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Without dissent, parliamentary system is dysfunctional: President Mukherjee

Without dissent, parliamentary system is dysfunctional, President Pranab Mukherjee said in Auckland on Sunday, underling that “fierce debates and discussions” in the House contribute to taking decisions on important matters like economy.Addressing the business leaders of India-New Zealand Business Council, Mukherjee invited them to India to contribute towards various programmes launched by the Indian Government.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am accompanied by a minister in the Government (Sajeev Balayan). I am also accompanied by Members of Parliament who represent the true character of Indian Parliament. They represent various regions and different political parties, truly reflecting our multi-party democratic system.”We take decisions in the Parliament after fierce debate and discussions but finally we decide. Though sometimes I jokingly tell my colleagues in Parliament that you are a bit noisy. But nonetheless if the process of dialogue, debate and discussion carry on…dissent is essential ingredient of the parliamentary system and without the dissent parliamentary system is dysfunctional.”Parliament truly represents the character of these two (dissent and discussion),” he said. Highlighting various factors responsible for maintaining the economic growth of India, he said the country’s economy is having a steady growth since the days of 1990’s in terms of GDP, employment generation, inflationary control, balance of trading and also substantially reducing the rate of inflation.”Current rate of growth is 7.2 % and the focus is that Indian economy is bound to grow at the rate of 8 to 10 %. It is because of the fact that certain new initiatives have been taken,” he said.He congratulated New Zealand for maintaining a steady economic growth despite hostile international trend of markets. In fact since the world economy collapse of 2008, world economy has never recovered full. Most of the developed economies are facing sluggish growth.Emerging economies like China, India, South Africa, Brazil and host of other countries have shown that G-8 countries no longer decide the fate of world economy, he said. The President expressed hope that the negotiations on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be completed soon and both countries will see increase in their bilateral trade.”I am returning satisfied as not only did I have the opportunity of sharing my perception with the leaders of this beautiful country….I am returning with the satisfaction of identifying a country which shares the common goal of development, progress, peace and prosperity of the humanity in its entirety,” he said.Earlier President witnessed signing of agreement between India and New Zealand to have an air connectivity between the two nations. He also laid a wreath at the World War II Hall of Memories of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

President Pranab Mukherjee arrives in Papua New Guinea

Port Moresby (PNG): With a focus on developing strong relations with Pacific Island nations, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday arrived in the capital of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, the first ever visit by an Indian head of state since India established diplomatic ties with the country in 1975.

Mukherjee arrived Port Moresby on Thursday morning on the first leg of his two-nation visit and was given a warm welcome. He was received by Deputy Prime Minister of PNG Leo Dion.

The President inspected a guard of honour as a 21-gun salute was accorded to him.

President Pranab Mukherjee. PTIPresident Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

President Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

The visit of the President is seen as a diplomatic move to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific Island nations.

Before his departure from India, his Press Secretary Venu Rajamony had said the visit was a natural extension of India’s ‘Look East’ policy.

India is looking to enter the health market of the island nation. Ahead of his visit in Port Moresby, the Indian government had approved the signing of an agreement between the two countries, seeking cooperation in the field of healthcare and medical sciences.

The pact will encourage cooperation between the Health Ministries of both the nations through joint initiatives in the sector.

The visit is likely to give push to Indian pharmaceutical companies to set up businesses in the Pacific nation after the local government withdrew a ban in January.

With a population of 7.38 million, diseases like HIV and AIDS are listed as quite rampant in this Pacific nation.

The life expectancy in the country is also less because of high cost of medical care.

Mukherjee, on 30 April, will travel to New Zealand as part of the second leg of his tour.

India and New Zealand will explore prospects for cooperation in agriculture, dairy, food processing, education and skill development as well as high technology during the visit.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key had visited India in 2011 and its Governor General in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

The last high-level visit from India to New Zealand was by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1986.

Matter of great pride: Narendra Modi hails celebration of Ambedkar’s birth anniversary by UN

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday night hailed the celebration of B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary by the United Nations, terming it as a “matter of great pride” for India.

“It is a matter of great pride for India that Dr. Ambedkar’s birth anniversary was observed at @UN & several people joined the celebrations,” he tweeted.

For the first time, the UN celebrated the birth anniversary of Ambedkar with a top official describing the noted Indian social reformer as a “global icon” for marginalised people and voiced the world body’s commitment to work with India to fulfil his vision.

PM Narendra Modi paying tribute to BR Ambedkar on his birth anniversary. Image courtesy: Twitter

PM Narendra Modi paying tribute to BR Ambedkar on his birth anniversary. Image courtesy: Twitter

“On behalf of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), I commend India on celebrating this important anniversary at the UN,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said in her keynote address at a special event organised by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN to commemorate Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary for the first time at the global body.

