City News

Delhi Police On The Occasion Of Harry Potter Day, Urges Everyone To Mask Up

New Delhi [India]: Wishing netizens on the occasion of Harry Potter Day, the Delhi Police department shared a meme featuring characters from J K Rowling’s fantasy series in order to urge people to follow Covid-19 protocols.

They took to their Twitter handle and wrote, “There is a surge in #COVID19 cases. Delhi Police urges everyone to mask up, maintain social distancing & avoid crowds. Let’s work together to keep Delhi safe and win this battle just like #HarryPotter defeated Voldemort. Happy #HarryPotterDay!”

The objective of this social media post was to spread awareness and urge citizens of the national capital to follow all the Covid-19 protocols and keep Delhi safe, amid increasing cases.

The meme shared by the Delhi Police department featured a conversation between two vital characters of the series, Professor Albus Dumbledore and Professor Severus Snape.

In the meme, Snape looked nervous as he said, “Headmaster, I’m afraid Covid-19 has returned, time to mask up.”

Professor Dumbledore then asks him, “Are you serious?” In response to this Snape quips, “No’ I’m Severus”.

The Delhi Police department often looks forward to educating people on different issues such as cybercrimes, safety of women and children, among several other important similar topics of public interest. (ANI)

Delhi: 7 dead after fire breaks out in shanties of Gokulpuri area

New Delhi [India]: As many as seven people died in a fire that broke out in the shanties of the Gokulpuri area on Friday night.

Delhi Fire Service department informed on Saturday that the fire was brought under control on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. Officials recovered seven bodies from the site of the incident.
The department officials further informed that as many as 13 fire tenders rushed to the site after gathering information about the incident.

Prima facie, it appears that the fire was caught in around 60 shanties, officials said.

More details are awaited. (ANI)

Nawab Malik to be discharged from JJ Hospital


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, who was admitted to Mumbai’s JJ hospital following a complaint of stomach ache is set to be discharged on Monday.

The minister was arrested by Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case in connection with Dawood Ibrahim.
Malik’s daughter, Nilofer Khan said that the latter is healthy and will be discharged from the hospital today.

He was admitted to the hospital after he complained of stomach ache two days ago. (ANI)

250 Indians evacuated from Ukraine reach Delhi, PM Modi in touch with Ukrainian President


New Delhi [India]: Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on extended a warm welcome to 250 Indian students after their safe return from the war-hit Ukraine via Romania’s Bucharest and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in touch with Ukrainian President.

The second evacuation flight from the Romanian capital Bucharest carrying 250 Indian nationals who were stranded in Ukraine landed at the Delhi airport in the early hours of Sunday.

Scindia and MoS MEA V Muraleedharan welcomed the Indian nationals with flowers upon their arrival from Ukraine via Bucharest.

“Every single citizen is back home in India. Please send this message to all your friends and colleagues that we are with them and will guarantee them their safe return. PM Modi is in touch with the Ukrainian and Russian President, conservations are on to ensure that everyone is brought home safely,” Scindia said while interacting with Indian nationals at Delhi airport.

The Minister further said, “I am whole-heartedly thankful to Air India for your safe return to India. Jai Hind!.”

Students are in panic but the situation was much better where we were staying (near the Romania border) in comparison to other areas of Ukraine, says a student who returned from Ukraine.

The captain of the flight said that the decision to bring Indian students back to the country was taken on shorter notice but it was a well-coordinated effort by airlines, government agencies and individuals involved in the task.

“It was a very unfortunate incident that took place between Ukraine and Russia. We were pulled out for this flight last night but it was a well-coordinated effort by the airlines and government agencies and all individuals. Around 250 people were moved to Romania by local authorities of Ukraine. Interestingly, more than 200 kids were between the age group of 20 and 25 years old,” he said.

“We are glad that we could complete this process on time. I would be happy to go again,” he added.

Rajni Paul, the Cabin crew in charge expressed her gratitude to the Indian government for undertaking the efforts for the safe return of stranded nationals in war-hit Ukraine.

“We’re proud to be a part of the operation to fly home Indians. Some students walked 9-10 km carrying their luggage to reach the pickup point. Thanks to the Indian government (that they reached home country safely),” Paul added.

The first flight from Romania carrying 219 Indian students reached Mumbai on Saturday evening.

The third flight to Delhi with 240 Indian nationals has also taken off from Hungary’s Budapest under Operation Ganga, informed Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and conveyed India’s deep concern for the safety and security of Indian citizens, including students, present in Ukraine.

He sought facilitation by Ukrainian authorities to expeditiously and safely evacuate Indian citizens.

As the situation in Ukraine continues to be tense, more and more people are migrating to Poland. About 100,000 people have entered Poland from Ukraine over the last several days, a media report said citing the country’s Deputy Minister of Interior and Administration Pawel Szefernaker said on Saturday. (ANI)

CBSE term 2 datesheet out: Practical exams start from March 2, check the complete exam schedule


New Delhi [India], – Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is all set to conduct Term 2 examinations for classes 10th and 12th. Students need to check out the entire exam schedule to prepare well for it. The practical exams for CBSE will start on March 2nd and the board exams will be conducted from April 26. The datesheet announced is for practical examinations, and for final exams, it is yet to be announced.

There are certain guidelines students need to consider about Term 2 examinations, irrespective of their class. Along with students, schools too need to follow the guidelines mentioned by CBSE. Students can also check the official notice at

CBSE term 2 date sheets:

The Central Board of Secondary Education released the Term 2 date sheet for the practical examination and the official notice is available on the official website of CBSE. The practical exam will begin on March 2, 2022. All the schools are advised to plan things accordingly.

Also, the board has released the notice for conducting classes for term 2 practical and internal examinations, where students can prepare well for them and without any trouble.

According to the official notice, the schools are directed to conduct the practical examination and within 2 weeks they are supposed to complete it. The classes will be conducted for almost two weeks so that students can get prepared for it.

Guidelines for the CBSE Class 10th and 12th Term 2 Practical Exams:

The guidelines that need to be followed for internal or practical examinations are as follows:

The school exists solely to conduct internal examinations for regular class 10 candidates.

The marks need to be uploaded by other schools as soon as they conduct the practical.

The practical examination will take place according to the designed curriculum.

Students in class 12 need to deal with external examiners, who will designate their marks.

The exam will be conducted in school premises only.

The school needs to follow all the COVID-19 protocols to keep the students safe.

Students need to complete their projects before the exam because they are important for final marks.

There will be no practical examination for private students and the marks will be given on the basis of the 2020-21 results.

The education board will be the observer throughout the examination for class 12th, and schools will be the internal examiner for class 10th students.

The answer books for the school will be supplied by the regional offices, and schools need to be taught that students are filling them properly.

Schools are not supposed to make any alternate arrangements for answer sheets.

The answer sheet provided by the regional office is only validation for practical examinations conducted by the schools.

Final verdict:

CBSE is all set to conduct the final examination and expects all the individuals (parents, students, and teachers) to co-operate with the guidelines for schools. Students can also plan their exams with Oswaal CBSE Term 2 Sample Paper Class 10 & 12 For Board Exams 2022. Students will get different ways of learning:

  • Self-Assessment Papers for Term 2 Board Exams March-April 2022
  • Oswaal CBSE Term 2 Sample Paper Class 10 & 12 For Board Exams 2022 include all latest typologies of Questions as specified in the latest CBSE Sample Papers Released On 14th Jan 2022
  • On-Tips Notes & Revision Notes for Quick Revision
  • The CBSE Term 2 Sample Paper Class 10 & 12 For Board Exams 2022 include Mind Maps for Better Learning
  • The Book provides Free Oswaal 360 E-Assessments based on the latest Typologies of Questions as per CBSE Term 2 Board Exams 2022 Here is the recommended link for CBSE Term 2 Sample Paper Class 10 for Board Exams 2022, click here Here is the recommended link for CBSE Term 2 Sample Paper Class 12 for Board Exams 2022, click here Students are informed of the need to prepare well to secure good scores. Also, the date sheet for board examinations will be released on the official website only. It is expected that by the last week of March, the date sheet will be available. Students need to check out the official website for all the updates. This story is provided by Oswaal Books. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/Oswaal Books)

Rahul Gandhi to visit Chennai to release CM Stalin’s autobiography on Feb 28


Chennai: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit Chennai on February 28 to release an autobiography on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, party sources told ANI.

The autobiography is named ‘Ungalil Oruvan’ (One Among You).
As per sources in the party, the Wayanad MP is also scheduled to meet the newly elected urban local body members of the Congress at Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) headquarters.

Earlier this month, the local body elections across were held Tamil Nadu almost after nine months of 2021 Assembly polls in which DMK won 133 seats on its own in the 234-member assembly.

In the state’s urban local body polls, the Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its allies including Congress, CPI(M), CPI, IUML, MDMK, VCK registered a landslide victory, defeating rivals All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and other regional parties.

The urban local body elections in Tamil Nadu were held on Saturday for 12,607 posts in 21 corporations, 138 municipalities, and 490 town panchayats.

There are 57,778 candidates contesting for 12,607 posts. (ANI)

Ukraine crisis: In phone call with Putin, PM Modi appeals for immediate cessation of violence


New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Ukraine situation and appealed for an immediate cessation of violence while stressing on concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations.

According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), President Putin briefed the Prime Minister about the recent developments regarding Ukraine.
Prime Minister reiterated his long-standing conviction that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue.

“The Prime Minister appealed for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue,” PMO said.

Prime Minister also sensitised the Russian President about India’s concerns regarding the safety of the Indian citizens in Ukraine, especially students, and conveyed that India attaches the highest priority to their safe exit and return to India.

The leaders agreed that their officials and diplomatic teams would continue to maintain regular contacts on issues of topical interest.

Earlier today, Putin said special military operations are being launched “to protect” the people in the Donbas region. He also warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences”.

Leaders from a number of countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations in the Donbas region.

Moreover, many Indian citizens and students are stranded in Ukraine.

The Indian Embassy on Thursday issued a third travel advisory to Indian nationals/students.

The Mission asked Indians to be aware of the surroundings, be safe, do not leave homes unless necessary and stress on carrying their documents at all times. (ANI)(image instagram)

Bombay HC asks Amitabh Bachchan to file a representation to BMC in two weeks over Juhu land issue


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: The Bombay High Court has directed Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) not to take any coercive action on their notice to acquire a portion of actor Amitabh Bachchan’s property in Juhu for a nearby road widening.

The court has asked Bachchans to file a representation to BMC in two weeks and asked BMC to consider the representation in six weeks.
The court also asked the civic body not to take any coercive action against them till three weeks after their representation is decided by the BMC.

The court granted the petitioners two weeks in case they wanted to file an additional representation and said the BMC commissioner’s decision has to be made in six weeks thereafter. It said the petitioners can then take action within three weeks from the commissioner’s decision. (ANI)Iimage -twitter)

Special UIA flight with 182 Indians lands in Delhi from Ukraine


By Ashoke Raj

New Delhi [India], February 24 (ANI): Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) landed at the Delhi airport at around 7:45 am on Thursday carrying 182 Indian nationals, mostly students.
Amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, several airlines are operating special flights, including Air India, to bring back Indian nationals safely.

“A special flight of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) landed at Delhi Airport from Kyiv, at 7:45 am today, with 182 Indian citizens, including students,” an official of Ukraine International Airlines in India told ANI on condition of anonymity.

The representatives of India’s Ukraine International Airlines are very happy to announce that the first evacuation flight from Kiev in Ukraine operated successfully with Indian nationals.

“Ukraine International Airline, the first special evacuation flight touched down today at 07:45 hours at Delhi Airport bringing in 182 Indian National mainly students studying in different universities in Ukraine,” Anju Wariah, GSA representative of the UIA in India told ANI.

Further, Anju Varia thanked the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and India’s aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for allowing the special UIA aircraft to operate the evacuation flight.

“This has been possible with the support of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Indian Embassy beside the UIA team in both the countries working round the clock,” Anju Wariah told ANI.

Ukraine is currently in a state of war due to tension between the two countries (Russia), with many parents in India insisting on bringing back their children and relatives who are currently in Ukraine. Parents are in constant touch with Ukraine based airlines and Air India for safe return.

“We understand the concerns of the parents and our endeavour is to help and assist as many students studying there to come back home. There are four special evacuation flights that are scheduled in the next couple of days and we are working on more,” Anju said.

In the coming days for Indian citizens, more flights are going to be operated from Ukraine (Kiev) amid tension in the country. (ANI)

Sameer Wankhede arrives at Kopri Police Station in connection with forgery case


Thane (Maharashtra) [India]: Former Mumbai Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Director Sameer Wankhede arrived at Thane’s Kopri police station on Wednesday in connection with an alleged forgery case on a complaint by the state excise department.

The Bombay High Court has granted him interim protection till February 28.
Meanwhile, Wankhede has moved the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of FIR by Thane Police against alleged fraudulent bar licence. The court has fixed the hearing in the matter on February 22. He had moved another petition in the Bombay High Court seeking restoration of cancelled bar licence by Thane Collector.

An FIR was filed against Wankhede on Sunday for forgery in Mumbai’s Thane for allegedly obtaining a licence for a hotel by willful misrepresentation of his age, said the Kopri police on Sunday.

The action was taken following the complaint of State Excise Department official Shankar Gogavale who alleged that Wankhede was below 18 years of age in 1996-97 while obtaining a licence for Sadguru Bar in the city.

Thane collector had issued an order to cancel the licence of the bar.

As per the FIR, the former zonal NCB director was not eligible to do these agreements but he claimed to be a major on a stamp paper in his agreement deed for Sadguru Hotel of Thane. (ANI)

Digital connectivity of villages need of day, will create pool of skilled youth: PM Modi


New Delhi [India]: Digital connectivity of villages is no longer an aspiration but the need of the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday.

“Digital connectivity of villages is no longer an aspiration but the need of the day. Broadband connectivity will not only provide facilities in the villages, but it will also help in creating a large pool of skilled youth in the villages,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a programme on the Union Budget 2022.
“When the service sector expands with broadband connectivity in the village, the country’s potential will increase further. If there are any problems in optical fiber connectivity, then we have to identify them and find solutions,” the Prime Minister said.

He said that the citizens of the country need to inform the rural population about the proper usage of optical fibre networks.

“We need to identify and solve all optical fibre connectivity issues across the nation’s rural areas. We also need to inform the rural population about the proper usage of optical fibre networks in villages that are now connected,” he said.

In this view, the Prime Minister highlighted that over 40 lakh property cards have been provided under the SWAMITVA Yojana. “A unique land identification PIN and land record registration will further make the process seamless,” said PM Modi.

SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) was launched by Prime Minister on April 24, 2020, as a Central Sector Scheme to promote a socio-economically empowered and self-reliant rural India.

“To achieve 100 per cent target in different schemes, we also have to focus on new technology. So that the projects are also completed faster and there is no compromise with the quality,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a post-budget webinar on the Union Budget 2022 on Wednesday.

The theme of the programme ‘Leaving No Citizen Behind’, as per the Ministry of Rural Development’s press release, is aimed at bringing industry leaders, policymakers and government officials together to deliberate upon the positive impact of the budget and identify actionable strategies to collectively work towards furthering the common goal of upliftment of everyone, a saturation of each household and village, leaving no one behind. (ANI)

KL Rahul donates Rs 31 lakh for budding cricketer’s surgery


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Indian opener KL Rahul has come to the rescue of an 11-year-old Varad needing an urgent bone marrow transplant (BMT) to treat a rare blood disorder. Rahul donated a generous Rs 31 lakh of the Rs 35 lakh required for the procedure.

In December, Varad’s parents Sachin Nalawade, an insurance agent, and homemaker Swapna Jha, started a fundraising campaign on GiveIndia to raise Rs 35 lakh they needed to pay for their son’s treatment. Rahul’s team got in touch with GiveIndia as soon as they came to know about Varad and the fundraiser.
Since September, the fifth standard schoolboy had been under the care of haematologists in Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital after he was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, a rare blood disorder. Varad’s blood platelet levels were very low, making his immune system extremely susceptible to infections. Even a normal fever was taking months to be cured. A bone marrow transplant was the only permanent cure for Varad’s condition.

The middle-class family had run out of funds, with his father even liquidating his provident fund savings to pay for Varad’s mounting medical bills to keep his son’s dreams of becoming a cricketer alive. He also bought his son a fancy cricket bat for his 11th birthday to cheer up Varad and give the aspiring young batsman some hope. Thanks to Rahul, Varad was operated upon, and he is now recuperating.

Speaking about the donation, Rahul said, “When I came to know about Varad’s condition, my team got in touch with GiveIndia so that we can help him in any way we could. I am glad that the surgery was successful, and he is doing well. I hope Varad gets back on his feet at the earliest and goes on to achieve his dreams. I hope my contribution inspires more and more people to come forward and help those in need.”

Sitting next to a smiling Varad, his mother Swapna, with folded hands, said: “We are thankful to KL Rahul for donating such a large amount for Varad’s surgery. But for him, it would have been impossible to carry out the bone marrow transplant in such a short period of time. Thank you, Rahul.”

Speaking on Rahul’s donation, GiveIndia COO: “We thank K.L. Rahul for his generosity that will give a new lease of life to young Varad. When a cricketing icon like Rahul comes forward and donates such a large amount to save someone’s life, it can inspire millions to open their hearts and give to those in need.”

Varad’s family couldn’t have imagined that an Indian player would come to rescue him. Varad often talks about playing for India in the future. He now has the chance to emulate the man who saved his life. (ANI)

Thane Police summons NCB official Sameer Wankhede in connection with forgery case, FIR filed against him


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Thane Police on Monday summoned former Mumbai Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede in connection with an alleged forgery case on a complaint by the Maharashtra excise department.

“He will have to come to the police station to record his statement along with relevant documents on February 23 (Wednesday),” Thane Police said.
Meanwhile, Wankhede has moved the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of FIR by Thane Police against alleged fraudulent bar licence. The court has fixed the hearing in the matter on February 22.

