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From Demonetisation to Donald Trump: The biggest stories of 2016, as voted by our readers

2016 was a remarkable year for news.

Filled with stories painted in all sorts of hues, it’s unlikely there’s been a year that was as uplifting as it was saddening, as rewarding as it was frustrating, as exhilarating, as shocking.

Roughly 10 days ago, we began asking you what you thought was the biggest story of the year across a variety of sections.

Here’s what you thought:

Let’s start with Business, where your biggest story of the year — somewhat unsurprisingly — was demonetisation.

In a surprising move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on 8 November, and in the process, sucked out a major chunk of currency notes in the country. As there weren’t enough notes of smaller denominations to replace the banned ones, the move created an artificial cash crunch.

People queued up in front of banks and ATMs to withdraw cash and deposit old notes. As they are still struggling to come to terms with the situation, nobody has been able to fathom the real impact of the move on daily lives. Demonetisation will remain the biggest news story not only of 2016, but even in 2017.

Demonetisation, however, wasn’t just a business story. An all-encompassing story like that affected all walks of life.

Which is probably why you voted it the biggest story of the year in terms of General News too. But since that’s covered above, let’s look at the second biggest news story of the year: Donald Trump being elected President of the United States.

Reams of newsprint and hours of airtime have been devoted to just why this was such an earthshaking story. In fact, the very idea that a rank outsider — a joke candidate, if we’re being honest — at the start of the campaign trail could swat aside all opponents to become the (arguably) most powerful man in the world was laughable. And when it happened, it shook not just the US, but the world at large.

The road to the election was marked by mudslinging, insults, accusations, sexism and much more unpleasant stuff. Ever since it became official that Trump will take office in January 2017, the entire world has been wondering just what he will do when he enters the White House. It was both his journey to presidency and the concerns about what he will do next that made this such a massive story.

In Sports, it was the rise of PV Sindhu that found the most takers.

Sindhu became an overnight sensation after her stunning run at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she came away with the silver medal. Her incredible ability, combined with her perseverance, made her the nation’s next biggest sporting icon of 2016. After Rio, she went on to win the China Open, her first Super Series title, the Malaysia Masters, and finished as runner-up in the Hong Kong Open.

On her debut at the season-ending Dubai World Super Series Final, she reached the semis and even avenged her Olympic loss to Carolina Marin in the group stage. With these brilliant performances, she consolidated both her own and India’s position as a force to be reckoned with in international badminton. Her dominance also neatly plugged the gap left by an injured Saina Nehwal, and we hope she continues to shine even brighter in the years to come.

In the world of Technology, it was the exploding Samsung Note 7 that you picked.

The Note 7 was quite an interesting phone. In fact, we at Firstpost had a chance to use the smartphone for a short bit when it was announced in India and came away impressed. Soon after its announcement, the phablet had started selling in a few markets. Not even a month had passed and around 30 different reports of certain units catching fire began to trickle in. This turned into a deluge and the first stock for India was delayed.

Samsung even issued a statement confirming the battery malfunction issue. The company immediately began sending out replacement units to Note 7 consumers. Sadly, the second and even third replacement units were still catching fire. It was a complete disaster. The smartphone was banned from flights and announcements were made advising Note 7 users not to use the handset while travelling. Nothing screams bad PR like such public service announcements at the airport.

After numerous replacements, the company had no choice but to announce a global recall of the smartphone. One of the biggest in consumer electronics history. It sent out boxes to consumers asking them to return the handset, as it was a serious threat. It even announced and rolled out software updates to restrict battery charging. Eventually, the Note 7 had to be killed.

In the world of Entertainment, you voted for the ban on Pakistani artistes.

In the aftermath of the Uri terror attack, followed by the surgical strikes in September this year, various sections of the population demanded a ban on Pakistani artistes from the film industry. This meant that any impending film, concert or event featuring a Pakistani artiste or actor had no place in India. Some members of the Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India announced they wouldn’t release films featuring Pakistani artistes in four states — Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Karnataka.

The Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association also said that it had effectively banned any Pakistani artiste from India. This lead to a conflict in the release of Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. MNS chief Raj Thackeray took it upon himself to ensure this ban was followed. After much running around, and hush-hush conversations with the Maharashtra chief minister, the matter was finally resolved.

Which brings us to Social Media, where the most viral story of the year — as selected by you — was the visual of the Syrian boy covered in blood and dust.

Shared a million times over, this image of five-year old Omran Daqneesh emerged as the ultimate reminder of the horror and trauma thousands of people, especially children, face due to the Syrian civil war. Omran was one of five children wounded during a military strike.

Widely shared on social media, the photograph makes it impossible to forget little Omran in the ambulance, stunned by the bloody chaos. The video in which he is seen wiping dust and blood from his face is considered as one of the strongest visuals of the ravages of war in the past year.

And there you have it.

Those are the biggest stories of 2016, as voted by you.

Bring on 2017!

First Published On : Dec 31, 2016 15:01 IST

I-T seizes Rs 48 cr worth undisclosed assets in Karnataka, Goa post demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Undisclosed assets worth Rs 48 crore, including Rs 22 crores in new currency notes, had been unearthed during searches conducted by the Income Tax department in Karnataka and Goa since the Centre announced demonetization of high-value notes, a top official said on Wednesday.”We have seized an undisclosed amount of Rs 34 crores in cash and Rs 14 crores in bullion, and out of which Rs 22 crores were in new currency notes, post-demonetization,” Principal Chief Commissioner of I-T, Karnataka-Goa, Nutan Wodeyar told reporters in Bengaluru.Giving figures of seizures made by I-T this year so far, Wodeyar said the department conducted 48 searches and seized Rs 116 crores worth undisclosed assets compared to Rs 27 crores during the corresponding period in the previous year. “Compared to 14 searches conducted last year, this year 48 searches were made,” she said.The department also conducted 36 surveys as of Wednesday compared to 38 last year and found a concealment amount of Rs 393 crores compared to Rs 140 crores during last year.Replying to a query, Wodeyar said the department so far this year had initiated 15 prosecutions and expect the numbers to go up. She, however, declined to reveal the names of those facing prosecution.