Clark who is Chair of the UN Development Group, addressed a packed audience of diplomats, scholars and Ambedkar’s followers and said the occasion commemorates the “legacy of a very great man” who understood that “rising and persistent inequalities” pose fundamental challenges to the economic and social well-being of nations and people.

Emphasising that Ambedkar’s ideals are as relevant today as they were 60 years ago, former New Zealand prime minister Clark said his work on the empowerment and inclusion of excluded groups, reform of labour laws and promotion of education for all “made him an icon for marginalised people in India and in other countries”.

Sit-in ‘Satyagraha’ by farmers enters second day in Maharashtra

The farmers are demanding stringent implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), and forest land, pasture land and temple land. The sit-in ‘Satyagraha’ here by thousands of farmers, on various agrarian issues including loan waiver, entered the second day on Thursday.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016The agitation was going on in a peaceful manner, an official of the city police control room said. The farmers under the banner of Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha (affiliated to the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)). yesterday launched an indefinite sit-in protest on various agrarian issues including loan waiver, fair and remunerative price, drought relief, electricity bills etc, at Anant Kanhere ground in the city. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The farmers are demanding stringent implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), and forest land, pasture land and temple land to be vested in the name of the actual tillers (owners).

Karnatak ministers splurged Rs 11.12 crore for ‘travel’ in 32 years

An RTI reply has revealed that Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and 29 ministers had claimed Rs 11.12 crore as travel expenses in 32 years.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016An RTI activist from Belgavi, Bheemappa Gadad got the details of the travelling expenses of the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues. As per reports, they have spent a whopping Rs. 11.12 crore on travel since the Congress government came to power in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Going by the information provided in reply to a question by the RTI activist, the ministers are given travelling expenses at Rs. 30 per km.”Rs. 11.12 crore was taken from the Karnataka treasury in the last 32 years. One gets Innova car for Rs. 11 per kilometer on rent. But they fixed Rs. 30 rupees per kilometer. Rs. 75, 20, 000 was taken by them. The secretaries have spent public money. The Chief Minister has spent Rs. 40 lakh,” Gadad told ANI.Topping the list is Urban Development Minister, Vinay Sorake whose bill amount is Rs 75.89 lakh. Gadad demanded the Opposition to raise the issue, failing which he would file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the High Court.

Roy smashes 78 as England march into WT20 final | Reuters

NEW DELHI Opening batsman Jason Roy struck a career-best 78 as former champions England stormed into the World Twenty20 final with a seven-wicket romp against New Zealand on Wednesday.

(See pictures from the match here)

Electing to field, England staged a strong comeback in the second half of New Zealand’s innings to restrict their opponents to a modest 153 for eight at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

Roy and Alex Hales (20) then provided a flying start to their reply and Jos Buttler smacked a six to seal semi-final victory with 17 balls to spare.

England, the 2010 champions, now meet the winners of Thursday’s match between India and West Indies on Sunday.

Roy launched England’s reply in emphatic style, smacking four boundaries off the first over by Corey Anderson.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson introduced spinner Mitchell Santner in the fifth over but a breakthrough still proved elusive.

Roy took 26 balls to bring up his maiden half-century in Twenty20 internationals as he put on 82 for the first wicket with Hales.

“I felt there was a chance to go out there on a decent wicket and get off to a great start,” said man of the match Roy.

“It was one of those totals where if you don’t get off to a great start and then have a little hiccup, it can be a bit dangerous in the middle overs. So I gave it a crack and it came off.”

COMPOSED ROOT

Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi gave the Kiwis hope by removing Roy and captain Eoin Morgan off successive deliveries but Buttler (32 not out) provided the fireworks and Joe Root (27 not out) the composure to fashion an easy win for England.

Earlier, New Zealand cruised to 89 for one after 10 overs before Morgan’s men rallied.

After dangerous opener Martin Guptill fell in the third over, Colin Munro (46) added 74 for the second wicket with Williamson (32) to lay the foundations for a big total.

England, however, applied the brakes with some disciplined bowling and tight fielding.

Anderson made 28 down the order but New Zealand eventually fell well short of the 180 total that looked reachable at the halfway stage.

Ben Stokes (3-26) was the pick of the England bowlers, again showing how good he is in the latter stages of an innings.

“Credit to England’s bowlers for the way they pulled it back. I knew we were probably a little bit short especially after the start we got,” said Williamson.

“The 180-run mark was quite realistic and it would have been a much closer game. We were certainly beaten by a better team today. They bowled far better than us.”

