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Punjab polls: SAD, BSP exchange Mohali, Ludhiana North seats with Raikot, Dina Nagar

SAD BSP PUNJAB elections

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: Ahead of Punjab Assembly elections, Shiromani Akali Dal and Bahujan Samajwadi Party on Tuesday announced the exchange of Mohali and Ludhiana North seats with Raikot and Dina Nagar seats.

Former Punjab Education Minister and SAD leader Dr Daljit S Cheema informed today that the total seat share of both parties remains the same.
In a tweet, Cheema wrote, “The SAD President S Sukhbir Singh Badal and BSP President S Jasbir Singh Garhi have jointly announced the exchange of Mohali and Ludhiana North seats which were with BSP with Raikot and Dina Nagar seats which were earlier with SAD. The total seat share remains the same.

Punjab is scheduled to go for Assembly polls in 2022.

In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years. Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117-member Punjab Legislative Assembly. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured 3 seats.

Majestic Pride felicitated Ravi Kumar Dahiya in a Glittering Ceremony

Panaji (Goa) [India]: Majestic Pride Group held a special event on Saturday and felicitated freestyle wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya, the Tokyo Olympics Silver Medalist and recipient of the country’s highest sporting honour – Khel Ratna.

“Ravi Kumar Dahiya brought glory to our country. So, we thought of honouring him in a glittering ceremony,” said Majestic Pride Group Chairman Ashok Khetrapal, adding, “We are happy the event held under strict COVID-19 protocols was a huge success.”
The meet-and-greet program after the felicitation ceremony gave Majestic Pride Group guests a rare opportunity to interact with the country’s wrestling icon besides taking photographs with the champ.

“I’m touched with the gesture extended by Majestic Pride Group. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am looking forward to take part in the Group’s future events too,” said Freestyle Wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya.

Majestic Pride Group has been holding various events, from time-to-time to promote sporting culture among the youngsters in the country and to recognise the achievements of India’s leading sportspersons.

“The Group last year held a roof-top boxing match between boxers Vijendrar Singh and Russia’s Artysh Lopsan. It was a successful event and our guests have been waiting for such matches,” said Majestic Pride Group Director, Baldev Raj Arora.

According to Arora, the Group plans to hold various events including boxing and wrestling matches since tourists in large numbers are expected to visit Goa during Christmas and New Year Celebrations. It has already lined up events with Bollywood celebrities and leading sporting icons.

Majestic Pride Group earlier used to host Sufi Nights, Laughter Nights and other exciting tournaments on a regular basis. “We want to carry forward this legacy. Felicitating Ravi Kumar Dahiya is part of this process,” said Khetrapal.

“We will keep our guests updated on our social media platforms and we are excited to unravel and curate new and exciting events on-board Majestic Pride Group,” Arora added.

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

Covid-19 Restrictions : Protests rock Netherlands, Belgium, France

covid protest netherlands

Amsterdam [Netherlands]: People continued to protest against COVID-19 curbs in parts of the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

People continued to show up in numbers across European cities on Sunday, with the police deploying water cannons and tear gases to disperse crowds. More people have been arrested, reported DW News.
Riots broke out in cities across the Netherlands, the third night in a row that police clashed with mobs of angry youths who set fires and threw rocks to protest COVID-19 restrictions.

Protests continued in the Netherlands for the third day in a row with police issuing an emergency order in the eastern city of Enschede, near the German border, reported DW News.

Protesters set off fireworks and vandalized properties in cities — Groningen and Leeuwarden in the north, Enschede in the east, and Tilburg in the south. 130 people have been arrested since the protests began, police said.

A football match in Leeuwarden was briefly disrupted after supporters, who were barred from the games because of COVID restrictions, threw fireworks into the ground, Dutch media reported.

In Rotterdam, the second-largest Dutch city, police arrested 26 people after fans grew rowdy at a game — people attacked police, threw bins, and lit fireworks.

The Netherlands imposed a partial lockdown on November 13 and is considering tighter rules for the unvaccinated in public arenas.

Meanwhile, thousands of people protested against COVID restrictions in downtown Brussels, reported DW News.

They were mainly demonstrating against the government’s requirement to have people show a vaccine certificate in public places like restaurants.

Around 35,000 people took to the street in Brussels, police said. But the majority had dispersed before protests grew violent.

Towards the evening, protesters began smashing cars and setting trash bins ablaze, forcing the police to respond with water cannons and tear gas to restore order, reported DW News.

COVID infections have grown at an alarming pace in Belgium in recent weeks, with the country seeing an average of over 12,000 new infections per day.

French overseas territory of Guadeloupe was hit by the third night of looting and rioting, with armed protesters shooting at police and firefighters, said authorities, reported DW News.

Police arrested 38 people as protesters broke into cars and set them ablaze. They also destroyed pharmacies, Alexandre Rochatte, Guadeloupe’s prefect, who represents the French government, said in a statement.

The island territory has been rocked by protests over a week, with people demanding an end to the government’s mandate of compulsory vaccination for health workers, as well as seeking support for rising fuel prices. (ANI)

Ex Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh is ‘absconding’, notice pasted outside his flat

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: A Mumbai court order, declaring former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh as ‘absconding’ has been pasted outside his flat located in Juhu on Tuesday.

The order said that a complaint has been made before the court under various sections of the Indian Penal Code related to extortion and criminal conspiracy and the court is satisfied that the accused i.e., Singh has absconded or concealing himself to avoid the service of the warrant.
“Singh is required to appear before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Esplanade, Mumbai or investigating officer to answer the said complaint within 30 days,” reads the order issued by the court.

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on Monday told the Supreme Court that he is very much in the country and he is not absconding, the top court granted him interim protection from arrest and directed him to join the investigation.

A Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul asked Singh to join the investigation and issued notices to the Maharashtra government and CBI on Singh’s plea. The apex court now posted the case for hearing on December 6.

Six cases of corruption and extortion were filed against Singh after he wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray levelling corruption and misconduct against the then Home Minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh.

Singh, a 1988-batch IPS officer, was removed from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner on March 17 and was made the General Commander of Maharashtra State Home Guard after he levelled allegations against Deshmukh. (ANI)

Taliban expand interim cabinet, 27 new members named

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Taliban on Tuesday said that they have expanded their interim cabinet by adding 27 new members.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the interim government, said the appointments had been made in compliance with orders from Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, reported Pajhwok Afghan News.
More than two dozen high-level officials, including ministers and deputy ministers, were named.

Maulvi Shahabuddin Delawar has been appointed as acting minister of mines and petroleum and Mullah Mohammad Abbas Akhund as acting minister of disaster management.

Twenty-five others have been appointed as deputy ministers, corps commanders and heads of independent departments, according to a list released by Mujahid, reported Pajhwok Afghan News.

The new names in the interim cabinet of Islamic Emirate include – Maulvi Shahabuddin Delavar, acting minister of mines and petroleum; Haji Mullah Mohammad Esa Akhund, deputy minister of mines and petroleum; Mullah Mohammad Abbas Akhund, acting minister of disaster management; Maulvi Sharafuddin, deputy minister of disaster management; Maulvi Enayatullah, deputy minister of disaster management; Maulvi Hamdullah Zahed, procurement director; Sheikh Abdul Rahim, deputy director of procurement; Maulvi Qudratullah Jamal, Supreme Audit Office head; Maulvi Ezatullah, deputy chief of the Supreme Audit Office; Maulvi Mohammad Yousef Mastari, acting director of prisons; Mullah Habibullah Fazli, deputy director of prisons; Maulvi Keramatullah Akhundzadah, head of the Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission; Maulvi Ahmad Taha, deputy minister of border and tribal affairs; Maulvi Gul Zarin, head of Kochi affairs at the Ministry of Border and Tribal Affairs; Sheikh Maulvi Abdul Hakim, deputy minister of martyr and disabled affairs; Maulvi Saeed Ahmad Shahidkhel, deputy minister of education; Maulvi Abdul Rahman Halim, deputy minister of rural rehabilitation and development; Maulvi Atiqullah Azizi, deputy minister of finance and administration at the Ministry of Information and Culture; Mullah Faizullah Akhund, deputy minister of youth affairs at the Ministry of Information and Culture; Maulvi Saifuddin Tayeb, deputy minister of communications; Maulvi Fathullah Mansour, head of Kandahar airport; Mohammad Ismail, executive commander of the Military Court; Maulvi Esmatullah Asim, deputy head of the Red Cross; Maulvi Rahimullah Mahmoud, deputy commander of the Al-Badar Corps in Kandahar; Maulvi Abdul Samad, deputy commander of Azam Corps in Helmand; Mullah Nasser Akhund, deputy minister of finance; and Maulvi Arefullah Aref, deputy minister of energy and water.

The Taliban in early September formed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and had appointed 33 more cabinet ministers that neither have women nor mainstream politicians from previous regimes rather it appointed the world’s most dreaded and wanted cabinet ministers.

In September, the Taliban announced a new list of 17 more ministers in the caretaker Afghanistan Cabinet.

The latest list of 27 new members in the cabinet too excludes any women representation. (ANI)

Karnataka CM visits flood-affected areas in Bengaluru

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday visited and inspected the flood-affected areas in Bengaluru.

The Chief Minister visited Kendriya Vihar Apartment and surrounding areas in the city.

After heavy rains, the Yelahanka Lake overflowed and water flooded into Kendriya Vihar and surrounding areas.

Earlier, the Chief Minister had announced that a sum of Rs 5 lakh would be paid as compensation for completely damaged houses and Rs 3 lakh for partially damaged houses in three instalments.

District Collectors have been instructed to disburse the first instalment of Rs 1 lakh immediately.

Bommai further said that the state government has released Rs 500 crore for the repair of damaged roads and bridges. Schools and Anganvadis too had suffered damages and their repair would be taken up through the NDRF fund.

The rains have caused extensive damage to Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Tumakuru, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Ramanagar, Hassan districts.

Karnataka and its neighbouring states have been receiving incessant rainfall in the month of November.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday predicted widespread light to moderate rainfall in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry during the next five days. (ANI)

‘Ind vs NZ: Rohit & Dravid bond well’

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India]: Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels head coach Rahul Dravid and T20I captain Rohit Sharma will get along well because their “temperaments” are quite similar.

India and New Zealand will be squaring off in a three-match T20I series, beginning Wednesday in Jaipur. This is the first assignment in charge for head coach Dravid and full-time T20I skipper Rohit.
“If you look at both of their temperaments, they are quite similar. Rohit is of a quiet nature just like Rahul Dravid. So I think their bond will be quite good because both of them will understand each other well,” said Gavaskar on the Star Sports show Follow The Blues.

“When he used to play we used to think that till Rahul Dravid is at the crease, the Indian batting is safe and strong. This is the reason why I believe that the new responsibility of head coach that falls upon him, he will be able to handle it in a similar way,” he added.

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir is “sure” that Dravid will become a very successful coach as he brings a lot of “assurance” with his arrival in the dressing room.

“He was a very successful player then he became a very successful captain and I’m sure he is going to become a very successful coach as well. With him in that dressing room, I think he brings a lot of assurance, he’s played more than 100 Test matches,” said Gambhir.

“He’s captained the side, his work ethics were unbelievable, really hard working. So, I think he brings a lot on the table,” he added. (ANI)

Trinamool Congress releases manifesto for Agartala civic polls, party MP says doors open for like-minded parties

Agartala (Tripura) [India]: All India Trinamool Congress on Tuesday released its election manifesto exclusively for Agartala Municipal Corporation Areas making nine major promises aimed at improving the standard of living for residents of Agartala City.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy announced the manifesto and said that the Trinamool Congress would work hard for the development of the prestigious Agartala Municipal Corporation areas.
He said that the TMC if voted power in the AMC, will ensure that residents receive better amenities, at least two bio-toilets in every ward, better markets equipped with fire and disaster management facilities, eradication of all dark spots with enough lighting, tax rebates and direct access to the Mayor through “Hello Mayor” initiatives.

He said, “The manifesto reflects TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee’s way of thinking for the people and how the Bengal government reaches out to people with its welfare schemes. The attitude of the AMC board will be similar to the people-centric TMC government in Bengal.”

Later addressing a press conference, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev said, “If polls are conducted in a free and fair spirit with zero intimidation from the end of the ruling party, all the Trinamool candidates shall form the board of Agartala Municipal Corporation.”

Dev also did not rule out any possibilities of coming to a pre-poll arrangement with the regional political parties like former Congress leader Pradyot Kishore Dev Barman-led Tipra Motha and said that the first priority of the Trinamool Congress is to oust the BJP and for that doors are open for like-minded parties. Although she did not specify the name of any party but did give enough indications of a pre-poll alliance with like-minded political parties in the run up to the 2023 assembly elections.

She said, “Mood of the people in Tripura is that they don’t want the BJP. People who are in mass politics like us and who are in other parties are well aware of that. Now, respecting the mood of the people, we shall stand with the parties who will agree to come with us for BJP’s ouster.”

Dev also debunked the statement of Tripura Minister Sushanta Chowdhury who alleged that TMC was misleading the Supreme Court. She said, “I am a lawyer myself. If TMC is misleading the Supreme Court, they should move the Court with real facts. Since the matter is sub judice, and we are misleading, then take appropriate action against me.”

Meanwhile, actor turned politicians Soham Chakraborty and June Maliya along with former MP Arpita Ghosh also attended the press conference. (ANI)

The Big Challenge: Tribal Boy from Purulia (West Bengal) Secures IIT Delhi Seat, motivates others

Sanjay Lohar, has recently bagged a seat to pursue his studies in Electrical Engineering at IIT Delhi. It is not unusual for a boy at his age, but what makes him different is his hardship and dedication. Coming from a cow herding family in Purulia in West Bengal, Sanjay says my family doesn’t even know what this achievement is all about. Such is the ignorance of the people in that area, considered among the backward districts of West Bengal.

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Sanjay Lohar

People still struggle for food in this part of the country from where Sanjay has made a mark. Starting his study from Chandei Village School under Jhalda Subdivision in Purulia District of West Bengal. He is always a good student who secured 75% marks in his 10th and 81% Marks in 12th. After his higher secondary he sat for WB Joint Examination and secured a seat in Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He then tried IIT JEE and the rest is history.