Foodgrain output in the country may scale peak next year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agriculture sector is all set to bounce back leaving two years of drought behind and may well pull off record foodgrain output of 270 million tonnes in 2016-17 on good rains, but farmers’ woes may continue due to adverse impact of notes ban and low sales realisation.The farm growth is estimated to rise at over 5% this fiscal, from 1.2% in the previous year, on the back of record kharif foodgrain production at 135 million tonnes (mt) and likely bumper output in the ongoing rabi season, helped by good monsoon in most parts of the country.”The agriculture sector has done well during the year. We received good monsoon after facing the drought year. Kharif in general was very good and rabi sowing has been brisk. We are hopeful of bumper production this year,” Agriculture Secretary Shobhana Pattanayak said in an interview.Although agri-experts have raised concerns about impact of demonetization on rabi crops and the likely effect of forecast of warm winter on wheat crop, the secretary said the government is not “downgrading” the target for 2016-17 crop year. “Our target is to achieve foodgrain production of 270 million tonnes while our last peak production was 265.04 mt in 2013-14 crop year (July-June),” he said.”Agriculture sector growth was lower last year because of drought. But from that level, we will move higher.” On farm sector growth, NITI Aayog Member Ramesh Chand said: “It will be spectacular growth after facing two drought years. We are expecting a growth of 5.5% this year.” The growth rate of agriculture and allied sectors will be 5.3% even if wheat productivity throughout the country is lower by 3% due to rise in temperature, he said.Asked about adverse impact of demonetization on farmers, Pattanayak said there is not much impact as the credit system has been strong in rural areas and farmers have become more resilient over the years. “Our farmers have witnessed very strong drought in last two years and yet they have bounced back. I don’t think it has really impacted,” he said. However, farmers’ organisations as well as former agriculture minister Sharad Pawar have expressed deep concern about impact of demonetization, saying farmers are unable to buy quality seeds and fertilisers for their rabi crop and are also facing problems in selling crops for want of demand.Despite record kharif production this year and expected good crop in the rabi season, farmers’ conditions continue to be grim due to lower sales realisation, with domestic and global commodity prices staying depressed. The demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has also affected the domestic demand of fruits and vegetables, forcing farmers to sell their produce at throwaway price.About farmers’ woes, agri-economist Ashok Gulati said: “This year, production is likely to bounce back and therefore, much better than last year. However, farmers are already under debt. And prices of cotton, basmati rice and, with demonetization, many fresh fruits and vegetables are depressed. Because of that, despite higher production levels, farmers have not gained much.”2016 began on a sticky note as the country’s overall foodgrain output remained flat at 252 mt in 2015-16 crop year due to second straight year of drought. Pulse output fell to 16.5 mt resulting in high prices for most part of the year that kept the government on its toes, which took various steps to cool prices and bring relief to consumers.The measures like domestic procurement and import to boost local supplies helped ease the prices of tur and urad from about Rs 200 a kg, but chana continues to rule high. As per the official estimate, wheat output rose to 93.55 mt, from 86 mt, but FCI’s procurement fell sharply and domestic prices of wheat and its products began to rise towards the end of the year. The government scrapped import duties on wheat to boost domestic supply. To provide relief to farmers hit by the cash crunch, the government has given them an additional two months to repay their crop loans due in November-December and said prompt repayment will be eligible for the extra 3% interest subsidy.The government had earlier allowed farmers to buy seeds through old Rs 500 notes from central and state-owned seed companies as well as from ICAR and central varsities. It had also asked fertiliser companies to sell soil nutrient on credit basis to farmers. To check food inflation, import duties on palm oils and potatoes were reduced. Stock limit on sugar mills were also imposed to check prices although improved domestic rates helped industry clear arrears to farmers.The year also saw the successful rollout of the landmark National Food Security Act (NFSA) across the country. Programmes like new crop insurance scheme and eNAM to link all 585 mandis on an electronic trading platform were announced to augment farmers’ income.In this year’s budget, the government raised agri-credit by Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 9 lakh crore for the current fiscal and levied 0.5% Krishi Kalyan cess on all taxable services to fund farm initiatives. Eminent scientist M S Swaminathan hailed the new schemes, but stressed on proper implementation. He also wanted the government to pay farmers 50% more than the production cost as part of the minimum support price (MSP).Expressing concern over poor implementation of agri schemes, Gulati, the former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, said: “The government should focus completely on agriculture and try to implement some of the programmes properly.”The year also witnessed the government fixing the maximum retail price and royalty for cotton seeds, including Bt cotton, based on its order issued at the fag end of 2015. The move was opposed by biotechnology firms while the domestic seed manufacturers were in favour of the decision.Global biotechnology major Monsanto threatened to re-evaluate its India business. It plans to introduce new products, besides entering into the legal battle against this order. However, NCP supremo Pawar recently attacked the NDA government for taking such a move, saying “Indian agriculture is being brought back to licence and control raj which is detrimental to the growth of the sector”. “The government of the day should not have hostility to improve systems and technologies,” he said, adding that the government is overly “cautious” on the technology front. In May, the agriculture ministry had come out with a notification to regulate the cotton seed market with provisions for compulsory legislations and capping of royalty rates at up to 10% of the retail price. But it was forced to withdraw this notification amid protest from biotech companies.Genetically modified (GM) mustard, developed by the Delhi University’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants, was in news throughout the year as regulatory body GEAC was vetting the proposal for commercial cultivation amid strong protest from green activists as well as RSS-backed Swadeshi Jagran Manch.Amid uncertainty over the government’s likely stand on GM crop cultivation, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Trilochan Mohapatra said: “From the research side, the transgenic crop which we have developed should be ready, irrespective of whether the government will release them for commercial cultivation or not.” Five transgenic crops — brinjal, tomatoes, banana, castor, shorgum — are ready for large-scale field trials (BRL1), he said, and many GM crops are ready for confined trials.It will be interesting to see the government’s approach in the new year towards allowing cultivation of GM crops, particularly in food crops. At present, the government has allowed commercial cultivation of Bt cotton and there is moratorium on Bt brinjal due to protest from green activists.In 2017, the ongoing legal battle involving global MNC Monsanto, the government and the domestic seed industry will be keenly watched as the outcome will shape the future of regulations for selling GM seeds.