He has moved another petition in the Bombay High Court seeking restoration of cancelled bar licence by Thane Collector.

An FIR was filed against Wankhede on Sunday for forgery in Mumbai’s Thane for allegedly obtaining a licence for a hotel by willful misrepresentation of his age, said the Kopri police on Sunday.

The action was taken following the complaint of State Excise Department official Shankar Gogavale who alleged that Wankhede was below 18 years of age in 1996-97 while obtaining a licence for Sadguru Bar in the city.

Thane collector had issued an order to cancel the licence of the bar.

As per the FIR, the former zonal NCB director was not eligible to do these agreements but he claimed to be a major on a Stamp paper in his agreement deed for Sadguru Hotel of Thane. (ANI)

Bajrang Dal activist murder case: Shivamogga police requests District Collector to impose curfew


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Shivamogga police on Monday requested the District Collector to impose a curfew in the area till Tuesday morning in view of Bajrang Dal activist Harsha murder case.

Speaking to ANI, Superintendents of Police (SP) Shivamogga Laxmi Prasad BM said, “We have requested the DC to impose a curfew starting tonight till tomorrow morning.”
“Everything is peaceful after the procession ended. The total deployment of police forces will be more than 500 in number,” he added.

Minister in charge of Shivamogga district KC Narayana Gowda further said that the incident of Bajrang Dal activist’s murder cannot take place without support.

“A scuffle took place between the accused and the deceased. Three people have been arrested so far in the case and two other accused will be apprehended,” he informed.

A compensation of Rs 2 lakh has also been announced for the kin of Harsha by MP Renukacharya, BJP MLA from Honnali, Karnataka.

A 26-year-old Bajrang Dal activist Harsha was allegedly murdered on Sunday night in Shivamogga. Security was tightened in the city following the incident. (ANI)

Chennai: AIADMK leader D Jayakumar arrested for attacking DMK cadre


Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India] : Senior All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and former Tamil Nadu Minister D Jayakumar was arrested by Chennai police on Monday on the charges of attacking a DMK cadre at a polling booth on the voting day of urban local body poll on February 19.

Jayakumar and 40 other AIADMK cadres were earlier booked under eight different sections pertaining to rioting and assault.
Jayakumar accused the DMK cadre of indulging in booth capturing during polling for the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) council elections on Saturday. (ANI)[Instagram Image ]

The book ‘I AM’ challenges the myths and breaks the stereotype around creativity


Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India] (ANI/PNN): The book ‘I AM’ is a first of its kind in the illustrated picture book category that defines the correct meaning of creativity.

Inspired by the core principle of design thinking, the book takes the reader through the journey of Empathy-Define-Ideate-Prototype-Test to demonstrate simple methods to solve complex problems.
Creativity isn’t always an in-born trait but a refined skill in the creation process. I AM an illustrated book for adults & children who believe in having a mindset that lets them find multiple solutions for the same problem.

I AM a happy book that emphasizes positivity. It is an emotional journey of a boy who is on his path of self-discovery. The story keeps the readers glued to the protagonist’s journey and how his brother encourages him to face the challenges and discover the essence of life. The book revolves around the myths about creativity and its stereotype. It’s an eye-opener for young adults, professionals, and parents who believe that creativity is synonymous with being artistic, whereas it is all about inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking the rules, making mistakes, and finding out solutions.

Reshma Budhia, the author of I AM, believes that creativity is not a form of doing but a form of being. With over 16 years of marketing experience, she has helped companies conceptualize and build marketing roadmaps using emerging technology solutions. Her key role includes brand & strategy consulting, content creation, UX/UI consulting, and growth strategy planning & execution.

She is a Certified Design Thinking Specialist from Emeritus MIT Sloan School of Management and has completed her PG Diploma in Innovation & Design Thinking. Reshma says, “Creativity is all about connecting things and solving problems. It’s solving ordinary problems through extraordinary solutions. We need to come out of the cocoon to explore and experiment.” She adds that her book was not born as an impulsive, spur-of-the-moment story but is her own journey to discover the creative side. She takes pride in being recognized as the Exceptional Women of Excellence by the Women’s Economic Forum.

There are different aspects of creativity, and through the book I AM, one gets to understand the true essence of creativity. It’s a keepsake that opens a new dimension each time you read it. I AM available on Amazon at Rs. 1199/.


to find out more.

Instagram handles:

Book: @discoveriam

Author: @designthinkqueen

This story is provided by PNN. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PNN)

Budget 2022-23 has growth revival as a priority, says Nirmala Sitharaman


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): The high capital expenditure proposed in the Union Budget 2022-23 will have a multiplier effect on the economy and will help in sustained recovery, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday.

“The budget has growth revival as a priority along with messages for sustainability as a priority and on predictable tax regimen,” Sitharaman said while addressing a post-budget interaction with industry.
She said the government’s decision to increase spending on infrastructure will help create long-term assets and have a sustainable impact on the economic recovery.

“A sustained recovery is what we would want,” said the Finance Minister adding the Union Budget 2022-23 seeks to lay a foundation for India’s growth for the next 25 years.

In the 2022-23 Union Budget presented on Parliament on February 1, 2022, Sitharaman proposed to increase the outlay for capital expenditure by 35.4 per cent from Rs 5.54 lakh crore in the current year to Rs 7.50 lakh crore in 2022-23.

The Finance Minister said the extensive use of technology helped India manage the COVID pandemic more effectively than most other countries. (ANI)

UP Polls: Sonia slams Centre over unemployment


New Delhi [India] (ANI): Ahead of the fourth phase of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Monday slammed the Centre over unemployment, saying the government made the youth idle.

Speaking at a press conference held virtually, she said, “Youth study and prepare for jobs but the BJP government made them sit at home. There are 12 lakh government jobs vacant but employments are not being offered to the youth.”
Prices of petrol, diesel, LPG, mustard oil are skyrocketing, it has become difficult for people to run their households, accused the Congress leader.

“During the lockdown, your business was closed. You suffered the pain of walking for miles. But Modi-Yogi governments acted irresponsibly and turned their faces away and closed their eyes, despite the pain of the people. The government didn’t provide any relief,” she said.

Speaking further, she made an appeal, saying these polls are important for the people since for five years they saw a government that did nothing except create differences among them.

“These polls are important for you as for five years you saw a government that did nothing except create differences among you. Farmers grow crops with a lot of hard work. You neither got paid nor received fertilisers, not even irrigation facilities,” she said.

The fourth phase of voting for the Assembly elections in UP will be held on February 23.

The counting of votes will take place on March 10. (ANI)

KCR meets NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai, discusses new vision to run country ‘properly’


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): As part of efforts to unite parties opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party at the national level, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar at his residence in Mumbai and discussed the new vision, agenda to run the country properly.

KCR called the NCP chief an “experienced leader” and said that both the parties will work together.
“This country needs to be run properly with a new agenda, new vision… I discussed the same with Sharad Pawar Ji. He is an experienced leader, has given me his blessings, and we will work together,” Telangana chief minister said at a press conference after meeting Pawar in Mumbai.

He said a meeting with other like-minded parties will be held soon.

After the meeting, Pawar said that various issues of development and cooperation between Telangana and Maharashtra were discussed.

“Today, we discussed solutions to the problems our country is facing, be it poverty or farmers’ issues. We did not have much of a political discussion, because the issue is development… We will again hold discussions later,” Pawar added.

Earlier in the day, KCR also held a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in which Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and Actor Prakash Raj were also present.

The series of meetings came after KCR gave a call to Opposition parties to unite against BJP.

Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ on Sunday said the meeting will expedite the process of political unity at the national level against the BJP.

Telangana Chief Minister had earlier hit out at the BJP and said that it should be “expelled” from the country or else the country will be “ruined”. He also called for political forces to come together to “oust” the BJP from power.

As part of efforts to bring various opposition parties together against the BJP, KCR is also planning to meet his West Bengal counterpart, Mamata Banerjee. (Image -InstagramKCR)

Nitish Kumar meets Prashant Kishor, says no special meaning behind meeting


New Delhi [India] (ANI): Political strategist Prashant Kishor, who was expelled from JD-U in 2020, met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday. The meeting took place at Kumar’s residence.

The Chief Minister denied any political significance of the meeting.
“Is my relationship with Prashant Kishor only from today? There is no special meaning behind the meeting,” Kumar said answering media queries.

Kishor was expelled from the JD-U for “making controversial remarks” which were not in accordance with the policies of the party. He was vice-president of JD-U and was seen as close to Nitish Kumar before his expulsion from the party.

Kishor had worked with the grand alliance that won the 2015 assembly polls in Bihar. The grand alliance included JD-U and RJD but the two parties fell out with each other later. Kishor’s political consultancy group I-PAC had worked with the Trinamool Congress in the Bengal assembly polls last year. (ANI)(instagram)

India logs 22,270 new COVID-19 cases, 325 deaths in last 24 hours


New Delhi [India] (ANI): India logged 22,270 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours with a daily positivity rate of 1.80 per cent, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.

With this, the active cases in the country stand at 2,53,739.
As many as 60,298 patients recovered from the disease during this period taking the total number of recoveries since the onset of the pandemic to 4,20,37,536.

The recovery rate in the country currently stands at 98.21 per cent.

According to the Ministry, 325 patients lost their lives in the last 24 hours taking the death toll to 5,11,230.

A total of 12,35,471 COVID-19 tests were done in the last 24 hours while the country has tested 75,81,27,480 samples so far.

The weekly positivity rate is 2.50 per cent.

As far as the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine is concerned, the country has administered over 175.03 crore (1,75,03,86,834) vaccine doses so far under the nationwide vaccination drive, including 36,28,578 doses in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

SpiceJet adds Khajuraho to its network, to operate flights twice weekly


Gurugram (Haryana) [India] (ANI): SpiceJet on Friday announced the addition of Khajuraho to its network as its 15th UDAN destination.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia inaugurated SpiceJet’s direct flight from Delhi to Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. “We aim to construct 100 new airports by 2025, out of which 65 have been built. There were 6 crore passengers in 2012, it has increased to 14 crores,” he said
The airline will operate flights between Delhi and Khajuraho twice a week on Fridays and Sundays. The UDAN fare on the Delhi-Khajuraho-Delhi sector will start at Rs 3,209 plus taxes.

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet said, “We are delighted to add Khajuraho to our network as we launch 24 new flights beginning February 18. Khajuraho, a UNESCO world heritage site that will be our 15th UDAN destination, attracts tourists from all over the world for its rich history of art and culture. SpiceJet will be the only airline connecting Khajuraho with Delhi with a non-stop flight and we are proud to provide the much-needed fillip to boost travel and tourism of this historic city and State.”

Khajuraho, known for its magnificent temples, attracts tourists not just from other parts of the country but from around the world. The temples in the ancient city are famous for their intricate sculptures and architectural symbolism.

The addition of Khajuraho to SpiceJet’s network will play a major role in enhancing economic activity while providing a boost to tourism in the region.

Khajuraho Temple.

The airline will be connecting Delhi with Sharjah with a non-stop flight, which will operate four times a week.

From March 1, SpiceJet will connect Chennai-Jodhpur, Mumbai-Jharsuguda, Mumbai-Tirupati and Varanasi-Dehradun for the first time on its network. The airline will also launch new flights connecting Kolkata-Surat and add additional frequencies on the Pune-Goa, Delhi-Guwahati, Delhi-Jharsuguda, Delhi-Jabalpur and Delhi-Darbhanga sectors, stated SpiceJet. (ANI)(instagram Image )

Mumbai gets water taxi service to boost connectivity, tourism, other Metros may follow


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India](ANI): To provide smooth connectivity and boost tourism, a water taxi service was launched in Mumbai on Thursday.

The Water Taxi service will connect the twin cities of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai for the first time. The Water Taxi services will commence from the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) and will also connect nearby locations at Nerul, Belapur, Elephanta island and JNPT.

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal virtually flagged off Water Taxi from the newly constructed Belapur Jetty. Maharashtra Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray presided over the on-ground function where he inaugurated the newly constructed jetty.

According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Water Taxi services are going to give huge impetus to the tourism sector, especially travel to the historic Elephanta caves from Navi Mumbai. Visitors will be able to travel easily from Navi Mumbai to the Gateway of India.

The newly constructed Belapur jetty, built at a cost of Rs 8.37 crore was funded in the 50-50 model under the Sagarmala scheme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. The new jetty will enable the movement of vessels to locations like Bhaucha Dhakka, Mandwa, Elephanta and Karanja.

Addressing the event virtually, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Sagarmala Programme has undertaken a range of projects across an array of categories such as port modernization, rail, road, cruise tourism, RORO and passenger jetties, fisheries, coastal infrastructure, skill development. 131 projects worth Rs 1.05 lakh crore has been identified for implementation in Maharashtra.”

The union minister said out of 131, 46 projects worth Rs 2,078 crore being financially supported under the Sagarmala scheme. He said Maharashtra coast has huge potential for urban water transportation which can become an alternate mode of transportation.

“ROPAX movement between Mumbai Ferry Wharf and Mandwa has resulted in a positive impact with a reduction in travel time for passengers, quick and agile loading and unloading process of vehicles. More than 32 projects were undertaken in four clusters – Palghar, Mumbai and Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg,” said Sonowal.

The union minister further said for upliftment of the fishing community, four fishing harbour projects have been sanctioned for funding under Sagarmala. Stage II expansion of Mirkawada Fishing Harbour in Ratnagiri District has been completed. Further, modernization of Sassoon Dock and development of Karanja in Raigad and Anandwadi in Sindhudurg district are under implementation.

The proposal for modernization of Mallet Bunder in Mumbai is under active consideration. (image -instagram)

Hyderabad Police book Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma for his comments on Rahul Gandhi

Hyderabad : February 16 (ANI): Hyderabad Police booked Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over his alleged derogatory comments against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Following the complaint filed by TPCC president Revanth Reddy, a case has been registered under sections 504 and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code at Jubilee Hills police station of Hyderabad city.
Earlier on Monday, the TPCC president has lodged a complaint against Assam CM for making indecent remarks against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at the Jubilee Hills police station.

Congress leaders have filed a criminal case against Himanta Biswa Sharma and demanded his immediate arrest.

“Assam CM’s remarks are humiliating for a woman, Why did the Chief Electoral Officer of the National Election Commission not order the arrest of Himanta Biswa Sharma” asked Revanth. “BJP should remove Himanta Biswa from the post of Chief Minister. But the BJP is supporting the remarks of the Assam CM.”

The TPCC president added, “Some say it is an insult to the Gandhi family, but it is an insult to the women of this country. An FIR should be registered against our compliant immediately.”

According to him, the Assam CM should be served notice immediately. “It is the responsibility of the police to arrest the Assam CM.”

Further investigation is on. (ANI)(image-instagram)

Bengaluru: Couple arrested for stealing traffic signal batteries


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): Bengaluru police arrested a couple for stealing traffic signal batteries on Tuesday.

A senior police officer from Ashok Nagar police station told ANI, “With the increase in cases of stealing of traffic signal batteries, we started scanning the CCTV footages and spotted a couple moving around suspiciously between 3 am and 5 am on a scooter. The couple had disabled the tail light of their scooter to avoid the cameras to capture the vehicle registration number.”
We collected data of 4000 similar scooters from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and randomly questioned over 300 people and had to camp at Goraguntepalya junction for a few days to get hold of Sikandar and Najma, said the senior officer.

The couple started stealing the batteries of the traffic signals in June 2021. A total of 68 cases of stolen traffic signal batteries have been registered at various police stations across Bengaluru. The accused used to sell these batteries as scrap and make money, said the police official.

“Accused Sikandar is a tea-seller and Najma a garment worker. Sikandar is a history-sheeter and has previously been arrested for stealing two-wheelers in 2017 and 2018 by Upparpet and JJ Nagar police Stations,” added the police officer. (ANI)

Hijab row: Everyone should abide by High Court order, says CM Bommai


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Everyone should abide by the High Court order, said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai while speaking to media persons after attending the Business Advisory Committee meeting of the State Assembly.

Amid the ongoing Hijab controversy, the High court on Monday resumed hearing on the petition challenging wearing Hijab in colleges. The Karnataka High Court stated that this decision comes under the ambit of article 25 and it is not legally sustainable and also asked the media to be more responsible.
After the High Court gave its final judgement, few incidents were reported in the city. Citing to that incident, CM Bommai said, “Schools up to the 10th standard have reopened today. A few incidents have been reported from various districts. A meeting would be convened to discuss the lacunae and standard operating procedures. School management, principals and the parents have the responsibility of obeying the High Court order. It will create a conducive atmosphere for the High Court to deliver its final judgement. We should maintain restraint till then.”

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Bellur Chandrashekharaiah Nagesh said that Pre-University colleges and degree colleges will reopen from February 16. (ANI)

COVID-19: Primary, upper primary schools to reopen in West Bengal from tomorrow


Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): In view of an improvement in the coronavirus pandemic situation, the West Bengal government on Monday revised the COVID-19 restrictions in the state and announced the reopening of all primary and upper primary schools with effect from February 16.

The schools will be reopened keeping in place all the COVID-19 protocols.
However, the night curfew will remain in force from midnight to 5 am till February 28, as per an order issued by the state government.

“Movement of people and vehicles and public gatherings of any kind shall now be prohibited between 12 midnight to 5 am. Only essential and emergency services shall be permitted. Opening of all primary and upper primary schools. A separate SOP will be issued by School Education Department in this regard,” read the order.

In West Bengal, schools for classes 8-12 resumed on February 3 with adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

Earlier in January, in view of rising COVID-19 cases, the West Bengal government had decided to shut down schools and other educational institutes, spas, salons, beauty parlors, zoos, and entertainment parks from January 3. (ANI)(instagram)

West Bengal withdraws ban on incoming international flights from tomorrow


Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], (ANI): In view of decreasing trend of COVID cases, the West Bengal government has withdrawn a ban on incoming international flights with effect from Tuesday.

