-lethal weapons but they have been fired from short distances in “unavoidable circumstances” when protesters target security forces.

PHR’s report – based on hospital records and interviews with doctors, witnesses and victims – found police used 12-gauge shotguns loaded with metal pellets that directly caused an estimated 5,200 injuries and at least a dozen deaths. “Injuries inflicted by ‘less than lethal’ weapons like pellets, rubber bullets, and shot guns require early medical intervention to avoid permanent or debilitating injury, including loss of life,” said the report.”In Kashmir, delays in accessing medical care for hundreds of injured protesters increased the risk of permanent damage, including for those with eye injuries.” (Reporting by Nita Bhalla. Additional reporting by Fayaz Bukhari in Srinagar. Editing by Katie Nguyen.homson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

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First Published On : Dec 6, 2016 18:14 IST

Remembering Amma: The Life and Times of J Jayalalithaa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six-time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, fondly known as ‘Amma’ passed away in Tamil Nadu on December 5, after suffering a cardiac arrest a day before. She had been admitted in Apollo Hospitals since September when she had first collapsed at her residence in Poes Garden. She was initially diagnosed with fever and dehydration, and was later being treated for sepsis. BirthJayalalithaa was born on February 24, 1948, at Mysore, Karnataka.FamilyShe belonged to a Tamil Iyengar family. Her father, Jayaram, a lawyer by profession, passed away when she was young. Consequently, Jayalalithaa had to shift to Bengaluru first and then to Chennai with her mother, Vedavathi (known as Sandhya in the South Indian film industry), and brother. AcademicsShe completed her matriculation in 1964 and took up a career in films, following her mother’s footsteps, after that.
ALSO READ Jayalalithaa (1948-2016): A life called Puratchi ThalaiviFilm Career► She acted in 130 films between 1964 and 1980.► In 1964, ‘Chinnada Gombe’, her first film (in Kannada) was a major hit.
ALSO READ AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa passes away► In 1965, she made her debut in the Tamil film ‘Vennira Aadai’ directed by CV Sridhar.► Tamil actor Maruthur Gopala Ramachandran (popularly known as MGR) was her mentor. They acted in 28 films together. MGR founded the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam​ (AIADMK) in 1972.► Her last film was ‘Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal’ in 1980. Jayalalithaa had also acted in a few Bollywood films during the span of her film career.Political Career► She joined the AIADMK in 1982, at the age of 34 years, and quickly rose through the party ranks. In 1983, she was made the propaganda secretary of the party, and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1984. She completed her five-year term in the upper house.► After the death of her mentor MGR in 1987, the AIADMK was split into two, with one faction supporting MGR’s widow, Janaki Ramachandran, and the other, Jayalalithaa who claimed political legacy of MGR.► However, the two factions of the party reunited in February 1989 after Janaki left politics. Later, Jayalalithaa was unanimously elected as the General Secretary of the AIADMK.► In 1991, Jayalalithaa became the chief minister for the first time. She won her second term in 2001, third in 2011. And in 2016, she broke the three-decade pendulum swing of voters alternately choosing the AIADMK and the DMK, by winning 134 of 232 seats.Controversies► December 7, 1996: Jayalalithaa was arrested on charges of corruption, including accumulation of disproportionate assets, follows. These charges were levelled by Subramanian Swamy in 1996, when he accused her of amassing wealth worth Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate to her known sources of income during 1991 and 1996. ► April, 1997: DMK Government sets up three special courts to try 47 corruption cases against Jayalalithaa, her former cabinet colleagues and others. Prosecution was launched against Jayalalithaa, her close friend Sashikala, and two others a Chennai Court in DA case. ► In 1999, she was discharged in coal import deal case by special court; Upheld by Madras High Court. ► She was convicted in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case in February 2, 2000, related to permission granted for construction allegedly flouting rules.► In October, 2000, a special court in Chennai convicted her in the TANSI land deal case.► On September 27, 2014, a trial court convicted and sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years in jail along with a penalty of Rs 100 crore in the 18-year-old disproportionate assets case. She challenged the decision in the Karnataka High Court and was acquitted of all the charges in May 2015. Awards and Honours► The Government of Tamil Nadu honoured her with the Kalaimamani Award in 1972.► The University of Madras conferred her with the Degree of Doctor of Literature (LittD) in 1991.► Dr MGR Medical University conferred her with the Degree of Doctor of Science in 1992.► Tamil Nadu Agricultural University conferred her with the Degree of Doctor of Science in 2003.► Honoured with the Golden Star of Honour and Dignity Award by the International Human Rights Defence Committee, Ukraine in 2004.► She was invited by the House of Lords, London, to receive the ‘Woman Politician of the Decade’ award from the Asian Guild Awards in 2004.► The New Jersey General Assembly passed a Resolution commending her service and exemplary dedication to the people of Tamil Nadu, in 2011.Trivia► Jayalalithaa was fluent in English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi.► She was trained in classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Mohini Attam, Kathak and Manipuri.► She is said to have been the first to wear skirts on screen in Tamil films.► She was an avid reader and had a large private library with a huge collection of books.(With agency inputs)

Women braving India’s streets after midnight

Women in India are loitering together at night time to change attitudes about what women can do.

India confirms H5N8 bird flu outbreak in Karnataka: OIE | Reuters

India confirms H5N8 bird flu outbreak in Karnataka: OIE | Reuters

Nov 25, 2016 21:39 IST

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PARIS India has reported an outbreak of a highly contagious bird flu virus in the southwestern state of Karnataka, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Friday, citing a report from the Indian agriculture ministry.The H5N8 virus was confirmed among birds in the village of Itagi, and all 1,593 of the birds at risk from the disease died or were culled, according to the report posted by the Paris-based OIE.No details were given on the type of birds or location involved.

The H5N8 bird flu strain has been found in several countries in Europe and the Middle East in recent weeks, leading some states to order poultry flocks to be kept indoors.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Bate Felix)

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First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 21:39 IST

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AUS vs SA | Nov 24th, 2016

AUS 307 6 102.0

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NZ vs PAK | Nov 25th, 2016

NZ 77 2 21.0

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ZIM vs WI | Nov 25th, 2016

WI 124 5 27.3

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India’s dance bar owners confident Supreme Court will end decade-long ban | Reuters

By Roli Srivastava and Suchitra Mohanty

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Owners of scores of illegal dance bars in India’s financial capital Mumbai said on Friday they were confident a ruling by the top court would finally end a decade-long ban which has left up to 75,000 bar dancers, singers and waiters without jobs.The government of Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is located, in 2005 suspended the licenses of bars and hotels where young women were employed to dance to racy Bollywood tunes for male customers, claiming they were a bad influence on society.But after several appeals over the years by dance bar owners and workers against the ban, the Supreme Court on Thursday said that bars could once again apply for licenses to the government. “Now there should be no hurdle. The court has said all new applications will be processed as per the old set of conditions the government had laid,” said Bharat Thakur, president of the Dance Bars Association, which represents 150 bars in Mumbai.Mumbai’s famous dance bars made a lucrative business before 2005. Frequented by middle class business men as well as a meeting point for the city’s mafias, the bars provided work for thousands of young poor migrant women from across India.

But local authorities, as well as some women’s rights organisations, said the thriving sector was not only corrupting moral values, but was also a front from human trafficking rings where girls and women were bought and sold into sexual slavery.Some of the bars continued to operate under police patronage for many years, but most have now gradually shut down, with bar and hotel owners and workers fighting the ban in the courts.The Supreme Court in March ordered the ban to be lifted, but the Maharashtra government disagreed, saying bars would have to comply with numerous conditions – including a prohibition on the sale of alcohol and a closing time no later than 11:30 pm.

The bar owners challenged this and in September, the top court said three bars could apply for licenses without following the new conditions. This was extended to other bars on Thursday.”We are waiting for the court order to be uploaded and then we will meet the concerned authorities for the licenses,” said Adarsh Shetty, president of the Indian Hotels and Restaurants Association.But Shekhar Naphade, lawyer for the Maharashtra government, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the court order was not final, and another hearing will take place on Jan. 11.