Man Booker Prize winner to headline Zee Jaipur LitFest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Paul Beatty, fresh off his Man Booker Prize win, will be the star draw at the upcoming Zee Jaipur Literature Festival which begins January 19 next year. The Los Angeles-based author bagged the pound 50,000 prize for his novel, The Sellout, in October, becoming the first American to win it.Beatty heads a list of around 250 best-selling, award-winning authors, filmmakers, politicians, journalists, historians, professors, etc who’ll make it to the festival which completes 10 years this year. Among them are Alice Walker, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction; Anne Waldman, a leading American poet; and Booker winners Alan Hollinghurst (2004) and Richard Flanagan (2014).Margo Jefferson, whose Negroland sketches a picture of a black society very different from the dysfunctioning, poverty-stricken stereotype one encounters generally, also makes her debut appearance at Jaipur this year. As do Eka Kurniawan, the first Indonesian to be nominated for a Man Booker International Prize this year for Beauty is a Wound.Also, NoViolet Bulawayo, the first Zimbabwean author to be nominated for the Man Booker for her novel, We Need New Names.The Indian writers in English brigade is a little thin this year featuring, among others, Vikram Chandra, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Manju Kapoor, Keki Daruwalla, Manu Joseph, Raghu Karnad, Arshia Sattar, Ashwin Sanghi, and others. A surprise participant is Naseem Shafaie, the first Kashmiri female writer to get a Sahitya Akademi award last year.ZEE JLF generally is strong on film glamour, and this year the star attractions will be Rishi Kapoor, and Aishwarya Dhanush, Rajinikant’s daughter. From the international community, there’ll be directors Neil Jordan The Crying Game and Stephen Frears Dangerous Liaisons, The Queen – both first-timers at the festival.Look out also for Chinese writer Mei Fong, who’s written a book on China’s one-child policy; former US ambassador to India Robert Blackwill; and Hyeonseo Lee, a North Korean defector living in Seoul, who has recently come out with her memoirs. The sessions with Korean-born economist Ha-Joon Chang, author of 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism, will generate interest, as will the ones with Newsnight’s long time presenter Jeremy Paxman, whose abrasive interviewing style is supposed to have been the template for Arnab Goswami.

BJP, Opposition trade barbs over PM Modi winning TIME Person of the Year online poll

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Some ministers on Monday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for winning TIME Person of the Year 2016’s online reader poll while opposition leaders took a dig at him, saying such a survey, if conducted in India, will show his popularity has declined, especially after demonetization.”I feel Modi ji is not only Person of the Year, but Person of the Century. With the agenda of peace, prosperity, growth and employment he is setting, the coming 84 years will have India and the world revolve around him,” Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti told reporters in the Parliament premises.Home Minister Rajnath Singh, too, wished Modi saying, “I congratulate him.”Taking a jibe at the Prime Minister, Congress MP Raj Babbar noted that those who voted for Modi were allegedly unaware of the rise in prices of flour and daal in the country during the NDA regime and the plight of Indians post demonetization.”I will humbly tell Modi ji… You should not go by the Times survey… The popularity, riding on which you became the Prime Minister, has gone down over the past two-and-half years. Please keep it in mind,” Babbar said.CPI national secretary D Raja expressed similar views and said people are unhappy with demonetization.”…The Prime Minister can be happy with this certificate from TIME, but what about the certificate from people of the country?” Raja asked.In a sarcastic comment, former Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury said it was not surprising that Modi won the survey, for he pushed all Indians into difficulties with just one stroke of demonetization.”Who will not consider him as Person of the Year? In one stroke, he burnt pockets of people,” she said.Modi has won the online readers’ poll for TIME Person of the Year 2016, beating other world leaders like US President- elect Donald Trump, incumbent US leader Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.Time’s editors will decide the final Person of the Year later this week, but the online poll results provide a look at how the world sees these figures and Modi emerged as the most influential figure in 2016, according to the online poll.

Modi became TIME’s Person of the Year by ‘ripping pockets and throats’: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Party on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi bagged the online reader’s poll for TIME magazine’s Person of the Year by ripping everyone’s pockets and throats, adding the latter is least concerned about the common people courtesy the rising prices of commodities. ‘All of us know how online voting works. It is very nice that he is on the cover page of TIME magazine. Many people have come on the cover page earlier also, but he has torn every citizen’s pocket. He is least concerned about the common people courtesy the rising prices and by putting all of us in problem he has become ‘Man of the Year’,’ Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary told ANI.’Who won’t consider him the ‘Man of the Year’ in this world’ Is it a normal thing to tear up every citizen’s pocket and throat with one stroke” she added.The poll of the TIME magazine’s Person of the Year had contenders like U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, outgoing U.S. leader Barack Obama Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, FBI Chief James Comey, Apple CEO Tim Cook, parents of slain Muslim-American soldier Humanyun Khan, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.Prime Minister Modi had won the readers’ poll of Time’s Person of the Year in 2014 as well.The Prime Minister was among the contenders for the annual honour even in 2015, but could not make it to the final eight.Last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was Time’s ‘Person of the Year’.