After he got the admission, another problem before him was paying the admission fee of 15000 INR. Sanjay was broken as he doesn’t have the required money. At this point Social Activist like Tushar Awasthi and friends in Purulia come forward and raised money, partially through social media and paid his fees.

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Sanjay with Tushar

Tushar says, “when we got to know about his condition and when he informed us that he secured IIT Delhi seat but doesn’t have the required fees with him we decided to raise fund and within 3 days we raised the fund, with the relief on his face we also felt relieved helping such a bright student from our district”.

Sanjay is now concentrating on his new life at IIT Delhi, he is waiting for his call, but his advise to every students is to work hard consistently. Sanjay says “students from our community doesn’t want to study because they believe there is nothing that they can do. I want to tell them to take advantage of government programs and schemes, there are more for us. I got the benefit from various government programs and schemes in my education. Also share your problems with people around you. You will get support.”

Youth like Sanjay are the future of the nation. As a society, we all should come forward to help such bright talents. If you know anyone like this, get in touch with reporters/email us.

Federer unlikely to play Australian Open

Melbourne [Australia]: Swiss maestro Roger Federer is unlikely to play in the Australian Open as he recovers from injury, according to his coach Ivan Ljubicic.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion is still determined to return to tournament action at some point. He has been inactive since losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in July.
Federer underwent arthroscopic right knee surgeries in February 2020 and May 2020. Federer has played five tournaments since having those surgeries, all of which came this season.

“I think the Australian Open is not a real possibility right now,” Ljubicic told Stats Perform.

“I think there are very few chances, he is still recovering and knowing him, he wants to be sure he can play to win the tournament and be at 100 per cent. He will go step by step because he is 40 years old now and he needs to be patient. He cannot recover as quickly as he used to,” he added.

However, the Croatian stated he was certain that Federer was not thinking about retiring just yet.

“We have spoken and I can guarantee he wants to return to playing tennis,” he said.

Last month, Roger Federer dropped out of the Top-10 in the ATP rankings. This was for the very first time since January 2017 that the 20-time Grand Slam champion crashed out of the Top-10 rankings in men’s tennis. (ANI)

Nitish Kumar says, crime rate in Bihar has come down after liquor ban

Patna (Bihar) [India]: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said the crime rate in Bihar has come down after the liquor ban and he stands against liquor.

Speaking to media persons here, Kumar said, “Some people have turned against me because I ordered a liquor ban and I am serious about it. Those who are against it, feel bad. It is a different matter. They might have their own opinion. But we listened to the people – both men and women. I stand against liquor.”
“The crime figures have not increased. If something happens, action is taken. Administration and Police are active and action is being taken wherever something is happening,” he said.

“At some places, other incidents have occurred, an incident of Naxals have been reported from one location. It is being probed. It is a different matter but the incidents of general crime have come down. I did also like to add that the crime rate has come down after the liquor ban,” the Bihar CM added.

Earlier this month, 32 people died in the state after consuming spurious liquor in Muzaffarpur.

Nitish Kumar has called a high-level meeting over the liquor ban on November 16.

Manipur: Terrorists carried out IED attack on Assam Rifles convoy, 7 dead

New Delhi [India]: In the ambush against the 46 Assam Rifles convoy in Manipur on Saturday, terrorists first carried out an improvised explosive device (IED) blast and then fired at the vehicles in it, Indian Army officials said.

46 Assam Rifles Commanding Officer Colonel Viplav Tripathi, his wife and son along with four personnel lost their lives in the attack when they were returning from their company forward base to the headquarters.

“The terrorists first carried out an IED blast to ambush the convoy of 46 Assam Rifles Commanding Officer Colonel Viplav Tripathi and then fired at the vehicles in the area. The officer was returning from his forward company base to his battalion headquarters,” Indian Army officials told ANI.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane briefed on the Manipur terrorist attack in which a Colonel, his two family members and four jawans lost their lives today. Operations have been launched in the area where the incident took place to nab the terrorists involved in the attack.

“Close watch being kept on the Myanmar border to prevent any escape of the terrorists. Army headquarters closely monitoring the situation,” Government sources said.

Colonel Viplav Tripathi lost his life along with his wife and son who were travelling with him in the convoy. Army troops have been deployed in border areas close to the Myanmar border to keep an eye on terrorist activities across the border in their camps.

Meanwhile, the terrorist group PLA has taken responsibility of the attack on the troops. (ANI)

‘Transformers’, ‘Star Trek’ dates

Washington [US]: Paramount has announced that its upcoming ‘Transformers’ and ‘Star Trek’ movies have now been delayed.

According to Variety, ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’, a prequel in the sci-fi action franchise, has moved back a year. It was originally scheduled for June 24, 2022, and will now open on the big screen on June 9, 2023.
The still-untitled ‘Star Trek’ movie was supposed to premiere on June 9, 2023, but it was delayed to December 22, 2023, to accommodate the shift for ‘Transformers’.

The next ‘Transformers’ chapter is currently scheduled to hit theatres on the same day as an untitled Sony-Marvel blockbuster. ‘Star Trek’ is opening alongside Disney’s ‘Star Wars: Rogue Squadron’, a Patty Jenkins-directed spinoff set in a galaxy far, far away. Unless one blinks, it’ll be a battle of the ‘Stars’ at the Christmas box office.

Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback are starring in ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’, which is being directed by Steven Caple Jr. (‘Creed II’). The movie is set in 1994, but specific plot details have been kept under wraps. ‘Transformers’, based on the Hasbro toy line, has been commercially successful for Paramount.

The first entry debuted in 2007 and featured Shia LaBeouf as a plucky teenager who finds himself in the middle of an epic battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. Several sequels and one spinoff, ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ (2009), ‘Dark of the Moon’ (2011), ‘Age of Extinction’ (2014), ‘The Last Night’ (2017) and ‘Bumblebee’ (2018), followed.

Even less is known about Paramount’s next ‘Star Trek’ instalment including who will star in the film. ‘WandaVision’ director Matt Shakman is handling filmmaking duties, while Josh Friedman and Cameron Squires are re-writing based on a script by Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, as per Variety. (ANI)

PM Modi greets nation on occasion of Chhath puja

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday extended his greetings to people on the occasion of Chhath puja.

“Many best wishes to all of you on Chhath, the festival of sun worship. May Chhath Goddess bless everyone with good health and happiness,” read PM Modi’s tweet roughly translated from Hindi.
Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind also greeted the nation on the occasion of Chhath Puja and wished the festival would strengthen people’s efforts to protect the environment.

“Greetings to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Chhath Puja. This festival is an occasion to acknowledge our dependence on nature, especially the sun and water. I wish that along with making our cultural heritage strong, this festival should also strengthen our efforts to protect the environment,” tweeted Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Chhath Puja is celebrated widely across north India, especially in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. This year the festival starts with Nahay Khay on November 8, 2021, and concludes with Usha Arghya on November 11, 2021.

From worshipping the sun to making satwik food including kheer with gud, thekua and arwa chawal, and hopping from one stall to another in melas, people celebrate Chhath puja in their own special ways. (ANI)

T20 WC: Will work twice as hard to repay faith, support shown, says Hardik Pandya

Dubai [UAE]: India all-rounder Hardik Pandya said the team will work “twice as hard” to repay the faith and support shown by the fans for the side in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

India rounded off the Super 12s stage of the showpiece event with a resounding nine-wicket victory over Namibia in Group 2 on Monday.
Both sides had already failed to make the semi-finals before the action got underway in Dubai, but India finished on a high as half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul helped them chase 133 with ease.

Hardik Pandya thanked everyone who cheered for Team India and promised to be back with double preparation in the next year’s T20 World Cup.

“This wasn’t how we wanted our World Cup campaign to go. We fell short but we will work twice as hard to repay the faith and support shown to us by our fans. Thank you to everyone who cheered us on at the stadiums and everyone back home,” Pandya tweeted.

Coming to the game, spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin set the foundation, taking three wickets apiece to help prevent Namibia from setting an imposing total on a good wicket.

India was left to rue what could have been in the UAE after recording their third win, as two defeats in their opening two games against semi-finalists Pakistan and New Zealand ultimately cost them a place in the last four. (ANI)

Chinese village in Arunachal constructed over years on land occupied by PLA in 1959: Sources on Pentagon report

New Delhi [India]: The “large 100-home civilian village” mentioned in a Pentagon report was built over the years in the area in Arunanchal Pradesh that was occupied by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) after overrunning an Assam Rifles post in 1959, clarified sources in the Indian security establishment.

The US Department of Defense in its annual report to Congress said that China has built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh in 2020.
The sources said that the village is along the disputed border in Upper Subansiri District in Arunanchal Pradesh which is in territory controlled by China.

“The village has been built by China in an area that was occupied by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) after overrunning an Assam Rifles post in 1959, in an operation known as Longju incident along the frontier in Arunachal Pradesh,” the sources clarified.

“For years, they have maintained an Army post in the region and various constructions undertaken by Chinese haven’t happened in a short time,” the sources said.

The US Department of Defense report blamed China for the series of confrontations along the border that culminated into the violent clash in June 2020 in Ladakh’s Galway Valley, which was one of the worst crashes seen in 45 years.

“In 2020, China built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between the Chinese Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh state in the eastern sector of the LAC. These and other infrastructure development efforts along India-China have been a source of consternation in the Indian government,” the Pentagon said. (ANI)

Centre ignoring people of Telangana for Padma awards, alleges CM KCR

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday alleged that the BJP-led Centre has been ‘ignoring’ the people of Telangana for the Padma awards.

Addressing a press conference here today, Rao said, “Centre is not giving Padma awards to people of our state, they’re are ignoring us.”
A total of 119 persons were conferred with Padma awards 2020 by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the national capital today.

The list of 119 Padma awardees comprises seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri.

Former Union Ministers George Fernandes, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj were posthumously honoured with Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award.

Other dignitaries who were awarded Padma Vibhushan include boxer MC Mary Kom, former Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth GCSK, classical singer Chhannulal Mishra and Vishveshateertha Swamiji Sri Pejavara Adhokhaja Matha Udupi (posthumous).

Awardees for the Padma Bhushan include businessman Aanand Mahindra and badminton player PV Sindhu.

Padma Shree awardees include Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, singer Adnan Sami, filmmakers Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor and social activist Harekala Hajabba.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.

The Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards are given to people for their outstanding work in various fields of society, mainly in the fields of art, literature, medicine, sports, education, social work, public work and business. (ANI)

Bodies of missing French climbers found under snow in Nepal

Kathmandu [Nepal]: A search and rescue team recovered the bodies of three French climbers buried under snow, days after they had gone missing in Nepal on a mountain hit by an avalanche in the Everest region.

Nepal’s district police office stated that the search team had located the bodies on Sunday, The Kathmandu Post reported. The bodies, however, were retrieved on Monday and airlifted to Kathmandu for postmortem, Inspector Rishi Raj Dhakal, chief of the Solukhumbu district police office said.
The three climbers, part of an eight-member expedition team, were reported missing on October 31. According to Post, the climbers had last made contact on October 26 via satellite phone from their camp. Local media reports say that they were apparently caught in an avalanche.

“The bodies were recovered at 11 am on Sunday buried nearly two metres under the snow,” said Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, a member of the search and rescue team mobilised by the Nepal National Mountain Guides Association.

“All three bodies were found in the same location,” the Sherpa was quoted as saying by The Kathmandu Post.

The group had been issued permits to climb 6,783-metre Mt Khangtega and 6,423-metre Mt Cholatse. (ANI)

Telangana to showcase startups and women entrepreneurs at EXPO2020 India Pavilion

Dubai [UAE]: Telangana will showcase the success and capabilities of its startups and women entrepreneurs during November 09-12 at India Pavilion EXPO2020 Dubai.

The state has lined up events and meetings for sharing the business opportunities through new innovative ideas, products, and services that the business and startup ecosystem of the state can offer to the global investors.
A 17-member strong business delegation of The Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI), chamber member of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and industry (FICCI), led by the chamber’s president and MD, Creamline Dairy Products, K Bhasker Reddy, will be exploring potential business tie-ups through these meetings and events.

“Government of India has set up an ambitious target of US $400 billion exports for 2021-22 and FTCCI aims at facilitating and supporting the ecosystem. The governments all across the world has captured the flourishing startup community and we are of the opinion that there could be huge synergies going forward between UAE and India and other countries,” said Reddy.

Anil Agarwal, Sr VP, FTCCI and MD of Jeevaka Industries, Meela Jayadev, VP, FTCCI and MD, Sudhakar Irrigation Systems, Gautam Chand Jain, CMD, Pokarana Ltd. are among the other industry leaders from the state, who are part of the business delegation.

The members of the delegation will be meeting Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry besides holding B2B meetings with members of the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC). The delegation will also be part of the India-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) business meet and India-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia meet. It will also hold interactive B2B & B2G meetings aimed at promoting trade and investments.

Among the 14 Startups, which will showcase their innovative capabilities, five have been founded by the women entrepreneurs, and are from diverse sectors, including healthcare, edutech, drones, prop tech, fintech, agritech, electric vehicles and apparel. These startups will pitch in the ‘Elevate’ session which is a pitching event that India Pavilion has designed to attract investors and will allow them to display their innovations to look for potential investors. The participating startups will also learn more about the latest sectoral trends, and the events will also include best practice workshops for startups and fireside conversations with business leaders.

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

China not to attend NSA meeting hosted by India on Afghanistan

New Delhi [India]: China has said it will not attend the regional security dialogue on Afghanistan being hosted by India on November 10 due to a “scheduling issue”, sources said.

They said China has replied to India’s invitation and said it will be unable to attend due to “scheduling issue”.
The sources said China has conveyed that it is open for dialogue with India on Afghanistan multilaterally and bilaterally.

The Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan will be held at the national security advisor (NSA) level and will be chaired by NSA Ajit Doval.

Pakistan, an all-weather ally of China, had earlier declined the invitation to the dialogue.

Sources had earlier said that Pakistan’s decision is unfortunate, but not surprising and reflects its mindset of viewing Afghanistan as its protectorate.

NSAs of Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have confirmed their participation in the dialogue.

On non-participation of Afghanistan in dialogue, the sources said that none of the eight countries recognises or legitimises the Taliban government. India also does not recognise so it has not invited Afghanistan, they added.