However, international passengers either have to be fully vaccinated or go through an RT-PCR test within 72 hours from flight departure, said the official statement.
“The restrictions on incoming flights to West Bengal have been reviewed and in view of the improved COVID situation, it has been decided that there shall be no restrictions on incoming domestic flights from any location in the country but subject to the condition that the passengers are either fully vaccinated or RT-PCR Test conducted within 72 hours from the time of flight departure,” reads West Bengal government’s letter to Union Civil Aviation Ministry.

“Further, in respect of all incoming international flights to West Bengal, these shall be subject to the condition that the passengers are either fully vaccinated or RT-PCR Test conducted within 72 hours from the time of flight departure and any other updated extant guidelines. These shall come into effect from February 15, 2022,” the letter adds.

According to the State health department, West Bengal reported 512 new COVID cases on Sunday of which 83 cases were recorded in North 24 Parganas while Kolkata logged 62 cases. (ANI)

Karnataka hijab row: Schools for classes up to 10th standard re-opened today


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India](ANI): Amid the ongoing hijab row, schools for classes up to 10th standard re-opened on Monday in Karnataka.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai made the announcement on re-opening of the schools on Sunday.
“Schools up to 10th standard will re-open from Monday. I have instructed the DCs, SPs and school administrations to conduct a peace committee meeting. Schools for higher classes and degree colleges will re-open after reviewing the situation,” Bommai said.

A decision regarding PUCs, colleges and universities can be expected after a review of the situation in the State, the Chief Minister added.

The hijab row in Karnataka began in January this year when some students of Government Girls PU college in the Udupi district of the state alleged that they were barred from attending classes. During the protests, some students claimed that they were denied entry into the college for wearing hijab.

Following this incident, students of different colleges arrived at Shanteshwar Education Trust in Vijayapura sporting saffron stoles. The situation was the same in several colleges in the Udupi district.

The pre-University education board had released a circular stating that students can wear only the uniform approved by the school administration and no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges.

Meanwhile, Karnataka High Court also appealed to the student community and the public at large to maintain peace and tranquillity while hearing various pleas challenging a ban on wearing of hijab in classrooms in the state.

The Karnataka High Court on Friday uploaded the interim order passed on the petitions challenging the hijab ban in colleges in the state. The hearing of the petitions will continue on February 14. (ANI)

India reports 34,113 fresh COVID-19 cases, 346 deaths


New Delhi [India](ANI): As many as 34,113 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported across the country in the 24-hour period, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday.

A total of 75.18 crore tests have been conducted so far in India, with 10,67,908 tests held in the last 24 hours, as per ministry data.
Country’s active caseload currently stands at 4,78,882, which accounts for 1.12 per cent of total cases.

The daily positivity rate in India has been recorded at 3.19 per cent and the weekly positivity rate at 3.99 per cent, as per the bulletin.

A total of 91,930 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours and the cumulative tally of recovered patients since the beginning of the pandemic is now at4,16,77,641, stated the bulletin. India’s recovery rate now stands at 97.68 per cent.

The country reported 346 deaths in the country in the past 24 hours, increasing the total reported death count to 5,09,011.

A total of 1,72,95,87,490 vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far under a nationwide vaccination drive. (ANI)

India to ban 54 more Chinese apps citing security threat


New Delhi [India](ANI): The Government of India will ban 54 more Chinese apps that pose a threat to India’s security, informed sources on Monday.

“Government of India to ban 54 Chinese apps that pose a threat to India’s security,” sources said.
The 54 Chinese apps include Beauty Camera: Sweet Selfie HD, Beauty Camera – Selfie Camera, Equalizer & Bass Booster, CamCard for SalesForce Ent, Isoland 2: Ashes of Time Lite, Viva Video Editor, Tencent Xriver, Onmyoji Chess, Onmyoji Arena, AppLock, Dual Space Lite.

Earlier in June last year, India banned 59 Chinese mobile applications including the widely-used social media platforms such as TikTok, WeChat, and Helo keeping in view the threat to the nation’s sovereignty and security.

The majority of the apps banned in the June 29 order were red-flagged by intelligence agencies over concerns that they were collecting user data and possibly also sending them “outside”.

This action came after 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers were killed during violent clashes in Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh amid border tensions with China.

Later in September, the Government of India further blocked 118 Chinese mobile apps stating that they are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state and public order”.

However, China opposed India’s decision to continue the ban on Chinese mobile apps and said the action is in violation of the World Trade Organisation’s non-discriminatory principles. (ANI)

‘Worth the wait’: Zaheer Khan on Archer-Bumrah bowling together in IPL


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], (ANI): Mumbai Indians’ Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan has said that it will be worth the wait when Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah start bowling in tandem for the franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Archer was picked up by Mumbai Indians for Rs 8 crore on Day 2 of the IPL mega auction here in Bengaluru. The England pacer will not be available for IPL 2022 season, and he would only start playing for the franchise from the next season.
“You are eagerly waiting for the partnership to go on the field and so am I. To see two legendary fast bowlers bowling in tandem and I’m glad that it seems possible and will be worth the wait,” said Zaheer.

Mumbai Indians also picked up Singapore’s Tim David for Rs 8.25 crore in the mega auction.

Talking about Tim David, Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene said: “He is a hot property at the moment and is known to be a hard hitter. We knew we had funds available and a lot of the Hundred players were the target for us. Just like Bumrah-Archer combo with the ball, Pollard-David can be a combo with the bat.”

In the mega auction, Mumbai Indians also picked up Ishan Kishan (Rs 15.25 crore) and Arjun Tendulkar (Rs 30 lakh).

“Ishan Kishan is an Indian batter and he bats left-handed. We always back ourselves when we see talent, Ishan is 23 years old, he is a great aspect of the franchise and that is why we as a franchise value him. It is the dynamics of the auction, this is what auctions are, we are very happy to have him. Ishan has worked hard and he has evolved. We are looking forward to it,” said Jayawardene. (ANI)

Looking forward to an amazing journey with SRH, says Pooran


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): West Indies wicket-keeper batter Nicholas Pooran expressed excitement on joining SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Pooran was picked up by SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) for Rs 10.75 crore in the IPL mega auction 2022.
For Pooran, interest was shown by SRH and Kolkata Knight Riders, and in the end, the left-handed batter went to SunRisers.

“@SunRisers looking forward to an amazing journey with you guys! #OrangeArmy,” Pooran tweeted.

Also, India batter Rahul Tripathi was sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for Rs 8.50 crore.

Meanwhile, Proteas pacer Kagiso Rabada was acquired by Punjab Kings for Rs 9.25 crore. Kiwi pacer Trent Boult was sold to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 8 crore.

Shreyas Iyer was picked up by KKR for Rs 12.25 crore. India pacer Mohammed Shami was picked up by Gujarat Titans for Rs 6.25 crore.

South Africa batter Faf du Plessis was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for Rs 7 crore.

Lucknow Super Giants picked up Quinton de Kock for Rs 6.75 crore. Australia opening batter David Warner was picked up by Delhi Capitals for Rs 6.25 crore. (ANI)

Mumbai: 5 quacks held for running clinic in Goregaon


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): Mumbai Crime Branch on Saturday arrested five quacks from Goregaon, for allegedly running a medical clinic without a valid degree.

The arrested accused have been identified as Ibrar Sayyed age (24) compounder, Sarvesh Yadav (31), Chhotelal Yadav (33), Omprakash Yadav (45) and Sapna Yadav (29).
According to the information received from Unit 10 of the Mumbai Crime Branch, five clinics were being run without a doctor’s certificate in Goregaon’s Dongri and Prem Nagar area.

Based on a tip-off, the crime branch officials acted as a patient and went to the clinics to arrest them.

When the crime branch officials asked for a degree, no one was able to produce the degree as they had none and one of the accused used to treat people as a compounder.

The police have registered a case under Section 419, 420 and 336 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 33 and 36 of the Maharashtra Medical Practitioner Act.

Further investigation is underway. (ANI)(image – instagram)

IPL 2022: Raina, Steve Smith and Shakib among high-profile names to go unsold in auction


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): Suresh Raina, Steve Smith, and Shakib Al Hasan were among the high-profile names who went unsold in the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction on Saturday.

However, these three names will pop up again in the auction and they might find bidders in the accelerated part of the auction.
India all-rounder Deepak Hooda was sold to Lucknow Super Giants for Rs 5.75 crore while Harshal Patel was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for Rs 10.75 crore.

Nitish Rana was picked up by KKR for Rs 8 crore while West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder was bought by Lucknow Super Giants for Rs 8.75 crore. Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan remained unsold as no franchise showed interest in him.

India batter Manish Pandey was picked by Lucknow Super Giants for Rs 4.6 crore. Windies left-handed batter Shimron Hetmyer was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 8.5 crore. India batter Robin Uthappa was acquired by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for Rs 2 crore.

England opening batter Jason Roy was acquired by Gujarat Titans for Rs 2 crore. Proteas player David Miller went unsold in the auction as there were no takers for him, however, he might be picked up in the accelerated auction which will take place later on.

India opening batter Devdutt Padikkal was sold to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 7.75 crore, while Suresh Raina and Steve Smith went unsold in the auction. West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was picked up by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 4.4 crore.

Earlier in the auction, India opening batter Shikhar Dhawan was acquired by Punjab Kings for Rs 8.25 crore. Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 5 crore. Australia Test captain Pat Cummins was taken by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for Rs 7.25 crore.

Proteas pacer Kagiso Rabada was acquired by Punjab Kings for Rs 9.25 crore. Kiwi pacer Trent Boult was sold to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 8 crore. Shreyas Iyer was picked up by KKR for Rs 12.25 crore. India pacer Mohammed Shami was picked up by Gujarat Titans for Rs 6.25 crore.

South Africa batter Faf du Plessis was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for Rs 7 crore. Lucknow Super Giants picked up Quinton de Kock for Rs 6.75 crore. Australia opening batter David Warner was picked up by Delhi Capitals for Rs 6.25 crore. (ANI)(image -Instagram)

COVID-19: Services of Tejas Express between Mumbai-Ahmadabad resume


New Delhi [India] (ANI): The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited has announced that the services of Tejas Express between Mumbai and Ahmadabad have been resumed once again from February after a decrease in COVID-19 cases is reported across the country.

“Restrictions have been eased due to a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases. Passengers will have to follow all COVID safety protocols,” said IRCTC in an official statement.
According to an official, the wedding season is picking up and they felt the service will see higher occupancy levels.

“Passengers have been choosing Tejas Express over other trains due to the high levels of service and best sanitation practices in these COVID-19 times. Will continue our unrelenting efforts to provide punctual and comfortable travel with best-in-class hospitality services and hygiene practices,” said the official.

The train will run for five days a week — Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. (ANI)

Mumbai local trains commuters can now watch movies, TV shows during journey


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India],(ANI): With the new initiative, Central Railway and SugarBox Networks called the ‘Content on Demand’ service in local trains, passengers can enjoy watching movies, TV shows, and news for free while traveling, the Indian railways official said.

According to an official, passengers’ journeys will now be full of entertainment. Lakhs of people travel daily in Mumbai local train. To make travel more attractive and convenient, Central Railway has started ‘Content on Demand’ service in local trains from Friday.
Anil Kumar Lahoti, General Manager, Central Railway said Central Railway is the backbone of public transport in Mumbai.

“We witness footfalls of 45lakh passengers daily across our suburban network during pre-covid times. Often, for commuters, this travel time is an opportunity to spend uninterrupted time on their devices. And if we could empower them simply by integrating technology into our services, then it could strengthen our goal to stay future-forward and customer-centric,” Lahoti said.

Speaking about creating solutions for Central Railway, Rohit Paranjpe, Co-founder and CEO, SugarBox Networks said that Mumbaikars spend a large portion of their time

travelling, there is a need to ensure they have access to uninterrupted digital connectivity during transit.

“Through this partnership, we aim to make Mumbai a stellar example of in-transit

connectivity and make it a digitally equipped travel line,” he added.

This service is completely free, passengers will not have to pay any extra charge for the service. Apart from watching entertainment shows, passengers can shop without spending internet data.

To enjoy the free service, travellers will have to download the ‘Sugarbox app’.

With the help of Central Railway and Sugarbox Networks, this service has started only in 10 local trains of Central Railway, however, in the coming few months this service will be started in all trains, officials said.

Sugarbox will not charge anything, it is free, no network hassle, passengers can listen and watch movies, serials, news snd songs without any interruption, it added. (ANI)

SC issues notice to Future Group on Amazon plea challenging Delhi HC order staying arbitration before tribunal

New Delhi [India], (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Future Group on an appeal filed by US-based e-commerce giant Amazon against a division bench order of Delhi High Court staying further arbitration proceedings between the two companies before the Singapore Tribunal.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli sought response from Future Retail Ltd (FRL) and Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) and posted the matter for hearing on February 23. During the hearing today, the CJI observed that the media has highlighted some observations he made yesterday against Amazon.
“Sorry to say that news papers are unnecessarily highlighting my observations (made yesterday) but it is the same for other side (FRL) also, they also want to drag the matter. Anyway, issue notice,” said the CJI.
On Tuesday, the apex court pulled up Amazon for seeking permission to file written submissions in the Amazon-Future case, five days after the court reserved its verdict. The CJI has observed that it appears to be a tactic on the part of Amazon to drag the case forever. The bench added that it appeared to be a “luxurious litigation”.
Today, the bench was hearing an appeal of Amazon against the division bench order of the High Court which stayed the arbitration proceedings before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
Amazon has approached the top court challenging the High Court order which stayed the ongoing arbitration proceedings against Future Group related to the 2019 deal between the two companies.
Future Group and Amazon are embroiled in arbitration proceedings before a tribunal set up by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre over the issue of Future Retail Ltd entering into an asset sale deal with Reliance Industries. image(instagram)

TN Assembly initiates discussion on bill against NEET


Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 8 (ANI): A special session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly has commenced to consider and pass a bill to exempt students of the state from the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET).

Before the session started, Vijayabaskar, an AIADMK MLA and the former Health Minister, advised caution, saying that a judicious approach to the NEET exam with legal experts be adopted.
He said, “We demand to approach the issue of the NEET exam in a judicious way by taking the advices of the legal experts. The AIADMK will stick with the Dravidian policy.” He urged the politicians to avoid politics, saying that the AIADMK will give full support to the government on the NEET exam issue.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, while taking part in the discussion in the Assembly, said: “Today is an unforgettable and special day in my lifetime. This Assembly in the past has passed various great historic bills. It’s the same Assembly that passed a bill to abolish all entrance exams. Students were selected for higher education on the basis of +12 marks. The NEET can be abolished by this TN Assembly. The NEET exam is against social justice. We are taught by Anna (DMK founder). Let us all unite and work for social justice. We have come here to make sure that the law must be passed by this session.”

He further stated, “In 2010 when NEET was introduced the former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had opposed it. Hundreds of cases were filed against the students appearing for the NEET exam. When the BJP came to power, a private coaching centre again made a case for the NEET, which was implemented at the national level. In the name of the coaching centre for NEET, a lot of money is being collected. But the poor students couldn’t get medical seats and that’s why we pass a bill in the Assembly against the NEET exam. Many forgeries have taken place in the NEET exam in which so far 12 persons have been arrested.”

The Chief Minister also commented on NEET exams, making references to the incidents of suicides by the students. “Many students have suicide like Anitha; not only Tamil Nadu but from the whole country,” he added.

The Chief Minister also referred to the recommendations of the Retired justice AK Rajan committee on the NEET exam. “After a wide-ranging consultation, we had got a bill passed against the NEET exam in Tamil Nadu Assembly, with all 234 MLAs except four BJP members supporting the legislative proposal, which was then sent to Governor. But the Bill remained on his desk, and he sent it back to the assembly,” said Stalin.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister also asserted that “the NEET exam will encourage coaching centres. Lakhs are spent on the coaching centres. How can poor students study in coaching centres?.”

The Chief Minister also stated that the incident of the Governor returning the Bill passed by the Assembly is against the federal system. “It raises a question on the power of the state Assembly. A bill returned by Governor is against democracy and federalism. How can people believe in elected government,” asked Stalin.

The Chief Minister also said that the Governor must abide by the advice of the council of the ministers.

After 142 days the Governor had sent back the bill to the Assembly, asking the House to reconsider it.

“I believe Governor will send the passed bill against the NEET exam to President for approval.

I once again table the bill against the NEET exam,” said Stalin in the House. (ANI)

Centre targeting Opposition when income of people is declining: Priyanka Chaturvedi

New Delhi [India], (ANI): Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi on Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks in Lok Sabha that the Congress cannot shed its arrogance despite defeats.
Shiv Sena leader said that the Centre is targeting Opposition while the income of common people is decreasing under his leadership. “He (PM Modi) is talking about insults in Lok Sabha. He himself is unsuccessful in running the government. Currently, the situation of MSMEs is poor, PSUs are being sold, youth is not satisfied and still seeking employment; all sections of society are suffering due to rising inflation,” Chaturvedi told ANI.
She also said, “Income of the people is going down, and still the Centre is targeting Opposition.”
Chaturvedi’s remarks came after PM Modi on Monday attacked Congress over its claims of having brought crores of people out of poverty during the UPA rule, and said that the poor had reduced the party to 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Prime Minister, in his reply to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address in Lok Sabha, said despite suffering repeated defeats in several states “Congress is unable to shed its arrogance”.
“The Congress changed the definition of poverty. In 2013, using pen on paper, 17 crore people were made rich. They changed norms and said 17 crore will not be counted poor. They worked by changing statistics,” he said.
Further, the Rajya Sabha MP took a dig at Home Minister Amit Shah for providing Z category security to AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi after his vehicles were attacked by unknown persons in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
“Team A (BJP) and Team B (AIMIM) correspond to Z category security since they are known to have good political understanding. They are polarizing the issue of attack on Owaisi’s vehicle because it would benefit Bharatiya Janata Party,” she said.
After Owaisi refused to accept the Z category security, Shah on Monday told the Parliament, “The threat to Owaisi has been reassessed and a bulletproof vehicle and Z category security has been given to him. But, as per verbal information by himself, he has refused to accept it. I request him to accept the security given to him by the central government.”
“Every party is campaigning for the UP Assembly polls in the state but such kind of atmosphere is aimed at only one leader,” Shiv Sena MP added.
Reacting to accusations made by Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for delaying the approval of project files related to civil aviation, she said that the Centre blames the state government for every problem.
“The Centre always blame the state government for every problem. I believe that coordination is needed for the approval of the project because if the real intention is to provide an airport for West Bengal, then the Civil Aviation Ministry should work on it by keeping politics at bay,” Chaturvedi said.
Earlier on Sunday, Scindia said, “We want West Bengal to progress in the field of civil aviation, but it will not happen without the help of the state government… I want to appeal to CM Mamata Banerjee that if you want the progress and development then move the files fast.”
Speaking about Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s visit to Uttar Pradesh, Chaturvedi sadi that she has reached Lucknow to campaign for Samajwadi Party according to her own politics.
“It’s for the people to decide which party they think can fulfil their aspirations. However, the ruling BJP led government remains unsuccessful in fulfilling promises and also promoted division in the state,” she added.
West Bengal chief minister is on a two-day visit to Uttar Pradesh to support Samajwadi Party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections that are scheduled to take place in seven phases beginning from February 10. Image(Instagram)

War of words escalates between TRS, BJP after PM Modi’s visit to Telangana


Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: The war of words between the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) intensified after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao skipped the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s programme of inaugurating the Statue of Equality in Hyderabad.