Maha govt considering a two-bottle liquor limit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to crack down on the sale of illegal liquor, the Maharashtra government will soon come up with a resolution under which drinkers will be allowed to possess only two bottles of booze as against the current limit of 12 bottles. The move comes in the wake of misuse of the current limit, especially in rural areas, where instances of drinkers selling liquor from their permitted quota, hoarding of illicit liquor and selling it at cheaper rates have come to light.”This resolution (GR) is being done to check the sale of spurious and illicit liquor, especially toddy,” Excise Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule told reporters here today. Meanwhile, state Excise Commissioner V Radha said the demonetization of higher value currencies has affected the sale of Indian Manufactured Foreign Liquor (IMFL) by 25 per cent. However, demonetization has also resulted in rise in the sale of country liquor (CL-III) by 5 to 10 per cent, “which is also due to a heavy crackdown on sale of spurious toddy.” Radha said total value of seized liquor between April-October this year stood at Rs 19.83 crore, which is 21.56 per cent more than the value of the liquor seized at Rs 16.31 crore in corresponding period last year.She said excise revenue which was in negative at 2.06 per cent in April this year has now risen to 8 per cent in November.Specifying the measures undertaken on liquor front, the minister said, “The government has amended the 2008 orders and empowered Gram Sabhas to pass a resolution calling for the shops located within boundaries of villages to be relocated 100 meters away (outside the village limit). “If 50 per cent (of members) of Gram Sabha vote in favour of relocation then it is mandatory upon the shop owner concerned to relocate his shop 100 meters outside the village limits,” the minister said. Bawankule said the shop owner concerned will be given a year’s time to shift within and won’t be charged any fees. “However, if he fails to relocate his shop within a year, his license shall be cancelled,” he added. Replying to queries over the government’s proposed move to put Hologram stickers on liquor bottles, Bawankule said the decision will be implemented before January 26, 2017.”15 to 16 agencies have made their presentations to the government. The government will float tenders with the criteria that there should be no leakage of the hologram sticker,” he said, adding this will help the government in its ‘trace and track’ policy and keep a check on illicit liquor. Bawankule urged people to make use of the state Excise departments toll free no 18008333333 and WhatsApp no 8422001133 to lodge complaints on sale of illicit liquor and illegal distilleries in their area.Meanwhile, according to the Excise Commissioner, a total of 16,685 cases were registered between April-October this year, which is a rise of 10.58 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year.In the same period, the department arrested 9,469 people for illicit liquor trade, a rise of 29.59 per cent. “Between April-October this year, 44,740 litres of illegal toddy was seized, a rise of 100.76 per cent. In the same period, the department has seized 487 vehicles used in transporting illicit liquor, a rise of 15.95 per cent,” Radha added.

Govt thinking of re-introducing class X board exam: HRD Minister Javadekar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government is thinking of re-introducing compulsory class X board examination for CBSE schools but if such a decision is taken, it will only be applied from the next academic year, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said on Thursday. “I want to start CBSE tenth board exams because all other students, other than CBSE are appearing for Board exams. But for CBSE, it is an option. So why?,” Javadekar said while speaking at an interaction organised by FICCI.The minister added that he got a lot of queries including from mediapersons, who also said they have children studying in CBSE schools and with March approaching they would need time to prepare. “I said whatever I may change this year, will be implemented in 2017-18 cycle, not this year,” Javadekar clarified.Javadekar said that the government is also planning to bring in a new system under which educational institutions are regulated. He added that apart from NAAC ratings, the ranking of the educational institution in the HRD ministry’s NIRF rankings will be taken into consideration to grade them. He said that for the best institutes there will be maximum autonomy and minimum regulation, for the next category there will be a balance of autonomy and regulation.For those institutes which are a behind these two categories would have more regulation and less autonomy, Javadekar said. Speaking at the interaction, Javadekar also said that quality is the biggest challenge in the education sector. He also said that the selection of world class educational institutions, on which the HRD ministry is working will be done in challenge mode.

India facing two ceasefire violations daily after surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani forces have been making desperate attempts to retaliate since the surgical strike carried out by the Indian Army last month, which destroyed terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).The Forces have been kept busy over the last month, as on average, two ceasefire violations have taken place every day since the precision operation by the Indian Army. According to official figures, out of the 115 violations along the border this year, 60 have taken place after India’s offensive last month. The Indian Army hit back after 18 armymen were killed in a terror attack in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18.”There has not been a single day since the surgical strikes when Pakistani forces have not indulged in shelling and firing. We have hit back each time,” said an intelligence official.Sources say the situation will continue to remain volatile as Pakistani forces are now desperate to hit back across the LoC and International Border. (IB) “According to ground intelligence and chatter picked up from across the border, Pakistani forces are pumping in more fidayeens (suicide bombers) to strike at Indian forces,” said an intelligence official.Intelligence inputs also indicate that after India’s surgical strikes, the Pakistani Army has carried out “precautionary deployment” all along the LoC on their side to fill up the gaps, as they fear another round of strikes from Indian forces.”Soon after our raids, they have increased deployment in areas they consider vulnerable. Precautionary deployment is roughly 25 per cent of full mobilisation,” said an intelligence official.It’s not just in the IB, where security forces are facing a stiff challenge but also in the Kashmir Valley that has been in turmoil over the last three months since the killing of local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by Indian forces.Taking advantage of the situation, Pakistani terror groups have intensified their efforts to recruit local Kashmiri youth into militancy. It is estimated that around 100 youth have gone missing in the last three months, raising fears of a massive local recruitment drive. According to a recent review by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the number of locals joining the outfits could go over 150 this year. “Last year, around 80 young men joined the terror ranks but we expect this to double by the end of the year,” said a top intelligence official.Sources also said that around 4,000 people, who were part of the stone- pelting mobs attacking security forces, have been arrested in the last three months. These were mostly from areas in south Kashmir that have the maximum number of local recruits.Figures released by the Army show that 129 terrorists have been killed this year till now. Contrast this to 2015, when the figure for the entire year was 97. Sources say that most of the kills this year have happened near the LoC as infiltrating terrorists were intercepted.Pak blames India for ceasefire violationsDr Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan’s Director-General (SA & SAARC), summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh on Friday and strongly condemned the “unprovoked ceasefire violations” on October 27 by Indian forces at the working boundary in Shakargarh sector and on the LoC in Nikial sector, resulting in the martyrdom of six civilians, including two women and injuries to 22 civilians, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Delhi cops try to be ‘social’ online but find few takers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Police may have launched its social messaging platforms with much fanfare. But since the grand launch at the beginning of 2015, a mere 164 complaints have been registered so far on them, ensuring our cops bid to get tech savvy has fallen far short of the mark. The social messaging platform is a collaboration of Delhi police’s ambitious project mobile-phone based application, ‘Himmat’ and its other social messaging apps like WhatsApp and Hike.Top police officers believe the lack of response on the social media platform WhatsApp though that the law agency was using the account for commercial activity and suspended its account earlier this year in early March. The lack of response on the other platforms also has been due to lack of awareness. “Our WhatsApp account was blocked by US-based company as they felt that the helpline violated its norms. Although we had approached the company, since it was not bound by Indian law, they had a problem of maintaining data and sharing logs in case of emergency. Therefore, we finally decided to discontinue our WhatsApp service. However, we have continued with the helpline on the Indian messaging app Hike,” said a senior police officer.The officer added that the issue with WhatsApp occurred in early this year. “The Delhi Police had also received lots of obscene videos, porn clips, and abuse jokes on their WhatsApp helpline number,” said the official.The data was revealed in a reply to an RTI application by a social activist Ved Pal. Ved Pal claims that the issue needs to be urgently addressed. “The aim of this project was to connect with the people when in distress. I don’t see number of crime cases going down but the number of complaints on such Apps is extreme low. This shows that despite technology the gap between public and police continues,” he said.The RTI filed by Ved Pal, also revealed that while only 123 complaints were registered through Delhi Police’s ‘Himmat’ app in 2015, another 35 complaints were registered till September 21, this year. Although, the RTI also points that all the complaints registered through this app in 2015 and 2016 have been resolved and there are no pending cases.Meanwhile, the number of complaints registered through the helpline number on Hike application – 8800001091 has been even lower. The Delhi police registered only five complaints in the year 2015 and only one complaint in 2016 through their Hike App. All cases were, however, resolved on time the RTI reads.“We can’t do much about the low rate of complaints. The police has created multiple channels to ensure safety of people, although people continue to use the 100 number as they find it convenient and immediate,” said a senior police official.