Earlier Iran hosted meetings in a similar format in 2018 and 2019. Pakistan had not attended any of them but China did participate.

The sources said as a matter of practice, India invited Pakistan to Delhi meet, “but it’s unfortunate they refuse to attend”.

Participating NSAs will also jointly call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ahead of the Afghan dialogue Ajit Doval will on Tuesday hold bilateral talks with his counterparts Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. (ANI)

Orange vendor from Karnataka who received Padma Shri for contribution in rural education

Bengaluru(Karnataka) [India]: Harekala Hajabba, an orange vendor from Karnataka’s Mangaluru, received Padma Shri Award, India’s second-highest civilian award, from the President of India in the national capital on Monday.

The 66-year-old orange vendor received this award for bringing a revolution in rural education by constructing a school in Harekala-Newpadpu village in Mangaluru. The school, currently, has 175 underprivileged students from the village.
Hajabba, who sells oranges at Mangaluru bus depot since 1977, is illiterate and has never been to school.

The desire to bring revolution in education in his village came to his mind in 1978 when a foreigner asked him the cost of orange.

“As I could not communicate with the foreigner, I felt bad and decided to build a school in the village,” the Padma Awardee told ANI.

“I only know Kannada, not English or Hindi. So I was depressed as I could not help the foreigner. I wondered about constructing a school in my village,” he added.

His dream of constructing a school was realised only after two decades.

The Akshara Santa (Letter Saint), a title that he earned through his philanthropic work, approached former MLA late UT Fareed, who sanctioned the construction in the year 2000.

The school started with 28 students and now accommodates 175 students until Class 10.

Now, Hajabba wants to invest the prize money that he has received after winning various awards in these many years in the construction of more schools in his village.

When asked what his next target is, the 66-year-old man said, “My target is to build more schools and colleges in my village. Many people have donated money and I have accumulated prize money for purchasing the land for the construction of schools and colleges.”

“I have requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to construct a pre-university college (for Class 11 and 12 students) in my village,” he added.

He also thanked President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, district in-charge minister Kota Srinivasa Poojary and MLA UT Khadar for recognising his philanthropic work.

The Central government had announced the names of Padma Awardees in January 2020. But due to COVID-19 protocols, the award was distributed on Monday. (ANI)

IAF to review security at border

New Delhi (India): Amid the ongoing military stand-off with China along the Line of Actual Control, the top brass of the Indian Air Force will review the security situation along the northern borders from Wednesday.

The top brass of the Indian Air Force will sit together from November 10 for three days to discuss the situation on the borders with China and Pakistan during the commanders’ conference, IAF officials said.
This would also be the first commanders’ conference to be presided over by Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari who took over as chief on October 1 last month.

The meeting of the top commanders is also taking place soon after the Indian Army and Air Force carried out a major airborne exercise carrying out drills of inserting special forces and airborne troops in high altitude areas in Ladakh.

The Indian forces carried out the drills soon after the Chinese military carried out drills on their side of the LAC.

The conference would be addressed by the Defence Minister and other senior officials of the military and security apparatus.

The Indian Air Force has actively been involved in the stand-off with China as its forward deployments right after the conflict started last year deterred the Chinese from carrying out any type of misadventure there.

The IAF chief had himself also flown sorties in the MiG-29 fighter jets which have been in Forward Area deployment since May-June last year. (ANI)

Australia playing on our backyard will be special for Pak fans: Ramiz Raja

Lahore [Pakistan]: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja said that Australia playing on Pakistan soil after a gap of 24 years will be special for all fans.

“I am delighted to welcome Australia to Pakistan. From a personal point of view, it pleases me no end that we’ll be engaged in a three-Test match series, connoisseurs delight,” said Raja in an official PCB release.
“Australia is one of the high-performing sides and them playing in our backyard for the first time after a gap of 24 years will be a special treat for the fans. Likewise, it will be a great opportunity for the Australia cricketers to not only play at our iconic venues but also feel and enjoy the respect, love and hospitality that this great country offers, something which most of their previous generation of cricketers missed out by playing offshore,” he added.

PCB on Monday announced details of Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998, which will take place in March and April 2022, and comprise three Tests, three ODIs and one T20I.

The Tests will take place in Karachi (March 3-7), Rawalpindi (March 12-16) and Lahore (March 21-25), while Lahore will be the venue for the four white-ball matches to be played from March 29 to April 5.

The Tests will be played as part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs will be connected to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League – a 13-team event from which the seven highest-placed sides and the hosts, India, will qualify directly for the event proper in 2023.

As part of the reconnoitring process, Cricket Australia’s delegation will visit Pakistan to meet with PCB officials as well as provincial and federal authorities to discuss and finalise matters relating to team operations, logistics, security and Covid-19 protocols.

Australia last toured Pakistan in 1998-99 when Mark Taylor led them to a 1-0 series victory – their first since Richie Benaud’s side defeated Fazal Mahmood’s team by 2-0 in the 1959-60 series. Between the two series, Pakistan hosted Australia in 1964-65 (drew 0-0), 1979-80 (won 1-0), 1982-83 (won 3-0), 1988-89 (won 1-0) and 1994-95 (won 1-0).

Pakistan staged the last four series with Australia offshore – 2002-2003 (Colombo and Sharjah, Pakistan lost 3-0), 2010 (drew 1-1 in England), 2014-15 (won 2-0 in the UAE) and 2018-19 (won 1-0 in the UAE). (ANI)

US reveals plans to develop powerful laser weapon after China’s hypersonic missile test

Washington [US]: The United States is developing a powerful laser weapon capable of blasting missiles and drones after China’s latest “nuclear-capable hypersonic missile” test.

Last month, Boeing and General Atomics Electromagnetics Systems (GA-DMS) was awarded a US Army contract to develop a 300kW-class solid-state “Distributed Gain High Energy Laser Weapon System.”
The delivery of the weapon will be a 300 kW-class distributed gain laser with an integrated Boeing beam director, according to the statement released on October 25.

“The high power, compact laser weapon subsystem prototype that GA-EMS will deliver under this contract will produce a lethal output greater than anything fielded to date,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “This technology represents a leap-ahead capability for air and missile defence that is necessary to support the Army’s modernization efforts and defeat next-generation threats in a multi-domain battlespace.”

The partnership combines both companies’ expertise in Directed Energy to deliver best-in-class, combat-ready protection for the warfighter with unmatched speed, performance, safety and affordability, the statement added.

This comes after media reports the last month stated that China carried out its first-ever hypersonic missile test which took US intelligence by surprise. Multiple reports stated that China carried out a test in the month of August.

According to the reports, the missile flew through low-orbit space before cruising toward its target. It missed the target but the test is said to show “astounding progress” by China on hypersonic missile technology that “caught US intelligence by surprise”.

The US and Russia have also been working on hypersonic missiles. Such weapons fly at five times the speed of sound and can manoeuvre during flight, making them harder to track.

China had described reports of the first-ever test of a “nuclear-capable hypersonic missile” as a routine experiment to test the technology of spacecraft reusability. Responding to a question during a presser, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had said that Bejing conducted “a routine spacecraft experiment to test the technology of spacecraft reusability.”

Later this month, a new Pentagon report revealed that China is constructing the infrastructure necessary to support its nuclear expansion over the next decade.

The Pentagon’s report titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC) 2021”, said that “the accelerating pace of the PRC’s nuclear expansion may enable the PRC to have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027. The PRC likely intends to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030, exceeding the pace and size the DoD projected in 2020.”

China is investing in, and expanding, the number of its land-, sea-, and air-based nuclear delivery platforms and constructing the infrastructure necessary to support this major expansion of its nuclear forces, according to the report which was released on Wednesday.

China has possibly already established a nascent “nuclear triad” with the development of a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) and improvement of its ground and sea-based nuclear capabilities, the report read. (ANI)

Hong Kong administration blind to climate crisis, focuses only on ‘national security threat’: Report

Hong Kong: The Hong Kong administration, which is extremely active on national security law (NSL) — is completely blind to the real threat to the territory that is climate change, according to a report in local media.

Currently, at a time when the impact of the national security law and the related clampdown on freedoms is widening day by day in Hong Kong by the administration, the issue of climate change seems to be immune in the territory.
The Hong Kong administration’s preoccupation with imagined national security threats is blinding it to the real threats to China and its people posed by climate change. It is being distracted from doing anything about the extremely high per capita greenhouse gas pollution from Hong Kong that is worsening those threats, reported Hong Kong Free Press.

Further, the publication stated that to be sure, for decades Hong Kong’s environmental policies have been piecemeal and out of touch with the scale of the threat from climate change, whether to Hong Kong, China or the wider world.

This lacklustre approach is now being made worse by the political pressure on all government departments to orient their operations towards protecting “national security” and away from the Hong Kong people.

In today’s Hong Kong, rationality has been turned on its head. As it transpires, the connections between climate change and the NSL are potentially quite far-reaching, according to Hong Kong Free Press. (ANI)

Pakistan mandates all TV news channels to display country’s map before 9 pm daily bulletin

Islamabad [Pakistan]: The Imran Khan government has mandated all the news channels to show the map of Pakistan daily before airing the 9 pm news bulletin, reported local media.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued a notification to display the new map of Pakistan approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan in August, reported ARY News.
The PEMRAS’s letter titled Streamlining Correct Use of Pakistan Political Map stated, “All the news channels (both public and private) have to flash the political map of Pakistan for 02 seconds before airing the news bulletin at 09:00 pm on regular basis.”

It directed all the satellite TV channel licensees to comply with the recommendation. The letter cited the reference from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on the matter.

PEMRA, the media authority in Pakistan, has been previously blamed for clamping down on news channels through its various orders.

In March, PEMRA had asked news and current affairs satellite channels to refrain from airing “unsubstantiated, judgemental and unipolar remarks” about the country’s National Accountability Bureau, “with an alleged intent to malign the state institution”, without getting the bureau’s point of view, said Dawn.

According to PEMRA, the airing of such content was in violation of the PEMRA (Amendment) Act of 2007 and the Pemra Rules of 2009. (ANI)

Apple testing 120Hz display for its next iPad mini

Washington [US]: American tech giant Apple may be working on a new iPad mini with a 120Hz ProMotion display instead of the existing 60Hz screen.

According to an insider scoop from a Korean forum, Apple is testing the 120Hz ProMotion display for its next iPad mini. The 8.3 panel is said to be manufactured by Samsung Display and will supposedly debut with the next iteration of Apple’s mini tablet, reported GSM Arena.
The sixth gen iPad mini had a profound jelly scroll effect where one side of the display refreshes slower than the other side. Apple dubbed this behaviour as normal though plenty of users disagreed and a ProMotion display will certainly help fix this problem.

The rest of the hardware for the next-gen iPad mini is said to remain largely unchanged from the current model with A15 Bionic chipset at the helm, 4GB RAM and 128GB storage on the base variant. The device is expected to come at a slightly higher starting price. (ANI)

Ashwin prays for Afghanistan

Abu Dhabi [UAE]: Afghanistan will be locking horns with New Zealand on Sunday for their final Group 2 encounter of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin took to Twitter and prayed for Afghanistan’s victory in their Sunday’s match against New Zealand.

India’s hopes of progressing to the semi-finals rely completely on Afghanistan. The Nabi-led side needs to defeat New Zealand for the Men in Blue to have any chance of making it to the semi-finals.

India and Namibia will lock horns against each other in the Super 12 stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Monday.

If Afghanistan defeats the Kiwis, then India needs to beat Namibia and it will then come down to the net run rate between these three teams involved. (ANI)

Punjab: BJP to contest 117 seats

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: The BJP will contest all 117 seats in Punjab in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state, said Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma, who is virtually attending the party national executive meeting being held in the national capital on Sunday.

Punjab is slated to go to Assembly polls in 2022.
In 2017 Assembly polls, Congress had won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years.

Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117-member Punjab Legislative Assembly. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured 3 seats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda are attending the party’s national executive meeting. The discussion is expected to be on the election strategy in seven states that will vote next year. (ANI)

UP: 10 more test positive for Zika virus, tally reaches 89

Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: As 10 new cases of Zika virus were reported in Kanpur on Sunday, the total tally of cases of the mosquito-borne disease in Uttar Pradesh’s district stands at 89, Chief medical officer of Kanpur City, Dr Nepal Singh said.

Dr Anil Nigam Chief Medical Superintendent, Ursala Hospital yesterday said, “Regularly our team is inspecting and Municipal corporation teams have also been deployed for the fogging to destroy mosquito breeding points.”
“Zika virus infection is spreading rapidly in Kanpur. In this case, special caution is required. Arrangements have been made in all hospitals for the treatment of virus-infected people. The health of each patient is being monitored. Surveillance has been improved,” health officials said.

In view of rising cases of the Zika virus in Kanpur, the CM Yogi instructed officials to speed up sanitisation work.

“Infection with the Zika virus is spreading rapidly in Kanpur. Considering the seriousness, special caution is required. Dengue testing should also be intensified. Arrangements should have been made in all hospitals. The health of each patient should be continuously monitored,” the chief minister added.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes species of mosquito, which bites during the day. Symptoms of this disease are mild fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or a headache. (ANI)

Punjab: Punjabi compulsory subject class 1 to 10

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: In a bid to strictly enforce the implementation of Punjabi as a compulsory subject for all students of first to tenth class across the state, the Punjab Cabinet on Sunday approved an amendment in Punjab Learning of Punjabi and other Languages Act, 2008.

After the amendment, the penalties will increase from Rs 25,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 Lakh to Rs 50,000, Rs 1 Lakh and Rs 2 Lakh respectively for contravening the provisions of the said Act.
The Cabinet also gave a go-ahead to introduce this bill in the current session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

According to a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office, any school, which contravenes the provisions of this Act or the rules, made thereunder for a month for the first time, shall be liable for a penalty of Rs 50,000. Provided that if such a school contravenes the provisions of this act or the rules made thereunder for a month for the second time, then it shall be liable for a penalty of Rs 1 Lakh.

Provided further that if such a school contravenes the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder for a month for the third time and thereafter, then it shall be liable for a penalty of Rs 2 Lakh.