On February 5, the Prime Minister inaugurated the 216-feet tall ‘Statue of Equality’ that commemorates the 11th-century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya.
KCR was not present at the Hyderabad airport to receive PM Modi and chose to send Minister of Fisheries Talasani Srinivas Yadav as the Minister-in-Waiting to receive the Prime Minister.

The Chief Minister and his son were conspicuously absent from the inauguration event.

A day after the event the son of Telangana Chief Minister, K Taraka Rama Rao, making a jibe at PM Modi on Twitter said, “The Icon of Partiality unveiled Statue of Equality and irony just died a billion deaths!!”

Not to hold back, Union Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Development of North Eastern Region, G Kishan Reddy reacted sharply and said that KCR and KTR valorise Nizam whose Razakar army massacred Hindus at will and abuses PM whose only dharma is ‘Sab ka Saath sab ka vikas’.

“If the police is removed for 15 minutes, we Muslims will finish 100 crore Hindus. CM KCR and KTR endorse such statements by aligning with Owaisi and MIM. They valorise Nizam whose Razakar army massacred Hindus at will. He then abuses PM whose only dharma is ‘Sab ka Saath sab ka vikas’,” Reddy said.

He further the Prime Minister is used to such political attacks and urged to spare Saint Ramanuja from this.

“It is unfortunate that a spiritual event meant to celebrate the ideas of equality as enunciated by Sri Ramanujacharya is being politicized. Even by TRS party standards, this is a new low. Our PM is used to such political attacks but please spare Saint Ramanuja from this,” he added.

Initially, after the budget announcement in the Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Telangana Chief Minister held a 2-hour long press conference where he criticised the Union Budget.

The Chief Minister claimed that various allocations in the budget were well below previous allocations and took specific examples such as the Fertiliser subsidy, MGNREGA budget allocations, Health sector allocations and allocations for the Food subsidy.

At that time, G Kishan Reddy had rebutted the points made by KCR.

The Union Minister pointed towards the previous year’s budget and said that in various programmes including in Fertilizer Subsidy, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) and Health budget, the allocations have either increased or have been kept stable compared to previous budgets and in no place were there any reductions.

Stirring up a controversy, Rao had said that the time has come that the Constitution in India needs to be rewritten.

“We have to rewrite our Constitution. Nayi Soch, Naya Samvidhan should be brought in. The Constitution needs to be strengthened,” he said while addressing a press conference on the union budget.

Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi “short-sighted”, Rao said, “BJP (at Centre) needs to be removed and thrown in the Bengal sea (Bay of Bengal). We will do whatever is needful for the country; will not sit silent. This is democracy. Our PM is very short-sighted.”

His statement led to an uproar from various opposition parties and Dalit organisations who stated that this revealed the Chief Minister’s hatred for them. (ANI)

Delhi reports 1,151 COVID-19 new cases, 15 fatalities


New Delhi [India], (ANI): Delhi reported 1,151 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours with the positivity rate declining to 2.62 per cent.

With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital has gone up to 18,45,084.
As per a bulletin provided by the health department, a total of 4,3991 samples were tested during the last 24 hours.

During the last 24 hours, 2,120 people recovered from the infection, taking the total recoveries to 18,11,201.

As many as 15 people lost their lives to the deadly virus during the last 24 hours.

The death toll in the state due to the virus stands at 25,998.

There are currently 7,885 active COVID-19 cases in Delhi, of which 5,715 are in home isolation. There are 28,980 active containment zones in the national capital.

As per the bulletin, 936 patients are admitted to hospitals across Delhi, of which 61 are suspected to have COVID-19 and 875 people are confirmed to have the disease. Of the confirmed cases of the virus, 665 are from the national capital while 210 are from outside.

The bulletin said that 93.92 per cent of beds in the dedicated COVID-19 hospitals across the national capital are vacant, with only 936 out of 14,480 beds occupied by the patients. Similarly in the COVID Care Centres, there is currently 96.89 per cent of beds vacant, with only 144 out of 4,482 beds currently occupied.

In COVID Health Centres, currently, 98.99 per cent of beds are vacant, with only 2 out of total 196 beds being occupied by the patients.

As per the bulletin, 15,532 COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered during the last 24 hours of which 3,619 people were given the first dose of the vaccine and 10,868 people received their second dose of the vaccine.

During the last 24 hours, 1,045 precaution doses of the vaccine were given to healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens above 60. This takes the total precaution doses administered in the national capital to 3,16,552.

The bulletin said 5,497 beneficiaries aged 15-18 received their first dose of the vaccine during the last 24 hours, taking the list of beneficiaries who have received their first dose to 9,22,723.

To date, 2,99,63,854 vaccine doses have been administered in the national capital of which 1,70,76,521 people have received their first dose of the vaccine while 1,25,70,781 people have received the second dose of vaccine. (ANI)

PM Modi in Mumbai to pay last respects to Lata Mangeshkar


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India](ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday informed that he will be paying his last respects to the singing icon Lata Mangeshkar in Mumbai.

“Will be leaving for Mumbai in some time to pay my last respects to Lata Didi,” PM Modi tweeted.
Mortal remains of singing icon Lata Mangeshkar have been brought to ‘Prabhukunj’, her Peddar Road residence here on Sunday afternoon.

Last rites with full State honours of Lata Mangeshkar, who passed away earlier today due to multiple organ failure, will be performed on Sunday at 6:30 pm at Shivaji Park in Mumbai.

Earlier, the Central Government announced the two-day national mourning to be observed in memory of Lata Mangeshkar.

During the state mourning, the National Flag is flown at half-mast throughout India, and there will be no official entertainment. It has also been decided that the state funereal will be accorded to the departed soul.

The legendary singer passed away on Sunday morning at an age of 92.

Dr Pratit Samdani, who was treating the singer at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital, informed that Lata Mangeshkar died due to multiple organ failures.

“It is with profound grief that we announce the sad demise of Lata Mangeshkar at 8:12 am. She has died because of multi-organ failure after more than 28 days of hospitalisation post COVID19,” Dr Samdani informed.

The Bharat Ratna awardee was admitted to the hospital after being diagnosed with pneumonia and coronavirus in January. Mangeshkar was an Indian playback singer and occasional music composer and was popularly known as “Nightingale of India” for her melodious voice.

Born on September 28, 1929, she began her career in 1942 at an age of 13. In a career spanning over seven decades, the melody queen recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films. She recorded her songs in over 36 regional Indian and foreign languages.

She was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, in 2001. She was only the second vocalist, after MS Subbulakshmi, to receive Bharat Ratna.

She was also the recipient of three National Film Awards among many other honours. ‘Aye Mere Vatan Ke Logon’, ‘Babul Pyare’, Lag Ja Gale Se Phir’ among others are some of her iconic songs. Mangeshkar is survived by four younger siblings- Asha Bhosle, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar. (ANI)

PM Modi condoles Lata Mangeshkar’s demise, says ‘she leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled’


New Delhi [India], (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed condolences over the demise of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar and said that she leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled.

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar passed away on Sunday at the age of 92 years. The megastar had been admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy hospital on January 8 after she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia.
Though having recovered from COVID, the singer was put on ventilator support after her condition worsened on Saturday.

In a series of tweets, PM Modi said that the singer has always wanted to see a strong and developed India.

“I am anguished beyond words. The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” PM Modi tweeted.

“Lata Didi’s songs brought out a variety of emotions. She closely witnessed the transitions of the Indian film world for decades. Beyond films, she was always passionate about India’s growth. She always wanted to see a strong and developed India,” he said in another tweet.

The Prime Minister said that his interactions with Lata Mangeshkar will remain unforgettable.

“I consider it my honour that I have always received immense affection from Lata Didi. My interactions with her will remain unforgettable. I grieve with my fellow Indians on the passing away of Lata Didi. Spoke to her family and expressed condolences. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that Mangeshkar’s contribution to Indian music is incomparable.

“The country’s pride and music world’s Shirmor Swar Kokila Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar ji’s demise is very sad. My heartfelt tribute to the holy soul. Her passing is an irreparable loss to the country. She was always an inspiration to all the music seekers,” Gadkari tweeted after he visited Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.

“Lata didi was an intense patriot. She has always had a firm faith in the ideology of Swatantraveer Savarkar. Her life has been full of many achievements. Lata ji has always been an inspiration to all of us for good deeds. Her contribution to Indian music is incomparable,” he said in another tweet.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi also expressed condolences over Mangeshkar’s demise.

“Sad to learn about the demise of Swar Kokila, Lata Mangeshkar ji. She enriched our lives for decades with her soulful voice. The nightingale of India has passed away but she will live in our hearts forever. Om Shanti,” Joshi tweeted.

Dr Pratit Samdani, who was treating her at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital, said today, “It is with profound grief that we announce the sad demise of Lata Mangeshkar at 8:12 am. She has died because of multi-organ failure after more than 28 days of hospitalisation post-COVID-19.”

Mangeshkar was an Indian playback singer and occasional music composer and was popularly known as “Nightingale of India” for her melodious voice.

Born on September 28, 1929, she began her career in the year 1942 at the age of 13. In a career spanning over seven decades, the melody queen recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films. She had sung songs in over thirty-six regional Indian languages and foreign languages.

In 2001, in recognition of her contributions to the nation, she was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour and is only the second vocalist, after MS Subbulakshmi, to receive this honour.

She’s also the recipient of three National Film Awards among many other honours she received during the span of her career. ‘Aye Mere Vatan Ke Logon’, ‘Babul Pyare’, Lag Ja Gale Se Phir’ among others are some of her iconic songs.

Mangeshkar is survived by four younger siblings- Asha Bhosle, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar. (ANI)

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar passes away at 92


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar passed away on Sunday at the age of 92 years, informed Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

“The country’s pride and music world’s Shirmor Swar Kokila Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar ji’s demise is very sad. My heartfelt tribute to the holy soul. Her passing is an irreparable loss to the country. She was always an inspiration to all the music seekers,” Gadkari tweeted after he visited Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.
“Lata didi was an intense patriot. She has always had a firm faith in the ideology of Swatantraveer Savarkar. Her life has been full of many achievements. Lata ji has always been an inspiration to all of us for good deeds. Her contribution to Indian music is incomparable,” he said in another tweet.

The megastar had been admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy hospital on January 8 after she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Though having recovered from COVID, the star singer was put on ventilator support after her condition worsened on Saturday.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi also expressed condolences over Mangeshkar’s demise.

“Sad to learn about the demise of Swar Kokila, Lata Mangeshkar ji. She enriched our lives for decades with her soulful voice. The nightingale of India has passed away but she will live in our hearts forever. Om Shanti,” Joshi tweeted.

Mangeshkar was an Indian playback singer and occasional music composer and was popularly known as “Nightingale of India” for her melodious voice.

Born on September 28, 1929, she began her career in the year 1942 at the age of 13. In a career spanning over seven decades, the melody queen recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films. She had sung songs in over thirty-six regional Indian languages and foreign languages.

In 2001, in recognition of her contributions to the nation, she was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour and is only the second vocalist, after MS Subbulakshmi, to receive this honour.

She’s also the recipient of three National Film Awards among many other honours she received during the span of her career. ‘Aye Mere Vatan Ke Logon’, ‘Babul Pyare’, Lag Ja Gale Se Phir’ among others are some of her iconic songs.

Mangeshkar is survived by four younger siblings- Asha Bhosle, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar. (ANI)(Instagram)

Punjab polls: Party will decide who will be face of campaign, says Cong leader Manish Tewari

Delhi (ANI): Congress MP Manish Tewari on Saturday said the party will decide who will lead and be the face of the campaign for the Punjab Assembly elections.

He also said that elected MLAs have the right to elect the Chief Minister.
“As an MP and a political worker, I personally think that in a democracy the right to elect CM lies with elected MLAs. Who leads the campaign, who becomes the face of the campaign can be decided by the party,” Tewari told ANI.

When asked about Navjot Singh Sidhu’s statement that “people at the top” want a weak Chief Minister who can dance to their tune, he said, “Navjot Singh Sidhu’s answer is Navjot Singh Sidhu himself and no one should get involved in this. No one can understand his statement,” he said.”

Speaking to ANI, the Congress MP also said that he is not surprised that his name is missing from the list of star campaigners.

“I would have been surprised had my name been there; not surprised that it’s not there. Everyone knows the reason. As far as Hindus and Sikhs are concerned, it has never been an issue in Punjab. Had it ever been an issue, I would have not been MP from Sri Anandpur Sahib,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, Congress released the list of star campaigners for the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections and the names of prominent G-23 leaders of the Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad and Manish Tewari were missing, which apparently hinted at a rift within the party’s state unit.

Commenting on Congress leader Sunil Jakhar claim that a majority of MLAs had backed him for the Chief Minister’s post after Amarinder Singh quit and the person who got two votes was selected Chief Minister, Tewari said, “There are no differences between Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab. It is true that perhaps to stop Sunil Jakhar at that time, some ‘Mathadheesh’ who are sitting in Delhi might have used such a narrow mindset,” he added.

Jakhar had claimed that 42 of 79 party MLAs wanted him to take over as the Punjab Chief Minister after Amarinder Singh stepped down from the post while only two legislators favoured Charanjit Singh Channi.

Punjab will go to the polls on February 20. The counting of votes will take place on March 10. (image -instagram)

PM Modi to inaugurate ‘Statue of Equality’


New Delhi [India](ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Hyderabad on Friday to inaugurate the 216-feet tall ‘Statue of Equality’ commemorating the 11th-century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya.

At around 5 PM, the Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the ‘Statue of Equality’ in Hyderabad.
He will also participate in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

“I look forward to being in Hyderabad today to take part in two programmes. At around 2:45 PM, I will join the 50th Anniversary celebrations of ICRISAT, an important institution that works on aspects relating to agriculture and innovation,” PM Modi said in a tweet today.

“At 5 PM, I will join the programme to inaugurate the ‘Statue of Equality.’ This is a fitting tribute to Sri Ramanujacharya, whose sacred thoughts and teachings inspire us,” he added.

According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the 216-feet tall Statue of Equality commemorates the 11th-century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya, who promoted the idea of equality in all aspects of living including faith, caste and creed.

The Statue is made of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals: gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc and is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting position, in the world. It is mounted on a 54-feet high base building, named ‘Bhadra Vedi’, has floors devoted for a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery detailing many works of Sri Ramanujacharya.

The statue has been conceptualised by Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami of Sri Ramanujacharya Ashram.

During the programme, 3D Presentation Mapping on the life journey and teaching of Sri Ramanujacharya will also be showcased. Prime Minister will also visit the identical recreations of 108 Divya Desams (ornately carved temples) that surround the Statue of Equality.

Sri Ramanujacharya worked tirelessly for the upliftment of people with the spirit of every human being equal regardless of nationality, gender, race, caste or creed.

The inauguration of the Statue of Equality is a part of the 12-day Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi Samaroham, the ongoing 1000th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Ramanujacharya, the official statement said.

Earlier during the visit, the Prime Minister will kickstart the 50th Anniversary celebrations of ICRISAT. Prime Minister will also inaugurate ICRISAT’s Climate Change Research Facility on Plant Protection and ICRISAT’s Rapid Generation Advancement Facility. These two facilities are dedicated to the smallholder farmers of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The Prime Minister will also unveil a specially designed logo of ICRISAT and launch a commemorative stamp issued on the occasion, the PMO said.