“Some bar owners had approached the Supreme Court seeking licenses to be provided to them on old norms. To this, the court asked them to file their respective applications and responses,” said Naphade.Police in Mumbai also said that they would treat all dance bars as illegal until they had received a directive from the Maharashtra government.”We will wait for the Supreme Court’s directions in writing and for the state government’s directive before we proceed on this matter,” said Pradeep Sawant, Deputy Commissioner of Police in Mumbai. (Reporting by Roli Srivastava in Mumbai and Suchitra Mohanty in New Delhi. Writing by Nita Bhalla, Editing by Ros Russell)

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First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 21:19 IST

Veteran journalist Dileep Padgaonkar no more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noted veteran journalist Dileep Padgaonkar and Times of India’s consulting editor died in Oune’s Ruby hospital. He was 72 years old. As per the The News Minute, he had suffered a heart attack which led to multiple organ failure on November 18. He was on dialysis after his kidney failed.He was born in 1944 and matriculated from St Vincent’s College and graduated in Political Science from Fergusson College, Pune.He got into journalism at the age of 24. He joined the Times of India as its Paris correspondent in 1968 after receiving a a doctorate in humanities from the Sorbonne. After working at the daily in various posts, he took on as its editor in 1988. He also worked for the UNESCO in Bangkok and Paris from 1978 to 1986 as an international civil servant. Padgaonkar was appointed as one of the members of the three-member Interlocutors Group on Jammu and Kashmir, set up by the government after continuous unrest in the Valley in 2008Many from the sphere of politics and journalism condoled his death.

Facebook builds censorship tool to attain China re-entry: NYT | Reuters

Facebook Inc has quietly developed a censorship tool that could persuade China to allow the world’s biggest social media network to re-enter the world’s second largest economy after a seven-year ban, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.Facebook developed the software, which suppresses posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographies, with the support of Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, the newspaper said, citing unnamed current and former employees. Zuckerberg in March met China’s propaganda tsar Liu Yunshan who said that he hoped Facebook could strengthen exchanges and improve mutual understanding with China’s internet companies, according to state news agency Xinhua.”We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country,” Facebook spokeswoman Arielle Aryah said in an emailed statement to Reuters. “However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China. Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform.”

Foreign companies in China, especially in media, face political pressure from a range of regulations. The country’s military newspaper calls the internet the most important front in an ideological battle against “Western anti-China forces.”China, which has the world’s largest population of internet users, banned the website following the Urumqi riots in July 2009 in an effort to stem the flow of information about ethnic unrest which left 140 people dead.

Though Facebook has developed the new tool, it does not intend to suppress the posts itself, NYT said.Facebook would instead offer the software to enable a third party to monitor popular stories and topics that gain visibility as users share them across the network, according to the Times. The third party partner would have full control to decide whether those posts should show up in users’ feeds.

There is no indication Facebook has offered the software to the authorities in China, the Times said. It is one of many ideas Facebook has discussed with respect to entering China and it may never see the light of day, it added.Facebook, which has struggled in recent months to combat allegations that it unfairly removes certain content on its service, aims to continue to grow in developing nations where it currently has smaller penetration rates. (Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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First Published On : Nov 23, 2016 06:46 IST

Drop in sex trafficking cases in India may mask real number, experts say | Reuters

By Roli Srivastava

MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – India has seen a 70 percent drop in cases filed under an anti-trafficking law between 2001 and 2015, which experts attribute to a lack of reporting of the crime and more sex workers moving out of brothels to escape police detection among other factors.According to the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau, the number of cases filed under India’s anti-trafficking Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act fell to 2,424 in 2015 from 8,796 in 2001. The Act is one of a number of laws under which human trafficking and modern slavery are prosecuted in the country. The drop in sex trafficking cases is in contrast to a more than doubling of crimes against women recorded by the bureau over the same period, and could mask the real number of women trafficked into sex work across India, anti-slavery experts say. “A drop in numbers could be due to under-reporting or not filing of FIRs (complaints),” said Priti Patkar, co-founder of anti-trafficking charity Prerana.Campaigners estimate there are between three and 9 million victims of sex trafficking in India but say many do not come forward for fear of being ostracised by society, abused by their traffickers or not taken seriously by the police.

Many victims, often from poor backgrounds, are duped with the promise of a job before being sold into the sex trade. Michael Yangad, director of operations at campaign group International Justice Mission, said prostitution in India had become more covert.”Activity has moved from classical brothels to private places. In private networks too, unless a case is investigated or studied well, you are not sure if it is a case of sex trafficking,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The police say activities that earlier led them to traffickers have now moved online. Social media platforms are used to offer girls and many financial transactions are made online, making the crime virtually invisible. “Our investigation pattern is changing with these changes. We have busted online sex rackets,” said Pravin Patil, deputy commissioner of police in Mumbai, India’s financial hub.

“Earlier, brothels were at one place, but no longer so. It is not difficult (to monitor activities), but we have to keep changing our investigation plan,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Cases filed under India’s Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act accounted for 38.4 percent of the total number of human trafficking cases in 2015. Cases of procuring minor girls made up another 44 percent. About 14 percent of cases related to the trafficking of people into slavery and the remaining cases involved the buying and selling of minors for prostitution. (Reporting by Roli Srivastava; Editing by Katie Nguyen. Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

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First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 21:10 IST

India stay on top after late Cook dismissal | Reuters

VISAKHAPATNAM, India Alastair Cook led England’s dogged resistance with a diligent fifty before falling to the final delivery of the day as India stayed on course for victory in the second test on Sunday.Trapped in front by a Ravindra Jadeja delivery, Cook reviewed but could not get the lbw decision overturned in what was a massive blow to England ahead of an intriguing fifth day’s play on Monday.Joe Root was batting on five with the tourists on 87-2, still needing 318 runs for an improbable victory on a track offering significant turn and uneven bounce.Chasing a daunting 405 on a deteriorating wicket, Cook and Haseem Hameed initially defied the Indian bowlers, who could not separate the openers in the afternoon session.Hameed lived up to his ‘Baby Boycott’ moniker, frustrating the home bowlers with his solid defence even if the 19-year-old took a couple of painful blows to his body during his three-hour spell at the crease.In desperation for a breakthrough, India captain Virat Kohli wasted both reviews on Cook in successive overs, trying to get his counterpart leg-before.

After India spent 50 overs toiling without success, Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Hameed leg-before with a delivery which kept low.Cook brought up his 53rd test fifty in 171 balls but his late dismissal for 54 was a disappointing end to a day England had begun well by bowling India out for 204 in their second innings.England paceman Stuart Broad (4-33) was exceptional despite physical discomfort as he and leg-spinner Adil Rashid (4-82) claimed six of the last seven India wickets after the hosts had resumed on 98 for three.

Broad is nursing a foot injury and will be assessed after the test but there was no let up in hostility from the bowler who troubled the Indian batsmen with his probing cutters.Ajinkya Rahane was out on 26 when he surrendered to one such leg-cutter and, surprised by the extra bounce, gloved it to Cook at slip.

Broad then got Ashwin caught behind to peg back India before Rashid took over.The 28-year-old dismissed Wriddhiman Saha and then struck a body blow, tempting Virat Kohli into a wild drive only for the edge to fly to slip where an airborne Ben Stokes took a spectacular one-handed catch.Debutant Jayant Yadav made 27 not out as he and Mohammed Shami added 42 for the final wicket in the first ever test match in the port city of Visakhapatnam. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Sudipto Ganguly and Toby Davis)

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First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 17:16 IST

Twitter suspends accounts of some alt-right figures: USA Today | Reuters

Twitter suspends accounts of some alt-right figures: USA Today | Reuters

Updated: Nov 16, 2016 23:21 IST

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Twitter has suspended several accounts linked to the alt-right movement, a loosely organized group that embraces far-right ideologies including white nationalism, USA Today reported.The accounts suspended by Twitter, which has been criticized for not stopping abusive behavior on its platform, include that of Richard Spencer, who has said he wants blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews removed from the United States, the newspaper reported on Wednesday. (usat.ly/2fXyXDo)The alt-right movement came to the fore during the U.S. presidential campaign, especially after Republican nominee Donald Trump added Steve Bannon to his campaign team.Bannon, who has since been named Trump’s chief White House strategist, formerly headed Breitbart News, a website and voice for the alt-right movement.

“I am alive physically but digitally speaking there has been execution squads across the alt-right,” Spencer, who has a verified Twitter account, said in a YouTube video entitled “Knight of the Long Knives” responding to the suspension.The move by the microblogging service, which did not immediately respond for requests for comment, followed its announcement on Tuesday that it would upgrade some features to better combat cyber-bullying.

USA Today said the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit organization that tracks what it sees as hate groups and other extremists, had asked Twitter to remove more than 100 accounts of white supremacists who violated Twitter’s terms of service.