Earlier on Wednesday, England’s women lost their semi-final to Australia.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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

Odd-even scheme 2nd phase: DCW seeks women’s views on their exemption

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Wednesday sought the views of women on the issue of exemption of cars driven by them during the second phase of the fortnight-long odd-even restrictions beginning April 15. The first phase of the odd-even scheme was rolled out on January 1 for 15 days.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai had on Tuesday said CNG cars have been kept out of the ambit of the odd-even scheme, while a decision on whether women drivers will continue to be exempted will be taken soon. The Commission asked women to share their views and opinions via email to — [email protected]–, latest by April 4. “Several research studies have revealed that pollution takes a greater toll on women and children, causing diseases like cancer, reproductive dysfunction, immunologic and neurologic impairment amongst others. The odd-even scheme by the Delhi Government is a great initiative to reduce vehicular pollution in Delhi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Commission has learnt that the scheme will be rolled-out again from April 15 onwards. In this regard, the Transport Minister of Delhi, Gopal Rai, has sought the views of DCW on the issue of exemption of cars driven by women from the scheme,” said DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal. The Commission, Maliwal said, wishes to solicit the opinion of the women of Delhi in order to formulate its recommendations on the issue, which will then be presented to the Transport Minister.The Commission also encouraged representations of various NGOs that are working on women’s issues to give their suggestions in this regard, she said.

West Bengal Elections: Zee 24 Ghanta opinion poll predicts emphatic victory for Mamata Banerjee’s TMC

The 2016 West Bengal assembly opinion poll carried out by GFK Mode on behalf of Zee 24 Ghanta has found that the ruling Trinamool Congress may get a comfortable 200 seats leaving the Congress-Left alliance in the state far behind. LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016The Congress-Left alliance is tipped to get only 90 seats out of 294. BJP which impressed in the last Lok Sabha election may end up with only 1 seat. The opinion poll reveals that the recent Narada News sting operation has created somewhat of a negative impact on the voters. However, it may not be enough to stop didi’s victory. The survey was conducted in two phases. Before the Narada sting, Mamata’s party was predicted to get 49% votes, which came down to 46%, when voters were asked later. In the Narada sting, several top TMC leaders were shown to take bribe, though the party has completely rejected all the allegations. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the opinion poll, the BJP is expected to get only one seat. The Lok Sabha poll results in the state showed a 17% vote share for the party. However, its percentage may drop to 6% with TMC gaining significantly. The opinion poll reveals a degree of satisfaction among the voters towards the ruling party as far as the roads, water supply and electricity is concerned. However, a larger section of farmers are not very happy with the current regime, who find it difficult to make their ends meet. Overall, TMC is projected to win a two-third majority and Mamata Banerjee may well become the CM of West Bengal again when results are declared on May 19.

Amid sedition row, JNU sees dip in applications for admission

Amid a row over its students being charged for sedition, JNU has received over 76,000 applications for admission to the upcoming academic session for around 2700 seats in various programmes offered at the university, 3000 less than previous year.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016While around 79,000 applications were received last year 72,000 candidates had applied in 2014.With the university being caught up in a controversy over an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, concerns were triggered among people worldwide about whether the university’s image will suffer a setback because of the ongoing row. “The number of applications received are 28 times more than the number of seats. This reflects the kind of competition which exists among admission seekers for the university,” Bhupinder Zutshi, Director Admissions told PTI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked about whether the decrease of 3000 is because of the controversy which hit the university around the same time when the application process was on, the official said, “in the recent years a fluctuation of around 3000-4000 applications has been witnessed off and on. The trends of any of the years cannot be attributed to a particular reason”.According to the data available with the university’s admissions department, 76,091 applications have been received for the 2,700 seats available for undergraduate, master’s and research programmes at JNU. The month-long application period closed last week and the entrance exams for the courses will be held next month. Zutshi, however, clarified that the figures are only for the applications received for the JNU common entrance examination. There are two more application categories – Combined entrance programme for Bio-Technology programme and NET-JRF candidates. Members of the university’s teachers association argue that the alleged branding of the university as “anti-national” in wake of the sedition row, is a “superfluous” notion which exists only in a section of society and not among admission seekers. “The intellectual section of the society which is aware of the kind of research and education system JNU stands for, knows that the so called anti-national theory is a superfluous one and the admission seekers are very much aware of the reality,” a member of JNUTA said.After the controversy broke out, the varsity’s Centre for Social Studies was ranked at 51st position in the QS World rankings, up by 7 ranks compared to previous year. The university was also announced as winner of the Presidents award for excellence in research and innovation.President Pranab Mukherjee had presented the award to the Molecular Parasitology Group of JNU for its pioneering work in the area of molecular parasitology, especially anti-malaria, leishmaniasis and amoebiasis