ICRISAT is an international organisation that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It helps farmers by providing improved crop varieties and hybrids and also helps smallholder farmers in the drylands fight climate change. (ANI)

Centre imposes stock limit on edible oils upto June to curb hoardings

New Delhi [India], (ANI): The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said on Friday it has imposed a stock limit on edible oils and oilseeds upto June 30, 2022, with an objective to “cool down” the prices of edible oil in the country.
“In an effort to further cool down the prices of edible oils, the Government has taken various steps, latest being an Order notified by the Government on 3rd February 2022 specifying the stock limit quantities on edible oils and oilseeds upto 30th June, 2022,” Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said in a statement. For edible oils, the stock limit would be 30 quintals for retailers, 500 quintals for wholesalers, 30 quintals for retail outlets of bulk consumers i.e. big chain retailers and shops and 1,000 quintals for its depots. Processors of edible oils would be able to stock 90 days of their storage capacities.
For edible oilseeds, the stock limit would be 100 quintals for retailers, 2,000 quintals for wholesalers. Processors of edible oilseeds would be able to stock 90 days of production of edible oils as per daily input production capacity.
Exporters and importers have been kept outside the purview of this Order with some caveats, the ministry said.
The move is expected to “curtail any unfair practices like hoarding, black marketing, etc. in the market which may lead to any increase in the prices of edible oils. The above would also contribute to further reduction in prices by ensuring that maximum benefit of the duty reduction is passed on to the end consumers.” (Image; Instagram)

Pradip and Kumkum Ghosh Family Foundation takes lead to help six villages in WB, Initiates Public Health Care Outreach

Kolkata: More than 500 people of the six villages namely lebutala, Munsihari, Bhawanipur, Amradengi, Gopalpur, Notunpara  in Haroa District of West Bengal, 45 kilometers from Kolkata had a chance to interact with Researchers and Volunteers of International Institute of Innovation and Technology ( I3T Kolkata).  Volunteers arrived with good quality ration and food, winter clothing/blankets for them. With the support of the villagers, things are distributed to all the needy people in a much organised manner. The best part of this initiative is that this outreach support will continue and this is not a one-time affair for the villagers. Under the aegis of Pradip and Kumkum Ghosh Family Foundation, I3TK will extend all the support to improve the various aspects of their lives ((food, health care, education, skill development etc) in upcoming months through different social initiatives. This initiative gains much importance amid pandemic situations across the nation. Many villagers are facing hard times to run their families. I3TK researchers are also trying to understand the major issues being faced by the villagers and accordingly an outreach welfare project will be initiated for the development of the villagers in a “model village” concept via the I3TK outreach initiative called “SHANTI”. Currently cataract, malnutrition, poor growth of children in the area and physical deformities. Foundation is also studying the women empowerment aspect of these villages and planning to initiate skill development projects in the area.

Villagers que to receive the food grain and winter clothing being provided by I3TK volunteers.

To improve public health in India by integrating research, education and health-related services that deliver innovative solutions to real problems impacting the society, International Institute of Innovation and Technology (I3T) under the patronage of the Pradip and Kumkum Ghosh Family Foundation has taken new initiatives this December through various outreach programs for the development of the weaker sections of the society in the post Covid scenario. International Institute of Innovation and Technology (I3T) has collaborated with The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), USA for its various Research and Public Health initiatives. The institute aims to provide educational and research programs in the public health domain for the first time in Eastern India.

Dr. Pradip Ghosh (in centre) with JHSPH dignitaries at Kolkata.

In it’s recent outreach initiative, the institute has planned to focus on the overall development of the people residing in more than 10 villages across different districts of West Bengal. In the first phase of its social outreach initiative, the institute has started distributing ration and winter clothing (blankets, etc) of good quality to the weaker sections of the society. 

 Internationally acclaimed visionary educationist Dr. Pradip Ghosh, Founder Chairman of International Institute of Innovation and Technology (I3T), firmly believes that this outreach program should be a continuous process and each and every aspect of issues concerning villagers should be addressed and focus should be on empowering them through different initiatives.

Pradip and Kumkum Ghosh Family Foundation has already donated five million dollars (approx. INR 40 crs) to Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, aiming to change lives of millions in West Bengal and India. The Foundation’s contribution to Johns Hopkins is a huge step for the establishment of Johns Hopkins University India Maternal and Child Health Research Center and the Vaccine Research Center in West Bengal – the first of it’s kind in India. This alliance is going to improve the basic health care facilities and research aspects of public health care on a large scale.

The Foundation is committed for the regular assistance and support to the weaker sections of the society in the districts of West Bengal. In the month of December, Pradip and Kumkum Ghosh Family Foundation has engaged Gram Panchayats and senior people of the villages like Dhamakhali, Pukurhati, Haroa, Khardah, Ghaskhali and  few more villages of North & South 24 Parganas to distribute monthly ration of good nutritional quality. In Haora, six villages have been covered. 

Dr. Pradip Ghosh has taken unique initiatives for the development of the various villages through his social outreach programs.

 “This alliance is just the beginning of a long journey that might actually change the public healthcare scenario of the state completely”, says Dr. Pradip Ghosh.

Hailing from Khardah, West Bengal, Dr. Ghosh has always felt the urge to extend a hand to support the socio-healthcare face of the state. He aims at mobilizing more than 100 research scientists to find cure and vaccinations for Malaria, Dengue, Hepatitis, and other tropical diseases. His vision even includes public healthcare services in research fields related to Diabetes, Cancer, Stem Cell Therapies, and others. An educator, a philanthropist, Founder of Pradip and Kumkum Ghosh Family Foundation, Dr. Ghosh is also the Founder – Chairman of Washington Kali Temple, a true Indian Temple representing every religion of India, built on nine acres of pristine ashram like setting. His endeavour is certainly going to change millions of lives In India. (Image Source-KSHVID)

Cancer in India : Urgently address gaps in cancer care, says WHO


New Delhi [India] (ANI): Noting the increasing burden of cancer despite 30 per cent to 50 per cent of the cases being preventable, the World Health Organization today called on countries in South-East Asia Region to prioritize measures to reduce risk, detect and diagnose early and care for people suffering from the disease.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted delivery of cancer care services including palliative care. This has further exposed the vulnerabilities of people living with cancers and increased the risk of severe disease and death. We need to urgently address these gaps,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide with nearly 10 million deaths reported in 2020. The WHO South-East Asia Region reported an estimated 2.2 million new cases and 1.4 million cancer related deaths the same year – which accounted for more than 1 in 10 deaths in the Region. Among cancer deaths, lung cancer accounted for 10.6 per cent deaths, breast cancer 9.4 per cent, cervical cancer 8 per cent, liver 6.6 per cent and lip, oral cavity cancer 6.4 per cent deaths.

The two most common cancers among men in the Region – oral and lung cancers – are linked to tobacco use, betel nut chewing and smoking, and are thus, preventable.

Preventing and treating noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, has been a flagship priority in the Region since 2014. Countries have been making concerted efforts for improving essential NCD services. Cancer preventive measures include hepatitis B vaccination; screening for cervical cancer; HPV vaccination; promoting physical activity and healthy diets; taxing tobacco, alcohol, and sugary drinks; and controlling tobacco – the leading cause of oral cancer and lung cancers and premature death.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in terms of the number of cases in WHO South-East Asia Region. In August 2020, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution calling for elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem. The strategy calls on countries to reach an incidence of fewer than 4 cases per 100 000 women. Nine of the 11 Member countries of the Region have population-based cervical cancer screening programs. A few countries have introduced HPV vaccination for adolescent girls to prevent cervical cancer.

“We must scale up efforts to save lives and improve the quality of life of people living with cancer,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh.

One of the key strategies to combat NCDs such as cancer has been to strengthen access to primary health care and referral systems for early detection and treatment.

In 2016 countries in the Region adopted the Colombo declaration to strengthen health systems to accelerate delivery of NCD services at the primary care level.

Last year, WHO launched new tools to help countries build effective childhood cancer programmes with the aim to reach at least 60 per cent survival rate for children with cancers by 2030, reduce suffering, and save an additional one million lives. Globally, an estimated 400 000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year.

‘Close the care gap’ is the theme of this year’s World Cancer Day is observed today, and is especially relevant with the pandemic having exacerbated inequalities making it harder for many to adopt healthier behavior or access preventive, diagnostic and treatment services.

“As countries build back and reprioritize public spending, we have an opportunity to focus on providing equitable access to tools for early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care to ensure a fairer future where everyone can live happier, healthier lives leaving no one behind,” the Regional Director said. (ANI)(instagram Imdage)

Ambedkar statue to be installed soon at NTR Gardens in Hyderabad


Hyderabad (Telangana) [India](ANI): Telangana Industry and Commerce Minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday said that a 125-feet-tall statue of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar will be installed soon at the NTR Gardens in Hyderabad.

While inaugurating the 2BHK Dignity Housing Colony at Indira Nagar, Rao said, “This 2BHK housing site is going to be the best in the city. As on one side, there is IMAX theatre and on the other side a 125-foot statue of Ambedkar is going to come up soon.”
He also announced that a marriage hall would be constructed for the poor in the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) land, located in Khairatabad ward.

“Though the State government can generate crores of revenue by auctioning the HMDA land parcel spread over one acre, a function hall will be built on the land to benefit the poor,” the Minister said.

Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, Mayor G Vijaya Laxmi, Khairatabad MLA Danam Nagender, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner DS Lokesh Kumar and others were present at the event. (ANI)

SC directs Punjab Police not to arrest MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains for week


New Delhi [India], (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Punjab Police not to arrest Lok Insaaf Party leader and Punjab MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains for a week.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli asked Punjab state to file a reply on the petitions filed by Punjab MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains.
Bains has challenged a Ludhiana court order which issued arrest warrants against him after he failed to appear in a case against rape allegations.

The court, which was also dealing with a petition filed by the complainant lady challenging the cases against her, also asked the Punjab state to file a reply on her petitions too. Meanwhile, the court also stayed proceedings of cases against the complainant lady for two weeks.

The court also questioned the Bains counsel that he has seen the attitude of his client, who is the MLA of two times.

The court asked the Advocate General of Punjab what is happening in the state and how many cases did state file against that lady and

said the state cannot be a party to such misuse of police machinery.

During the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Bains, told the court that she is allegedly running fake job rackets for Canada. He told the court that his client is not behind any cases filed against her and the complaint has not been filed by him but other people.

The Supreme Court on January 25 restrained the Punjab government from arresting Lok Insaaf Party leader and Punjab MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains till today in an alleged rape case. The complainant had opposed the plea of Bains. Image(Instagram)

Karnataka: Students asked to attend classes without wearing hijab after protest over ‘uniform norms’


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: After a section of students protested demanding to ensure ‘uniform norms’, girl students in Government Degree College in Karnataka were asked to attend classes without wearing hijab from Thursday.

The girls, who have been entering the campus wearing hijab, were asked to remove it at the waiting rooms before attending the classes.
The principal of the Government Degree College in Bhadravathi town of Shivamogga district, MG Umashankar said he had discussed the issue with the students and their parents.

“The issue has been solved now. They will not wear the Hijab in class,” he stated.

This comes after students at a Chikkamagaluru college wore saffron shawls to mark their protest against girls wearing hijabs on campus.

On Tuesday, many students also staged a dharna over the same. The cops then entered the college premises and brought the situation under control.

Amid the protest, the principal of the college MG Umashankar convinced the students to withdraw the agitation. (ANI)

Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act at various stages of implementation: Centre


New Delhi [India], (ANI): Centre on Wednesday said that a large number of provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 have been implemented and remaining provisions are at various stages of implementation.

Minister of State for Home affairs Nityanand Rai on Wednesday informed Rajya Sabha, “A large number of provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act have been implemented and remaining provisions are at various stages of implementation.”
“There are certain issues which require mutual agreement of the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Continuous efforts are made to build consensus between the two States to resolve bilateral issues amicably,” he said.

Rajya Sabha would meet from 10 am to 3 pm, the Lok Sabha would sit from 4 pm to 9 pm from today onwards.

The 2022 Budget Session of the Parliament commenced on January 31 with President Ram Nath Kovind’s address. The first part of the budget session is being held from January 31 to February 11 and the second part will take place from March 14 to April 8. Image (instagram)

Social media influencer Hindustani Bhau remanded to police custody till Feb 4


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 2 (ANI): Social media influencer Vikas Fhatak, also known as ‘Hindustani Bhau’ has been sent to police custody by the court till February 4.

“We have tendered an unconditional apology in court. Our cause was right, we had come to support the students. Unfortunately, it was misused and it turned into a riot. We will cooperate in the police investigation,” Mahesh Mulya, Advocate of Vikas Pathak alias Hindustani Bhau told the reporters.
Earlier on Tuesday, Dharavi Police arrested two people including Fhatak, for allegedly instigating students to protest to demand online exams for classes 10th and 12th in view of COVID-19.

The second accused who was arrested has been identified as Iqrar Khan Vakhar Khan.

In a video posted by ‘Hindustani Bhau’ earlier, he allegedly asked the students to assemble in the Dharavi area near the residence of Maharashtra education minister Varsha Gaikwad to protest.

In the video, he could be heard saying, “Many deaths took place due to COVID-19. People have not come out of its fear, now the Omicron variant has come. The government itself is saying to stay at home and take precautions.”

He had said that the professors are also holding meetings via online mode, so why the risk is being taken with children’s health by taking offline exams.

“I would like to request you (government) to cancel the offline exams. If not then, my students and I would take to protest at the doorstep of the Varsha Gaikwad. I won’t stop until they get justice…,” Bhau had said in the video.

After the video went viral, students had staged a protest outside State School Education Minster Professor Varsha Eknath Gaikwad’s residence in Maharashtra’s Mumbai, against offline exams.

The protesting students had demanded online exams for classes 10 and 12 in view of the COVID-19 situation.

Following which, an FIR was registered against Fhatak and Khand under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code. (ANI)

Tele mental health centres can be a game-changer in mental health care, says NIMHANS Director


By Shalini Bhardwaj

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): Director of Bengaluru’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Dr Pratima Murthy on Tuesday hailed the proposal of the Central government in the Budget 2022-23 to introduce a Tele Mental Health Programme, and said that it can be a game-changer in the country.
Earlier in the day, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pointed out that the pandemic has accentuated mental health problems of people of all ages and announced a plan to set up a National Tele Mental Health program in the country and said 23 tele-mental health centres will be launched with the NIMHANS as the nodal centre.

Speaking to ANI on the announcement, Dr Murthy said, “People who have milder forms of psychological distress, some basic counselling can provide so much help that tele-mental health centres can be a game-changer in mental health care in the country. In many countries, it has been shown that tele-mental health services can actually bring about a lot of change. They can certainly improve outcomes.”

“While it is important to understand that this is not a substitute to in-person contact for people in countries who hardly ever reach services, who are poor and cannot simply add the cost of travelling to different places,” she added.

Welcoming the proposal by the Centre in the Budget, the Director said that it is a step that will reach the remotest parts of the country.

“This is a very welcome step that will reach people particularly in remote parts of the country who may otherwise never get any mental health care,” she said.

Dr Murthy said that a mental survey was done by NIMHANS that reflected that 10.2 per cent of mental issues are diagnosable.

“In fact, even before the COVID pandemic, we knew the prevalence of mental health disorders in our community because NIMHANS had carried out a survey on mental health problems and we know that about 10.2 per cent of the population has a diagnosable mental or substance use disorder,” she said.

She further said that due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap in the treatment has increased.

“We also know that there was a big treatment gap. COVID as you mentioned, increase the number of people suffering from various psychological distress, anxiety, depression, and so on. It has also made it difficult for people to access services if they had a pre-existing mental health problem,” she said.

However, Dr Murthy believed that the people have started coming out of the “stigma” of not discussing mental health issues in the last few years and are willing to talk about their issues.

“So a stigma is certainly something that has always been there but I think in the last couple of years at least the dialogue around mental health has increased. People are willing to talk about mental symptoms like they talk about physical symptoms more than before and therefore it becomes very important at this time to address this and make it possible for people to talk about their mental health problems and to consult people,” she said.

Talking about a concern on the shortage of psychiatrists, Dr Murthy said that tele-mental care could be a solution of the problem and can be “operationalized expeditiously”.

“For the last 10 years we’ve all been making efforts at increasing the number of mental health care professionals in the country and it has been steadily increasing, but simply given the population of India, there is an acute shortage. So what is the next important thing to do is to train people working in primary health care who are not mental health professionals in the basics of mental health care, to improve undergraduate training in understanding not just physical illnesses, but also mental illnesses,” she said.

Explaining about the Tele mental healthcare process to deliver basic mental healthcare counselling, the Director said that the people will have trained counsellors who can take the first level of calls related to mental distress.

“Tele mental health is a very important step because you will have trained counsellors. They are not mental health specialists, but trained counsellors who can take the first level of calls related to mental distress. They will be under the supervision of the centres of excellence, which has mental health specialists to deliver some basic mental health care counselling to identify people who have severe forms or when acute forms of mental illness need emergency care or in-person consultation and refer them to institutions. So that, timely help can be provided for people who need it in terms of referral,” she said.

Asked about the probable date of commencement of such teleconsultations, Dr Murthy said that it would start as soon as they receive directives from the government. (Image -Kshvid)

Delhi HC terms state govt order to wear mask in car while driving alone “absurd”, asks why is it still continuing


New Delhi [India]: Delhi High Court on Tuesday observed that the order of the state government to make wearing a mask mandatory while driving a car alone is “absurd” and questioned the government “why is the order still continuing”.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh asked Delhi government counsel to take instruction in this regard.
“Why don’t you withdraw it? It is absurd actually. You are sitting in your own car and you must wear the mask,” the Court remarked.

However, the remark of a court came when a Senior Advocate appearing for the Delhi government apprised the court about such challan.

Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, apprised the court about the high court’s single judge order of April 7, 2021, relating to not to interfere with the Delhi government’s decision to issue challans for not wearing a mask while driving a private car alone.

However, he said that the situation was different when the DDMA issued this order and now the situation is improving. The advocate said that said order should be revisited.

These remarks were made when the court was dealing with various issues relating to COVID-19.

Delhi High Court on April 7, 2021, ruled that wearing a mask or face cover in a vehicle occupied by either a single person or multiple persons is compulsory in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. The Court order had come on petitions challenging challans. One of the advocates has challenged a challan issued against him for not wearing a mask despite him being alone in the car while driving.

According to the petitioner, on September 9 2020, Delhi Police issued a challan of Rs 500 for not wearing a mask even though he was alone in the car while driving to work.

The petitioner argued that the DDMA guidelines only states that the mask has to be worn in a public place or place of work. (ANI)

Very little mention of health care sector in Budget 2022-2023, says Dr Naresh Trehan


Delhi [India], February 1 (ANI): There is very little mention of the health care sector in the Budget 2022-2023, said Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director of Medanta hospital and Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Council on Healthcare.