Others whose accounts have been suspended include Pax Dickinson, founder of alt-right site Wesearchr; an alt-right internet personality who goes by the fake name Ricky Vaughn; and blogger Paul Town, who describes himself as “the leading thoughtleader of alt-right,” CNN reported. (cnnmon.ie/2eGkAWe) (Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 23:21 IST

India’s efforts to protect children fail due lack of budget – Kailash Satyarthi | Reuters

By Nita Bhalla

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – India’s efforts to improve the lives of its children are failing due to meagre government spending on the youth, Nobel peace laureate and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi said on Monday, as the country marked its annual “Children’s Day”.Children’s Day, or Bal Divas, coinciding with the birthday of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, is marked by events such as cultural performances in schools.”Our nation has the world’s highest number of malnourished children, child labour and children vulnerable to sexual offences, (yet) it is unfortunate this section of the society receives the lowest budgetary allocation,” Satyarthi said.”All our efforts for the development of children fail with such disproportionate investment,” he said in a statement.Children make up more than 40 percent of India’s almost 1.3 billion population, yet only four percent of the budget is allocated to under-18s, he said.India has made considerable progress in curbing the exploitation of children over the last decade. It has introduced laws to protect children and ensure their schooling, as well as a range of social welfare schemes. But activists say implementation is lacking in combating issues such as child labour and sexual exploitation.

A February 2015 report by the International Labour Organization puts the number of child workers in India aged between five and 17 at 5.7 million, out of 168 million globally.More than half are in agriculture, toiling in cotton, sugarcane and rice paddy fields where they are often exposed to pesticides and risk injury from sharp tools and heavy equipment.Over a quarter work in manufacturing – confined to poorly lit, barely ventilated rooms in slums, embroidering clothes, weaving carpets, making matchsticks or rolling beedi cigarettes.

Children also work in restaurants and hotels, washing dishes and chopping vegetables, or in middle-class homes, cleaning and scrubbing floors.Other crimes against children are also a serious concern, say activists. There were over 94,000 crimes against children recorded in 2015, an increase of more than five percent from the previous year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).Crimes included murder, infanticide, kidnapping and abduction, abandonment and procuration of minor girls. Almost 30 percent were sexual offences, including rape, said NCRB data.

Satyarthi, whose charity Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) is credited with rescuing more than 80,000 enslaved children, said a child goes missing in India every eight minutes. He appealed to legislators across all political parties to devote one day to the discussion of child rights during the last session of parliament this year, which begins on Wednesday.”Although significant progress has been made for the protection of child rights, critical challenges continue due to gaps in policy and their implementation,” he said.”The fight against child labour, child trafficking and child sexual abuse need higher political will,” added Satyarthi, who won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. (Reporting by Nita Bhalla, editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

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First Published On : Nov 14, 2016 22:28 IST

Check: NDA, NA Examination (2) final result declared at upsc.gov.in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Candidates who appeared for the National Defence Academy (NDA) and Naval Academy (NA) Examination (2) on September 18 2016, can now be at ease as the Union Public Service of Commission (UPSC) on Saturday declared NDA and NA 2 Results 2016. Here are the steps to check for the UPSC NDA/ NA 1 Results 2016:1) Visit the official website- www.upsc.gov.in2) The homepage will be displayed.3) Click on NDA & NA II Results 2016.4) The list of the selected candidates roll number will appear on the screen.5) Check the list.6) Download/ Take a printout for further reference.Candidates who have qualified will be eligible for an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) of the Ministry of Defence for Admission to Army, Navy and Air Force Wings of NDA for the 138th Course and the 100th Indian Naval Academy Course (INAC) starting from July 2, 2017. About the National Defence Academy: The National Defence Academy (NDA) trains cadets of three services, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, together before they are summoned on a pre-commissioning training in the respective academies. It offers only a full-time residential undergraduate programme, which offers candidates an choice between two streams. While the Science Stream offers subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, the Humanities stream offers studies in History, Economics, Politics Science, Geography and Languages.

Delhi Pollution: SC to hear EPCA’s plea on crisis today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court will hear a plea on Tuesday on the rising level of pollution in Delhi. The plea was filed by the Environment Pollution Control Authority which has sought a proper monitoring of worsening pollution levels in the national capital and adjoining areas.Describing the situation as a public emergency, the EPCA urged the apex court to consider taking stringent action. The Centre for Science and Environment and its director Sunita Narain has called on the apex court to monitor the Delhi government’s emergency action plan to bring pollution levels down.A bench led by Chief Justice TS Thakur has said it has already passed orders and they need to be implemented.A thick blanket of smog continues to hover over the national capital. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced several measures to tackle the problem, including the closing of schools and halting of all construction and demolition activity till Friday.The Centre convened a meeting of Environment Ministers of Delhi and neighbouring states yesterday to find a solution to the problem.

UK reaffirms support to India’s bid for UNSC, NSG membership

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Britain reaffirmed its support to India’s bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC) as the Prime Ministers of the two countries directed their officials concerned to have “close and regular consultations” on all matters related to the international body. The United Kingdom also welcomed India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a key global non-proliferation objectives, and backed India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as well as other key export control regimes like the Australia Group.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Theresa May also welcomed a fourth phase of the Joint UK-India Civil Nuclear Research Programme that will look at new technologies for enhancing nuclear safety, advanced materials for nuclear systems, waste management and future civil nuclear energy systems.The leaders directed their officials to have close and regular consultations on all matters related to the United Nations, including UN terrorist designations. Recognising that Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) is a global challenge, India and the UK announced new research partnerships worth 80 million pounds, including establishment of a joint strategic group on AMR with a joint investment of up to 13 million pounds.The two sides said they would work together to support the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. “The growing India-UK cyber relationship is a success story of the Defence and International Security Partnership (DISP),” a joint statement by the two Prime Ministers said.The two Prime Ministers also expressed desire to enter into a Framework for the UK-India Cyber Relationship. Projects to reduce post-harvest losses to benefit farmers, collaborations in health care and the launch of the second phase of joint research in women and children’s health in low-income settings were also announced.May also signalled the UK’s intention to join the International Solar Alliance. In their joint statement, both the Prime Ministers said they look forward to the celebration of 2017 as the India-UK Year of Culture and support the activities and programmes being planned, for example an exhibition of Indian Science in the Science Museum in London and another highlighting 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare.

Delhi imposes ’emergency’ measures to combat hazardous smog | Reuters

Delhi imposes ’emergency’ measures to combat hazardous smog | Reuters

Updated: Nov 6, 2016 20:14 IST

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NEW DELHI The Delhi government on Sunday put all construction projects on hold, shut down schools and advised residents of the Indian capital to stay indoors as part of an “emergency” plan to deal with dangerous levels of air pollution.New Delhi ranks among the world’s most polluted cities. In the past week, a thick layer of smog has enveloped the city, with people complaining of irritated eyes, throats and lungs. A combination of smoke from burning farm residue in surrounding states, fireworks for the Hindu festival of Diwali, dust from construction works and vehicle emissions has pushed up levels of the most dangerous particles, known as PM 2.5, to more than 15 times the safe limit. Hundreds of people, including children, on Sunday staged a protest in New Delhi over the worsening air quality, demanding immediate and effective steps from authorities.New Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, who has called the city a “gas chamber”, said all construction and demolition would remain on hold for five days and schools would be shut for three days.

He also banned the use of all diesel-powered electricity generators for the next 10 days. The local administration will start vacuum cleaning roads and sprinkling them with water, Kejriwal said.”We all need to cooperate and work together to find a solution,” he said. “The situation is such that we need to take some urgent measures.”

Air quality is usually poorest in Delhi’s winter months of December and January. Authorities have responded with such measures as a ban on old trucks from entering the city and briefly trying a scheme that limited use of private vehicles to alternate days. Experts say those have done little to reduce pollution.

Kejriwal said his government was contemplating another round of restrictions on the use of private cars. (Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh, editing by Larry King)

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MCD schools to remain closed tomorrow due to heavy smog

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Schools running under the three municipal corporations of Delhi have been ordered to be closed on Saturday in view of the heavy smog, the worst the national capital has faced in 17 years.”All municipal schools under the three corporations will be closed tomorrow due to the heavy smog and pollution. The order for closure is only for a day as of now. As per the situation, we may decide to close them later as well,” Leader of Opposition in SDMC, Subhash Arya said.About 10 lakh students are enrolled in the schools administered by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).”The decision was taken today at a meeting held in the wake of severe pollution Delhiites are reeling under. And, since the smog is worse during the morning, it was decided to close the schools,” said Arya, also the former Mayor of south Delhi.The national capital is facing the worst smog in 17 years, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had said on Thursday, while asking the Delhi government to issue health alerts and convey that children should stay indoors as there is a state of health emergency due to peaking air pollution.Peak level of respirable pollutants PM 2.5 and PM10 had also violated the safe limits by over 15 times at places like R K Puram. The prescribed standard of PM 2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic metre, but it touched 955 in real-time during early morning hours.Admitting that the enforcement of rules for tackling air pollution was “weak”, the Environment Ministry today asked states to “strictly” implement a host of measures, including checking spread of fly ash from Delhi’s Badarpur plant and shutting down of old brick kilns.