Sub Section (1A) under Section 8 of the act has been inserted, where the state government is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient to do so, for reasons to be recorded in writing, it may suitably enhance or reduce any of the penalty as specified in sub-section 1 of Section 8 of this Act by publishing a notification in the official gazette, said the Punjab Chief Minister’s Office in a statement.

Notably, the Punjab Learning of Punjabi and Other Languages Act, 2008 was enacted by the state government with the objective to provide for learning of Punjabi as a compulsory subject by all students studying in first to tenth class and for learning of other languages also and for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Sub-section 1 of Section 8 of the said act relates to the imposition of penalties upon schools that violate the provisions of the said act.

Further, in clause (e) of Section 2 of the said act, the word ‘school’ has been defined as ‘School’ includes any primary school, middle school, high school and senior secondary school, established and maintained by the state government or a local body or panchayat, society or trust or such other schools as may be notified by the state government from time to time.

It may also be mentioned that in pursuance of the aforesaid definition, the state government vide notification dated March 22, 2010, has already notified that Central Schools, Navodya Schools and all schools affiliated with the Central Board of Education and Indian Council of Secondary Education situated in the state of Punjab to be the Schools for the purposes of the said Act.

With the passage of time, it is felt that the aforesaid penalties are on the lower side. Therefore, in order to achieve the objectives for which the act in question was enacted by the state government and also for more effective implementation of the said Act, a need has arisen to enhance the said penalties as specified in sub-section 1 of Section 8 of the Act.

The cabinet also approved the amendment in the Official Language Act, 1967 by including Section 8 (3) under Section 8 (d) of the Punjab State Language (Amendment) Act, 2008 according to which in addition to punishment the provision of penalty against officers or officials who do not conduct official business in the Punjabi language has been made, said the Punjab Chief Minister’s Office in a statement.

Accordingly, the provision has been made against the officer or official for violating the provisions of Punjab State Language Act, 1967 and Amendment Act, 2008 and various notifications made thereunder.

As per this provision, a first-time guilty officer or official can be fined Rs 500, as per the recommendations of the competent authority i.e. Director, Language Department, Punjab. The second offence carries a fine of upto Rs 2,000 and the third offence carries a fine to the extent upto Rs 5,000.

Such penalty shall be levied by the concerned Disbursement and Expenditure Officer on the salary of the officer or official. Provided that before the imposition of such fine concerned officer or official shall be given an opportunity to be heard. (ANI)

Aryan Khan Case: We Will do fair and impartial investigation, says head of NCB SIT

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Deputy Director-General Sanjay Kumar Singh heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Narcotics Control Bureau Headquarters said that a fair and impartial investigation will be done in the six cases taken over by his team from NCB Mumbai including the drugs-on-cruise case.

“We have started the investigation, we will do whatever a fair and impartial investigation demands,” said Kumar.
The SIT arrived in Mumbai on Saturday. Earlier, Speaking to media persons at Mumbai airport, Kumar said, “We have taken over a group of 6 cases. He (Sameer Wankhede) is the zonal director of Mumbai, we will definitely take his assistance in the investigation.”

Speaking to ANI over the phone, an NCB official said that Sameer Wankhede is an Officer of Zonal Director Rank which is equivalent to the rank of a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) and such a senior officer does not become the investigating officer of any case.

“He/she just supervises any investigation of the zone. So it’s baseless to say that Sameer Wankhede will cease to investigate these 6 cases. Actually, he was never investigating these cases,” he said.

An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on October 2. A total of 20 people, including two Nigerian nationals and Aryan Khan, have been arrested so far in the case. (ANI)

Direct flights to promote Vietnam-US cooperation

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Deputy Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang said operating direct flights between Vietnam and the US will promote cooperation in economics, trade, tourism, education, and people-to-people exchanges.

She made the comment at a virtual Ministry press conference on Thursday which also touched upon Vietnam Airlines’ plan to conduct its first regular commercial flights to the US starting late this month, after 20 years of preparation.
Hang said Vietnam Airlines recently received approval from the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for its aviation transport safety plan, paving the way for the airline to be licensed to operate regular flights between the two countries.

According to Hang, Vietnamese agencies are coordinating final procedures to authorize the plan and will assist other airlines that wish to operate direct flights to the US. (ANI/VOVWORLD)

Google Pixel Fold expected to launch in 2022, camera details revealed

Washington [US]: Google may launch its first Pixel foldable phone in 2022. While people eagerly wait for Google’s first foldable handset to come out, new details about the upcoming device are emerging.

As per 9to5Google, the phone will not use the same high-end camera sensors found in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
As per information discovered in the most recent release of Google’s Camera app, the upcoming folding Pixel’s codename is ‘Pipit’, which was changed from ‘Passport’ at some point. The foldable Pixel phone is expected to use the same 12.2MP main camera that’s found on the Pixel 5.

That’s the Sony IMX363 instead of the 50MP GN1 sensor that’s found in the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Another Sony IMX386 is also expected to be used on this device, expectedly for the ultrawide camera.

In addition to these two cameras, there’s evidence of dual IMX355 sensors, which is the 8MP selfie camera on the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 6 (non-Pro). It’s believed that the ‘Pipit’ will have dual selfie cameras: one for an external display while the device is folded, and another on the interior display while the device is unfolded.

Google’s Pixel foldable is expected to arrive sometime in 2022. It was previously believed that Google would announce a foldable during its most recent Pixel 6 launch event, but that didn’t end up happening.

The latest evidence of a 2022 release is referenced by “isPixel2022Foldable” that’s mentioned in the Camera APK’s code. If we refer to other similar references like “IsPixel2019”, which referred to the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, then we can make the assumption that the phone is arriving next sometime next year.

The most recent unveiling of Android 12L – a version of Android 12 optimized for tablets, foldables, and ChromeOS devices – aims at a Q1 2022 release. This means we can expect to see a foldable Pixel device announced by Google sometime after that, though it’s not clear whether that would happen during the H1 or H2 of 2022. (ANI)

Kerala: 6,580 fresh COVID-19 infections, 46 deaths recorded

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India]: Kerala reported 6,580 new COVID-19 cases and 46 deaths in the last 24 hours.

According to the state government’s data, 62,219 samples were tested during the last 24 hours.
As many as 7,085 fresh recoveries pushed the overall discharges/recoveries to 48,94,435. The death toll mounted to 33,048.

Meanwhile, India reported 12,729 fresh COVID-19 cases and 221 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Health Ministry.

The country’s active caseload stands at 1,48,922. With 12,165 recoveries in the last 24 hours, the cumulative recoveries reached 3,37,24,959. The total death toll has reached 4,59,873. (ANI)

PM Modi unveils statue of Adi Shankaracharya at Kedarnath

Rudraprayag (Uttarakhand) [India], November 5 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday unveiled the statue of Adi Shankaracharya at the premises of the Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.

The Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya has been reconstructed after its destruction in the 2013 Uttarakhand floods.
Before the inauguration, the Prime Minister offered prayers and performed ‘aarti’ at the ancient temple. He paid obeisance to Lord Shiva and undertook circumambulation of the Kedarnath shrine after offering prayers.

Located on the bank of Mandakini river, Kedarnath Temple is the of the four ancient pilgrimage sites referred to as ‘Char Dham Yatra’ which also include Yamunotri, Gangotri and Badrinath. Built in the 8th century A.D. by Jagad Guru Adi Shankaracharya, Kedarnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Following this, Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate key infrastructure projects worth Rs 130 crores, including Saraswati Retaining Wall Aasthapath and Ghats, Mandakini Retaining Wall Aasthapath, Tirth Purohit Houses and Garud Chatti bridge on river Mandakini. He will also lay the foundation stone for multiple projects.

Prime Minister is scheduled to address a public rally during his visit to the shrine. His visit comes ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls in the state. (ANI)

Muhurat Trading: Equity benchmark indices close in green

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: The special session of Muhurat Trading ended with the key indices including the auto sector and consumer discretionary goods and services gaining substantially.

The special trading window marks the beginning of Samvat 2078. It is the Hindu calendar that starts on Diwali.
At the closing bell, the BSE S&P Sensex was up by 295.70 points or 0.49 per cent, while the Nifty 50 gained by 87.60 points or 0.49 per cent.

In BSE Sensex all the sectors gained. The sectors that saw maximum gain were the auto sector that was up by 1.54 per cent, the telecom sector that was up by 1.19 per cent, the capital goods that was up by 1.16 and industrials was up by 1.13 per cent.

Among stocks, the top contributor was Mahindra and Mahindra, which surged 2.87 per cent to Rs 872.95 per share, followed by ITC which surged 1.82 per cent to Rs 226.55 per share. Bajaj Auto, Larsen and Kotak Mahindra too traded with a positive bias.

However, ICICI Bank cracked by 0.43 per cent, followed by Ultra TechCement by 0.34 per cent and Asian Paints by 0.13 per cent.

The stock market will remain closed on November 5 due to Diwali Balipratipada.

Actor Bhagyashree rang the opening bell along with the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the BSE Ashish Chauhan.

“Bollywood Actress Bhagyashree with Ashish Chauhan, MD & CEO BSE India and others Ringing the Opening Bell to mark the Deepavali Muhurat Trading,” BSE India tweeted.

Before the opening, a Laxmi puja was also performed here in Mumbai.

Ashish Chauhan performed the puja along with his family members at BSE office located at Dalal Street in Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda. Bhagyashree was also present during the puja and offered prayers to Goddess Laxmi.

With the completion of this Puja, the special one-hour long Mahurat Trading session commences in BSE. The market closed at 7.15 pm. (ANI)

Dravid stalwart of cricket: Rohit Sharma

Abu Dhabi [UAE]: India opening batter Rohit Sharma has welcomed the move of appointing Rahul Dravid as the head coach of the senior men’s team.

Dravid was appointed head coach of the senior side on Wednesday and he will take over the reins from Ravi Shastri after the ongoing T20 World Cup.
“Yeah, is it official? Obviously, we were playing the game, so I had no idea. Congratulations to him for coming back but in a different capacity in the Indian team. We look forward to working with him. He’s a stalwart of Indian cricket, and it’ll be nice working with him in the future,” said Rohit during a virtual post-match press conference.

Earlier, Dravid said that he is honoured to be appointed as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. The Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sulakshana Naik and RP Singh on Wednesday unanimously appointed Rahul Dravid as the head coach of Team India (Senior Men).

Dravid will take charge from the upcoming home series against New Zealand. “It is an absolute honour to be appointed as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team and I am really looking forward to this role. Under Shastri, the team has done very well, and I hope to work with the team to take this forward,” said Dravid in a statement released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“Having worked closely with most of the boys either at NCA, U19, and India A setup, I know they have the passion and desire to improve every day. There are some marquee multi-team events in the next two years, and I look forward to working with the players and the support staff to achieve our potential,” he added.

The BCCI had invited applications for the said position on October 26 to appoint Ravi Shastri’s successor, whose term gets over after the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup.

India became the first Asian team to win a Test series in Australia (2018-19) and followed it with another series win in 2020-21. India was also the first team to win all five T20Is in a bilateral series when it blanked New Zealand 5-0. Under Shastri and his team’s guidance, India won all their seven Test series at home. (ANI)

MG Astor debuts on the Mumbai roads and enhanced the festive celebrations

New Delhi [India]: After receiving a good response for Astor, India’s first SUV with personal AI assistant and first-in-segment Autonomous (Level 2) technology.

The newly launched Astor has received positive feedback from the customers and was sold out for 2021 within 20 minutes of opening the bookings.
MG Mumbai enhanced the festive celebration by delivering the first batch to customers on the auspicious occasion. This is particularly special considering acute shortage of chips. The company is trying its best to improve the availability to meet its initial target of 4000 – 5000 deliveries by December end 2021.

The delivery ceremony was curated in Mumbai’s leading 5-star hotel over lunch and customers experienced a grand celebration.

Dealer Principal Gautam Modi, Nidhi Modi along with MG India Offical’s expressed gratitude to the customer for showcasing the continuous trust in the brand.

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

Delhi: Air quality ‘very poor’

New Delhi [India]: The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi continues to remain in the ‘very poor’ category, said the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

As per SAFAR’s analysis at 2.21 pm today, Delhi’s overall air quality was found to be in ‘very poor’ category with overall AQI standing at 339.
Earlier on Wednesday, the concentrations of Pollution Meter (PM) 2.5 and PM 10 stood at 252 in the ‘poor’ and 131 in the ‘very poor’ category respectively.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that the air quality is likely to deteriorate on November 5 and November 6 but remain in the ‘very poor’ category. (ANI)

Get flat Rs 1,000 cashback on Samsung A12 at Bajaj Finserv Market

New Delhi [India]: Shop for Samsung mobile phones at EMI Store on the lowest EMIs and get 5% cashback on Samsung mobiles. Buy the Samsung Galaxy A12 on the Bajaj Finserv EMI Store and get Rs. 1,000/- cashback on your purchase. Other benefits include free home delivery, zero down payment on select products and flexible repayment tenor.

One of the best-selling Samsung smartphones on the EMI Store include the Samsung Galaxy A12 (128GB Storage, 4GB RAM) on No Cost EMI starting Rs 2,500. Shop for it today and get a flat Rs 1,000/- cashback on your purchase.
Benefits of purchasing a Samsung A12 at Bajaj Finserv Market:

This festive season, shoppers can bring home the

Samsung Galaxy A12 at EMI store

of Bajaj Finserv on the lowest EMIs. Customers can also avail of other exciting offers on the EMI Store, such as instant discounts and cashback vouchers.

How to shop for Samsung A12 at Bajaj Finserv Market:

  1. Log in to the Bajaj Finserv EMI Store using the registered mobile number
  2. Choose the preferred Samsung smartphone model, add it to the cart, select the repayment tenor and proceed to checkout.
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  4. Click on the ‘Generate OTP’ option and enter the OTP sent to the registered mobile number in the field to complete the purchase.
  5. A confirmation SMS will be sent to the registered mobile number with the date and time of delivery. Finserv MARKETS is an online digital marketplace by Bajaj Finserv Direct Limited, a subsidiary of Bajaj Finserv. Finserv MARKETS is a one-stop digital marketplace that assists consumers to compare and choose from a wide range of financial products. Its core proposition is driven by a solid intent to deliver tailor-made financial products to the consumers. It offers customers abundant choices in providing the required financial products to achieve all their financial and personal goals. Finserv MARKETS has partnered with leading financial providers in the Lending, Insurance, Investments and Payments space to provide 500+ financial and lifestyle products, all in one place. For further information, please visit or download Finserv MARKETS App on Google Play Store or App Store. This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

BJP’s defeat is victory of farmers: Tikait

New Delhi [India]: Following the defeat of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana by-polls, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday said it is a “victory of farmers’ movement”.