“If you look at the budget, there is a very little mention of health care in the budget, it occupies very little attention. Skilling is getting intensified which is good because we need a lot of skilled manpower to assist with the healthcare delivery system. The second thing is the National Health Registry, which also provides a full platform for everybody to be able to network and to know what is the state of our infrastructure is, what is the ability of the health care, that will help a lot,” Trehan said.
“The third issue addressed was the mental health problem. It is true that in the pandemic, a lot of people have suffered at that, then a mechanism for mental health will definitely help,” he added.

“But beyond that, none of the other issues were addressed in this budget. Finance Minister mentioned that we have a robust health system since we survived the pandemic. It has become strong and all that is true, but the question is that is it future-ready?” he added.

“What is required? a robust infrastructure is required. It needs to be advanced and it needs to be renewed. We need high care tertiary hospitals to deal with pandemics like these. At some level, the smaller hospitals can handle the caseload. But you saw what happened in the second wave. The point is that we need to be able to advance the metro hospitals. We need financing at the national level. We need to expand new technologies and research,” he stated.

Earlier on Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the budget 2022-2023 announced the rollout of an open platform for the national health ecosystem.

It will consist of digital registries of health providers and health facilities, unique health identity, consent framework and universal access to health facilities, she had stated.

The Finance Minister also said the pandemic has accentuated mental health problems of people of all ages, she stated.

“To better access to quality mental health counselling and care services. A national telly mental health programme will be launched which will include a network of 23 telly mental health centres of excellence with the National Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) being the nodal centre,” she had said.

The Union Cabinet approved the Budget 2022-23 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Public health expert, Dr. Sameer Bhati while commenting on the Union Budget said, “According to me, this budget is like a plane mirror, anyone can interpret it in his/her words. We expect a little more from this budget but when our expectations are not addressed, we tend to get a little depressed. But from the employment, business and health point of view, this budget is highly ambitious and aspirational.”(ANI-image instagram)

Delhi’s air quality remains in ‘very poor category’


New Delhi [India]: The air quality in the national capital on Tuesday remained in the ‘very poor’ category, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) informed.

The overall air quality index in the national capital stood at 321 at 7 AM today morning.
In Noida, air quality stood in the ‘very poor’ category with an overall AQI of 354. In Gurugram, the air quality stood in the ‘poor’ category with an overall AQI of 232.

On Monday, the overall AQI was recorded at 302.

As per the government data, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

SAFAR, in its daily bulletin, stated, “AQI today indicates ‘lower end of very poor’ air quality and likely to be the same or ‘poor’ for the three days (31st, 1st and 2nd) as the prevailing weather conditions are unlikely to change significantly.”

“On 3rd February, rainfall is likely to occur with gusty wind that is expected to improve AQI to ‘moderate’ or ‘lower end of poor’ through wet deposition and strong dispersion. From 4th February onwards, air quality gradually degrades as a rate of accumulation of pollutants is likely to be more than that of ventilation,” it read.

The bulletin advised al people belonging to sensitive groups to avoid all physical outdoor activities. “Stop any activity level if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty, or fatigue,” it read.

Delhiites woke up witnessing a thin layer of fog this morning as well.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department on Tuesday morning informed that the minimum temperature plunged down to 8 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature is expected to touch 22 degrees Celsius. (ANI-image-kshvid)

West Bengal: CM Mamata Banerjee blocks Governor Dhankhar on Twitter, says ‘not his servant’


Kolkata (West Bengal) [India](ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday blocked Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on microblogging site Twitter alleging that the latter makes unethical and unconstitutional statements against the state administration.

Banerjee held a cabinet meeting at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ on Monday. Following the meeting, the chief minister said, “Every day, the Governor abuses my administration. Makes unethical and unconstitutional statements. We have to listen to him as if we are his servants. He treats the elected government as bonded labour. Today I blocked him. I am sorry but I was forced to do this. I had written to Prime Minister several times on this issue.”
“He calls my officers daily. From DMs, SPs to the chief secretary, he is threatening everyone. People of Bengal do not fear anyone and bow down heads. He should not interfere in policy decisions. Pegasus is happening from Raj Bhawan. The Pegasus is used by the Centre as well as the Raj Bhawan,” she added.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar hit back at chief minister Banerjee saying that dialogue amongst constitutional functionaries is the essence and spirit of democracy and mandate of the constitution.

Taking to Twitter, the Governor said, “Under Article 167 it is Constitution ‘duty’ of the Chief Minister to furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for. Why ‘block’ information to Governor now for two years?”

Referring to constitutional provisions, the Governor said Article 159 of the Constitution mandates to ensure none in the state “blocks” Constitutional Norms and Rules of Law and those in authority “bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India.”

Dhankhar also shared his WhatsApp message to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sent on Monday morning.

“Dialogue and harmony amongst constitutional functionaries is essence and spirit of democracy and mandate of the constitution. This can blossom with mutual regard and respect. There has been all through highest personal regard for you from my side. Am sure this will receive your thoughtful consideration. Regards,” reads the message.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar are at loggerheads after the latter took office. The chief minister had several times alleged that the Governor makes statements in political interest and interferes in the business of State government. Governor Dhankhar on other hand accused the state government of mishandling the law and order situation. (image -instagram)

Traffic Police ASI suspended after kicking woman in Bengaluru


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 31 (ANI): A Traffic Police Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) in Bengaluru has been suspended after he was seen allegedly kicking a woman near the Town Hall in Bengaluru in a video that went viral, informed the traffic police in the statement.

Traffic Police said that he had attacked her after she tried to hit him with a stone when her car, parked in a no-parking zone, was towed. The incident took place on January 24.
“Traffic ASI Mr Narayan who allegedly assaulted a woman is suspended on January 29,” said the traffic police in the statement.

“ASI attacked her after the lady got angry and tried to attack him with a stone. As her car was towed which was in no parking zone,” the statement added.

The woman has been sent to police custody. (Image -instagram)

PM Modi pays floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary on Martyrs’ Day


New Delhi [India]- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary at Gandhi Smriti in Delhi.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on the 74th death anniversary of the father of the nation.

India observes Martyrs’ Day every year on January 30 to mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and to honour his contribution towards the freedom of the country.

On January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse at Gandhi Smriti in Birla’s house. (ANI)

Tamil Nadu reports 24,418 new COVID-19 cases


Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India] (ANI): Tamil Nadu reported 24,418 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

According to the health department bulletin, the state has 2,08,350 active COVID-19 cases.
It said 27,885 patients recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours taking the total number of recoveries to 30,57,846. The total count of cases in the state has gone up to 33,03,702.

With 46 people losing their lives in the last 24 hours, the death toll in the state due to COVID-19 has gone up to 37,506.

India reported 2,35,532 new COVID-19 cases and 871 deaths in the last 24 hours. (image instagram}

TRS leader Kavitha appeals to CJI Ramana, Law Minister to strengthen rape laws in India


Hyderabad (Telangana) [India](ANI): Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Kalvakuntla Kavitha on Saturday appealed the Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and Chief Justice of India NV Ramana to strengthen rape laws in India.

“It’s been 30 years and justice is yet to be served to the victims, rather warriors of 1992 Ajmer Rape case. I humbly appeal to CJI Ramana and Kiren Rijiju, to consider framing laws and policies that give hope of speedy justice to our women,” Kalvakuntla tweeted.
Nizamabad MLC Kalvakuntla made the following tweet in reply to a tweet which talked about an incident that took place in Rajasthan’s POCSO courtroom where the victim, survivor of gang rape shouted at the judge, lawyer and the accused saying why is she being called again and again to the court for 30 years.

“A gang rape survivor’s anger tore through the old, yelling POCSO courtroom in Rajasthan’s Ajmer. “Why are you still calling me to court again and again? It has been 30 years,” she shouted at the judge, lawyers, and the accused present in the court,” reads the tweet. (image-instagram)

Transport Ministry introduces fire alarm, fire protection system in passenger, school buses


New Delhi [India]: The Ministry of Road Transport has introduced the Fire Alarm System and Fire Protection System in the passenger and school buses, said a notification on Saturday.

According to the notification, “The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, vide notification dated 27th January 2022, has introduced the Fire Alarm System and Fire Protection System in the Passenger (or, Occupant) Compartment in buses through an amendment in the AIS (Automotive Industry Standard)-135 for Type III buses [‘Type III’ Vehicles are those designed and constructed for long-distance passenger transport, for seated passengers] and School Buses.”
At present, fire detection, alarm and suppression systems are notified for fires originating from the engine compartment, as per AIS-135. Studies on fire incidents indicate that injuries to passengers are mainly due to heat and smoke in the passenger compartment. These injuries can be prevented if the heat and smoke in the passenger compartment are controlled by providing an additional evacuation time to occupants by thermal management during fire incidents, said the notification.

A water mist-based active fire protection system and a standalone fire alarm system for buses has been designed to manage the temperature in the passenger compartment within 50 degrees centigrade.

This amendment to the Standard has been undertaken in consultation with stakeholders and experts from the Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), a DRDO establishment, working in the area of fire risk assessment, fire suppression technologies, modelling and simulation etc. (ANI/Image-instagram)

Omicron replaces Delta as dominant variant with 67.5 pc positivity rate in Karnataka: Health Minister


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India](ANI): Karnataka Health Minister Sudhakar K on Friday said that statistics show that the Delta variant of COVID-19 has become less dominant which is now replaced by the Omicron variant of the virus as against the second wave in the country when the former variant was more dominant over the others.

Sharing the genome sequencing data till Thursday in the state, the Minister said that the Omicron variant is more dominant in the ongoing third wave of COVID-19 with 67.5 per cent of the samples testing positive for the variant.
On the contrary, the Delta variant, which was more dominant during the second wave with a 90.7 per cent positivity rate of the sample, has now become less dominant with a 26 per cent positivity rate.

“Which strain is dominating in which wave in Karnataka? As per the genome sequencing sample, the following are the dominant strains: Second wave: 90.7 per cent Delta variant, Third-wave: 67.5 per cent Omicron variant and 26 per cent Delta variant of coronavirus,” Sudhakar tweeted.

Meanwhile, Karnataka reported 31,198 new COVID-19 infections on Friday with a positivity rate of 20.91 per cent. (Image-Instagram-HealthMinistry)

Bengaluru among 10 Southern Indian cities exceeding WHO air quality guidelines: Report


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): The latest report by Greenpeace India, analyzing the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)’s data from ten major cities of Southern India revealed that average pollution levels in the cities far exceed the latest World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. The analysis is a much-needed reminder that air pollution is a public health crisis that is not confined to cities only in Northern India.

Air pollution data from ten cities – Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Amaravati, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Mangalore, Puducherry, Coimbatore, and Mysore – were selected and analyzed based on the availability of data, population, and monitoring station networks. It was found that despite pandemic-induced lockdowns and subsequent reduction in economic activities, the annual average values of PM2.5 and PM10 exceeded WHO revised standards by many folds.
Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Mangalore, and Amaravati saw annual PM2.5 levels exceed WHO guidelines of 5 ug/m3 by 6 to 7 times. While in Mysuru, Kochi, Chennai, and Pondicherry, PM2.5 levels exceeded the guidelines by 4 to 5 times.

In comparison, while annual PM10 levels in Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad exceeded the prescribed WHO guidelines of 15 ug/m3 by six to seven times, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Amaravati, Chennai, and Kochi recorded data that exceeded the limit by 3 to 4 times. Mysore, Coimbatore, and Pondicherry recorded PM10 data that exceeded the WHO guidelines for safe air by 2 to 3 times.

The primary contributors to worsening the air quality are fossil fuel-powered infrastructural development, industries, transport, waste burning, and construction activity. Chronic exposure to air pollution increases the likelihood of asthma, low birth weight, depression, schizophrenia, diabetes, stroke, lung cancer and can cause premature deaths.

Commenting on the analysis, Avinash Chanchal, Campaign Manager, Greenpeace India said, “The data shows that lockdown is not a solution to air pollution. Relatively lesser economic activity and vehicles are also putting us in a dangerous position. We have to prioritize the immediate shift to clean energy and clean transport to stop more damage. If we look at Bengaluru’s PM10 data, the annual average in most stations is exceeding not only WHO guidelines but NAAQS levels too.”

Chanchal also highlighted, “Making our urban transport networks accessible and sustainable can play a major role in combating India’s urban air pollution crisis. The majority of the population in these cities is already using public transport or sustainable ways of transportation. But the infrastructural focus is still on private vehicles. Efforts and lifestyle of the masses must be appreciated and encouraged as they are contributing to making our cities sustainable.”

Terming the citizenry using public transport as ‘Heroes’, Chanchal added, “The pollution control boards must realize that no level of air pollution is safe and even the long term exposure of lower level of concentrations of air pollution can severely impact human health. Thus, the CPCB must revise the current national ambient air quality standards for all pollutants based on WHO’s proposed interim target and gradually achieve the revised standards.”

Greenpeace India’s Power The Pedal campaign is working with low-wage women laborers in Bengaluru and Delhi with the aim of building cycling communities that will act as agents of change. Our first 500 bicycles are being delivered in the first phase.

Honamma, a 38-year-old garment factory laborer from the IT capital said that she feels proud she is part of the solution to her city’s pollution problems. “I am proud that since I am cycling I am not adding to the problem. But there are not enough facilities for cyclists. We don’t have enough cycle tracks and are constantly exposed to a lot of pollution from other vehicles. So if we have a separate lane then it will be better. There are parking facilities for motorists, we need such facilities for cyclists as well. If we want to change then we have to ensure such facilities are provided.” (ANI)

Telangana: BJP MP Arvind Dharmapuri alleges attack by TRS workers


Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: BJP MP Arvind Dharmapuri on Wednesday alleged that he was attacked by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) workers in Telangana.

Dharampuri alleged that TRS workers obstructed his convoy and broke the glass of his car.
Addressing a press conference, Dharampuri stated, “I was scheduled to go Nandipet mandal to inaugurate a few works. On my way, I received prior information that around 500 TRS cadre with iron rods, stones, knives, sticks have been deployed to attack me on my way. Immediately, I informed police officials in the district. The police did not take any action.”

“I spoke to the commissioner of police as well. He too was avoiding me. I was amazed to see police behave indifferently towards BJP,” he alleged.

“My vehicle was stopped on the way, as expected. The TRS mob surrounded me and BJP karyakartas. TRS workers started pelting stones and have injured many BJP Karyakartas. This entire incident was a planned conspiracy by the Telangana Police and TRS goons which was hatched on Tuesday and there is no safety here,” he alleged.

The BJP leader said that he was scheduled to meet the farmers at Nandipet mandal.

“Just because I was going to the to meet the farmers, they chose to attack me,” he added. (ANI-Image Instagram)

Tamil Nadu Governor, CM participate in R-Day celebrations, tableau rejected by Centre showcased in Chennai


Chennai(ANI): Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi on Wednesday unfurled the Tricolour flag near the Gandhi Square on Kamarajar Salai in Chennai in the presence of Chief Minister M K Stalin, state cabinet ministers, and other senior officials.

Governor RN Ravi unfurled the national flag while a Defence helicopter showered flower petals.
As a part of the Republic Day celebration, a parade was also held on the Marina beach.

Notably, the Tamil Nadu Tableau depicting the state’s role in the freedom struggle, which was rejected by the Union Government for the parade on Rajpath in the national capital was displayed in the parade in Chennai.

Earlier Chief minister Stalin informed that after the tableau displayed during the Republic Day celebration in Chennai, it will be taken to other major cities in the state for public viewing.

Stalin had on Monday written to the Prime Minister seeking his immediate intervention into the matter. “Excluding the tableau will deeply hurt the sentiments and patriotic feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu,” the Tamil Nadu chief minister had written.

written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Centre rejecting the state’s tableau for the Republic Day Parade 2022. After this Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the tableau was considered in the first three rounds of the meetings of the expert committee, however, could not make it to the final list of the 12 tableaux selected for this year.

The celebrations this year are special as Republic Day falls in the 75th year of Independence, being celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ across the country. (Image -instagram)

Former Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee refuses Padma Bhushan


Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], (ANI): Former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has refused the Padma Bhushan award which was announced by the central government on Tuesday.

Bhattacharjee is a former member of CPI-M politburo.
“I don’t know anything about Padman Bhusan award, none has said anything about it. If I have been given Padma Bhushan I refuse to accept it,” Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said on the Padma Bhushan announcement, according to a tweet by CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury.

Bhattacharjee is among 17 Padma Bhushan awardees announced on the eve of 73rd Republic Day.

The government announced 128 Padma awards including four Padma Vibushan and 107 Padma Shri. India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh were posthumously awarded Padma Vibhushan. (image – instagramBB)

TPCC chief Revanth Reddy to contest next Assembly elections from Telangana’s Kodangal


Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], (ANI): Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President and MP A Revanth Reddy on Tuesday announced that he would contest from the Kodangal constituency in the next Assembly elections.

Revanth Reddy while thanking the Congress cadre for achieving membership of 75,000 in the Kodangal constituency said that Kodangal has emerged as an ideal constituency for the Congress party not only in Telangana but in the entire country.
He felicitated the Congress leaders and workers who enrolled more than 500 members in their respective polling booths in a function at Kosgi on Tuesday. He also announced that these activists would also be honoured by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

The TPCC Chief said that the previous Congress regime has introduced schemes like crop loan waiver, free electricity for farmers, Aarogyasri, 4 per cent reservation for Muslims, etc.

After getting elected as MLA from Kodangal in 2009, he said he developed temples, schools, roads, 5,000 sub-stations, Kosgi Bus Depot and established a school in Maddur on his own land. He further said he had also brought a junior college in Kodangal, Kosgi and Maddur and a Degree College was established in Kodangal.

The TPCC Chief said not a single person was harassed when he represented Kodangal as MLA for nine years. No one was implicated in false cases.

The TPCC Chief alleged that the followers of TRS MLA attacked a young man in Hakeempet village. Cases of an attempt to murder were booked for a minor incident in Pole Palli. He warned police officials against misusing their powers.-( Image InstagramRR)

He said TRS would not remain in power forever. He warned that the Congress party, after winning the next elections, would not spare police officials who are not targeting Congress workers at the behest of TRS leaders. (ANI)

Delhi govt. offices will now have photos of Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh instead of politicians: CM Kejriwal


New Delhi [India]: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that every office of the Delhi government will have photographs of Dr BR Ambedkar and freedom fighter Bhagat Singh instead of politicians.