Smoking a pack a day causes 150 mutations in every lung cell, research shows | Reuters

By Kate Kelland
| LONDON

LONDON Scientists have found that smoking a pack a day of cigarettes can cause 150 damaging changes to a smoker’s lung cells each year.The findings come from a study of the devastating genetic damage, or mutations, caused by smoking in various organs in the body.Publishing in the journal Science on Thursday, the researchers said the findings show a direct link between the number of cigarettes smoked in a lifetime and the number of mutations in the DNA of cancerous tumors.The highest mutation rates were seen in lung cancers, but tumors in other parts of the body – including the bladder, liver and throat – also had smoking-associated mutations, they said. This explains why smoking also causes many other types of cancer beside lung cancer.Smoking kills six million people a year worldwide and, if current trends continue, the World Health Organization predicts more than 1 billion tobacco-related deaths this century.

Cancer is caused by mutations in the DNA of a cell. Smoking has been linked with at least 17 types of cancer, but until now scientists were not clear on the mechanisms behind many of them. Ludmil Alexandrov of Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States, one of those who carried out the research, explained that in particular, it had until now been difficult to explain how smoking increases the risk of cancer in parts of the body that don’t come into direct contact with smoke. “Before now, we had a large body of epidemiological evidence linking smoking with cancer, but now we can actually observe and quantify the molecular changes in the DNA,” he said.

This study analyzed over 5,000 tumors, comparing cancers from smokers with those from people who had never smoked.It found certain molecular fingerprints of DNA damage – called mutational signatures – in the smokers’ DNA, and the scientists counted how many of these were in different tumors.In lung cells, they found that on average, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day led to 150 mutations in each cell every year. Each mutation is a potential start point for a “cascade of genetic damage” that can eventually lead to cancer, they said.

The results also showed that a smoking a pack of cigarettes a day led to an average 97 mutations in each cell in the larynx, 39 mutations for the pharynx, 23 for the mouth, 18 for the bladder, and six mutations in every cell of the liver each year.Mike Stratton, who co-led the work at Britain’s Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said it was a bit like digging in to the archaeology of each tumor”The genome of every cancer provides a kind of archaeological record, written in the DNA code itself, of the exposures that caused the mutations,” he said. “Looking in the DNA of cancers can provide provocative new clues to how (they) develop and thus, potentially, how they can be prevented.” (Reporting by Kate Kelland)

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India says identities of 8 diplomats in Pakistan exposed | Reuters

India says identities of 8 diplomats in Pakistan exposed | Reuters

Updated: Nov 2, 2016 20:21 IST

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NEW DELHI India said on Wednesday that the identities of eight of its diplomats in Pakistan had been revealed in the local media, amid continuing tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours.Vikas Swarup, spokesman of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, declined to comment when asked whether the eight diplomats stationed in Islamabad would be withdrawn.

He also said six Pakistani diplomats had left the Indian capital on Wednesday, but that they were not expelled. India ordered one employee of the Pakistani High Commission out of the country last week on suspicion of espionage, triggering a tit-for-tat expulsion of one of its own envoys by Islamabad.

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; editing by John Stonestreet)

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Delhi remains covered in smog, air quality ‘severe’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The national capital, on Wednesday, remained shrouded in a cover of thick smog, laden with high level of pollutants which kept air quality in the ‘severe’ category, three days after Diwali festivities.Hostile weather conditions like cool temperature and nearly zero wind movement were the major factors identified by experts for pollution level continuing to be on the higher side. The peak levels of pollution (PM2.5 and PM10), recorded over ten times the safe limit during the morning hours, gradually came down across monitoring stations as the day progressed. The safe limits of these microscopic particles are 60 and 100 micrograms per cubic metre respectively. “Wind is very calm and the temperature is only turning colder. All that is leading to trapping of pollutants near the surface. But this happens every winter, the intensity may differ. Delhi is truly a gas chamber now,” Anumita Roychowdhury of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said.She said the MeT department had forecast well ahead of Diwali that wind movement would peter out from October 29. It had led to a phenomenal build up of pollutants, she said. “Studies have shown that the pollutants from fireworks linger on for at least 24 hours. And firecrackers were burst well into last night. And moreover, these pollutants will enter the food chain once they settle down,” she said. The 24-hour average of PM2.5 and PM10 were 348 and 522 micrograms per cubic metre respectively, as per SAFAR.
ALSO READ Diwali choke: Delhi’s air pollution levels are at a five-year highAQI will be severe on Thursday as well, its forecast said. SAFAR had forecast that air quality was likely to improve slowly from November 2 but all its monitoring centres in the city recorded severe quality air in the evening hours. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) stations in Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, RK Puram and Dwarka also recorded severe air quality. Prolonged exposure to severe category air may affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing diseases while very poor category may cause respiratory illness. Children, elderly and the sick are considered most vulnerable to the harmful effects of hazardous air.

Human rights only for terrorists, jawans’ lives don’t matter, asks Union Minister Harsh Vardhan

Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science and Technology, tweeted. “For Afzal, Yakub, Ishrat, Burhan, Batla (House encounter) they’ll cry foul and chatter. Human Rights are for terrorists only, lives of soldiers don’t matter,” <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid controversy over “encounter” killing of eight alleged SIMI terrorists by Madhya Pradesh Police, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday took a dig at opposition parties and a section of intelligentsia saying “human rights are only for terrorists” while the lives of soldiers don’t matter.”For Afzal, Yakub, Ishrat, Burhan, Batla (House encounter) they’ll cry foul and chatter. Human Rights are for terrorists only, lives of soldiers don’t matter,” Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science and Technology, tweeted.He was apparently referring to a certain section of media and intelligentsia.Following the “encounter” killing of alleged SIMI terrorists yesterday, several political parties demanded a probe into the matter.Vardhan also posted a collage comprising media reports on the executions of Parliament attacks convict Afzal Guru, 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memom, and killings of Ishrat Jahan and Burhan Wani.

SEBI tightens rules for credit rating agencies | Reuters

SEBI tightens rules for credit rating agencies | Reuters

Updated: Nov 1, 2016 21:21 IST

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By Abhirup Roy
| MUMBAI

MUMBAI India’s capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), on Tuesday tightened disclosure norms for Indian credit rating agencies in a bid to boost transparency and accountability after a number of sudden sharp corporate rating changes created concern among investors.Credit rating agencies will be required to publicly provide more details of the criteria and process behind rating changes and review each criteria periodically, SEBI said. Agencies will also have to disclose details of ratings even if a rating is not accepted by a debt issuer, or if a review is not made by the time an updated rating is due, SEBI said, adding the new guidelines need to be implemented by the agencies in the next 60 days. SEBI said in cases where a debt issuer did not co-operate with an agency by withholding information or not paying fees, the agency would continue to rate the instrument based on the best available information and disclose the situation.India has a handful ratings agencies, including local arms of the big global operations. They mainly blame debt issuers for not cooperating with them and cite the fact that they can only give ratings based on what they know.

Some agencies said the tighter guidelines were largely in line with expectations.”There was a lot of talk about rating agencies being given the option of suspending ratings due to non-cooperation, but the guidelines don’t say so, which is a very good development,” said a senior official at a rating agency, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to talk to the media.The tighter regulations follow sudden sharp downgrades debt securities of auto parts maker Amtek Auto Ltd and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd last year that hurt investors.

The system of rating has long been challenged as agencies are paid by the companies whose securities they rate. Since the companies benefit from higher ratings, there is a direct conflict of interest between the rating agency and the issuer.Global regulators have been cracking down on credit rating agencies in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which many say was a result of inflated ratings assigned by agencies on complex mortgage-backed securities.

SEBI on Tuesday made it mandatory for agencies to assign an outlook for each rating that has to be disclosed in a statement to media. The regulator also said that anyone with a business responsibility in an agency cannot be a part of the rating committee – expect the managing director or chief executive officer but only if the majority of the rest of the members are independent.Sharp changes in rating and ones assigned in cases of non-cooperation from the issuer will be reviewed by the chairperson of the committee annually and presented to the board, SEBI said. (Reporting by Abhirup Roy; Editing by Euan Rocha and Alison Williams)

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India drug industry lobby hits back at antibiotic pollution claims | Reuters

India drug industry lobby hits back at antibiotic pollution claims | Reuters

Updated: Oct 27, 2016 20:57 IST

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By Zeba Siddiqui
| MUMBAI

MUMBAI The head of an Indian drugs industry lobby group on Thursday said media reports linking pollution in some lakes and rivers to factories making antibiotics were not accurate and that drug factories were in compliance with local environmental rules.India’s $17 billion drugs industry is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of antibiotics. But activists, researchers and industry officials told Reuters last month that lax local regulation has allowed many large drug factories in the country to pollute rives and lakes with antibiotics, risking the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.P.V. Appaji, director of the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexil), said Indian drug factories’ environmental standards were regularly audited by foreign customers, including drug distributors and manufacturers who source from them. He said he did not know how often such audits were conducted.