Speaking to ANI, Tikait said, “They want to suppress the people of this country. Their strong-arm tactics are increasing. They want to sell the country. Inflation is rising day by day. People are upset with their governance.”
“BJP has lost in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. This defeat has been rewarded by the people who are upset with them. BJP’s defeat is the victory of our movement,” Tikait said.

Describing the victory of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD)’s candidate Abhay Singh Chautala on Haryana’s Ellenabad assembly seat, the BKU leader said “People have given their stamp of approval to the farmers’ movement by supporting Chautala.”

Speaking about Madhya Pradesh by-poll results Tikait said, “We will strengthen our movement in Madhya Pradesh because the victory of BJP is the victory of strong-arm tactics.”

He also said that if the Centre does not listen to farmers, then BJP will keep on losing. “Their promises and their actions are different. They are not fulfilling what they promised earlier,” he said.

By-polls for three Lok Sabha constituencies, 30 Assembly seats took place on October 30 and the results were declared on November 2. (ANI)

Netflix forays into mobile gaming with launch of 5 games for Android users

Washington [US]; Popular streaming giant Netflix has launched the first collection of games available for Android users worldwide.

Netflix subscribers can now play five mobile games. These include ‘Stranger Things: 1984’, ‘Stranger Things 3: The Game’, ‘Shooting Hoops’, ‘Card Blast’, and ‘Teeter Up’.
The rollout started on Tuesday with the Netflix games available to download on the Google Play app store for all members on Android mobile and tablet devices globally. The mobile games will now begin slowly rolling out on the Netflix app for Android.

Android users will be able to pick them through the dedicated games row or games tab available on their mobile devices. Users can also look at these games from a drop-down menu on tablets, and then download the games via Google Play Store. Once downloaded, the games will be available for access directly through the Netflix app for its subscribers.

As per Variety, the games on Netflix are included as part of the overall subscription — with no extra fees, ads or in-app purchases. Some of the games can be played offline too. There is a limit on the number of devices users can play on but Netflix has not specified the number yet.

Just two of the initial batch of five games titles are tied to a Netflix original, the popular ‘Stranger Things’ series.

‘Stranger Things 3: The Game’ developed by studio BonusXP, is a companion game to Season 3 of the show, letting you play through familiar events from the series while also “uncovering never-before-seen quests, character interactions, and secrets!” according to its description.

‘Stranger Things: 1984’ is described as a stylized, retro action-adventure similar to the arcade games from the ’80s, letting players solve puzzles and collect Eggos and gnomes along the way.

The games on Netflix are available in many languages. This means that users can get the games even in Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, and Tamil, among others.

These games are not available on the Kids profile on Netflix so users will be required to enter the PIN they have set for child prevention to play games on their devices.

Netflix announced its plans of entering the gaming market earlier this year in July. However, the games are not available for iOS users yet. Netflix is planning to roll out support for games on iOS in the next few months. (ANI)

T20I Rankings: Babar Azam becomes top-ranked batter

Dubai [UAE]: Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s two successive half-centuries in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 have helped him overtake England’s Dawid Malan and grab the top position for batters in the ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings.

Babar, who scored 51 against Afghanistan and 70 against Namibia to lead the 2009 champions into the semifinals, is at the top for the sixth time in his career. The 27-year-old had first attained top position on January 28, 2018. He is presently also ranked No. 1 in ODIs.
Babar’s tally of 834 rating points keeps him 36 points ahead of Dawid Malan but Babar’s career-best remains 896 rating points that he achieved after scoring 65 against England at Cardiff on 5 May 2019. Malan had been at the top since 29 November last year.

England’s performances in the tournament too reflect in the rankings, with both their openers Jos Buttler and Jason Roy moving up in the latest weekly update. Buttler has gained eight slots to reach a career-best ninth position after smashing his maiden T20I hundred against Sri Lanka while Roy is up to five places to 14th.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has topped the bowling charts for the first time in his career after two successive three-wicket hauls against South Africa and England. He replaces South Africa’s Tabraiz Shamsi, who was at the top since 10 April this year.

The top four bowlers in the rankings are all wrist spinners, with England’s Adil Rashid overtaking Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan to take third place with a career-best 730 rating points. A fast bowler who has made rapid rise is South Africa’s Anrich Nortje, who has gained 18 slots to reach the seventh position.

At the top of the all-rounders’ table, Mohammad Nabi has caught up with Shakib Al Hasan on 271 rating points. Hasaranga is fourth on this list. (ANI)

Bihar bypolls: JD-U retains Tarapur, Kusheshwar Asthan Assembly seats

Patna (Bihar) [India], November 2 (ANI): The Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday retained both Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan Assembly seats that went to by-elections on October 30.

In Tarapur, JD-U’s Rajeev Kumar Singh defeated his nearest rival RJD’s Arun Kumar by a margin of 3,852 votes. While Singh won 79,090 votes, Kumar bagged 75,238 votes. Meanwhile, Congress could manage to get 3,590 votes.
JD-U’s Aman Bhushan Hajari defeated his nearest rival RJD’s Ganesh Bharti by a margin of 12,695 votes in Kusheshwar Asthan. While Hajari bagged 59,887 votes, Bharti got 47,192 votes. Congress only secured 5,603 votes.

The assembly seats of Tarapur constituency in Munger and Kusheshwar Asthan in Darbhanga fell vacant after the deaths of JD-U MLAs Mewalal Choudhary and Shashi Bhushan Hazari, respectively.

Meanwhile, reacting to JD-U’s win in Bihar by-polls, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, “On NDA’s victory in Bihar assembly by-elections I congratulate @NitishKumar @sanjayjaiswal and

@BJP4Bihar and JD (U) Congratulations to all the workers and I express my gratitude to the public.”

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the NDA government will continue to work in the same way for the welfare and development of the people of Bihar, added Shah.

LJP leader Pashupati Kumar Paras said that despite RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s poll campaigning in both the assembly seats, the party witnessed a loss in the elections.

“The campaigning done by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur assembly setas for by-polls in Bihar was a loss for their party rather than a gain,” said Paras. (ANI)

Tamil Nadu logs 973 new COVID-19 cases, 21 deaths

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: Tamil Nadu reported 973 new COVID-19 cases and 21 fatalities in the last 24 hours on Tuesday.

According to the health bulletin released, the total number of active cases in the state now stands at 11,147.
The state reported 1,114 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative recoveries to 26,57,282.

The death toll has gone up to 36,157 with 21 more deaths in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

Himachal : Congress sweeps bypolls in state

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India]: Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday said that he humbly accepts the verdict given by people in by-elections to one Lok Sabha seat and three Assembly constituencies.

The chief minister said, “I humbly accept the verdict given by the people in by-elections. The results were not as per expectations. The BJP lost Mandi Parliamentary seat with a narrow margin.”
The Congress party won three Assembly seats that went to bypolls on October 30. Congress also won the Mandi Parliament seat. (ANI)

World Boxing C’ships: Akash Kumar storms into quarter finals

New Delhi [India]: India’s Akash Kumar stormed into the quarter-finals at the 2021 AIBA Men’s Boxing Championships with a comprehensive victory against Puerto Rico’s Caleb Tirado in Belgrade, Serbia on Sunday.

Both the boxers, playing their first match in the competition, started with an aggressive note and traded punches continuously in a highly busy first two rounds of the 54kg Last-16 bout. The 21-year-old Indian had received a walkover in his opening match while Tirade was given a bye in the first round.
The tallest among the two pugilists, Akash made good use of his height and landed some sharp punches to tilt the momentum in his favour. Having taken a comfortable lead after the first two rounds, Akash showed tactical brilliance and started maintaining distance in the final round which denied his opponent any chance to make a comeback into the match.

With this dominating 5-0 triumph, Akash is now a win away from confirming a medal for the country at the ongoing Championships.

Later tonight, three more Indian pugilists will play their respective pre-quarterfinal bouts. In the +92kg category, Narender will be up against experienced campaigner and 2006 Asian Games champion Tajikistan’s Jakhon Qurbonov. While current Asian champion Sanjeet (92kg) and debutant Nishant Dev (71kg) will play against Georgia’s Giorgi Tchigladze and Mexico’s Alvarez Verde respectively.

Earlier, in the matches played late on Saturday, seasoned boxer Shiva Thapa made his way into the Last-16 stage with an easy 5-0 victory against John Brown in the 63.5kg round-of-32 contest. The five-time Asian champion put up a dominating show against his opponent from Sierra Leone to continue his winning run at the tournament.

Meanwhile, another Indian in action, Govind Sahani (48kg) ended his campaign in the pre-quarterfinals stage after suffering a 4-0 defeat against Georgia’s Sakhil Alakhverdovi. Sachin Kumar also went down fighting against USA’s Robby Gonzales in the 80kg Last-32 match.

India’s 10 boxers, from the 13-member Indian contingent that took part at the world’s prestigious event, made their way into the pre-quarterfinals stage.

Apart from Govind, who made exit on Saturday, the challenge is still alive for the remaining nine boxers at the tournament, which has been witnessing strong competition between 650 top boxers from more than 100 participating countries from across the world. (ANI)

Xi Jinping last ventured out of China 21 months ago, COVID-19 one main reason

Beijing [China]: As the world leaders met in person to address the G20 summit in Rome, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the summit virtually owing to a resurgence of COVID-19 in the country.

Xi has not left China in 21 months. His last trio outside the country was in January 2020.
COVID-19 outbreak in China is being seen as one overt reason for not stepping out of the country.

Interestingly, the Chinese President has also not met his American counterpart, Joe Biden who assumed charge in January this year.

Jinping is also scheduled to address the climate talks in the coming week at United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) virtually where the country’s commitment to “curbing” the carbon emissions has been seen as important to blunt the dreadful results of climate change, reported the New York Times.

There has been a shift in the domestic as well as the foreign policy under Xi Jinping in the last few months.

China does not feel the compulsion to cooperate or even be seen as a cooperative nation to the United States and its allies on anything apart from its own terms, reported the NYT.

China’s ambition to position itself as an alternative to the American leadership has had a big blow due to the absence of Xi Jinping which has contributed to the “sharp deterioration” in its relation with the other countries around the globe.

As the Communist Party congress is scheduled next year and Jinping is expected to continue in the office for another five years, the officials are occupied with protecting his health and internal political machinations, resulting in the low priority of the face to face diplomacy for the President than it was in his first years in office, according to the newspaper.

Jinping has led himself to the deprivation of the chances to counter the decline in China’s reputation amid the escalating tensions on trade, Taiwan.

It has not even been a year since Jinping had made concessions to lock an agreement on investment with the European Union. However, the deal was messed up over political sanctions. China has since then not taken up an invitation for the president to hold a meeting with the EU leaders.

“It eliminates or reduces opportunities for engagements at the top leadership level,” NYT quoted a senior analyst with the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin, Helena Legarda as saying on the lack of Jinping’s travels.

“Diplomatically speaking, in-person meetings are very often fundamental to try and overcome leftover obstacles in any sort of agreement or to try to reduce tensions,” NYT further quoted her as saying.

The absence of Xi Jinping has crushed the little hope that the G20 summit in Rome and the COP26 can progress on either of the two most essential issues that the world is coping up with: the recovery from the pandemic and global warming, reported NYT.

Joe Biden had sought to meet Jinping on the sidelines of the meetings he is attending, keeping up with his strategy to work with China on issues pertaining to climate change. However, the agreement has been reached to hold a “virtual summit”, informed the NYT.

“If Xi were to leave China, he would either need to adhere to Covid protocols upon return to Beijing or risk criticism for placing himself above the rules that apply to everyone else,” NYT quoted a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who was the director for China at the National Security Council under President Barack Obama, Ryan Hass as saying.

However, the Chinese government has not given up on diplomacy as China took the anchor role along with Russia to negotiate with the Taliban since its return to power in August in Afghanistan. Jinping has also had conference calls with Germany’s outgoing chancellor, Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron of France and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, according to the NYT.

However, there has been a specific halt in the international travel of Jinping. He had left China for the last time in January 2020 during his visit to Myanmar, only a few days before announcing lockdown in Wuhan.

In the pre-COVID times, Jinping visited 14 countries on an average annually with 34 days abroad, reported NYT citing Thomas.

“He no longer feels that he needs international support because he has so much domestic support or domestic control. This general effort to court America and also the European countries is less today than it was during his first term,” NYT quoted a professor of political science at the University of California, Shih as saying. (ANI)

Kerala: Schools to re-open

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India]: As Kerala is all set to re-open schools from Monday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the guidelines prepared jointly by the Department of Health and the Department of Education need to be strictly followed by all schools.

“It is very important to keep the schools functioning in a safe manner. The support of teachers and parents alike is essential in this regard. For this, the guidelines prepared jointly by the Department of Health and the Department of Education in collaboration with other departments need to be strictly followed,” the Chief Minister said.
“Important instructions have been passed on to schools and to parents also,” Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister said that the schools would implement necessary instructions to control congestion in schools, maintain maximum social distance among children, and ensure cleanliness in classrooms and surroundings.

“Each school will work in collaboration with the health department to take the necessary steps to complete the safety procedures. Necessary mechanisms are in place to monitor and implement these activities,” he said.

Detailing on the government’s decision over re-opening schools in the state, Vijayan said that the study was able to progress well through online classes, but students missed the school ambience.

“There were challenges in online education but the situation is changing from Monday,” he said.

“The number of new cases and patients undergoing treatment has been greatly reduced. The government has taken the decision with utmost vigilance. Classes one to seven, classes 10 and 12 will start from November 1 and the rest from November 15, he added. (ANI)

Pele remembers ‘beautiful friendship’ with Maradona on Argentine birthday

Sao Paulo [Brazil]: Brazilian football great Pele remembered his fellow legend late Diego Maradona on Saturday as the mercurial Argentine was recalled all around the world on his 61st birth anniversary.