“Today, I announce that at every office of the Delhi government, there will be photos of BR Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh. Now we won’t put any Chief Minister or politician’s photos,” Kejriwal said at a program on the sidelines of a Republic Day event where he also hoisted the national flag.
Speaking at the event, Kejriwal said that he is truly inspired by Dr Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh. Recalling the struggles of Dr Ambedkar, he said that at a time when there was no internet, Dr Ambedkar had pursued his education from Columbia University and the London School of Economics.

“A lesson that we learn from his life is to dream big for the country,” he said.

Kejriwal also said that it was Dr Ambedkar’s dream that every child of the country, irrespective of whether they hail from a poor or a rich family, should get access to quality education.

“Today we pledge to fulfill BR Ambedkar’s dreams of quality education for every kid. We have brought that revolution into the education sector in the last seven years. Melania Trump, former US President Donald Trump’s wife also visited Delhi government schools…We got our certificate,” the Delhi Chief Minister said.

When the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) formed the government in Delhi in 2015, Kejriwal said that they first increased the education budget to 25 per cent from a mere 5-10 per cent, followed by fixing infrastructure of all schools.

He also said that the Delhi government was focusing on making children good citizens of the country and for that it had started ‘Happiness Classes’ in which meditation and moral stories have been taken up.

Referring to the Delhi Government’s ‘Business Blasters’ program, Kejriwal said, “We have started entrepreneurship classes. Children are now saying that they don’t want to be seeking jobs but to provide them instead. This change in thought is a big development in itself.”

“We have also started ‘deshbhakti’ classes. In Delhi, we have started an education board that has a tie-up with the international education board ‘IB’. We are building a teachers’ university in Delhi,” he added.

Kejriwal further noted that the paths of Bhagat Singh and Dr Ambedkar were different but their dreams were the same. “Both of them had dreamt of the country where there is equality and no discrimination…they dreamt of a revolution. Today, the same revolution is our dream as well,” he said. (iNSTAGRAM iMAGE )

Hyderabad: Gold valuables of over 2kg seized from man at airport

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India] (ANI): The customs department of Hyderabad airport recovered 2.715 kg of gold chains and paste worth Rs 1.36 crore from a man, who arrived from Dubai, said a press release on Saturday.
According to the customs department, the valuables were concealed inside the hand-in bag and check-in luggage and recovered from the man during an interception by the officials of the department. Further investigation is underway. (Image source: Instagram)

Karnataka reports 50,210 new COVID cases, positivity rate reaches 22.77 pc

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): Karnataka reported 50,210 new COVID-19 cases, of which 26,299 were from the state’s capital Bengaluru, Health Minister K Sudhakar informed on Sunday.
Presently, there are as many as 3,57,796 active cases in the state, while the COVID positivity rate stands at 22.77 per cent. In Karnataka, 22,842 recoveries from the virus and 19 Covid deaths have also been reported in the last 24 hours.
Sudhakar further informed that 165 new cases of Omicron have been confirmed in Bengaluru today, taking the overall tally in the state to 931. (Image source: Instagram)

Tamil Nadu govt to consider withdrawing Sunday lockdown if COVID-19 cases continue to reduce, says Health Minister

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) (ANI): Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Sunday said that COVID-19 cases were reduced in the state, adding that if cases continue to decline, the government will consider withdrawing Sunday lockdown.
“Cases are reducing in comparison to last one or two days. It is satisfactory. If cases continue to reduce, we will think about withdrawing the Sunday lockdown,” said Subramanian while talking to media. He also said that people were cooperating with the government and complying with the Sunday lockdown.

Subramanian paid tributes to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose on the occasion of his 125 Birth Anniversary. (Image source: Instagram)

Bangla Pokkho’ urges Modi to form Bengal Regiment in Indian Army

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): Bangla Pokkho, a Bengali nationalist group, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to form a Bengal Regiment in the Indian Army, terming it a long-standing demand.
According to the organisation, it would be a real tribute to Netaji by forming a Bengal Regiment in the Indian Army. “On the 125th birth anniversary of the greatest leader from Bengal, Subhash Chandra Bose, the Bengalis have a very specific demand, that is the formation of a Bengal regiment within the Indian Army keeping in mind the rights and stakeholdership of the 10 crore Bengali people in the Indian Union”, wrote the Bangla Pokko group in their mail.
He argued that the Bengalis had been at the forefront of the anti-British freedom struggle and had sacrificed the most among all the nationalists of the Indian Union-Subhash Chandra Bose, Khudiram Bose, Bagha Jatin, Matarda Shurjo Sen and many others. “We hope that the Union government takes steps to form the Bengali regiment, to honour the contribution of the innumerable Bengali martyrs in freedom struggle keeping in mind the rights of Bengali people”, the nationalist organisation further added. (Image source: Instagram)

Mumbai schools reopen amid declining new COVID-19 cases


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Schools in Mumbai on Monday welcomed students of all classes as they reopened with stringent adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

Students were welcomed by teachers at Sadhana Vidyalaya High School, Sion area with enthusiasm.
Principal of the school, Swaroop Sawant told ANI, “We have welcomed students in our school today. We are strictly following the COVID-19 protocols. Social distancing is being maintained and the hands of students are being sanitised.”

“Classes via virtual mode will also continue,” the principal said.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Aditya Thackeray has said that parents are free to make their own decisions in this regard and should send their children to school.

Thackeray on Sunday told reporters, “Even though we are re-opening schools from tomorrow, it is not compulsory for students to come to school. Parents are free to make their own decisions in this regard and should send their children to school only if they feel it is safe.”

The schools in Mumbai have been closed since January 4.

Maharashtra on Sunday reported 40,805 new COVID-19 cases thereby taking the total tally of infections to 75,07,225. As many as 44 fatalities from this virus were logged in the last 24 hours, the state health department said. Of the fresh cases in the state, Mumbai logged 2,550 new COVID-19 cases. On January 16, Mumbai reported 7,895 new cases. (ANI-image-Kshvid)

BJP is not Hindutva, it used Hindutva for power: Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has used Hindutva for power and asserted that it will not leave Hindutva.

Addressing the Shiv Sainiks virtually on the 96th birth anniversary of the party founder Bal Thackeray, Uddhav also said that the party will try to expand its footprint outside the state and aim for a national role.
Thackeray said that the Shiv Sena has left the BJP but it will not leave Hindutva.

“We are the ones who supported them (BJP). We had an alliance for 25 years. BJP used Hindutva for power. We left BJP but will not leave Hindutva. BJP is not Hindutva. Tactics were used against us when we challenged them,” he said.

“(Union Home Minister) Amit Shah said fight alone; we are ready to fight alone,” he added.

The Maharashtra Chief Minister also said that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has shrunk as its old constituents like Akali Dal and Shiv Sena walked out.

As the Shiv Sena is now testing waters in other states too, the Maharashtra Chief Minister asked the party workers to not be overwhelmed by defeat.

“Even if we lose, don’t be overwhelmed. We will win someday,” he said.

Talking of the recent Nagar Panchayat elections where Shiv Sena secured just the fourth position, Uddhav said that the party did not contest all seats.

“Even though we are at number four today, more Nagar Panchayat seats were elected today than those we fought and even won in the alliance (with BJP). We must take this election seriously,” he said. (ANI/Image -instagram)

JNU student molestation case cracked, accused arrested


New Delhi [India]: Delhi Police has cracked the sensational molestation case of a PhD student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and arrested the accused.

The robbed mobile phone of the complainant and the two-wheelers used in the crime have been recovered from the possession of the accused Akshay Dolai (27), the police said.
“On the intervening night of January 17-18, at 00:42 hours, a PCR call was received at PS Vasant Kunj North, regarding the JNU student molestation within the university Campus by one unknown person. The staff rushed to the spot and met the complainant who stated that while she was jogging at VC Residence Road, one scooty stopped in front of her and the rider tried to molest her,” the police said.

It was further alleged that after trying to molest, the accused person drove off with the victim’s mobile phone.

Following the case registered at Vasant Kunj North Police Station, an investigation was taken up.

Speaking to ANI, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) South West Gaurav Sharma said that the initial challenge before the police was to identify the two-wheeler of the offender as there were no entries of two-wheelers at entry gates of JNU by security staff.

“The police team checked and analysed the footage of around 1,000 cameras installed at the JNU campus, Baba Gang Nath Marg, entire Nelson Mandela Road, Asaf Ali Road, the entire stretch of Outer Ring Road encompassing South West district and Munirka,” Sharma informed.

“The JNUSU was protesting continuously and mounting over the police regarding the investigation of the case. The accused was trailed from JNU Campus to Nelson Mandela Marg to Outer Ring Road and finally to Munirka Village. Further extensive technical surveillance of the spot as well as the suspected route was also undertaken. Finally, the accused has been identified as Akshay Dolai, resident of Munirka Village and nabbed by the team,” the DCP said.

After interrogation, the police have been found that accused Akshay is married with two children. He works in a mobile shop at Bhikaji Kama Place, RK Puram, Delhi and hails from 24 South Pargana in West Bengal.

As per the investigation, the accused said that on January 17, after consuming liquor, the accused entered the JNU campus irked by a quarrel with his wife.

“In utter frustration, he started wandering on his two-wheelers inside the JNU campus and saw a girl alone jogging towards the East Gate. He stopped the girl and attempted to molest her but when she tried to call the police using her mobile phone, he took her phone and ran away on his two-wheelers from the spot,” the police said.

The police said the accused followed three other girls of JNU that same night before molesting the PhD student. He had earlier worked at JNU’s ticket counter. (Image -KSHVID)

Delhi logs 9,197 new COVID-19 cases

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Delhi continues to register a decline in its daily COVID-19 caseload, logging 9,197 new cases during the last 24 hours, said the state government on Sunday.
As per the bulletin provided by the Health Department, the positivity rate for the day has declined to 13.32 per cent. A total of 69,022 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. During the last 24 hours, 13,510 patients recovered from the infection, taking the total recoveries in the national capital to 17,11,845.
Meanwhile, 34 people lost their lives to the deadly virus during the last 24 hours. The death toll in Delhi due to the disease currently stands at 25,620.
There are currently 54,246 active COVID-19 cases in Delhi, out of which 42,438 are currently in home isolation. There are currently 44,132 active containment zones in the national capital.
As per the bulletin, there are currently 2,424 patients admitted to hospitals across Delhi. Out of this, 82 patients are suspected to have COVID-19 while 2,342 are confirmed cases of the disease. Of these 2,342 patients, 1,982 are from Delhi while 360 are from outside.
Of the confirmed COVID-19 patients, 814 are currently on Oxygen support, 808 on ICU support while 164 patients are on ventilator support.
As per the bulletin, 83.69 per cent of beds in dedicated COVID-19 hospitals across Delhi are vacant with only 2,424 beds out of 15,411 being currently occupied by patients. Similarly in COVID-19 care centres, 95.05 per cent of beds are empty, with only 249 out of a total of 5,026 beds being currently occupied. Lastly, in the COVID Health centres, 89.80 per cent of beds are empty, with only 20 out of total 196 beds being occupied by patients.
During the last 24 hours, 74,246 COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered in the national capital as per the bulletin. Out of this, 31,809 people have been administered the first dose of the vaccine while 32,429 people have been administered the second dose.
Meanwhile, 14,102 children aged 15-18 years received their first dose of the vaccine, taking the total number of beneficiaries of the first dose in the aforementioned age bracket to 7,41,064.
A total of 2,91,76,984 vaccination doses have been administered to date out of which 1,68,31,875 people have received their first dose while 1,21,34,952 people have received their second dose of the vaccine. (Image source: Unsplash)

We are bringing Planning Commission in Bengal: CM


Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a public event marking the 125th birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose in Kolkata on Sunday said the state government is bringing back the Planning Commission conceptualised by the freedom fighter.

“We are bringing Planning Commission in Bengal, even if it has been abolished by Delhi (Centre),” the Chief Minister said in Kolkata.
She said that the Centre is building Subhas Chandra Bose’s statue in Delhi at a time when it rejected West Bengal’s tableau, depicting the role of Netaji in the Indian freedom struggle which highlights the indifferent attitude of the Centre towards the State.

“Why so allergic to Bengal? You (Centre) rejected the Bengal tableau (for Republic Day)…You are making (Netaji) statue (in Delhi) because we pressurised you,” she said.

In a veiled attack at the Centre, the Trinamool Congress supremo said, “Some forces are trying to divide the country over religion, over Hindus and Muslims. I request them to read about Mahatma Gandhi ji, Swami Vivekananda ji and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose ji. None of these personalities ever talked about dividing the country.”

Born on January 23, 1897, Netaji played a crucial role in India’s freedom movement.

Subhash Chandra Bose had also established the Azad Hind Fauj. While there is a controversy over Bose’s death in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945, the Central government had in an RTI (Right to Information) in 2017 confirmed that he had died in the incident.

Notably, last year, the Government had declared 23 January as Parakram Diwas to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

In a first, India will begin Republic Day celebrations from January 23 instead of January 24, to include the birth anniversary of Bose. It will end on January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.

To commence the celebrations of Republic Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary, is also unveiling the hologram statue of the freedom fighter at India Gate in Delhi on Sunday.

On January 21, the Prime Minister said that a grand granite statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be installed at India Gate soon. The Prime Minister has said that till the time the work for the “grand statue” of Netaji, made of granite, is completed, a hologram statue would be installed at the same place. India celebrates Republic Day on January 26 every year. (ANI)

DGCA imposes fine of Rs 20 lakh on Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport over poor maintenance


By Ashoke Raj

Kolkata [India]: India’s aviation regulatory body, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBIA) for violating safety norms by neglecting runway maintenance.
“After the regulator started safety auditing for airports a few months back, the audit report found that NSCBIA has committed serious safety norms violations, especially on the runway maintenance work. It has been decided to impose a fine of Rs 20 lakh,” a senior official from DGCA confirmed to ANI.

The DGCA’s audit report suggested that the Kolkata airport has been negligent in the maintenance of the runway as per the mandated safety requirement.

The Regulatory has issued a show-cause notice to the airport in case of serious violation of security rules at the airport.

“According to the audit report, the maintenance of the runway at Kolkata airport was not done as per the guidelines, the lights on the runway were not fixed properly and Foreign Object Debris (FOB) was reported on the runway, which could have been a part of an aircraft’s safety during landing and takeoff was a concern,” DGCA official told ANI.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) did not comment on ANI’s queries regarding the DGCA action, but AAI sources told ANI that, “An internal committee has been constituted to look into the said incident.” (ANI-Image Instagram)

Omicron Threat: Delhi reports 11,486 COVID cases, 45 deaths in last 24 hours, highest numbers


New Delhi [India]: Delhi reported 11,486 new COVID cases and 45 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Official data says that this is the highest number of deaths in a single day in the national capital after June 5 last year. As many as 68 deaths occurred due to COVID in Delhi on June 5, 2021. The new fatalities pushed the COVID death toll in the national capital to 25,586.
According to the health bulletin of the Delhi government, adding the new cases, the active number of COVID patients in the city reached 58,593. Meanwhile, 14,802 people recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours.

Of the total active COVID cases in Delhi, 44,415 patients are in home isolation and 2,423 are admitted to hospitals.

Among the total hospitalized COVID patients, 823 are in ICU and 160 on the ventilator. A total of 876 hospitalized COVID patients are on oxygen support (including patients on the ventilator).

The cumulative number of reported COVID cases in Delhi has gone up to 17,82,514 of which 16,98,335 people have recovered so far, said the official data.

With 70,226 tests conducted in 24 hours, the positivity rate of COVID cases in Delhi remained 16.36 per cent on Saturday. Currently, there are 43,457 containment zones in the city.

During the last 24 hours, 75,837 doses of COVID vaccines were administered, out of which 37,531 beneficiaries got their first dose while 27,440 people received their second dose of the vaccine. As many as 10,866 beneficiaries were vaccinated with precaution dose in the last 24 hours, taking the total beneficiaries of such doses in the national capital to 2,00,149.

During the last 24 hours, 19,086 beneficiaries aged 15-17 years got their first dose of the vaccine, taking the total count of beneficiaries in the aforementioned age bracket who have received their first dose to 7,26,962. Image -DelhiGovt)

Central Vista Avenue is ready with new effect, says Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, on Saturday, said that Central Vista Avenue is completely ready with its new effect.
Talking to ANI at Central Vista Avenue, Puri said that after the redevelopment, the green coverage has been increased. “Central Vista Avenue itself has been widened. Now, the walkways are of 12 to 15 kilometres. The water bodies have been cleaned. It’s a new effect”, the Union Minister added.
While talking about the challenges faced during the completion of the Central Vista project, Puri said, “The meaning of challenge is that you have to meet the challenge. The challenge has been met and it has been met in a timely manner.”
‘Despite the COVID pandemic, 4,000 people had been working round the clock. So, I am grateful to them, I am grateful to my colleague and ministry. Whenever we had required their cooperation, we got in full measure from all departments”, he added.
Puri criticised the opposition parties’ remarks over the Central Vista project. “First they were told that this project would not be completed in a timely manner. Second, there was some concern from the environmentalists. But we addressed everything.”
According to him, out of 25 trees, 22 trees have been relocated to other places. “I am hopeful that the new Parliament building will also be complete by October this year”, said the Union Minister.
It is worth mentioning that after the completion of Central Vista Avenue, additional space up to 40,000 square metres would be accessible to people. Besides this, new sidewalks have been added in place of the red sand path, resulting in 94,600 metres of walkable pathways.
“As many as 422 new stone benches have been installed. With this, there will now be 16 bridges on the canals. Amenities like restrooms have been added which will be differently-abled friendly. Tourists will also have access to a step garden where people can come and sit, said Puri.