Railways replace one pantry car with AC-3 coach in 8 Rajdhani trains

Railways has decided to do away with one of two pantry cars and replace them with AC-3 coach in eight Rajdhani trains to increase the availability of berths for passengers.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016All eight Rajdhani trains including Mumbai, Howrah, Dibrugarh, Patna, Sealdah will have now only one pantry car instead of two. The pantry cars will be replaced with one AC-3 coach in these Rajdhani trains, said a senior Railway Ministry official.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There are total 17 Rajdhani trains out of which nine have one pantry car each and rest have two pantry cars.Rajdhani for Bhubaneswar, Trivandrum, Jammu, Chennai among others have only one pantry car.The process of replacing pantry cars with AC-3 coaches is underway and it will be completed by March 31 so that all these Rajdhani trains will have about 600 additional berths from April 1.He said there is no need for the second pantry car as the food is supplied from outside.Besides, railways is also introducing the option for Rajdhani passengers to choose the e-catering facility or the onboard arrangement on trains.Since the catering charge is included in the tickets in Rajdhani, the software is being changed to give passengers option of choosing it, the official said.Besides railways is also in the process of changing the catering policy in a significant way to do away with train-based tendering system.As per the proposal, railways will introduce the two-pronged system of tendering for production and distribution of food at rail premises.”Tendering methodology for catering is being changed and now two separate tendering process will take place as per the new arrangement,” said the official adding “IRCTC will be given major responsibility in the new system.There will be about 250 base kitchens at all major stations across the country to prepare about six lakh meals and snacks per day.

Tobacco growers demand downsizing of pictorial warning

Tobacco growers on said the implementation of proposed 85% pictorial warnings on tobacco products would be “suicidal” for farmers and will boost illegal trade of cigarettes.Live England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016The Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), a non-profit organisation representing the causes of tobacco growers, has urged the Prime Minister to “align policies for graphic health warnings with other tobacco producing countries and safeguard farmer livelihoods under threat due to propaganda by globally funded NGOs.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The federation said that implementation of health warnings on tobacco products at 85% of both sides of the pack size would be suicidal for the Indian tobacco farmers.”Increasing the size of the Health Warning to an unreasonably large size of 85% will virtually make all cigarettes unbranded, giving an immediate boost to smuggled & illegal cigarettes since these will not carry or carry very small health warning,” the association said in a statement.A Parliamentary panel has termed as “too harsh” the government’s proposed 85% pictorial warnings on tobacco products and recommended a drastic reduction in size. The chairman of the Committee on Subordinate Legislations Dilip Gandhi recommended the size of the warnings to be increased from present 40% to 50%.The health ministry’s directive is likely to come into effect from April 1 this year. On the Parliamentary panel’s recommendation, FAIFA said: “This is discriminatory and will damage farmers immensely. Such a warning size of 50 % is also much larger than the average of 20 % among the top five tobacco producing countries and the global average warning size of 31 %”.The top three cigarette consuming countries — the US, China and Japan — that account for 51 % of global cigarette consumption have only text based warnings (about 30% in size) and have not adopted pictorial warnings, the association said.

Uttarakhand crisis: No floor test in the assembly on March 31, rules two judge bench

A two judge bench ruled on Wednesday that no floor test will take place in the assembly. The next hearing is set to take place on April 6. The Centre will send its affidavit on the President’s rule by Monday.Live England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016The Centre on Wednesday moved the Uttarakhand High Court challenging an interim order by a single bench directing a floor test in the Assembly on March 31, days after President’s Rule was imposed in the state. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A petition was mentioned before a division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice KM Joseph and Justice VK Bisht by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on behalf of the central government. The petition sought clarity on whether the floor test can be held in the state Assembly after the promulgation of President’s rule when the House is in suspended animation.After a two-day hearing on a writ petition challenging the imposition of President’s rule in the state, the single judge bench of Justice UC Dhyani in an interim order yesterday directed a floor test in the Assembly on March 31 and allowed even the nine disqualified rebel MLAs of the Congress to vote during the exercise.Filed by former chief minister Harish Rawat through his counsel and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the writ petition has Union of India as the respondent.