Three-time FIFA World Cup winner Pele took to Instagram and wrote: “God gave him the genius. The world gave him its love. Today is Diego’s Birthday. Forever, on this day, anyone who loves football will remember what he used to do with the ball. As for me, personally, I have the chance to fondly remember the beautiful friendship we had. These memories are a real gift.”
Pele and Maradona had often vied for the title of best footballer in history. The Brazilian and Argentine were jointly named best player of the 20th century by FIFA in 2000.

Maradona died on November 25th last year after suffering a heart attack. Maradona had begun his professional career with Argentinos Juniors at the age of 16 and he went on to become one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football.

With Boca Juniors, he won one League title; with Barcelona, he clinched one Copa del Rey, one Spanish Super Cup and one Copa de la Liga; and with Napoli, he lifted a UEFA Cup, two league titles, one Coppa Italia and one Super Cup.

With Argentina, he won the World Cup in 1986, a tournament in which he stood out, above all, in a match against England. He scored two goals, including one with his hand which went down in history as ‘the hand of God’. (ANI)

T20 WC: Final will be either between India-Pakistan or Australia-England

New Delhi [India]: Former Australia spinner Shane Warne has predicted that either India-Pakistan or England-Australia will square off in the finals of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Warne’s prediction came after England hammered Australia by eight wickets on Saturday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the Super 12 stage.
“I still believe the teams that will top each group & make it through will look like this, plus semi’s & final…England, Australia, Pakistan and India. Semi’s — Eng V India, Aust V Pak So final will be either India V Pak or Aust V England,” tweeted Warne.

Jos Buttler played an unbeaten knock of 71 and his side beat Australia by eight wickets on Saturday at the Dubai International Stadium. The innings was highlighted by 23 runs scored over long-on, including three towering sixes through that region that all travelled more than 90 metres.

England and Pakistan have won all their three games in the World Cup so far. Australia has won two matches out of three.

India has so far played just one game which they ended up losing against Pakistan. Virat Kohli and boys will next take on New Zealand on Sunday evening in Dubai. (ANI)

Petrol & Diesel prices rise

New Delhi [India]: Petrol and diesel prices increased for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday to touch record high levels across the country.

With a hike of 35 paise a litre, the price of petrol in Delhi rose to its highest-ever level of Rs 109.34 a litre. The price of diesel also saw a hike by 35 paise and took the fuel’s rate to Rs 98.07 per litre in the national capital.
Mumbai also reported a surge in fuel prices as compared to yesterday. The petrol in retail cost stands at Rs 115.51 per litre whereas diesel costs Rs 106.23 per litre today in Mumbai.

As for Kolkata, the price of petrol is Rs 109. 79 per litre, while diesel is Rs 101.19 per litre. In Chennai, petrol and diesel cost Rs 106.04 and Rs 102.25 per litre respectively.

Petrol and diesel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of value-added tax.

Meanwhile, the Central government is in talks with several oil-exporting countries on the issue of supply and demand of oils but there is no possibility of immediate relief in prices.

Earlier, a source told ANI that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas recently raised concerns about the matter of pricing, supply and demand of oils to the major oil-producing countries.

“As crude oil prices rise internationally, the petroleum ministry has called on the energy ministries of many countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Russia and others,” said the source. (ANI)

“Women are torch-bearers”

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India]: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik proclaimed that women are the torch-bearers of an “Inclusive Odisha”.

Addressing an event in Bhubaneswar, Chief Minister Patnaik described how his government has steered women to play a huge role in the growth story of new Odisha- a story that is aspirational, empowering and transformational.
He said, “My Government has always held that ‘No household, no society, no state, no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women.’ At the core of our key initiatives is the effort to make girls and women financially independent and truly empowered.”

He said that the representation of women in democratic institutions is a significant area of focus for him. “Women must be represented at all levels of decision making – from the grassroots panchayats to the Assemblies and Parliament,” he added.

“In achieving the objective to this end, he said, Odisha has reserved 50 per cent seats for women in panchayats. We support the reservation of women in policy-making bodies,” the CM said.

“In a first by any political party, Biju Janata Dal reserved one-third of the seats for women in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

Speaking on the Government’s flagship programme Mission Shakti, he said that its empowerment model encompasses 70 lakh women in all habitations across the state. “It caters to the millions of ordinary women who aspire better lives for themselves and their families. Mission Shakti symbolises the transformation that is happening across the state – helping women emerge as decision-makers and torch bearers of a new inclusive Odisha,” Patnaik said.

He also spoke on Schemes like ‘Mamata’ that gives dignity to pregnant women by assuring them support at a vulnerable time, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana that provides Rs 10 lakh coverage for women and Sudakshya seeking to provide quality technical education to girls. He said that our land documents are also issued in the name of women, and Odisha is a state with the highest number of girls in hostels in the country.

Expressing his views on women, he said that “Woman signifies Shakti – power in its most primordial sense. She is the storehouse of the energy that drives the universe. Energy so potent that it can transform everything it touches.”

The Chief Minister congratulated all the winners of the event promoting women empowerment and wished them good luck in their endeavours.

Joining the event, Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly Surjya Narayan Patro spoke on how Mission Shakti has changed the lives of millions of women. He said that women in Odisha are increasingly proving their mettle in every sphere of life. (ANI)

Mizoram: 579 new Covid cases

Aizawl (Mizoram) [India]: Mizoram reported 579 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the active caseload to 6,926 informed the state Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) on Sunday.

The state’s positivity rate stands at 9.74 per cent. Also, one death was reported as per the bulletin in the last 24 hours.
According to the state health bulletin, the number of cumulative cases in the state has mounted to 1,21,359 including 1,14,002 recoveries and 431 deaths.

Aizawl accounts for the most active cases in the state with 3,840 infections followed by Lunglei at 798, and then 621 active cases in Serchhip.

27 new cases were confirmed by TrueNAT test, 344 cases were reported through the Rapid Antigen test and 208 samples were reported positive through Zoram Medical College (ZMC) RT-PCR test. (ANI)

Rahul Gandhi & others pay tribute to Indira Gandhi on her 37th death anniversary

New Delhi [India]: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday paid tributes to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Shakti Sthal in the national capital on her 37th death anniversary.

Taking to Twitter, he said, “My grandmother continued to serve the country fearlessly till the last moment – her life is a source of inspiration for us. Best example of women power, humble tribute to Indira Gandhi on her martyrdom day.”
Indira Gandhi served as the first and only woman Prime Minister of India from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984.

She was shot dead by two of her own bodyguards at her official residence at Akbar Road on October 31, 1984, which led to anti-Sikh riots in several parts of the country. (ANI)

General election kicks off in Japan

Tokyo [Japan]: Polling stations have opened in Japan where elections to the lower house of parliament are taking place on Sunday.

The polling stations opened at 07:00 local time on Sunday (22:00 GMT on Saturday ) and eligible voters will be able to cast their ballots until 20:00 local time on Sunday (11:00 GMT).
Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected to retain the majority of seats in the lower house with the party’s candidates likely to occupy at least 233 out of the total 465 seats (289 single-member districts and 176 elected under proportional representation).

A total of 1,051 candidates from nine parties are competing for the parliamentary seats. The general election has already set two records. This is the shortest period between the election of a prime minister, which Fumio Kishida won on October 4, and the dissolution of parliament, which took place on October 14. Moreover, the election campaign this year was the shortest in the post-war history of Japan. (ANI/Sputnik)

National Unity Day: Leaders pay tribute to symbol of determination, architect of modern India Sardar Patel

New Delhi [India]: ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ is being celebrated across the country on Sunday on the occasion of the 146th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Since 2014, October 31 is observed as National Unity Day marking the birth anniversary of Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will on Sunday attend the Rashtriya Ekta Divas or National Unity Day celebrations at Kevadiya in Gujarat at 8 AM, near the 182-metre-tall statue dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, informed the office of Shah in a tweet.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari paid his humble tributes on national unity day.

Taking to Twitter today, Nitin Gadkari wrote in Hindi, “Humble tributes to a symbol of determination, strong will and the architect of modern India, Bharat Ratna awardee, Iron Man of India, Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ji, on his birth anniversary. Happy National Unity Day to all. #RashtriyaEktaDiwas #SardarVallabhbhaiPatel #NationalUnityDay”

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri called Patel a stalwart of India’s freedom struggle.

“I join the nation in paying tribute to the Iron Man and towering architect of independent India, Bharat Ratna Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Ji. A stalwart of India’s freedom struggle, he laid the foundation of a vibrant and united India. His will and resolve continue to inspire generations,” tweeted Puri today.

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal said that the nation will always be grateful to Patel for the steps taken by him for Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.

“On the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the iron man who united the nation, I pay my respects and tributes to him.#RashtriyaEktaDiwas. My best wishes to all the countrymen. The nation will always be grateful to him for the steps taken by him for Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat,” tweeted Goyal today.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also extended his wishes today on National Unity Day.

“Congratulations on ‘National Unity Day’! The birth anniversary of ‘Iron Man’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was dedicated to the unity and integrity of India, is celebrated as ‘National Unity Day’. This day inspires us to live with the spirit of peace, harmony, cooperation and fraternity,” tweeted Adityanath in Hindi. (ANI)

Last rites of actor Puneeth Rajkumar performed in Bengaluru

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: The last rites of late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar were performed today with state honours at Sree Kanteerava Studios in Bengaluru.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and a huge crowd of fans were present at the studio to pay their last respect to the late star.
Puneeth passed away on October 29 at the age of 46 following a cardiac arrest. He was admitted to Vikram Hospital in Bengaluru, after experiencing chest pain, where he breathed his last.

The demise of Puneeth took the entire country by shock and several popular actors from Mumbai and South film industry including Dhanush, Mahesh Babu, Jr NTR, Ram Charan, Abhishek Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, among others, have expressed their condolences.

Apart from that, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other noted politicians including Karnataka CM Basavaraj S Bommai, Rahul Gandhi, Prakash Javdekar and Nirmala Sitharaman also mourned his death.

Son of matinee idol Rajkumar, Puneeth is also lovingly called ‘Appu’ and ‘Power Star’ by his fans. He was associated with the silver screen since he was a child.

The 46-year-old actor has been the lead star in 29 films since his 2002 acting debut in ‘Appu’, with his last release being ‘Yuvarathnaa’, which came out in April earlier this year. His other notable performances include, ‘Raam’, ‘Hudugaru’, and ‘Anjani Putra’. (ANI)

India’s leading motivational speaker, Sajan Shah ventures into the field of Public relations

New Delhi [India]: India’s renowned motivational speaker, Sajan Shah is all set to venture into the Public Relations and social media marketing field with the launch of his new platform.

The latter has decided to launch a new platform that will dedicatedly manage the corporate communication and Public relations of various prominent brands across the world. The decision has been taken in response to an industry he considered inefficient and cost prohibitive for most startups and small businesses.
Filling the gaping hole for businesses that were previously unable to afford public relations, his new venture will focus on connecting brands with the media in an efficient and cost effective way.

“The platform will be focused towards building strong and long-term relationships with brands to effectively manage their online reputation and enhance their visibility. Witnessing the rising demand for public relations and online reputation management, we have come up with this unique platform that will serve as a strong base to bridge the gap between media publications and brands, says Sajan Shah, while speaking about his new platform.

“The platform will additionally create a strong market network while bringing transparency and efficiency to a space which has historically been very opaque”, he further added.

Highlights of the platform include managing the overall brand’s image, delivering key narratives among consumers, crisis communication and building a strong special media presence of its clients. Thus, helping to simplify the PR process on both ends for brands and editors. The platform additionally envisions building the next-generation digital platform that will automate and streamline workflow between businesses, publicists and journalists.

Transforming lives of millions, Sajan Shah has earlier worked with some of the renowned personalities belonging to different fields. These people include Venkaiah Naidu (Vice-President of India), Piyush Goyal (Union Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs), Vijay Rupani (Former Gujarat CM), Baba Ramdev (Yoga Guru), Dalai Lama (Spiritual Guru), and Roger Federer (Tennis Player). Sajan is also the Youth Peace Ambassador and even a TEDx Speaker and addressed National Seminar on “World Peace Conclave” in the presence of Dalai Lama, Baba Ramdev, Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni, and Acharya Kulchandra Suri.

Establishing a strong connection with his audiences across, he aims at revolutionizing the sector with his impactful skills and in-depth industry knowledge. The newly launched platform will likely play a crucial role in transforming the overall image of the brand by enhancing its visibility and garnering a strong consumer base across.

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

462 students, 49 staff test COVID-19 positive in a month in Kangra

Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) [India] : In the last one month, 462 school students and 49 staff members have been tested positive for COVID-19 in the Kangra, informed Dr Gurdarshan Gupta, Chief Medical Officer, Kangra district.
Talking to ANI, the Chief Medical Officer said, “After the reopening of schools for selected classes from September 27, 462 school students and 49 staff members including teachers have been tested positive for COVID-19 in the district. It accounts for 25-30 per cent of the total positive cases during this period. We are worried about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. We have to follow basic precautionary measures and people who are above the age of 18 should undergo vaccination, if not vaccinated yet.” Talking about the SOPs laid down by the Education Department, the Chief Medical Officer said, “If the cases of COVID-19 are higher within students and staff of a particular school, according to the SOPs, the school has to be closed for 48 hours, detailed contact tracing has to performed and the entire educational premises has to be disinfected.”
While informing about a long festive break for the students, he said, ” The festival break has been increased from five days to seven days by the Education department. The schools will remain closed from October 31 to November 7.”

Delhi reports 37 new COVID-19 cases

New Delhi [India] : Delhi reported 37 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours and there was no fatality in the city due to the disease.
According to the Delhi government health bulletin, the total count of coronavirus cases in the city has gone up to 14,39,788 and the active caseload in the city stands at 334. The case fatality rate in the national capital is 1.74 per cent and the positivity rate is 0.06 per cent.
With 48 more persons having recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours, the total number of recoveries in the city has gone up to 14,39,788. The death toll stands at 25,091
A total number of 59,293 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours in Delhi including 45,731 RT-PCR tests and 13,562 rapid antigen tests.
The bulletin said 2,93,11,912 COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far.
Beneficiaries vaccinated with 1st dose in last 24 hours stand at 20, 450 and cumulative beneficiaries vaccinated with 1st dose so far has reached 1,29,92,172.
The bulletin said that 34, 828 beneficiaries have been vaccinated with a second dose in the last 24 hours and the total number of those who have got the second dose stands at 73,25,519.