In addition to new features, The Rajpath will now have underground stormwater drainage and a micro-irrigation sprinkler system to deal will puddles and waterlogging.
The parking facility has been increased and would now be able to house 50 buses and 1,000 vehicles at the same time. The Avenue will now have four underpasses — 150 metres in length, at the Janpath – Rajpath crossing and C-Hexagon. (Image source: Instagram)

Mumbai residential building fire: PM Modi announces ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for next of kin of deceased, Rs 50,000 for injured

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the Mumbai residential building fire in Tardeo and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that six people died in the fire that broke out inside the 20 storey Kamala building in Mumbai on Saturday morning. The civic body further informed that 16 injured people are admitted to the various hospitals while seven have been treated and discharged. “An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the building fire in Tardeo, Mumbai. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000 each,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting the Prime Minister.
“Saddened by the building fire at Tardeo in Mumbai. Condolences to the bereaved families and prayers with the injured for the speedy recovery,” the PMO tweeted.
A level 3 fire had broken out in the residential building. DCP Saurabh Tripathi had said that 21 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse out the fire.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray and Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited the fire site. (Image source: Instagram)

Karnataka’s R-Day tableau themed on traditional handicrafts

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): Karnataka’s tableau for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi is themed ‘Karnataka, the cradle of traditional handicrafts’.
As per information, the then Department of Information and Publicity (DIP) was assigned the job of making the tableau on behalf of the state and the DIP first participated in the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi in 1972. This is the 50th year of participation by the Department of Information and Public Relations, marking the Golden Jubilee of participation on the eve of the Platinum Jubilee of India’s Independence.
This is also the 13th consecutive time that the state’s tableau has been selected and out of the 12 states that have been selected Karnataka is the only state from South India to feature on the Republic Day parade.
The lyrics and music have been done by Praveen D Rao, which has been exclusively prepared for the tableau, stated the Karnataka government. (Image source: Instagram)

Tamil Nadu: HC refuses to restrain SEC from notifying polls to urban body polls

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India] (ANI): Madras High Court on Friday refused to restrain Tamil Nadu State Election Commission from notifying elections to urban local bodies.
The Court also deferred the hearing of PILs seeking to postpone the election in view of the third wave of COVID to January 24. Madras HC Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice PD Audikesavalu heard the case to postpone urban local body polls in Tamil Nadu until the COVID situation improves. The Court said that notification has not been issued yet but counsel claims it could be issued anytime.
Tamil Nadu State Election Commission said that it has given an undertaking to Supreme Court to notify urban local body polls before January 26, 2022. So, protocols and precautionary measures have been put in place to tackle the COVID situation.
Chief Justice said that as technical difficulties arise through video call, the case will be heard on Monday. Later, the case was adjourned. (Image source: Instagram)

TMC asks party MLA Madan Mitra to stay away from social media

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Madan Mitra has been directed by the party to stay away from social media after several of his controversial posts went viral.
The former West Bengal Transport Minister and a loyalist of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee said that he will stay away from posting on social media for several months. “My social media is a personal thing. I have decided that I will not come to any Facebook Live, Instagram or any other social networking site till June 30. It is because the name of social media is in the hand of media and I was part of social media. Now the name of media should be anti-social media,” the Kamarhati MLA told ANI.
A controversy erupted over Mitra’s social media post recently. The MLA was warned by the TMC Discipline Committee. (Image source: Instagram)

Two arrested in Hyderabad for providing fake RT-PCR test reports, COVID vaccination certificates

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India] (ANI): Hyderabad Police arrested two people for providing fake RT-PCR COVID-19 test reports without taking swabs and vaccination certificates without administration of the physical doses.
Chakravarthy Gummi, Deputy Commissioner of Police said that the arrested persons sold fake RTPCR test reports and vaccination certificates by collecting money. The two accused were arrested in two different cases under Malakpet and Humayun Nagar police stations. According to Police, one of the arrested persons, P Laxman worked at different diagnostic centres as a lab technician. About a year ago, he opened his own diagnostic centre at Asman Ghat under Malakpet police station. He tied up with MedicsPathlabs India to send his collected samples and to get test reports. The accused tore the kits and sent dummy samples to Madcis Pathlabs. For issuing negative reports and issuing fake certificates, he collected between Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 per certificate.
Hyderabad Police seized 65 fake RTPCR certificates, 20 sample collection kits, and a mobile phone from Laxman.
In the second case, the arrested person MD Tariq, who used to work as a lab technician at different diagnostic centres earlier, opened his own diagnostic centre, “Image Diagnostic Center”, at Murad Nagar, Asif Naga year ago. Later, he partnered with laboratories to send his samples.
Police said in collusion with one Kumari, a computer operator at Afzal Sagar, Tariq started providing vaccination certificates to customers without physical doses and issued forged RTPCR reports by charging Rs 800 to Rs 1,000.
Hyderabad police seized 50 fake COVID vaccine certificates, 10 RTPCR reports and 2 mobile phones from MD Tariq.
Further investigation is underway. (Image source: Unsplash)

Hyderabad police nabs inter-state robbery gang, arrests 3 persons

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India] (ANI): The Hyderabad City police nabbed an inter-state robbery gang and held three persons on Thursday.
According to the statement released by Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand, around 12 pm on January 10 two unidentified persons came on a bike and entered the house of Sulecha Jain and attempted to kidnap her. When inmates and neighbours gathered, they fled the area. Later, a phone call over the internet was then initiated by the accused in which they threatened to kill the family and demanded Rs 1 crore in return for their life. The police statement further read, Javarilal (main accused) and his nephew Vikram (second accused) immigrated to Hyderabad from Rajasthan and were engaged in the hardware business at Bachupally. Mahendra Pratap Singh (third accused) is a relative of Javarilal and a debt collector. Javarilal attempted to overcome financial debts by abducting a well-established businessman named Manoj Salecha Jain, who runs a bulk drug business. Javarilal purchased a firearm from Madhya Pradesh for Rs 30,000 and had also stolen a Honda Activa. He had also conducted a recce at the house of the complainant. The case was detected by the North Zone Task Force Team of Hyderabad. (Image source: Instagram)

CISF recovers 60,000 US dollars worth Rs 45 lakh at Mumbai Airport

New Delhi [India] (ANI): The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) on Friday recovered 60,000 US Dollars which converts approximately to Rs 45 lakh, from the possession of a ground handling agency staff at Mumbai Airport.
The appended staffer has been identified as Ritesh Parker, who belongs to ground handling agency Aviaxpert Pvt Ltd. at Mumbai Airport. Parker was caught around 12.40 a.m. during his frisking at Security Hold Area (SHA) of Terminal 2, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International (CSMI) Airport, Mumbai after the CISF personnel observed that he had concealed something at lower part of his body under his clothes and socks.
“During thorough physical checking, 60,000 US dollars which worth approximately Rs 45 lakh in indian currency were recovered from his possession. He was later identified as Ritesh Parker, AEP No.BOM 2812210113 of Aviaxpert Pvt. Ltd. dealing as ground handling agency at Mumbai Airport,” the CISF said.
On questioning, the CISF said, Parker informed that he was going to hand over the said foreign currency to someone at boarding gate No.46.
“Immediately, the matter was informed to Senior Officers of CISF. In the meantime, CISF surveillance team located a passenger (later identified as Sufiyaan Shahnawaz Shaikh, bound for Dubai by IndiGo flight No.6E-8271) near the boarding gate No.46. He was intercepted and enquired. On questioning, the said passenger refuses any involvement in the case,” said the CISF, which is responsible for the internal security of 64 airports across India.
“But as the staff confirmed that he was about to hand over the foreign currency to the said passenger, he was stopped with the help of the airline staff and the matter was informed to Customs/Air Intelligence Unit Officials,” officials said.
On arrival of the Customs Officials, the CISF said, Parker and the passenger along with the recovered foreign currency worth Rs 45 lakh were handed over to them for further action in the matter. (Image source: Instagram)

Government dedicates ‘Thrividha Dasoha’ to people of the state: CM Bommai

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): The state government has dedicated itself to providing ‘Thrividha Dasoha of Anna ‘(food), ‘Akshara’ (education) and ‘Ashraya’ (shelter) for all the poor and weaker sections of the society, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.
Speaking to media persons after launching the Dasoha(charity) programme as part of the Dasoha Day celebrations at Sri Siddaganga Mutt, Bommai said, Dasoha is a tradition of Karnataka. This is a day that conveys the importance of food, education and shelter, said Bommai. The state government has raised the per capita quota of rice for Anna Dasoha from 4kg to 5kg. Ragi and Jowar too are being distributed in accordance with the food habits of the region, he added.
The ration is being provided for Mutts and other charity institutions which are engaged in Anna Dasoha. As for Akshara Dasoha, the state government has launched the Vidya Nidhi scheme for children of farmers, Rs 150 cr has been released for direct disbursement of scholarships for children of construction workers. State and central governments have taken up housing schemes for Ashraya Dasoha and about 5 lakh houses are being built, Bommai said.
On celebrating Dasoha Day as a government programme, Dasoha Day would be celebrated in a more organised way as a government programme. The state government is committed to spreading Dasoha culture all over the state. “I have participated in today’s programme with a resolve to tread in the path of Siddaganga Seer. It is our government’s mission to provide food, education and shelter for all,” Bommai said.
Replying to a question about conferring Bharat Ratna for Sri Shivakumaraswamiji, the Chief Minister said he would decide on sending the recommendation to the union government after discussing the issue with his top leadership.
The meeting with expert committee members later in the afternoon would decide on the continuation of the weekend curfew. Many legislators, MPs and organisations are set to convey their opinion on the issue. A suitable decision would be taken based on the views of the experts and the trend of the prevailing third wave of COVID-19, Bommai said. (Image source: Instagram)

West Bengal legislative assembly hears Mukul Roy’s defection case, next hearing on January 28

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy’s defection case was heard before the West Bengal Legislative Assembly on Wednesday where the Speaker observed that they will abide by the Supreme Court’s order in Roy’s case.
“We’ll abide by the order of the Supreme Court and within a due course of time, the order on Mukul Roy will be out”, said West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee. He further informed that the next hearing date would be January 28. As per information, case submission from Mukul Roy’s side ended today and BJP is yet to reply in the case.
“The hearing took place today. I wanted to continue it tomorrow as well but the lawyer asked for the date of January 28”, the Speaker added.
The Supreme Court on Monday has directed the Speaker for a speedy discussion on Mukul Roy’s disqualification case. The Apex Court hopes to take a concrete decision in the second week of February.
In June 2021, West Bengal Leader of opposition, Suvendu Adhikari had filed a petition before the Speaker, seeking the disqualification of Roy as a member of the Assembly, on the grounds of his defection to the TMC.
Further BJP MLA Ambika Roy had advanced a plea challenging Mukul Roy’s election as chairman of the public accounts committee (PAC). (Image source: Instagram)

Why social media companies cannot be included as accused or abettor in criminal cases, Madras HC asks state govt


Chennai(Tamil Nadu) [India]: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Thursday sought a reply from the Tamil Nadu government and state Police as to why social media companies cannot be included as accused or abettor in criminal cases involving social media platforms.

This comes in response to a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu police seeking to cancel the bail granted to YouTuber Saattai Duraimurugan who came up for a hearing before Justice B Pugalendhi.
Justice B Pugalendhi, observed that misuse of technology cannot be allowed and asked the police to submit a report on how much the YouTuber Duraimurugan earns by broadcasting the objected videos through the social media platforms.

The judge, while asking Duraimurugan’s counsel, orally observed that several people are misusing the platform to earn money and some have even admitted that they learned to commit offences like making guns, robbing through videos on Youtube. He also questioned why the social media platforms like YouTube cannot be added as an accused in such cases.

The judge also directed the Tamil Nadu ADGP – Cyber Crime branch to submit a detailed report on the mechanism needs to be adopted to prevent misuse of YouTube in a week. (ANI/Image -instagram)

Rahul Gandhi slams Centre over merging of Amar Jawan Jyoti with flame at National War Memorial


New Delhi [India]: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed the Central Government over its decision to extinguish the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in the national capital after 50 years and merge it with the flame at the National War Memorial.

Taking to Twitter, the Congress MP said, “It is a matter of great sadness that the immortal flame that used to burn for our brave soldiers will be extinguished today. Some people cannot understand patriotism and sacrifice – never mind. We will once again light the Amar Jawan Jyoti for our soldiers.”
The Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at the India Gate would be extinguished and merged with the flame at the National War Memorial today.

“The Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at India Gate will be extinguished and merged with the flame at the National War Memorial on Friday in a ceremony,” said an Indian Army official to ANI.

The ceremony would be presided over by the Integrated Defence Staff chief Air Marshal Balabadhra Radha Krishna who would merge the two flames, officials said.

The India Gate memorial was built by the British government in memory of the British Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives between 1914-1921.

However, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was included in the memorial structure in the 1970s after the massive victory of India over Pakistan in which 93,000 troops of the enemy country surrendered.

After a long wait and multiple considerations, the National War Memorial was built in the India Gate complex by the Narendra Modi government and was inaugurated in 2019.

After the inauguration of the building in War memorial, all military ceremonial events were shifted to it from the India Gate memorial.

The National War Memorial has the names of all the Indian defence personnel who have lost their lives in different operations from the 1947-48 war with Pakistan to the Galwan valley clash with Chinese troops.

The names of troops who lost lives in the counter-terrorist operations are also included on the walls of the memorial. (Image Instagram)

Most wanted Nigerian drug peddler arrested, says Hyderabad Police

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India](ANI): The North Zone Task Force of Hyderabad Police on Thursday took a Nigerian national into custody from Mumbai for running a drug syndicate. He is one of the most wanted drug peddlers, informed the Police.
“The accused Chukwu Ogbonna David alias Tony Abia Marsha alias Tony used to run the drug racket with agents in metropolitan cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai. On the basis of information given by Tony, police have taken around nine customers from Hyderabad in custody,” said CV Anand, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad. “In the year 2013, he migrated to Mumbai from Nigeria on temporary VISA. Since then, he is illegally staying in Mumbai. Initially, he was engaged in the export business of garments and wigs to African countries. After coming in contact with drug peddlers, tony decided to come into this business,” Anand said.
Accused Tony established a network system in India by engaging local agents Imran Babu Shaik, Noor Mohd Khan, Aftab, Parwaz, Rahamath, Irfan and Firdos by giving them a good amount of money and Drugs.
“Tony purchased drugs from an international drug peddler called ‘Star Boy’ (African national). With the help of his agents, he transported drugs from Mumbai to Hyderabad. Money used to get transferred via online mode to his agents’ accounts. He himself never exposed himself to his agents or customers. He communicated with everyone using International phone numbers with WhatsApp calls and VOIP calls. He has around 15 to 20 customers in Hyderabad,” Anand said. (Image source: Instagram)

India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage surpasses 159.67 crores


New Delhi [India] (ANI): With the administration of over 73 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s cumulative vaccination coverage has exceeded 159.67 crore, said Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.

As per government data, 73,38,592 vaccine doses were administered to eligible population in the last 24 hours. Consquently, the total vaccines administered so far mounted to 1,59,67,55,879, as per provisional reports till 7 am today.
This has been achieved through 1,71,82,273 sessions, the ministry said in a statement.

The government data reveals that 61,75,049 precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of these, 22,95,385 doses were given to healthcare workers, 20,16,534 doses to frontline workers and 18,63,130 doses to those above 60 years of age with coomorbidities.

To children aged between 15-18 years, 3,84,93,979 vaccine doses have been given so far. The vaccination of this age group was started on January 3, this year.

India COVID vaccination drive completed one year on January 16, 2022. (image -kshvid)

No relaxation on COVID norms in Delhi as positivity rate ‘not low enough’: Satyendar Jain

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that even though the COVID-19 positivity rate in the national capital has declined from 30 per cent to 22.5 per cent with a decrease in the number of infections as well, the COVID norms in the city will not be relaxed as the positivity rate is still not “low enough”.
While addressing media persons, Satyendar Jain said, “The positivity rate has come down from 30 per cent to 22.5 per cent and the total number of cases in Delhi has also decreased. However, the positivity rate is not low enough that we can relax the COVID restrictions.” According to the health minister, Delhi is likely to record 13,000 new COVID-19 cases today with a positivity rate of 24 per cent.
“Today, a positivity rate24 of per cent is likely to be reported along with around 13,000 fresh infections. There is not much occupancy in hospitals and beds are also vacant. We are doing more testing in Delhi,” he said.
Meanwhile, Delhi on Tuesday continued to report a dip in the number of daily COVID-19 cases with 11,684 fresh infections.
The positivity rate for the day also declined to 22.47 per cent. As per yesterday’s COVID-19 bulletin, there are 78,112 active COVID-19 cases in Delhi, out of which, 63,432 are currently in home isolation.

NCB Bengaluru busts drug trafficking network; four arrested, including Nigerian national

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI): The Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) Bengaluru Zonal Unit has busted a drug trafficking network dealing with multiple drugs in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and arrested four people including a Nigerian national.
On January 17, the NCB said it seized drugs such as 84 grams of cocaine, 40 grams of MDMA, small quantity of hashish and ganja at Electronic city, Bengaluru from the possession of a Nigerian national and three peddlers. All four were apprehended in Bengaluru. “The peddlers were from Chennai and had come to Bengaluru to purchase drugs.The multiple drugs procured from the Nigerian national was meant for selling in hotels, pubs and colleges in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu,” NCB said.
The Nigerian supplier, NCB said, was “not only seasoned in supplying drugs but also an expert cook in teaching his buyers about various mixes and ways to improve potency of drugs, so that they can feel the high.”
The peddlers from Chennai are known suppliers of multiple drugs in Chennai and Tamil Nadu and are habitual offenders, already involved in NDPS cases registered in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, NCB official informed.
“NCB, Bengaluru Zonal Unit has effectively neutralised one of the major drug syndicate by arresting Nigerian supplier and the Chennai peddlers,which was operating in the state of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala,” official said. (Image source: Instagram)

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