PM Narendra Modi can be a major ally in war against terror: EU lawmakers

Prominent members of the European Parliament on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be EU’s “major ally” in the global war against terror and should be proactively engaged as India has the “first-hand knowledge” of dealing with such issues.Live England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016Extending a warm welcome, the members termed Modi “a person of great prominence on India’s political landscape.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The European Parliament believes Modi can be a major ally of the EU in the global war against terror,” they said after meeting Modi at Hotel Steigenberger this morning. “EU can learn a lot from the Indian experience in fighting Islamic extremism as India has first-hand knowledge in dealing with the issue,” they said in a letter.The members said the EU “should engage Indian decision makers led by Modi in a proactive dialogue and focus on overlapping interests, including maritime security, terrorism, space and cyber defence.” Modi arrived here today for a hectic day-long visit during which he will attend the India-EU Summit.Belgian capital Brussels, which was attacked by suicide bombers last week, is the first leg of Modi’s three-nation four-day tour which will take him to the US and Saudi Arabia. Since the terrorist attack on March 22, the Brussels airport is yet to be fully operational and Modi’s Special Air India plane had to land at the Brussels Military Airport.Belgian Army has been deployed for the prime minister’s visit. Due to an enhanced terror threat, additional security has been put in place for Modi’s public interaction with the Indian diaspora here.

dna Must Reads: From Arun Jaitley’s comments on nationalism to Mehbooba Mufti set to be J&K’s first woman CM

1. People who chanted anti-India slogans now forced to say Jai Hind, if not Bharat Mata ki Jai: Arun JaitleyVowing to take forward the “ideological battle” on nationalism, Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said BJP has won the first round as people who raised anti-India slogans till now have been forced to say “Jai Hind, if not Bharat mata ki jai”. Read more here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Research shows cancer can be cured by Yoga: Union Minister Shripad NaikUnion Minister Shripad Naik on Saturday said a research has proved that yoga can cure diseases like cancer and propagated the use of AYUSH as alternative medical practices. “A Bengaluru-based institute has proved with research that diseases like cancer can be cured by yoga. They have proved it,” Naik said during the inauguration of National Arogya fair in Goa on Satyrday. Read more here.3. New Zealand v/s Bangladesh, Live Match Updates; ICC World T20: Kiwis top group, send Bangladesh home empty-handedNew Zealand have won the toss and have elected to bat first against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens. Follow Ball by ball commentary and scorecard of New Zealand v/s Bangladesh match. Read more here.4. When I was a tea-seller, I sold Assam tea: PM Narendra Modi tries to woo votersTrying to connect with the crowd, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday touched on his early days as a tea-seller, saying he sold their tea to energise others and due to this he shares a special bond with the people of Assam, a large tea-producing state. Read more here.5. Mehbooba Mufti to be first woman CM of Jammu & Kashmir; BJP extends unconditional supportPDP leader Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday met Governor NN Vohra and staked claim for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking to reporters after her meeting with Guv Vohra, Mufti said, “We are thankful to the BJP for their unconditional support in formation of Government in Jammu and Kashmir. Read more here.

dna Afternoon Must Reads: From live updates on blasts at Brussels airport to Kangana Ranaut’s breakdown

1. Live: 11 dead, several injured in twin blasts at Brussels’ Zaventem airportTwo explosions ripped through Brussels airport on Tuesday during the morning rush hour as hundreds of passengers were trying to check in with authorities saying the blasts caused several injuries. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Rohith Vemula suicide: Hyderabad University VC Appa Rao’s office ransackedHyderabad Central University (HCU) Vice Chancellor Appa Rao’s office was ransacked by upset varsity students, hours after he resumed his office on Tuesday. Read more here3. Indian nuke facilities face ‘insider threats’: US reportEven though Indian atomic facilities do not face terrorist threats as serious as those in Pakistan, a US report on preventing nuclear terrorism has expressed concern over ‘insider threats’ against India’s nuclear assets. Read more here4. J&K govt formation: Meeting with PM Modi ‘very positive’ and ‘good’, says PDP chief Mehbooba MuftiDeadlock over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir seems to have ended with PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Read more here5. World T20, New Zealand v/s Pakistan: Pakistan face towering challenge of Black CapsPakistan will be desperately looking to ensure the painful defeat to India becomes a distant past when they run into an in-form New Zealand here on Tuesday with an aim to bounce back into the World Twenty20 and pacify their bitter fans back home. Read more here6. I need some space right now: Teary-eyed Kangana Ranaut on her spat with Hrithik RoshanKangana Ranaut got teary eyed when she was asked questions about her spat with the Bang Bang star. Read more here

Khawaja guides Australia to three-wicket win | Reuters

BENGALURU Australia survived another middle-order collapse to beat Bangladesh by three wickets in the World Twenty20 Super 10 on Monday to get their campaign up and running.

Both teams were looking to bounce back from losing their opening Group Two games, Australia skipper Steve Smith winning the toss and choosing to field.

Smith’s men picked up wickets at regular intervals to restrict Bangladesh to a modest 156 for five despite a late flurry by Mahmudullah who hit seven fours in an unbeaten 49.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa (3-23) and all-rounder Shane Watson (2-31) were the pick of the bowlers.

Openers Usman Khawaja (58) and Watson (21) then got Australia off to a good start, sharing a stand of 62 in 44 deliveries before the latter was run out.