“This is targeting the top pharma players in India … it is going to have an impact on our exports,” Appaji said by telephone. Pharmexil, which held a news conference on this subject in Hyderabad on Thursday, is a body under India’s commerce ministry whose mandate is to promote the drugs industry.

Pharmexcil said in a statement it agreed with the fact that there was a serious threat to public health from the emerging antibiotic resistance bacteria (superbugs) which is due to various reasons including environmental control.It said the government had recently expressed its concern and the Indian drug regulator had recently announced some measures to curb excessive/irrational use of antibiotics.

Thirteen leading drugmakers promised last month to clean up pollution from factories making antibiotics and take steps to curb overuse of the medicines as part of a drive to fight the rise of drug-resistant superbugs. (Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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NIA to train Bangladesh police in detecting fake Indian currency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Anti-terror probe agency NIA will train nearly 200 Bangladeshi police officials in detecting Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) after it emerged that the neighbouring country was used for pumping in nearly 80% of counterfeit notes into India. The NIA, in collaboration with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Department of Economic Affairs and Home Ministry, will train the officers from Bangladesh which would include real time sharing of intelligence. As there was no official information about the value or number of FICN in circulation in the Indian market, NIA had asked a Kolkata-based institute to carry out a study of the menace in 2012-13. According to the study, FICN of face value of Rs 70,000 crore was pumped in by Pakistani spy agency ISI and underworld gangs operating from outside India. Only one-third of these could be detected by law enforcement agencies. While the study had concluded that at any given point of time FICN of the face value of 4,000 crore was changing hands, NIA sources said the trend has been declining after Bangladesh extended cooperation. The sources said 80 per cent of the FICN was routed to India through Bangladesh and, therefore, the need was felt to crack down on gangs engaged in the activity in that country, particularly at its airport and ports.Bangladesh has already assured India of full cooperation in tackling the menace of FICN, which is also being used for funding human and drug trafficking, and other nefarious activities in that country. NIA sources said Bangladesh has told India that it has put in place “stringent” measures for checking influx and circulation of fake notes that were also “adversely affecting” its economy.FICN was being used there for financing human and drug trafficking, besides several other anti-social activities including cattle smuggling. These were seen as active threats to Bangladesh’s economy. Sources said India will also provide note sorting machines with facility to detect fake currency at international airports, integrated crossing points, immigration points, banks and financial institutions in Bangladesh. India has also assured Bangladesh that it will help in setting up a Forensic Science Laboratory for examining fake notes and maintaining a digital depository of forensic reports.

Williamson ton sets up New Zealand’s thrilling win | Reuters

Williamson ton sets up New Zealand’s thrilling win | Reuters

Updated: Oct 20, 2016 22:44 IST

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NEW DELHI Captain Kane Williamson struck the first hundred for New Zealand on their tour of India to set up a thrilling six-run victory in the second one-day international and end his side’s winless run.Chasing 243 for victory, the hosts were reduced to 183 for eight in the 41st over but all-rounder Hardik Pandya (36) and number 10 batsman Umesh Yadav (18 not out) added 49 for the ninth wicket to take their team close.But Pandya fell in the penultimate over and then Tim Southee bowled out last man Jasprit Bumrah in the final over for his third wicket as India folded for 236 with three balls to spare.The 26-year-old Williamson, New Zealand’s batting mainstay, hit a measured 118 off 128 balls to anchor his team’s innings after India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to field.Williamson’s eighth ODI hundred had put New Zealand on course for a big total but the hosts, who won the first match of the five ODI series after blanking the tourists 3-0 in the tests, pulled things back brilliantly in the last 10 overs.

The skipper added 120 for the second wicket with Tom Latham (46) after New Zealand had lost Martin Guptill without scoring in the opening over but the side could manage only 40 runs for the loss of six wickets from their final 10.Paceman Bumrah and leg-spinner Amit Mishra picked up three wickets each for the hosts.India’s chase got off on the wrong foot in the face of some disciplined bowling by New Zealand who picked up wickets at regular intervals to put pressure on the batsmen.

Dhoni (39) and Kedar Jadhav (41) steadied the innings with a 66-run stand for the fifth wicket after the side had been reduced to 73 for four in the 20th over.But after Dhoni fell to a superb one-handed return catch by Southee, the chase seemed to be out of India’s reach.

New Zealand’s grip on the match tightened after Axar Patel and Mishra fell in the same over to Guptill’s part-time off-spin before Pandya, the player of the match in the first ODI, and Yadav took India to the brink.The third match of the five-ODI series will be played at Mohali on Sunday. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai,; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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Pujara, Ashwin lead India to series sweep | Reuters

Pujara, Ashwin lead India to series sweep | Reuters

Updated: Oct 11, 2016 17:36 IST

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INDORE, India Cheteshwar Pujara struck his eighth test century and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin engineered another spectacular batting collapse to help India crush New Zealand by 321 runs in the third test and complete a 3-0 series sweep on Tuesday.Ashwin, who claimed 6-81 in the first innings, resumed his role as New Zealand’s wrecker-in-chief, claiming 7-59 as the tourists, chasing 475 for an improbable win, were dismissed for 153 to lose inside four days.After Umesh Yadav dismissed Tom Latham to earn an early breakthrough, Ashwin spun a web around the batsmen as New Zealand lost nine wickets in the final session.Ashwin dismissed captain Kane Williamson (27) for the second time in the match, ended Ross Taylor’s breezy 32 and sent back Luke Ronchi to rip out the Kiwi top order before returning to blow away the tail.Fittingly, Ashwin caught Trent Boult off his own bowling to end New Zealand’s innings with career-best bowling figures.The spinner finished the series with 27 wickets and was the obvious choice for the man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series awards.

“Could not have asked for anything better,” India captain Virat Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.”The bowlers have responded beautifully in the series every time we’ve been under a bit of pressure. Every time the Kiwis had a partnership, someone put his hands up and brought those breakthroughs for us.”Earlier, Gautam Gambhir struck 50 on his test return and Pujara scored 101 not out as India declared their second innings on 216 for three around an hour before tea.

Resuming on 18-0, the hosts lost opener Murali Vijay cheaply but Gambhir, who had retired hurt with an injured shoulder on Monday, returned to score fluently.Gambhir hit six boundaries before completing his 22nd test fifty off 54 balls but was dismissed when he drove off-spinner Jeetan Patel to Guptill at cover.

Patel removed Kohli (17) lbw for the second time in the match but Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane (23 not out) added 58 quick runs before India declared.”It was important that we get a big total in the first innings but it was not to be,” Williamson said.”Credit to India, obviously they’re the number one in the world now. A fantastic effort and well-deserved.” (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Amidst CPEC, India improving road connectivity to LAC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India is working on better road accessibility up to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, often snapped due to hostile terrain and bad weather.India’s move to upgrade the road infrastructure in the “strategically crucial” link comes against the backdrop of construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through the Karakoram ranges in the region.The Border Roads Organisation, which takes care of roads construction in strategic locations, had approached the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), asking it to suggest possible solution for a patch on the 55-odd km road, especially from Sasoma to Saser Brangsa that leads to LAC.India is keeping a close watch on CPEC that will connect China and Pakistan through one of the toughest terrains in the world. It is preparing itself by upgrading the road infrastructure in the “strategically crucial” link.”Of the 55 km, 10 km patch is affected due to hostile terrain and tough weather conditions. The road is supposed to be shortest, but toughest as it is also shut for more than six-seven months due to frequent landslides, harsh winters and snow blocking the path,” said a senior government official, adding that project is being monitored at the PMO level.The road is also considered as an alternative route to the LAC. The CRRI works under the aegis of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an arm of the Ministry of Science and Technology (S&T). It specialises in road research and several state governments and local bodies approach the institution for rectifying the roads in their jurisdiction.After the BRO had approached it, the CRRI undertook topographical survey of the area using radar and other technologies. “We have advised both short and long-term measures for the road, but it is up to the BRO to take a call on it,” said Satish Chandra, Director CRRI.He added one of the short-term recommendations made by the CRRI is to make snow sheds that can save the road. Additionally, as a long term measure, it has also suggested some realignment, as the landslides damage the road every season.