Assam reports 322 fresh COVID19 cases

Dispur (Assam) [India] : A total of 322 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths were recorded in Assam in the last 24 hours, said the state’s health department on Friday.
With new cases registered on Friday, the total case reported in the state touched 6,10,150 including 2,444 active cases. With 278 new recoveries, the total recoveries mounted to 6,00,367. The death toll is 5,992.
A total of 43,841 tests were conducted to detect the presence of the virus. So far, 2,46,57,174 tests have been conducted in Assam.
Of the deaths reported in the last 24 hours, two were in Kamrup and one was reported in Nalbari.

T20 WC: Team India ‘unwinds’ day off with beach volleyball

Dubai [UAE]: Team India on Friday played beach volleyball to spend some time on their day off ahead of the New Zealand clash in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

The Virat Kohli-led side is gearing for the match against New Zealand and has been training hard for the game following their defeat against Pakistan.
“A game of beach volleyball as #TeamIndia unwinds in their day off,” BCCI tweeted a video where players can be seen playing volleyball.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s interim head coach, Saqlain Mushtaq has said he would love it if his team got the opportunity to face India again in the final of the tournament.

“When you come with a mindset to become a world champion then you don’t think about the opponent. You rather think whoever comes in, you do what you have to do and want to do. So we are thinking on the same lines day in and day out that whoever is against us in the next stage we will accept it,” Saqlain said in a virtual press conference on Thursday.

“If you want to become a world champion then you have to live up to the requirements — being tough, being well-prepared, and playing cricket different from the others, and it shows that you are a genuine World Cup winner. If you want to be a world champion then you should be thoroughly [tested] so that the world actually recognises you,” he added.

India and New Zealand will lock horns with each other on Sunday. (ANI)

Cruise drugs case: Aryan Khan, others to be released from jail after Bombay HC’s detailed order tomorrow, says Mukul Rohatgi

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Aryan Khan, Arbaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha, who were granted bail in the Mumbai cruise drugs seizure case, would be released from jail after the Bombay High Court issues detailed order in the matter on Friday, said former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi.

Former Rohatgi, who represented Aryan Khan, told media, “Bombay HC has granted bail to Aryan Khan, Arbaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha after hearing the arguments for three days. The detailed order will be given tomorrow. Hopefully, all they will come out of the jail by tomorrow or Saturday.”
Bombay High Court granted bail to the three accused after hearing arguments for three days which began on October 26.

Rohatgi expressed happiness over the order and said, “For me, it is a regular case – to win some, to lose some. I am happy that he (Khan) has got bail.”

The former AG said during the hearing that there was “no case of possession of drugs” against Aryan Khan, he was arrested wrongly and “it was a fit case for bail”.

At present, Aryan is lodged at the Arthur Road Jail along with another accused Arbaaz Merchant. Whereas, Munmun Dhamecha is at Byculla women prison.

Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3. An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on October 2. A total of 20 people, including two Nigerian nationals, have been arrested so far in the case. (ANI)

“Congress misleading people”

Karnataka Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Basavaraja Bommai on Wednesday attacked the Congress saying that the party misleads people by publicising small projects at a large scale.

Hanagal (Karnataka) [India] : Speaking during a campaign rally in Naregal village for the Hanagal by-poll election, Bommai said, “The Congress party tends to publicise small projects. The party does not want development. The people will realise this once they are awakened.” “Annadana (serving food) is a part of our culture. All the governments have provided ration… but congress said ration was distributed only after the Congress came to power. The Congress has been campaigning as if rice had not been distributed before,” he added.
Chief Minister alleged that the Congress, in its five years of rule, did not provide a home to the people here.
Bommai talking about the BJP-led state government said, “Promotion is minimal, and work is maximal. Our job is to work, and not to speak.”
“People should think and vote. Hanagal will also develop as Shiggavi is developing. All classes should be involved in the development,” he added.
He further claimed that the BJP would give equal opportunities to all.
“The status of minorities has not improved, which is because of Congress. They want to keep you in the dark. Voters should teach the Congress a proper lesson,” the Chief Minister said.
If all voters show up, all classes will start to develop, he added.
Meanwhile, bypolls on Sindhagi and Hanagal constituencies in Karnataka are scheduled to be held on October 30.

Sonia Gandhi asks Congress leaders to frame policies to percolate down party’s messages to grassroot level

New Delhi [India]: Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday stated that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) releases important and detailed statements every day over the issues in the country but it fails to percolate down to the party’s grassroot cadres at the block and district level and she asked party leaders to frame policies over the matter.

Addressing the General Secretaries, In-Charges and PCC President of the party, during a meeting at the party headquarter here, Sonia Gandhi said, “The AICC releases important and detailed statements almost every day on issues that the nation is facing. But it is my experience that they do not percolate down to our grassroot cadres at the block and district level. There are policy issues on which I find a lack of clarity and cohesion even amongst our state-level leaders.”
She also asked the party leaders to train the workers to take on the unceasing onslaught of malicious disinformation campaigns at the behest of the BJP and RSS.

“You must train our workers to take on the unceasing onslaught of malicious disinformation campaigns at the behest of the BJP/RSS. And you must train our people to fight it while upholding and projecting the core Congress ideology,” the Congress interim President said.

Launching a scathing attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government in the Centre, the senior leader said, “The Modi Government has sought to erode our institutions so it may evade accountability.”

“Our own history bears witness to the fact that if an organisation is to succeed against injustice and inequality. If it is to effectively champion the rights of the marginalised, it must become a widespread agitation down to the grassroots,” she said.

Terming the new members in the party as the “lifeblood” of any political movement, the senior Congress leader said, “Young men and women across the nation seek a movement to give voice to their aspirations. It is our duty to provide them with a platform, as we have done for generations past.”

Sonia Gandhi also gave emphasis on identifying and assigning Congress leaders and office bearers for the task of enrolling members in the party in a transparent fashion. She also talked about the training programmes for the party workers.

“You must ensure the clear delineation of the responsibilities of these individuals at the state, district, block, ward and village level. This is a vital responsibility that you are entrusted with,” she said.

“Training programmes for our workers are therefore an absolute necessity. I want to emphasise that you should take it on priority. The fight to defend our democracy, our Constitution and the Congress Party’s ideology begins with being fully prepared to identify and counter false propaganda,” she added.

Earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi presided over a meeting with core party leaders to discuss the upcoming Assembly elections to Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, among other issues.

The meeting was held at party headquarters. (ANI)

Pakistan Opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto calls October 29 protest against inflation

Larkana [Pakistan]: Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan has snatched away the freedoms of the country’s people including “the sanctity of the vote to freedom of speech as well as that of the media.”

Further talking about the rise in inflation in the country, the party chairman announced holding protests on October 29 in front of local press clubs throughout the country, reported Tribune.
According to The Express Tribune, Bilawal on Monday while chairing a meeting of party leaders and workers said that the Pakistani Prime Minister in involved in destruction, not change.

“Imran Khan has taken away the freedoms that have been bestowed upon the people under the Constitution. Imran tried to snatch it all”, Tribune quoted Bilawal as saying.

Further talking about the rise in inflation in the country, the party chairman announced holding protests on October 29 in front of local press clubs throughout the country, reported Tribune.

Notably, food prices that began to surge in 2018 continue to shoot higher even in 2021 in Pakistan.

The rise in the price of per kilo vegetable ghee has been 27 per cent consecutively for the last three years. The price of cooking oil has shot up to 23per cent, Sugar to 22per cent and pulse to 21 per cent since October 2018. The rise in the flour price each year since 2018 has been 15per cent, according to Dawn.

The newspaper reported that the food inflation of Pakistan has remained in the double digits for the last two years barring a couple of months. (ANI)

Congress should be ‘strong alternative’ to BJP in national politics: Lalu Yadav

Patna (Bihar) [India]: Ahead of the by-polls in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Tuesday called upon the Congress to become a ‘strong alternative’ to the BJP at the national level politics and said that his party has always supported the Congress in every situation.

Speaking to ANI, Yadav said, “I agree that my alliance is with the Congress on a national level. But at the state level, the situation is different. At the national level, we want a strong alternative to the BJP and therefore I have always supported Congress in every situation.”
“Prime role should be that of Congress. Has anyone helped Congress more than us? It is an old party, an all-India party, we still consider them so,” the RJD supremo said.

“Alliance is formed with like-minded people, secular forces. At the state level also, we formed an alliance with Congress, the Left and other parties…Let people say whatever they want to,” he said.

Earlier, the veteran leader had said that RJD’s candidates would lose their deposit in the elections if they remain in alliance with the Congress in the state ahead of the by-polls in two assembly constituencies.

RJD supremo further slammed the Centre over the inflation and said, “Fuel prices are soaring, and diesel is costing more than ghee. How will people cook without kadwa tel (mustard oil)?”

Lalu Prasad Yadav returned to Bihar after over three years.

The Jharkhand high court, earlier in April, granted bail to RJD leader Lalu Prasad.

The former Bihar chief minister, who was undergoing treatment at Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences for two years, was shifted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi in January. (ANI)

Rahul, Priyanka, other Congress leaders reach party HQ for meeting with Sonia Gandhi over 2022 Assembly polls

New Delhi [India]: Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and other Congress leaders have arrived at the Congress party headquarters for the meeting to be presided by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the upcoming Assembly elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, among other issues.

Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Mohan Markam, Uttarakhand PCC chief Ganesh Godiyal, Jharkhand PCC chief Rajesh Thakur, Maharashtra PCC chief Nana Patole and Punjab PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu have also arrived at the party headquarters in the national capital for the meeting.
Earlier, at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on October 16, it was decided that organisation polls will be held next year and for that, a membership drive will be launched from November 1.

As per sources, the Congress party may hold the organisational election on September 6, 2022, and have its president by October.

As frontal organisations like Indian Youth Congress, NSUI, Mahila Congress and the party’s Social Media department have passed a resolution to make Rahul Gandhi as party president, it is expected chorus will be heard in the meeting on Tuesday.

In the previously held CWC meet, the chief ministers of Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh Ashok Gehlot, Charanjit Singh Channi and Bhupesh Baghel, respectively, and other leaders had requested Rahul Gandhi to take charge of the party president post. On this, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala confirmed that Gandhi had assured to consider their requests. (ANI)

Char Dham Yatra continues in Uttarakhand amid fresh snowfall

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India]: Char Dham Yatra continues in Uttarakhand amid snowfall in the state, informed Devasthanam Management Board on Monday.

The snowfall has started in the high peaks of Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham. The cold also increased in the low-lying areas including both the places of Uttarkashi district.
The roads and the helipad here have been covered with a layer of snow and the clearing operations are in process near Kedarnath Shrine.

The helicopter service has been affected in Kedarnath and snow is being cleared from the helipad.

Meanwhile, the road to Badrinath Shrine is smooth.

In Rishikesh, help desks of various departments like police, medical-health, transport, tourism, municipal corporation, Devasthanam Board and Travel Administration Organization are helping passengers.

Last week, amid torrential rains, the Uttarakhand government had temporarily suspended the Char Dham Yatra as heavy rainfall Chardham Yatra.

The Char Dham Yatra began on September 18 this year after the Nainital High Court on September 16 lifted the ban on Chardham Yatra and allowed only fully Covid vaccinated people with a mandatory COVID-19 negative report for the annual pilgrimage. This yatra attracts lakhs of tourists and devotees every year from across the country and abroad. (ANI)

India’s COVID-19 vaccine coverage exceeds 102.27 cr

New Delhi [India]: With the administration of 12,30,720 COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 102.27 crores, the Union Health Ministry informed on Monday.

According to the ministry, 1,02,27,12,895 doses of COVID-19 vaccines has been administrated across the country so far. This has been achieved through 1,01,52,393 sessions.
Meanwhile, India reported 14,306 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The active caseload in the country stands at 1,67,695.

The cumulative tally of COVID recovered patients now stands at 3,35,67,367.

Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.18 per cent. The recovery rate is currently at its highest peak since March 2020.

The testing capacity across the country continues to be expanded. The last 24 hours saw a total of 9,98,397 tests being conducted. India has so far conducted 60,07,69,717 tests so far. (ANI)

Costly fuel pushed up cost of veggies & fruits

New Delhi [India]: Prices of vegetables and fruits in Delhi’s wholesale and retail markets have gone up as surging fuel prices continue to push up transportation costs, traders said on Monday.

In the national capital, petrol is selling at Rs 107.59 per litre on Monday, while diesel is priced at Rs 96.32 per litre.
A vegetable vendor in Delhi’s Ghazipur Mandi said that the price of onion stands between Rs 40-48 per kg, while tomatoes cost between Rs 40-50 per kg.

“Petrol, diesel prices have increased transportation costs, and so have the rains. There is reduced supply in the market,” he said.

“Vegetable prices have gone up due to increase in transportation costs and toll charges. We are paying between Rs 200-400 per ‘dhadi’ (5 kg). Rates of leafy vegetables, tomatoes, onions, potatoes have gone up,” another vendor from Okhla Mandi said.

Petrol and diesel prices witnessed a hike for the fifth consecutive day across the country on Sunday.

With a hike of Rs 0.35, the price of petrol in the national capital increased to Rs 107.59 per litre. The price of diesel also saw a hike of Rs 0.35 in Delhi reaching Rs 96.32 per litre.

The central government is in talks with several oil-exporting countries on the issue of supply and demand of oils but there is no possibility of immediate relief in prices. (ANI)

Nothing will impact Team India’s performance: Gautam Gambhir on political pressure over India-Pakistan T20 match

New Delhi [India]: Amidst political statements around the high-octane India-Pakistan T20 match slated for tomorrow, cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir on Saturday exuded confidence over Team India’s victory while adding that nothing will impact its performance.

India-Pakistan T20 match is slated for October 24. The last time the two teams had taken on each other was during the 2019 ODI World Cup.
Speaking to ANI, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP said, “My best wishes are with the team. They have performed well till now. They will surely win. I have full confidence in them.”

Asked about the impact of political pressure on the match, Gambhir said, “The team is doing great. Nothing will impact their performance. The team will play well and will win.”