Khawaja was bowled by Al-Amin Hossain in the 14th over having struck seven fours and a six in a 45-ball knock that gave Australia a solid platform, although they had the same sort of middle-order slump they suffered in the first game against New Zealand.

Smith, out for six against the Kiwis, was bowled by Mustafizur Rahman for 14.

David Warner (17) was next to fall and was soon followed by Mitchell Marsh (six).

Glenn Maxwell then scored a brisk 26 before being stumped by Mushfiqur Rahim off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan.

All-rounder John Hastings, brought in by Australia for left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, was dropped on nought by Hossain and finally went for three when he was caught at mid-wicket by Soumya Sarkar.

By then Australia needed five runs off the last two overs and James Faulkner and Peter Nevill saw them through to a far-from-convincing win that lifted them to third in the group behind New Zealand and Pakistan but ahead of India.

Bangladesh, who are bottom, have a mountain to climb to reach the semi-finals.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings; Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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

India-Pakistan ‘bigger than Ashes’

India and Pakistan meet in the World T20 on Saturday, one of the most fiercely contested and most-watched matches in cricket.

dna Morning Must Reads: From Lok Sabha passing Aadhaar Bill to updates on JNU row

1. Lok Sabha passes Aadhaar Bill, rejects Rajya Sabha recommendationsEven as the Aadhaar Bill, moved a step ahead towards becoming the law, with the Lok Sabha rejecting all amendments recommended by Rajya Sabha, the main Opposition Congress said it reserves right to knock doors of courts against the passage of this legislation. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. JNU row: Students decide not to accept probe panel report; say it is based on unfair probe processJNU students, who have been served show-cause notice to explain their alleged role in the controversial February 9 event, have decided to ‘not accept’ the report of a university probe panel and said they will send their reply accordingly. Read more here3. Want good ties with Pakistan but certain groups there need to be taught lesson: IndiaIndia on Wednesday said it wants ‘good relations’ with Pakistan but issued a stern warning to certain groups based there, saying they need to be ‘taught lesson.’ Read more here4. Michigan driver charged with murder files $10 million lawsuit against UberThe Uber driver in Michigan charged with murdering six people last month in a shooting spree has filed a $10 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the ride-sharing company, saying that it is Uber’s fault he is in prison, court records show. Read more here5. Feeling global slowdown, Federal Reserve keeps interest rate unchangedThe Federal Reserve cut its outlook for the US economy and kept its interest rate policy unchanged today, citing the impact of the global slowdown and turmoil in world markets. Read more here6. World T20: Here’s why India remain the ‘favourites’ even after humbling defeat to KiwisFans shouldn’t lose hope after India’s demoralising defeat to New Zealand. Read more here

ICC WT20: Dhoni blames batsmen for stunning 47 run loss to NZ; Williamson hails Kiwi bowlers

Nagpur: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed his batsmen for their shock 47-run loss to New Zealand in the opening World Twenty20 group match in Nagpur on Tuesday.

India’s batsmen folded at the hands of New Zealand’s spinners, recording just 79 runs in 18.1 overs — their lowest ever T20 score on home soil — as they tried to chase down the Kiwis’ modest total of 126.

File photo of MS Dhoni. Getty Images.File photo of MS Dhoni. Getty Images.

File photo of MS Dhoni. Getty Images.

India’s previous lowest total at home was 92 against South Africa in Cuttack last year.

“I thought we restricted them to a good total (but) the batting let us down, the shot selection kept putting pressure on the batsmen coming in and there was no partnership in the middle,” said Dhoni.

Hosts India, fresh from winning the Asia Cup, had been firm favourites to become the first team ever to win the World T20 title for a second time, as they began their quest Tuesday in the Super 10 stage of the tournament.

But New Zealand’s slow bowlers stunned the raucous home crowd in Nagpur, with left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner leading the show with a four-wicket haul in a miserly spell.

“They bowled well, exploited the conditions, but we lacked adaptability, we could have applied ourselves a bit more,” Dhoni said.

Santner, whose figures of 4-11 were the best for a New Zealander in T20 cricket, was well supported by Indian-born leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and off-spinner Nathan McCullum, who shared five wickets between them on a slow track.

A delighted New Zealand captain Kane Williamson paid tribute to his bowlers, after conceding that their total was lower than what they had been hoping for.

“But the way the boys bowled was simply outstanding. They get a win to start off a competition against such a tough side like India,” he said.

New Zealand have now won five of their six T20 internationals against India, while the other match was rained off.

India were never in the chase after losing their openers early and, with the exception of Virat Kohli (23), none of the Indian top order could come up with any answers to the inspired Kiwi attack.

Kohli offered some resistance on a slow track during his 27-ball stay, but the introduction of Sodhi brought the end for the star batsman.