IIP contracts 0.7% in August after dismal manufacturing, capital goods performance

New Delhi: Remaining in the negative zone for the second month in a row, industrial production contracted by 0.7 percent in August due to slump in manufacturing, mining and capital goods segments.

The factory output, measured by movement in Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had slipped to 8-month low of (-)2.49 percent (revised) in July on account of declining output in manufacturing and capital goods sectors.



The IIP slump in August is lower than July.

On cumulative basis, the factory output in April-August contracted by 0.3 percent, compared to growth of 4.1 percent in the year-ago period.

The official data released Monday showed the manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75 percent of the IIP index, contracted by 0.3 percent in August as against 6.6 percent expansion in the same month last year.

The capital goods output registered a steep decline of 22.2 percent in the month, against a growth rate of 21.3 percent in last year.

The data revealed that mining activities shrunk by 5.6 percent as in August this year as against a growth of 4.5 percent in August 2015.

Power generation remained almost flat (0.1 percent) in compared to an expansion of 5.6 percent in the year ago period.

Output of consumer durables registered a growth of 2.3 percent while growth in non-durables segment was almost flat.

Overall, consumer goods production recorded a growth 1.1 percent in August compared to 6 percent a year ago.

In terms of industries, seven out of 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown negative growth during August year-on-year.

Some important items showing high negative growth during the current month include cable, rubber insulated, sugar machinery, woollen carpets, gems and jewellery, and rice.

Some important items that have registered high positive growth include fruit pulp, air conditioner, instant food mixes, ship building and repairs, scooter and mopeds, stainless/alloy steel and boilers.

Militants don’t want Kashmiri youth to be self-reliant: Omar Abdullah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday hit out at militants for targeting the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), saying the ultras don’t want young Kashmiri boys and girls to stand on their feet.”All the EDI ever did was to train young Kashmiri boys and girls to stand on their own feet and not seek government jobs. Militants don’t like that!” Omar tweeted.The militants on Monday attacked the EDI building in Pampore for the second time this year with the first attack taking place in February.”No wonder for the 2nd time this year they have attacked the institute.They want young Kashmiris to be subservient and bitter not self-reliant,” Omar added.Two to three militants are believed to have entered into the building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in the wee hours on Monday.Militants had targeted the EDI building in February this year as well.Two soldiers, including an officer, a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in that operation that lasted 48 hours.

Pak-based militants carrying out attacks abroad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As part of its diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, New Delhi will name Pakistani-based terror operatives who have been striking alliances with international jihadi groups like Islamic State (IS) or Al-Qaida at international fora. Indian authorities explain that this will help harden world opinion against Pakistan for allowing terror groups to function freely from its soil.In this regard, New Delhi has sought the details from French authorities of Mohammed Usman, a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) trained Pakistani terrorist. Usman was arrested in Austria earlier this year and handed over to France for his role in the Paris bombings carried out last year in November which killed 130 people. The attack, carried out by IS and Usman, a Pakistani national, played a crucial role in the terror strike.”We have asked for details regarding the investigation done by the French authorities. A dossier is being prepared with details of all such Pakistanis who have forged links with global terror outfits,” a top government official told dna.Sources said that information from various sources including intelligence agencies of some other countries are being gathered to put together a dossier on Pakistanis with global terror links. Indian agencies are also making efforts to keep an eye on Pakistanis seeking asylum in western countries. Even Usman sought refuge in Austria soon after the Paris attack but was then arrested.Usman’s case has been raised by India at international counter-terror meets but a more detailed analysis on such terrorists will equip Indian agencies to expose their global threat and linkages.”The idea is to let the international community know that LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) or any Pakistani group is not just a threat to India but to the whole world,” the official added.Initially, it was suspected that Usman was also part of the 26/11 Mumbai attack. However, Indian agencies later ruled out the possibility of his direct involvement in any terror strike in India.After the Uri attack in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based terrorists that killed 18 Indian Army personnel, New Delhi has begun devising a strategy to isolate Pakistan diplomatically. The attack is suspected to have been carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammed. This was the second such attack this year by the group after striking at the Pathankot Air base on January 1 this year.Usman’s case is not the only one that will be cited by India at international platforms. Last year, a Pakistani was arrested in Italy for suspected links with IS. Earlier this year, three Pakistanis were arrested in Spain for promoting terrorism using social media.Officials tracking terror say with social media diminishing geographical boundaries, terror operatives are more likely to strike alliances with international groups. “IS has already ensured that several youth from different parts of the world come together for a common cause,” said a counter-terrorism official.Spreading terror abroadDecember 2015: Mohammed Usman, involved in the IS Paris attack, found to be an LeT trained Pakistani.May 2016: A Pakistani national, along with two Afghans, arrested in Italy for being part of a terror cell planning bombings in Rome and LondonMay 2016: Pakistani national Muhammad Baqas sentenced by court in Italy on terror charges, along with a Tunisian. The duo were arrested last year.July 2016: Three Pakistani nationals arrested in Spain for propagating terrorist activities through social media.