Chennai techie murder case: High Court orders postmortem of Ram Kumar’s body

Chennai: On Monday, the Madras High Court ordered setting up of a four-member team of doctors to conduct the postmortem of the body of P Ram Kumar, accused in the woman techie murder case, who allegedly committed suicide by biting a live wire at the Puzhal central prison.

Justice T S Sivagnanam, turning down a plea by R Paramasivan, father of Ram Kumar seeking a doctor of his choice to be present during the autopsy, said that the authorities had treated it as a special case and constituted a three-member team.

The court had also nominated another senior doctor.

The autopsy team comprises Dr Balasubramanian, Professor, forensic medicine, Stanley Hospital, Dr S Selvakumar, Professor, forensic science, Kilpauk Medical College (KMC), Dr Manikandaraja, Assistant Professor, Forensic Science, KMC and Dr K V Vinod, Assistant Professor, Forensic Science, KMC.

Representational image. Image credit: Wiki commonsRepresentational image. Image credit: Wiki commons

Representational image. Image credit: Wiki commons

The postmortem would be conducted after the doctors receive a copy of the high court order, the judge said.

The court also took note of the Public Prosecutor R Rajarathinam’s submission that the entire process would be videographed.

Giving reasons as to why the court did not accede to the plea for a doctor of the petitioner’s satisfaction to be
present during post-mortem, as had been done in some other cases, the judge said the issue of Ram Kumar’s family to seek a nominee of their choice in the team of doctors to conduct post-mortem would arise only when the petitioner is able to make out a case to discredit the team or for any reason, with reasonable material, to show that the team of doctors would be biased.

“There can be no automatic presumption in this regard to discredit the team of government doctors,” the judge said.

Swathi was hacked to death, allegedly by Kumar, an engineering graduate, on June 24 while she was waiting to board a train at a platform of Nungambakkam suburban railway station to her work place on the city outskirts.

Ram Kumar allegedly committed suicide by biting an electric wire in the dispensary of the jail on Sunday and a hospital later declared him brought dead.

Speedo, Ralph Lauren drop Ryan Lochte after Rio incident | Reuters

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Gir cows pee gold, claim Junagadh Agricultural University scientists

Scientists at the Junagadh Agricultural University have claimed that there are traces of gold in the urine of Gir cows.

You heard that right. After four years of research, scientists at the university claimed that the analysis of 400 Gir cows done at the Food Testing Laboratory revealed traces of gold, ranging from 3 mg to 10 mg, found in one litre of cow urine, reported News18.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The gold was reportedly found in ionic form, which is gold salt soluble in water. “We’ve been researching on cows for the last four years. As scriptures describe, we tested the samples on Kapil Plasma Unit and the range of gold as 3 to 10 milligrams per litre. It has been repeatedly tested and the gold has been isolated, precipitated and melted,” the report quoted scientist BA Golakia as saying.

Golakia also said that the cow urine contained 5,100 compounds, which included 388 with medicinal properties. The range of gold found varied according to the age of the cow and the feed it had consumed, he said, adding that calves have the maximum amount of gold in their urine and that morning urine samples have better gold content than the evening samples.

“Nine compounds are anti-cancer and 14 compounds help against mental ailments,” Golakia further told News18.

Another report in The Times of India said that the scientists also analysed urine samples of camels, buffaloes, sheep and goats but did not find anti-biotic elements in them.

The report added that Junagadh Agricultural University’s Food Testing Laboratory, which makes this surprising claim, is accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and conducts 50,000 tests on various products every year on an average.

I only wanted to pass, dad made me topper: Bihar’s Ruby Rai makes the most honest confession ever

“Maine to Papa se kaha tha pass karwa dijiye, unhone ne to top hi karwa diya” or in English, “I had only told my dad to get me passed but he went ahead and made me the topper.”, The Indian Express reported Ruby Rai as saying. This admission from Bihar’s class 12 arts topper Ruby Rai perfectly sums up the current mess she’s in as the girl who wrote ‘Tuslidas, Pranam” about the poet instead of an essay in the re-test.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Manu Maharaj, Patna special SP, told the newspaper that Rai was forthright in accepting she didn’t deserve to be a topper and had expected second division at best and now blamed her parents and her college principal Bachcha Rai for making her a topper.The police however aren’t convinced about her ignorance of the scam as she had written fresh answers in a tampered version of the answer sheet. There’s also some controversy over her age as she might be a minor. The SSP added that there was enough proof of tampering and that the answers were written in fresh sheets, and one of the toppers had been awarded 51 out of 50 marks.
ALSO READ ‘Tulsidas ji, Pranam’: This one-line essay from Bihar topper Ruby Rai was enough to get her arrestedRai, who had achieved infamy after describing political science as “prodigal science” soon after the declaration of the Class XII results, was asked about a dozen questions from the syllabus by a seven-member expert committee of the board. Re-exams were ordered after she in a TV interview had said political science, a subject she virtually aced, teaches cooking. Last week, a Patna court rejected the interim bail plea of BSEB ex-chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh and his wife Usha Sinha, a former JD (U) MLA, in connection with the intermediate toppers’ scam case.Following the furore over the Bihar Board examination toppers being unable to answer basic questions related to their stream eventually leading to a re-examination, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier said the guilty won’t be spared, adding the investigation into this matter will be done with a criminal angle. The BSEB earlier on June 4 cancelled the results of two toppers, including Sourabh Shrestha, of the Intermediate (Science) examinations after they failed to prove their merit in a re-test. With agency inputs

Mumbai: Team of 13 city students shine at NASA’s event

A team of 13 students from Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering, called Screwdrivers, came out with flying colours at recently held competition at NASA in the USA by winning the Ahola team spirit award. The event saw participation from as many as 69 teams from 10 countries.The team comprises students from different engineering branches, working on making of different machines. Apart from this, the team also conducts lectures and events at various colleges and schools to share their experience and encourage others. Also, the machines that they make is distributed among underprivileged people. “The team has been making different machines and doing social work for the past three years. So far, we have distributed 120 solar energy devices made by the team to the needy,” said professor Sawankumar Naik, who guides the team.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He further added that the team has reached 67,000 people while conducting lectures, events and social work. The Screwdrivers also have done an event at city’s Nehru Science Centre this year. Other than the social activities, the team has been participating in different competitions and won 9 awards till now. “These activities led them to get awarded with Ahola team spirit at NASA on June 25,” said Naik, adding that the competition was 15th Annual International Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) organised by Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) between June 23 and 25.The theme of the competition was “From the Gulf of Mexico to Jupiter’s moon Europa: ROVs exploring inner and outer space”. In this competition the team presented an ROV that can travel and be deployed to Europa’s deep oceans and can deploy instruments, recover critical equipment, collect and analyse oil samples and survey corals as well as carry out wellhead decommission and conversion.Naik informed that the two cameras on the machine help monitor the ROV and perform tasks via robotic arms. “The team took five months to make the ROV,” Naik concluded.

Students shouldn’t be arrested, Nitish-led govt to blame for Bihar topper scam: Union minister Upendra Kushwaha

Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, a member of the HRD has said that it wasn’t correct to arrest Bihar board topper Ruby Rai and other students, and that the Nitish-led government was to blame for the debacle.He was quoted saying by HT: “The students named in the merit list scam are innocent and no punitive action should be taken against them. The government should make public the names of bigwigs who had patronised the accused in the scam.” He added that such a scam wouldn’t have been feasible if the CM had shown a zero-tolerance policy on the poor quality of education in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Controversial Humanities topper in Bihar intermediate examination Ruby Rai, who pronounced Political Science as “Prodikal Science” which according to her deals with cooking, was arrested on Saturday. Ruby was arrested by Special Investigation Team (SIT) as she emerged from a re-test of Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said. A Patna court on Saturday issued a non-bailable against four toppers of the intermediate examination, including Ruby, in the exam racket. Science topper Saurbabh Shrestha, third topper Rahul Kumar and Vishun Roy college Principal Bachha Rai’s daughter Shalini Rai are the other three against whom the arrest warrant was issued. Ruby’s comments during a TV interview after she was declared the topper in Humanities stream this year had led to the lid being taken off from the toppers scam in the state. She had pronounced Political Science which was one of her subjects as “Prodikal science” which according to her taught cooking. After skipping two summons to appear before a team of subject experts for reassessment of her exam performance, Ruby, enrolled from the controversial Vishun Roy college in Vaishali, arrived at BSEB office today to face a written re-test as well as interview. The details of the re-test are yet to be known. Meanwhile, during questioning the private assistant (PA) of former BSEB chairman Lalkeshwar Singh revealed that Rs 15 lakh was charged for declaring toppers through dubious means, SSP Maharaj said. The PA, Vikash Chandra, further revealed that a sum of Rs 10 lakh was charged from a failed student to give them pass certificates, he said. Singh, his former JD(U) MLA wife Usha Sinha, Vishun Roy college secretary-cum principal Bachha Rai and nearly a dozen others have been arrested in the degree racket case.