Chasing a widish leg-spinner, Kohli was caught behind as the packed stadium was stunned into silence with the writing clearly on the wall.

Dhoni then tried hard to dig India out of their hole but his valiant run-a-ball 30 made little difference in the end.

Earlier, hard-hitting Corey Anderson hit an uncharacteristically slow 34-run knock to help New Zealand improve their plight after being reduced to 61 for four.

A dramatic first over from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin saw Martin Guptill smash a six from the very first ball of the match only to lose his wicket to the next, setting the tone for an exciting T20 extravaganza.

The spin-fast combination of Ashwin and Ashish Nehra deployed by Dhoni worked in India’s favour as the Kiwis were left stuttering with Williamson also departing for single figures.

Anderson, whose 42-ball stay included just three boundaries, then stuck around with Ross Taylor and Santner to counter the Indian bowlers.

India didn’t put a foot wrong and backed their bowlers’ effort with some clean fielding that included two run outs.

In the end, Luke Ronchi’s unbeaten 11-ball 21 gave some respectability to the total, which in the end proved enough to make an opening impression in the sixth edition of the tournament.

Pakistan face Bangladesh at Kolkata while England meet West Indies at Mumbai in the two group matches on Wednesday.

AFP

New Zealand shock India in World T20

New Zealand claim a shock 47-run victory over tournament favourites India in the opening match of the World Twenty20 Super 10s.

ICC WT20 2016: India take on New Zealand today at 7.30 pm in Nagpur

Nagpur: The superb build-up run has made India the clear favourites for an unprecedented second World Twenty20 title but the in-form hosts will have to guard against complacency when they take on a spirited New Zealand in their campaign opener here tomorrow.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni. AFPMahendra Singh Dhoni. AFP

Mahendra Singh Dhoni. AFP

No host country has won the T20 world title in the last five editions and none has repeated a title triumph, but India’s settled combination, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and familiarity with the conditions make them the odds-on favourites to script history.

The 2007 Champions, India go into the Super 10 Group 2 clash against New Zealand with their tails up as the number one ranked team in the world.

India have been on a roll in the shortest form of the game, winning their last seven outings which included a 3-0 whitewash of World 50 over champions Australia in the latter’s backyard.

They then went on to win the Asia Cup on a canter after beating Sri Lanka at home 2-1.

The five consecutive wins in Dhaka, including in the summit clash against Bangladesh that led to their continental supremacy in the T20 game, has given the team a huge morale boost.

However, Dhoni’s men will be wary of the fact that they have never beaten New Zealand in T20s in four outings in the past including once during their stunning title run in the inaugural edition in 2007 in South Africa.

But in home conditions, India would be a big threat to the rest of the competitors, including New Zealand.

The minor hiccup in India’s build-up to this competition was their loss to South Africa by four runs in a practice match and this was perhaps a wake-up call for the team to avoid being complacent.

India do have the wherewithal and the personnel to script history and a win in tomorrow’s opening game at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha would give them the ideal momentum to take on the challenges ahead head-on.

Virat Kohli has been in terrific form, in the last two months. On top of his game, the Test skipper has made four half-centuries in seven innings, and two other scores in the 40s, besides leading four successful run-chases.

With an average of over 50 after 38 matches, he remains one of the players who will be feared by the opposition along with the equally talented Rohit Sharma who is set to play in his sixth WT20 championship.

PTI

New Zealand await spin trial in World T20 opener against India | Reuters

NAGPUR New Zealand are bracing for a trial by spin when they open their World Twenty20 campaign against hosts India on Tuesday, skipper Kane Williamson said on the eve of their Super 10 fixture.

The Indian team have been widely touted as firm favourites to win the biennial event due to their knowledge about the conditions at home and a strong run of form in the buildup to the tournament.

New Zealand, though, have defeated India in all their previous four meetings in the shortest format of the game but their progress was somewhat thwarted against England’s spinners on Saturday in their warm-up match.

“We certainly are expecting spin to pay a big part in this tournament,” Williamson told reporters on Monday, adding their past record against India would have no bearing on the match.

“I suppose judging by the warm-up games in Mumbai, they had a bit for the seamers and it swung a little bit.

“They were very good surfaces but from what cricket we have seen here in Nagpur, spin looks likely to play a big part. It’s important that we adjust our gameplan accordingly.”

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will lead India’s slow bowling attack along with Ravindra Jadeja while part-timer Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina are also expected to chip in.

New Zealand arrived at the tournament after a preparatory camp in Dubai, having played a two-test home series against Australia, during which former captain Brendon McCullum retired from international cricket.

Williamson was confident there would not be any problems making the switch to the 20-over format.