Mumbai: Western Railway’s protection force does better than last year to combat theft

The railway ministry’s recent emphasis on gradually building up the Railway Protection Force into the prime crime-fighting agency on the railway network seems to be paying off. Statistics, made available to dna by Western Railway’s RPF Mumbai division unit, show that for the first five months of the year, the number of cases detected as well as persons arrested reveal that the force is well on its way to better the performance it came up with in 2015. The cases pertain to theft of passenger belonging (TOPB), said RPF officials.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While all of 2015, the RPF had detected 47 cases, this year between January and May, the RPF had already detected 44 cases. It arrested 54 people last year for stealing passenger belongings, while this year till May the number of arrests have already touched 48.In 2015, the RPF had managed to recover about 12 per cent of the value of things stolen from passengers. In comparison, the January to May period this year has been better with recovery of stolen items standing at 19 per cent. However, officials agreed that recovering stolen items continued to remain the toughest ask as far as railway crime-fighting was concerned.”It is almost certain that we will be making more cases, arresting more people and detecting more cases than previous years. The emphasis is to turn the force into a proper crime and policing unit so that one day the RPF can become the sole policing agency on the railways, something like the Federal Railway Police prevalent in many countries,” said a senior RPF officer.One of the major security changes that the railway ministry wants to make on the railway network is to turn the current three-tier police system into a two-tier one. Currently, the railways has the RPF (which is under the railway ministry), the government railway police (under respective state governments) and the district police (also under the state government).The railway ministry wants to have just the RPF for policing on the railway network while the district police will take care of all cases falling under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.Numbers game:Property stolen from passengers between Jan-May 2016: Rs1.7 croresProperty recovered during the same period: Rs32.47 lakhs (around 19 per cent of the total value)Property stolen from passengers during 2015: Rs6.87 croreProperty recovered during the same period- Rs83.31 lakh (around 12 per cent)

No relief from soaring temperature: IMD predicts another bout of extreme heat wave

India was bracing on Monday for another bout of extreme heat after temperatures smashed records in some parts of the country, while weather officials warned against more frequent heat waves.Temperatures in parts of the western region breached 50 Celsius (122°F) last week, causing a spike in cases of people suffering dehydration and heatstroke, and triggering widespread power cuts as surging demand overwhelmed supply grids.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Television channels in Gujarat state showed residents struggling to cross a street as their shoes became stuck in what appeared to be the melting surface of a road.May and June are typically India’s hottest months, when temperatures regularly exceed 40 Celsius in the run-up to the monsoon rains, but the severity of the heat this year has caught many off guard.”There are usually thunderstorms this time of year, but these rains have not been occurring,” said B.P. Yadav, head of the national weather forecasting centre of the India Meteorological Department.”Hot winds have been blowing in from Afghanistan and Pakistan, leading to these extreme temperatures.”The mercury hit a record 51 degrees Celsius last week in Phalodi, a city in the western desert state of Rajasthan, beating a previous national high of 50.6 degrees in 1956.The heat should ease with the arrival of clouds and light showers this week, Yadav said, but his office forecast a return to elevated temperatures in late May or early June.Possible reasons for the rising temperatures ranged from global warming to greater urbanisation, leading to taller buildings and increased pollution, Yadav added.The heat wave has struck as India grapples with a major drought, worsening water shortages that have hit an estimated 330 million people.”We are praying to the gods for an early monsoon so that people get some relief, as the heat has taken a toll on our bodies,” said Neeraj Kumar, a resident of the northern industrial city of Kanpur.”We are not even able to do our daily chores properly.”The number of heat waves had nearly doubled in the 10 years to 2010 from earlier decades, the meteorological office said. The number in the last six years had also risen from prior to the year 2000, but identifying clear trends requires more data.In January, two U.S. government agencies said last year’s global average temperature was the hottest ever by the widest margin on record.

CBSE Class 12 Result 2016 (, To be declared on May 21, not May 23

The Class XII board examination results of CBSE will be declared on May 21, 2016, and the board will announce the results for all its regions at 12 noon.It had been earlier announced that May 23 would be the date for the results. The second phase of telecounselling will begin with the announcement of results and continue till June 4, 2016.Starting this year, CBSE will also provide Class 12 digital mark-sheets in DigiLocker at The account credentials will be sent to students via SMS on their mobile number registered with CBSE. The Class 12 results will also be available via the Android mobile app DigiResults.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBSE exams began on March 1 and concluded on April 22. This year, a total of 10,67,900 candidates registered for the Class 12 exam as against 10,40,368 in 2015.Earlier, HRD Minister Smriti Irani had said that the Class 12 and Class 10 results will be declared on time before the end of this month. Also, all state boards will be expected to declare their results before May 31.(With PTI inputs)