Eight police officials dead, 20 injured in Kashmir militant attack | Reuters

SRINAGAR, India Militants killed eight police officials and injured 20 when they attacked a security convoy in Jammu & Kashmir on Saturday, a police spokesman said, in an attack claimed by Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Two men attacked a convoy of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on a highway near the Pampore town, 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the state capital Srinagar. The militants were killed by CRPF officials who were guarding the highway, police spokesman Bhavesh Kumar Choudhary said.

Dr. Abdullah Gaznavi, a spokesman for LeT, told Reuters by phone that the attack was carried out by members of the group’s suicide squad. Gaznavi claimed 13 CRPF police officials were killed in the fighting that lasted for an hour.

Violence in Kashmir has spiked against a backdrop of rising social tension and separatist sentiment in the Muslim-majority region, which for decades has been at the centre of a strategic tussle between India and Pakistan.

In May, militants shot dead three policemen at point-blank range. In February, militants attacked a bus carrying police reservists near Srinagar, before breaking into a training institute.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over Kashmir, which they both claim in full but rule in part.

India accuses Pakistan of training and arming the rebels in the portion it controls and sending them to the Indian side, a claim its neighbour denies.

Mehbooba Mufti, state chief minister, condemned Saturday’s attack. “The only purpose of such blood-spattered acts of violence is to add to the tragedies and miseries of the people,” she said in a statement.

(Writing by Aditya Kalra, Editing by Rafael Nam and Digby Lidstone)

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

After IITs, NIT hikes fee to Rs 1.25 lakh per annum

After IITs, fees in National Institutes of Technology (NITs) is all set for a hike from Rs 70,000 to Rs 1.25 lakh per annum.The HRD ministry has approved this proposal of the NIT Council and the increased fees will be effective from new admissions. The fee hike will not affect those who have already taken admissions, a senior official told PTI.In a separate decision, the ministry also decided to hike the fees for the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) from Rs 15,000 per semester to Rs 25,000 per semester from “prospective effect”. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A decision has been taken to raise the fees at NITs for undergraduate as well as post graduate courses for which Rs 70,000 was charged. Now the students who join NITs will have to pay Rs 1.25 per year for these courses,” the official said.”The fee hike would only for new students who get admission and not for those who are already studying,” the official said.Earlier, this year, the HRD ministry had hiked the fees for IITs from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh per annum.However, on the lines of the decision taken with regard to IITs, the ministry has decided to give a total fee waiver for the differently-abled, students from SC and ST community and those belonging to families with annual income less than Rs 1 lakh.Students from families with annual income of less than Rs 5 lakh will also be entitled to a fee waiver of two-thirds amount. The officials said the fee hike has been effected with an aim of providing more resources to these institutions so that highest quality education can be provided.

Congress MP Kantilal Bhuria says not invited to govt events, alleges protocol violation

A heated exchange of words took place between Union Minister Harsh Vardhan and Congress MP Kantilal Bhuria with the latter threatening to bring a privilege motion in Parliament against district authorities for not inviting him to government functions held here yesterday. Bhuria has alleged that the protocol has been violated. When Vardhan was leaving the Circuit House to attend a function last evening here, Bhuria with his supporters stopped the cavalcade of the Union Science and Technology Minister to register his complaint. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Minister had arrived here to take part in various programmes on the occasion of BJP-led NDA government completing two years at the Centre. Bhuria fumed that he had not been invited to the government functions despite the fact that he was an MP from the ST Ratlam Lok Sabha seat. The Congress tribal leader shouted that he was going to bring a privilege motion against the district authorities for disrespecting him by not inviting him to government functions, and demanded action against officials. While shouting at the minister, Bhuria allegedly even held Vardhan’s arm tightly in anger apparently to ensure that he doesn’t get into his car to leave the venue. Vardhan then told Bhuria, “Aap bolne ka lahja sahi rakhen (mind your language).” But the minister then mellowed down and said, “I had been informed by the district authorities that they invited you (Bhuria) to the functions. “In fact, I waited for you at a function earlier. However, I am going to write for action against officials who didn’t invite you,” Vardhan assured the tribal leader. The Union minister was in town yesterday to attend a series of functions to highlight the NDA government’s achievement of two years.

Sturridge strikes late to seal 2-1 win for England | Reuters

LENS Substitute Daniel Sturridge stabbed home a dramatic winner in stoppage time to steer England towards a 2-1 win over Wales and top spot in their Euro 2016 group on Thursday.

A goal down to Wales at halftime after Gareth Bale struck a wonderful free kick from 30 metres, England manager Roy Hodgson brought on forwards Sturridge and Jamie Vardy, whom many fans had wanted to see start the game, to replace the ineffectual Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.

It turned out to be a pivotal change as Vardy, England’s Footballer-of-the-Year in the Premier League this season for his goalscoring at champions Leicester City, grabbed an equaliser in the 56th minute.

Then, with England piling on the pressure in the dying seconds, Sturridge scrambled his way through the box to fire home the winner from close range.

The result left England at the top of Group B on four points, ahead of Wales and Slovakia on three and Russia bottom with just one point.

“It’s a great feeling, unbelievable,” Sturridge said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity. It’s only one more game in the group so no-one should get too excited. But it was an amazing feeling. It’s great to help the boys win the game.”

Wales would have won the group with victory, but instead they will meet Russia in their final game with their destiny still very much in their own hands.

“Obviously, we’re massively disappointed but I’m proud of everyone. Inside, we still feel strong, we still feel happy,” said Wales goalscorer Bale.

“We’re enjoying it and the tournament’s not over yet. We’re still in the thick of it. We’ll keep fighting all the way to qualify, and the fans have been amazing once again.”

All talk of the recent fan violence in Marseille and Lille dissipated as the game kicked off amid a cacophony of noise and singing from both sets of fans.

England dominated most of the first half and Sterling could have put them ahead as early as the seventh minute, but he skied the ball over the bar from close range, and it did not get any better from there on for the Manchester City winger.

With Wayne Rooney dropping deep to pull the strings in midfield, England sought to make the most of the space behind the Welsh full backs, but their final ball into the box was often a poor one.

They went behind just before halftime when Rooney clattered into Hal Robson-Kanu, with Bale driving a dipping free kick over the England wall and past keeper Joe Hart, who perhaps should have done better having got a hand to the ball.

The jubilant Wales fans spent the break bouncing a beach ball around behind the goal, but the appearance of Vardy and Sturridge soon put a stop to their merriment.

Eleven minutes after coming on, the pair combined to draw England level. Sturridge lifted the ball into the box where it came off the head of Wales captain Ashley Williams, and Vardy pounced to score.

England continued to apply relentless pressure but were held at bay until deep into stoppage time.

Sturridge charged into the box, took a ball from Dele Alli, wriggled past one challenge and held off another before beating Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey with a powerful finish, conjured from little backlift.

“Everyone wants to be part of the playing lineup and coming off the bench you want to try to make an impact,” Vardy said.

Wales captain Ashley Williams remained upbeat, despite the outcome.

“It’s tough for everyone but we’ve got another game on Monday, so we won’t get down about it,” he said.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Adrian Warner/Toby Davis)

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

RBI eases stressed asset restructuring rules for banks | Reuters

MUMBAI The Reserve Bank of India on Monday relaxed guidelines for restructuring of large stressed assets by lenders in a move that would allow the banks to more effectively manage bad loans on their books.

India’s banks are saddled with about $120 billion in stressed loans, or 11.5 percent of the total, and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has set a deadline of March 2017 to clean up the bqad loans on bank balance sheets.

(Reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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

Modi notches Rajya Sabha gains, eyes Uttar Pradesh battle | Reuters

ALLAHABAD, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has notched up gains in elections to the Rajya Sabha, and is seeking to drive home the advantage when his nationalist ruling party meets to devise a strategy to win Uttar Pradesh, India’s biggest state.

Modi drew standing ovations from U.S. lawmakers this week on a visit to Washington D.C. but, like President Barack Obama, has faced a struggle in his two years in power to get legislation through a hostile second chamber.

That job may have become slightly less difficult after his nationalist the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies added five seats in Saturday’s Rajya Sabha polls, but with 74 seats in the 245-chamber they remain in a minority.

BJP leaders were due to meet later on Sunday to finalise their strategy to win the 2017 election in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, knowing that defeat would handicap Modi and sap his chances of winning a second term.

“We have to win Uttar Pradesh to change the destiny of India,” BJP national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh said to Reuters ahead of the two-day meeting in Allahabad, eastern Uttar Pradesh.