“We go into the match tomorrow with a clean slate. India is a strong side and Twenty20 cricket is fickle in nature,” Williamson said.

India, who won the 50-over World Cup at home in 2011, defeated Australia and Sri Lanka in bilateral series before winning the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, a run that saw them win 10 of their last 11 T20 matches.

Batting stalwart Virat Kohli was confident the team can handle the burden of expectations.

“At home we expect that, we’re prepared for that,” Kohli said. “The skill required is how you manage yourself off the field, because on the field is probably the safest and quietest for you, especially in your home country.

“The field is where you face the least pressure in big tournaments like this.

“We’re taking some good momentum into the World Cup. The Asia Cup was a good preparation for us, getting a feel of playing against big teams. This is far more challenging, with teams from all over the world.”

(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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

dna Morning Must Reads: From PM Modi including ministers for policy review to discovery of gravitational waves

1. Narendra Modi gives senior ministers larger role in policy reviewExpanding the ambit of secretary-level review meetings on government initiatives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked six senior ministers to be present for the exercise to exchange ideas. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Einstein’s gravitational waves detected in landmark discovery; opens new window on cosmosScientists for the first time have detected gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesised by Albert Einstein a century ago. Read more here3. Kingfisher House to be auctioned soon; lenders preparing to invite bidsThe lenders, who have taken posession of the property, are expected to invite bids from potential buyers in a couple of days. Read more here4. Missing Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna safe, family gets call from her: PoliceA 25-year-old Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna, who went missing from Ghaziabad on Wednesday, is safe, said police. Read more here5. New Zealand v/s Australia: Brendon McCullum goes out on duck in his 100th Test as Aussie gain controlAustralia’s Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle destroyed New Zealand’s batting lineup with a disciplined plan of bowling straight and full. Read more here6. Only 1% of our entire population watches films!: Arjun Kapoor on hosting ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’Arjun Kapoor on why he chose to do television so early in his career and setting the record straight on his tiff with Tanishaa Mukerji. Read more here

Sidharth Malhotra tells you why New Zealand should be your next holiday destination

Nearly four months after he was appointed as the first Indian ambassador for Tourism New Zealand, ‘Student of the Year’ Sidharth Malhotra is all praise for the island nation.

Speaking to the media on his return to India, Malhotra said, “Becoming the Ambassador of Tourism New Zealand is one of the best things that happened to me in 2015 and I believe that the two countries would form greater bonds in 2016.”

Malhotra said that he ‘experienced adrenaline at every point’ of his journey. Among the experiences that came in for a special mention were diving into the sea, skydiving and visiting Tane Mahuta.

Sidharth MalhotraSidharth Malhotra

Sidharth Malhotra

In October, after taking the big plunge at Queenstown in New Zealand, a thrilled Sidharth Malhotra had said, “I think this is the best best best experience that New Zealand has to offer. The view is amazing.”

At a media conference in Mumbai, Malhotra and Steven Dixon, Regional Manager for South and South East Asia unveiled a video encapsulating the actor’s experiences Down Under.

The video also features his meeting with Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism Rt Hon John Key.

On his part Steven Dixon expressed delight about getting Sidharth Malhotra on board, saying, “We are extremely thrilled to have Sidharth on board as part of the Tourism New Zealand family…Our country experienced the impact of Bollywood when Sidharth was surrounded by fans everywhere he went.”

Ahead of Malhotra’s visit to New Zealand, Dixon had said, “Sidharth is young and dynamic, and extremely keen to experience New Zealand’s offerings. From adventure activities to food and wine experiences, local culture to luxury indulgence, New Zealand is gearing up to surprise Sidharth at every step of his journey.”

On his return to India, Sidharth said, “It’s my privilege to be the brand ambassador for Tourism New Zealand and I believe it will bind the two countries bond in 2016.”

With inputs from IANS

Seven-day mourning declared as mark of respect to Mufti Mohammad Sayeed

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The many ‘old’ shades of Facebook vanity

The writer is founder & CEO of The Key Consumer Diagnostics, a Mumbai-based qualitative research and consumer intelligence company

Shalini Rawla

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2015 marked unprecedented acrimony between AAP govt and Centre

Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) became another sticking point with the body being headed by two simultaneous heads at one point, LG-appointed MK Meena and the other, SS Yadav, authorised by the AAP government. Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of taking over the anti-graft body using “paramilitary” personnel on June 8, which he said was aimed at weakening AAP’s fight against corruption. The genesis of the faceoff over CBI raids at the Delhi Secretariat, at the fag end of the year, lay in a complain filed in July by senior bureaucrat Ashish Joshi, former member-secretary of the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), with the ACB against Kejriwal’s secretary Rajender Kumar, accusing him of allegedly indulging in corruption.

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