Railways more keen to buy than make in India

The railways, all set to try out the made-in-Spain train Talgo by the end of May, is caught in a conundrum according to a section of officials — ‘Make in India’ or ‘Bring to India’. The reason? With the railways’ own research and development capabilities possibly a couple of decades behind some of the other railway nations — including Japan, China and several European nations — waiting to build something in India might take time.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to these officials, with the next election scheduled for 2019, three years might be too short a time to come up with any railway product — especially rolling stock such as trains — that will get the masses talking about the government in a positive light. So buying the necessary railway products might be the next best option.”The railways worldwide is a technology-heavy sector and it is not easy to catch up if one has lagged behind,” said an official.The allotment of money in the Pink Book in the past couple of years for some of the railways’ flagship ‘Make in India’ projects reinforces it. For the year 2015-16, the railways had allotted just Rs1,000 for a project to ‘design, develop and manufacture’ trainsets at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala at a cost of Rs2,500 crore. This year, the railways allotted Rs2,592 crore as part of the project, but for the ‘acquisition’ of trainsets, a clear hint that these might be bought readymade from international manufacturers.Similarly, a Rs 25-crore plan to upgrade an LHB rake to run at speeds of 200 kmph got Rs 1,000 in the year 2015-016 and Rs 1,000 this year as well. dna had highlighted the same in its March 25 edition. The Spanish Talgo train falls in this 200 kmph category, pointed out officials.Another stark reminder of the railways’ slow pace at making cutting-edge products is the innumerable number of delays in the production of Mumbai’s first air-conditioned local. Work on it was supposed to start in March 2014, but continuous delays in its electrical systems saw the rake being completed only this March. The rake is to be put on extensive trials over the next four-five months, after which it will be commissioned. “Depending on the feedback, the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai will start the production of the next batch of AC trains,” said an official.”In a country where the government is promising a Rs9,7636-crore bullet train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in seven years (by 2023), you really can’t take two years to make a Rs54-crore air-conditioned local train. It shows just why the railways is keen to buy than to make,” said an official. HSC 10th Results 2016: Odisha Board ( HSC Matrix Exam Results 2016 declared

Over 6 lakh students appeared for the HSC class 10 exam conducted by Board of Secondary Education, Odisha earlier this year. The wait will be over now. The board has declared the results on the official websites.The Board authorities said no result booklets would be published this year as the results along with the mark sheet would be available on the website itself.The Board of Secondary Education, Odisha is a Body Corporate constituted under the Odisha Secondary Education Act, 1953. It regulates, controls and develops Secondary Education in the State of Odisha. It Provides varied courses in order to equip students for different occupations, to prepare them for University education and to equip them for various cultural purposes. It examines those who have completed a prescribed course of study and awards certificates to the successful candidates. Besides, it does all other things which are incidental to the above.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Follow this procedure to check your results – 1. Visit the websites: and orissaresults.nic.in2. Click on ‘HSC Class 10th Result 2016’3. Enter your details such as name and registration number.4. Your results will be displayed on the screen.5. Now, you can take print out of your scores.

Check, Orissa / Odisha Board HSC (Class 10) Matrix Exam Results 2016 to be declared shortly

As many as 6,01,348 students are awaiting the results of HSC examinations conducted by Board of Secondary Education, Odisha earlier this year. The wait will be over now. The board is expected to declare the results in an hour.To check their results, candidates can follow the instructions mentioned below – 1. Visit the websites: and<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Click on ‘HSC Class 10th Result 2016’3. Enter your details such as name and registration number.4. Your results will be displayed on the screen.5. Now, you can take print out of your scores.The Board authorities said no result booklets would be published this year as the results along with the mark sheet would be available on the website itself.The Board of Secondary Education, Odisha is a Body Corporate constituted under the Odisha Secondary Education Act, 1953. It regulates, controls and develops Secondary Education in the State of Odisha. It Provides varied courses in order to equip students for different occupations, to prepare them for University education and to equip them for various cultural purposes. It examines those who have completed a prescribed course of study and awards certificates to the successful candidates. Besides, it does all other things which are incidental to the above.Good luck.

IMD ends India’s drought of hope, predicts above normal monsoon this year

Easing fears over farm and economic growth after two consecutive years of drought, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday predicted “above normal” monsoon this year.

“Monsoon rains will be above long-period average this year and the El Nino conditions will be seen diminishing by June and July,” IMD said, adding that it will come out with the second stage of prediction in June.

Releasing its monsoon forecast for the season, IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said, “Monsoon will be 106 percent of the long period average (LPA). There is 94 percent probability that monsoon will be normal to excess this year. By and large, there will be fair distribution of monsoon across the country. But North-East India and South-East India, particularly Tamil Nadu, may get slightly less than normal rainfall.”

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Drought-hit Marathwada is also likely to receive “good” rainfall, Rathore added.

Anything less than 90 percent of the LPA is termed as a “deficient” monsoon and 90-96 percent of the LPA is considered as “below normal”. Monsoon is considered as “normal” if the LPA is between 96-104 percent of the LPA.

“Above normal” monsoon is between 104-110 per cent of the LPA and anything beyond 110 per cent of the LPA is considered as “excess”.

Agriculture, which contributes 15 per cent to India’s GDP and employs about 60 per cent of the country’s population, is heavily dependent on the monsoon as only 40 per cent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.

Due to poor monsoon in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), 10 states have declared drought and the Centre has sanctioned relief package of about Rs 10,000 crore to help farmers.

The forecast, which comes after two straight years of drought – is likely to boost the farm sector, which has been weighed down by subdued agriculture output and falling farmers’ income.

Two back-to-back monsoon failures, 2015 being the hottest year on record, poor post-monsoon rain, an alarming depletion of reservoirs and a heat wave that’s forecast to continue and even intensify — all this has changed the country’s water economics drastically for farmers, households, businesses and hydropower.

Monsoon IMD

On Monday India’s only private weather forecaster Skymet, said that the annual monsoon rains are likely to be above average, snapping two straight years of drought that cut farm output and farmers’ income. The July to September monsoon delivers nearly 70 percent of annual rains and waters half of India’s farmlands that lack irrigation facilities.

Monsoon rains are expected to be 105 percent above a long-term average, with a 35 percent probability of above average rainfall, Skymet had said in a statement. The El Nino effect is likely to wane after monsoon hits the southern Kerala coast by the end of May, the statement said.

Southwest monsoon chartSouthwest monsoon chartEl Nino, or warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific, can lead to scorching weather conditions across Asia and east Africa, but heavy rains and floods in South America.

India’s west coast and central parts will get good rains, Skymet said, bringing in relief for farmers and policy makers, who are struggling with droughts and severe water scarcity in some regions.

Above average monsoon rains play a key role in boosting demand for an array of consumer goods, as 70 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people live in villages.

Agriculture accounts for about 14 percent of India’s $2 trillion economy, Asia’s third-biggest, but it supports two-thirds of Indian’s population.

State-run India Meteorological Department is expected to issue its forecast for this year’s monsoon rains soon.

Separately, Farm Secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak said current climatic conditions indicate that El Nino is gradually fading and giving way to La Nina, indicating bountiful rains this year.