The opposition Congress alliance lost three seats to 71, with regional parties holding the balance of power, according to media tallies. With Congress down but not yet out, Modi will still have to cut deals to pass tax, labour and land reforms.

Modi swept Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 general election, helping him to claim the biggest Lok Sabha majority in three decades. But he is unlikely to repeat that result against tough opposition from regional parties.

A senior BJP official said Modi’s closed-door brainstorming session would mobilise grassroots activists to consolidate the majority Hindu vote base and devise a formula to play up Hindu-Muslim polarisation and caste politics.

(Editing by Douglas Busvine and Christian Schmollinger)

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

Bihar exam row: SIT to probe into matter, guilty won’t be spared, says JD(U)

With the FIR being registered against four students and the director of the Vishun Roy (VR) College following the ‘expose’ of toppers of 10+2 examinations conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board, the Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) would probe the matter and those guilty will not be spared. The JD(U) leader Shyam Rajak said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is not going to bear any wrong doers. “So, the moment he got to know about this incident he ordered that an FIR be filed against the guilty besides asking for the formation of an SIT. He also said no one will be spared no matter how powerful that person is,” Rajak said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”And we have fresh examples of that, when very recently powerful people were sent to jail. Even in this case, no one will be spared. Nitish Kumarji will not succumb to any pressure,” he added. Following the furore over the Bihar Board examination toppers being unable to answer basic questions related to their stream eventually leading to a re-examination, the Chief Minister earlier on Sunday said the guilty won’t be spared, adding the investigation into this matter will done with a criminal angle. “I am going to seek more information on this and take action. A similar case had come to the fore even earlier and we re-examined all those whose names were in the top 10 list,” Nitish said. On Saturday, the BSEB had cancelled the results of two toppers, including Sourabh Shrestha, of the Intermediate (Science) examinations after they failed to prove their merits in a re-test.

Bihar 12th Results 2016: Nitish Kumar dissolves BSEB probe committee, orders registration of FIR

Bihar government on Monday dissolved a committee constituted by Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) to probe into alleged irregularities in evaluation of marks in this year’s 10+2 examination.The decision to dissolve the committee was taken after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held a meeting with Education minister Ashok Choudhary, Principal Secretary (Education) D S Gangwar and BSEB chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The government has dissolved the committee,” Choudhary told reporters after the meeting and said it was decided to go for direct action into irregularities without any further delay by registering an FIR against education mafias.”It was discussed that the committee constituted by the Board would have taken time and arrived on a conclusion that irregularities have been committed, which prima facie has already been established. There is no point delaying action and hence, the state government decided to go for direct action by registering an FIR and initiating action against the culprits,” the minister said.Later, an official statement said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar directed the education department to lodge an FIR in connection with alleged irregularities in Vaishali in Intermediate exam for the current year.The CM ordered that the entire matter be probed by the police and stern action be initiated against those found guilty, the statement said.The CM instructed to make arrangements for continuous assessment of students in higher school levels, it added.Kumar had yesterday asserted that no one would be spared and action would be taken after fixing responsibility.The BSEB had yesterday constituted a four-member committee headed by Patna High Court Judge Justice (retd) Ghanshyam Prasad to probe the irregularities in the evaluation of marks for 10+2 Intermediate exam.The BSEB had on June 4 decided to cancel the results of topper Saurabh Shrestha and third topper in Science stream Rahul Kumar after they were found not up to mark during a re-test conducted by a team of experts on 13 toppers in Arts and Science streams of Intermediate level in the current year.Arts topper Ruby Rai, in an interview to media, had called Political Science as “Prodigal Science”, which according to her was about cooking, and has been directed to face experts on June 11.

Bihar Board Class 12 Results row: Govt, BSEB form 3-member committee to probe irregularities

Bihar government and Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) on Sunday constituted two separate committees to probe the alleged irregularities in evaluation of marks in this year’s 10+2 examination.The education department has formed a three-member committee which would probe the irregularities in evaluation of marks for 10+2 examination conducted by the BSEB this year.”As per the state government’s directive, the education department today constituted a high-level three-member committee to probe the irregularities in the evaluation of marks for 10+2 examination for both Arts and Science streams,” state Education minister Ashok Choudhary said in a release.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The probe committee would comprise of Bihar State Educational Infrastructure Development Corporation chairman Sanjeevan Sinha, Director, Secondary Education Rajiv Prasad Singh Ranjan and Director, Mass Education Vinodanand Jha.Choudhary said the committee would submit its report to the state government by June 20 after conducting a thorough probe.It may be noted that BSEB yesterday cancelled the result of the topper of science stream and another rank holder after a retest of 13 toppers of Arts and Science streams.Rest 11 toppers who had appeared for the retest and interview before an expert team have been given clean chit, the Board chairman had said.The Board today named a four-member committee headed by Patna High Court Judge Justice (retd) Ghanshyam Prasad to probe the irregularities in the evaluation of marks for 10+2 exam for Intermediate, Board chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh said, adding the committee has been asked to give its report at the earliest.Other two members of the committee are retired District Judge GP Srivastava and former IPS officer Mithu Prasad.Singh said the probe committee chairman has been asked to include an educationist in the committee.The Board had yesterday said the matter would be probed by a committee headed by a retired Patna High Court Judge on the alleged irregularities in evaluation of marks for state higher secondary exam in the current year, including irregularities in allotment of marks in the Intermediate examination.

Bihar toppers row: Probe to be conducted, no one will be spared, says Nitish Kumar

Patna: Reacting to the exposé of toppers of 10+2 examinations conducted by Bihar School Examination Board, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said no one will be spared and action would be taken after fixing responsibility in the matter.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Reuters

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Reuters

“No one will be spared. Such an incident has happened and steps would be taken to ensure that there should not be any scope for such things in future. A thorough probe would be conducted into the incident. Whether or not any criminality is involved would also be probed,” he said.

“Last year, photographs of students using unfair means in matriculation examination appeared. We took stern action. This year, we successfully checked cheating in matriculation examination. Education department is looking into the matter (10+2 toppers). I will also keep a tab on it,” Kumar told reporters here.

The BSEB on Saturday cancelled the result of science topper and another rank holder after a retest of 13 toppers of Arts and Science streams. Rest 11 toppers who had appeared for the retest and interview before an expert team have been found excellent and given clean chit, the board chairman had said.

Kumar, also the national president of JD(U) was replying to reporters’ queries at the launch of party’s membership campaign.

Delhi’s pollution troubles are ‘far from over’: CSE

Delhi’s pollution troubles are “far from over”, a green body on Friday said as its analysis showed that the number of vehicles entering the national capital from other states every day is close to the total number of vehicles that get registered in the city annually.A real time cross-border traffic survey by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said that personal and passenger vehicles from outside account for 22% of the total particulate load which is not only undercutting pollution control efforts in Delhi but also making enormous demand for land for parking facilities.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noting that while cutting down on truck pollution is a good step, but not enough for the city as it is a “pollution highway” for cars, CSE said diesel fuel use is still high in Delhi as the total number of diesel cars, taxis and SUVs entering the national capital daily are also 2.5 times the diesel vehicles registered in Delhi during 2014-15.CSE claimed that instead of scaling up public transport connectivity in the NCR aggressively, both the Centre and state governments are planning to turn city roads into highways and elevated corridors to induce more personal vehicle travel through Delhi.”Delhi’s battle against pollution, congestion and energy guzzling can get increasingly more difficult if its own explosive motorisation gets further aggravated by the huge daily influx of vehicles from outside. An equal numbers of vehicles are going out of Delhi daily contributing to pollution in the NCR towns as well.”This new analysis reconfirms that ineffective public policy on public transport connectivity is increasing dependence on personal vehicles, leading to enormous pollution and ill-health in Delhi-NCR,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE’s head of sustainable urbanisation programme.The CSE survey at nine entry points shows that around 3.07 lakh cars and 1.27 lakh two-wheelers enter Delhi daily.If this is taken as the 70% of the total traffic from all 124 entry points, then the total number of cars, SUVs and two-wheelers from all entry points can be as much as 5.65 lakh.The Economic Survey of Delhi for the year 2014-15 shows 5.69 lakh total vehicles were registered that year in the city and thus, the total number of vehicles that enter Delhi daily is almost equal to the number that is registered in the city,” CSE said.It also said that toxic fumes from local and incoming vehicles is also contributing to growing risk of cancer in the city as the National Cancer Registry Programme Report of 2012-14 shows incidence of cancers is highest in Delhi among the major Indian cities.CSE said that lung cancer incidents have increased by over 33.3 per cent since the middle of last decade here.

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