Above normal monsoon expected this year: Skymet

Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, on Monday predicted an “above normal” Southwest monsoon this year. The forecast of above normal monsoon would augur well for the agriculture sector which is under stress due to two consecutive years of poor seasonal rainfall.”There is 35 per cent chance of above normal seasonal rainfall that is between 105 to 110 per cent of Long Period Average (LPA), while there are 30 per cent chance of normal (between 96 to 104 per cent of LPA),” the Skymet said in its forecast for this year.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Central India and West Coast are expected to receive a good amount of rainfall while Tamil Nadu, Northeast India and South Interior Karnataka may witness less rainfall, it said.

Assam Assembly Elections: Slight decline in number of candidates with criminal records

There has been a decline of three per cent in the number of candidates with criminal records contesting Assam Assembly polls this year as compared to 2011 elections, an NGO said on the basis of self-sworn affidavits of the candidates.Assam Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms, an NGO working in the area of electoral and political reforms, while analysing the self-sworn affidavits of 1,062 candidates contesting this year said 72 (seven per cent) of them had criminal records, whereas in 2011, 99 (10 per cent) of the 955 candidates had criminal records.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The comparison has been done to understand the trend of engagement of money and muscle power along with other details of the candidates, an official release said. Another key finding of the analysis is that less number of candidates contested in the 2011 Assam Assembly election with serious criminal records compared to the election this year.Now 57 (5 per cent) candidates with serious criminal records are contesting, whereas in 2011, total 37 (4 per cent) candidates with serious criminal record had contested, it said.It was also found, the number of educated candidates has declined. In this Assembly election, 51 per cent of the contesting candidates are undergraduates, where as the number of undergraduates was 48 per cent in the 2011 election.

Fed holds steady, eyes two rate hikes this year | Reuters

WASHINGTON The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday and indicated that moderate U.S. economic growth and “strong job gains” would allow it to tighten policy this year, with fresh projections showing policymakers expected two quarter-point hikes by the year’s end, half the number seen in December.

The U.S. central bank, however, noted that the United States continues to face risks from an uncertain global economy.

“A range of recent indicators, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labour market. Inflation picked up in recent months,” the Fed said in a policy statement in which it kept the target range for its overnight lending rate at 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent.

“However, global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks” and will keep inflation low for the remainder of 2016, it said.

In a press conference, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said it remained to be seen whether a recent firming in U.S. core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food components, would be sustained.

Fed policymakers projected weaker economic growth and lower inflation this year and lowered their estimate of where the targeted lending rate would be in the long run to 3.30 percent from 3.50 percent – a signal that the economic recovery would remain tepid.

The interest rate outlook is a shift from the four hikes expected when the Fed raised rates in December for the first time in nearly a decade. The majority of policymakers now said they expected it would be appropriate to raise rates by about a half a percentage point by the end of this year.

“Our first take on this is that it probably leans slightly more dovish, relative to expectations,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.

The dollar fell against both the euro and the yen in the wake of the statement. Bond yields from two to 10 years hit session lows, while stock markets rallied, with the S&P 500 hitting its highest intra-day level since Jan. 4.


The new rate outlook came as the Fed attempts to steer through recent global market volatility and keep its rate hike plans somewhat intact.

The Fed had adopted a cautious approach at its last policy meeting in January, amid a selloff on financial markets, weaker oil prices and falling inflation expectations. As in its January policy statement, the Fed did not say directly how it regards the balance of risks to the U.S. economy.

Fed policymakers also see continued improvement in the job market, with the unemployment rate expected to decline to 4.7 percent by the end of the year and fall further in 2017 and 2018.

Fed policymakers marked down their forecast for inflation this year to 1.2 percent from 1.6 percent, but see it recovering to close to the central bank’s 2 percent medium-term target next


Kansas City Fed President Esther George was the only policymaker to dissent on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Paul Simao and David Chance)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed. wins ‘Best Website Of The Year’ for second consecutive year

The world is going digital and in the third phase of the internet, it’s all about the internet of things. In this endeavour to help people enjoy their favourite content online, Zee Digital Convergence Limited (ZDCL) has emerged a winner in driving towards maintaining the top spot. Zee TV’s official website has won the Best Website Of The Year Award for the second consecutive year.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>MetrixLab – MarketTools Research Pvt. Ltd hosted the Website of the Year award function recently where Zee TV website was chosen winner in two categories – Best Website and Most Popular Website in the Media category. This award function has earned credibility by becoming India’s most important people’s choice award for websites.This year, 252 websites were nominated across 21 categories. The vote count crossed more than 185,000 votes between October 19 and November 27. Zee TV website gained the top spot by being chosen as Best Website of the Year for being the website with the highest average score on content, navigation, design and recommendation intention, followed by Most Popular Website award for the highest number of votes.“We ensure all our products adapt to different devices and across varied bandwidths so that the need of the end user is met and their experience is seamless,” said Karan Jaitapkar, Business Head, ZEEL Sites.”Our focus is to drive larger market share of consumer eyeballs, push for inorganic growth through improved content and services and leverage constant innovation to engage and ensure consumer stickiness on our media platforms, ” said Debashish Ghosh, CEO, ZDCL.

Kejriwal govt plans common travel card, Wi Fi service for DTC buses, Delhi Metro

New Delhi: CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi, common travel card for DTC buses and Delhi Metro, premium buses and e-ticketing machines on buses are some of the initiatives planned by the AAP government for implementation this year.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that a common mobility card will be introduced this year which passengers can use to travel on both the Metro and DTC buses. The minister added that to execute the project, Delhi government will first buy 3,775 e-ticketing machines (ETMs).

A senior official said the government will buy around 500 midibuses to ensure last-mile connectivity in areas with poor public transport facilities.

The official also said that CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi will be installed on the buses of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) this year and tenders will be floated soon for the same.

As per the government’s plan, 1,000 buses to be run under cluster system will hit the roads from April-May while 1,000 air-conditioned low-floor buses will start plying from August.

“Under premium bus service, we will run 1,000 buses by the end of this year. These buses will have AC, water, magazine, marshals, Wi-Fi and other facilities,” the official added.