There is a call for cancelling the match between India and Pakistan from several political leaders following the killings of civilians by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, sparking fear in the Valley.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice President Rajeev Shukla had said India will have to play arch-rivals Pakistan in the T20 World Cup as no team can refuse to play another side in a tournament organised by International Cricket Council (ICC).

The much-awaited high-octane clash between India and Pakistan in the upcoming T20 World Cup will take place on Sunday in Dubai.

The former cricketer further refuted the statements coming in from the opposite camp that Pakistan has a better side than India this time.

“Pakistan always says like this. If India plays with the same potential then we can win over any country,” Gambhir emphasised.

Meanwhile, Gambhir started the fourth Jan Rasoi in Delhi on Saturday.

On Gautam Gambhir Foundation’s Jan Rasoi, the BJP MP said, “I want nobody to sleep empty stomach. With that idea, I am come up with Jan Rasoi. From each centre we are feeding around 4,000 people. I want to open more such centres so that we can feed more needy people.” (ANI)

Money laundering case: Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez appears before ED

New Delhi [India]: Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez on Wednesday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case against conman Sukesh Chandrasekar, sources told ANI.

As per the sources, “ED is interrogating her and she is being confronted with Sukash Chandrasekar.
Earlier in August, the federal agency has recorded the statement of Jacqueline in the money laundering case against fraudster Sukesh Chandrasekar and his wife Leena Paul. She was questioned about the suspicious transaction between her and Sukesh Chandrasekar. She was asked to present proof supporting her claim.

Since then she never turned up to record her statement and submit proof though she was summoned to appear before ED on September 25, October 15, 16, and 18. (ANI)

Twinkle Khanna reacts to Aryan Khan’s drug case with Squid Game reference: ‘I need heavy-duty psychotropic substances’

Mumbai (India): Bollywood Star and writer Twinkle Khanna has shared her thoughts on Aryan Khan’s arrest. Shah Rukh Khan’s older son was arrested in a drug-related case.

Twinkle khanna shared her thoughts on Aryabn Khans arrest by comparing it with Squid Game. In a post shared on Instagram, Twinkle compared Aryan’s drug case with a game that appeared in the hit South Korean drama series.

Sharing a post, under the title ‘Let the desi Squid Games begin’, she cited a marbles game from one of the episodes and presented her take on Shah Rukh Khan’s son’s arrest. 

“Each player is given ten marbles and must get their opponent’s marbles by competing in any game of their choosing. In this episode, one of the strongest candidates is badgered and ultimately bamboozled into losing his marbles. I seem to have misplaced mine as well when I read the news about Shah Rukh Khan’s son’s arrest,” she wrote. 

“While his friend was apparently carrying 6 gm of charas, there is reportedly no evidence of possession by Aryan Khan. Yet, the young boy has been languishing in Arthur Road jail for almost two weeks now,” she added. 

Twinkle Khanna's post regarding Aryan Khan's arrest.
Twinkle Khanna’s post regarding Aryan Khan’s arrest. 

Twinkle then referred to a popular news anchor and said, “I suppose I feel like emulating one of Arnab’s dramatic proclamations where he once said, ‘Mujhe drug do, mujhe drugs do,’ because I need some heavy-duty psychotropic substances to make sense of this development.” 

Aryan was arrested earlier this month after NCB raided a cruise party taking place on a Goa-bound cruise. Aryan was taken into custody by the Narcotics Control Bureau. The special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court will give their verdict on Aryan’s bail plea on Wednesday. 

Shah Rukh Khan’s family has received support from several stars from the industry. Salman Khan has often been photographed visiting Shah Rukh’s residence since Aryan’s arrest. Hrithik Roshan, Sussanne Khan and Pooja Bhatt are among the few celebrities who took to social media to show their support to Shah Rukh and his family. 

[10th 12th CBSE datesheet announced] 9 exam preparation guidelines for Term 1 Boards

New Delhi [India]: CBSE Date Sheet 2021-22 Term 1: CBSE on October 18 released the date sheets for term-1 board exams 2021-22 for Class 10 & 12. Term 1 Board Exams for classes 10 and 12 would be conducted offline in November-December by CBSE.

The CBSE date sheet for Term 1 Board Class 10 & 12 is available on the official website-

As Per CBSE Date sheet For Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22, Class 10 exams are from November 30, Class 12 exams are from December 1 for Term 1 Board Exams

The CBSE Term I Boards will be objective-type exams and the duration of the tests will be 90 minutes. The board exams will commence from 11.30 am due to the winter season.

Once the term-I exam concludes, the results in the form of the marks sheet will be declared.

However, no student will be placed in the pass, compartment and essential repeat categories after the CBSE Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22. The final results for CBSE Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22 will be announced after the first and the second-term examinations.

The exam controller CBSE Sanyam Bhardwaj today conveyed that the CBSE Date sheets for minor subjects will be forwarded to schools. Such exams will be conducted by the schools. “Minor subject exams will be conducted from November 17 for class 12 and November 16 for class 10,” he further added

Ahead of the Date sheet, CBSE already released the major guidelines to be followed in the exam, available at


These guidelines include updates regarding the time, dates, seating arrangements, answer key, result dates, etc. According to these guidelines, the exams will be conducted in the classrooms by keeping in mind all the Covid-19 protocols.

While taking the exams, there will strength of approx. 20 students in each classroom so that the Covid-19 norms are not violated.

If you want to stay tuned with these guidelines and know what were they exactly then have a further look:

  1. The OMR sheets will be available for download directly from the CLOUD. Exam centres will receive the question papers on the morning of exam in the encrypted format. Exam will be conducted for a time slab of 90 minutes.
  2. If there is any classroom work for the classes except classes 10 and 12 then it should be completed in the time slot of 08:00 am to 11:00 am or 11:30 am. Once the exam is completed, the OMR sheets need to be submitted to the exam control room by 01:30 pm positively. In order to decode the exam pattern, revision is a must in last 30 Days, The best seller Oswaal CBSE MCQs Sample Papers for Class 10 & 12 For Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22, might be practised to feel the real exam time heat. It will help to get familiar with time management & boost the exam-time confidence. In addition to that, these CBSE MCQs Sample Papers for Class 10 & 12 For Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22 includes Cognitive Exam preparation tools such as mind maps, mnemonics to sharpen up your preparation. You may also experience blended learning experience via concept videos provided in the book via QR codes. For Chapter-wise Topic-wise mock revison, you may opt for Oswaal CBSE MCQs Question Banks Class 10 & 12 For Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22 It will suit our last 30 Days exam preparation, as these CBSE MCQs Sample Papers, Question Banks Class 10 & 12 includes most likely questions refreamed from NCERT Books, NCERT Exemplars, CBSE Official Question Banks, Sample Papers, all the online learning material provided by CBSE at it’s official site. It would add on to the last 30 Days preparation Here’s the recommended link for CBSE MCQs Based Sample Paper Class 10 For Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22: Available at amazon on: CBSE MCQs Based Sample Paper Class 10 For Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22:
  3. The evaluation for the sheets will start from 01:30 pm to 05:00 pm. For the seating arrangement, there must be 12 students in a single classroom so that the Covid-19 protocols have adhered and the students remain safe.
  4. For a centre’s strength of 500 there must be one observer and if the strength exceeds 500 then there must be two observers. The observers will be appointed directly by the City Coordinator and in case of the city coordinator wishes then he/she can change the observers in between as per the needs.
  5. Answer to the exam will be made available by 01:30 pm so that any subject teacher can easily check the exam in the OMR sheet. The evaluator needs to upload the number of correct answers.
  6. In case, the student fill wrong OMR Circle for an answer, he/she may cross that answer. An extra blank circle is provided in OMR for each question. Students may write the correct answer option no. in the OMR extra circle, after crossing the wrong filled OMR Circle
  7. The handwritten answer will be considered final if it doesn’t tally with a dark circle. Separate remuneration will be offered to the invigilator and evaluation. Evaluation for the exam will be done at the exam centre only and after that, the OMR sheets need to be sent to the RO CBSE by 05:00 pm on the same day of the exam. The information regarding the admit card will be provided soon.
  8. The students of classes 10 and 12 must appear for the term 1 exams conducted by CBSE. These marks will also be counted to declare the final result of classes 10 and 12 in April/May. Students will encounter MCQ type questions for the Term 1 exams. The school will conduct the practical exam for Term1 of the candidates but the practical for Term II exams will be as usual conducted by the CBSE.
  9. The CBSE has divided the board exams of classes 10 and 12 into two parts i.e. Term I from 15th November 2021 and Term II from March/April 2022. The final score of the candidates will be calculated upon the performance of the candidate in Term I and Term II both. In this exam each question will carry equal marks and the students will also get the options in the exam. These are some of the latest updates that have been released by the CBSE and you should stay updated with these releases!! This story is provided by Mediawire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/Mediawire)

ICSE, ISC Semester 1 exams postponed

New Delhi [India]: Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) on Tuesday postponed the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and Indian School Certificate (ISC) 2021-2022 Semester one examination, citing “reasons beyond their control”.

“The CISCE has decided to postpone the ICSE and ISC Year 2021-2022 Semester 1 Examination due to reasons beyond our control,” the council said in a letter undersigned by Chief Executive and Secretary, Gerry Arathoon.
CISCE further said that the revised schedule of the examinations will be updated to all the stakeholders.

“All stakeholders will be informed of the revised schedule of the Examinations in due course of time,” the council said. (ANI)

TN: PM Modi congratulates BJP members

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, congratulated Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members who emerged victorious in the recently concluded Tamil Nadu local body elections and said the party will keep working for the betterment of the ‘wonderful’ state.

“I would like to congratulate our party members who were elected in the Tamil Nadu local body elections. Thank you brothers and sisters of Tamil Nadu who put their trust in us. We will continue to work for the betterment of the wonderful state of Tamil Nadu,” tweeted Prime Minister in Tamil.
PM Modi’s tweet came in response to Tamil Nadu state BJP president K.Annamalai’s post regarding a meeting with the party’s elected candidates.

Annamalai on October 18 tweeted, “Meeting of our victorious elected public representatives from the just concluded local body elections from nine districts. All of them are first time Union Councillors (8), mostly first-time village panchayat presidents (41) and local ward members (332).”

Tamil Nadu local body elections took place on October 6 and October 9. The counting of votes was concluded on October 12. (ANI)

Naidu writes to Modi on Census

New Delhi [India]: Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to include caste data in census enumeration to ensure the development of backward classes (BC).

In his letter, Naidu stated that the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly (APLA), under the then Telugu Desam Party-led Government, had passed a resolution for the BC census unanimously. “The same was sent to the Government of India for consideration,” he added.
Highlighting that the backward classes constitute the majority of the population in India, Naidu reiterated the need for a caste-based census and said, “Despite various Government policies aimed at their welfare and development, BCs continue to live in poverty and deprivation. This is due to the lack of adequate data on their population that also impedes the effectiveness of the implementation of schemes meant to uplift them. Hence, it is requested to include caste data in census enumeration to ensure targeted welfare and development of BCs.”

He also said that the first BC Commission in 1953, the Kalelkar Commission, and the later Commissions, including those of the various State Governments had all recommended the enumeration of the Backward Classes in the census.

“The previous data on the population of castes are as old as 90 years and best described as outdated,” Naidu said.

Various parties including the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, among others have raised the demand for the caste-based census.

Recently, the Central government submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that the census of backward classes is “administratively difficult” and will suffer both on account of completeness and accuracy.

The Centre, in an affidavit in the Supreme Court said the exclusion of any caste other than Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe from the purview of the upcoming 2021 Census is a “conscious policy decision” taken by the Central government.

The affidavit of the Central government was filed on a plea of the Maharashtra government asking to share census data of OBCs collected by the Centre in 2011-2013. (ANI)

Kerala: Two shutters of Idamalayar dam opened

Ernakulam (Kerala) [India]: Following incessant rains in Kerala that caused water levels in the state’s dams to rise, two shutters of the Idamalayar Dam in Ernakulam district were opened for 50 cm each at 6 am on Tuesday, officials said.

Water level of the Idamalayar Dam is 165.70 m with the full reservoir level being 169 m and maximum water level being 171 m. A ‘blue alert’ has been sounded for Idamalayar Dam due to the rise in water level, the State’s Department of Information and Public Relations said.
Pamba Dam is on a Red Alert with water level standing at 985.175 m at 8 am today with the full reservoir level being 986.33 m.

Kakki Reservoir also on a red alert. The water level in it recorded at 8 am today was 979.98 m with the full reservoir level of 981.46 m.

Ernakulam District Collector Jafar Malik on Monday had informed that the shutters of the dam would be opened today and no significant change in the water level of the Periyar river is expected.

The shutters of Peechi, Chimmini, Poomala, Asurankundu, Pathazhakundu and Vazhani dams in the Thrissur district have been opened. Chulliyar Dam, Mangalam, Malampuzha, Kanjirapuzha and Shiruvani dams have been opened in Palakkad district.

People living on the banks of these rivers and adjoining areas have been advised to exercise caution and be vigilant against rising waters.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday tasked an expert committee to decide the opening of shutters of various dams in the rain-battered state in a high-level review meeting. (ANI)

CBSE clarifies it hasn’t issued date sheet for term 1 exam in November

New Delhi [India], October 18 (ANI): The Central Board of Secondary Education on Monday said that CBSE has not released any official notification of examinations dates.

CBSE said, “It has come to the notice of CBSE that a fake date sheet is being circulated on social media for the forthcoming term 1 exam in November 2021, to confuse students of class X and XII. It is clarified that the board has not released any official notification in this regard till now.” (ANI)

First children-friendly COVID-19 vaccination centre comes up in Delhi

By Shalini Bhardwaj

New Delhi [India]: One of the private imaging centres in Delhi has become the first COVID-19 vaccination centre for children in India. The centre would cater to children above 2 years to 18 years and their vaccination process.
The new children-friendly COVID-19 vaccination centre has been given a catchy look and feel. The centre has been painted with cartoons and animal themes in a way that will help to reduce the injection fear among the children. It also has paintings of popular cartoons like Motu-Patlu, dinosaurs etc on the wall. This kids vaccination centre is getting a lot of praise from the residents and Children are also coming to see the centre.

“If we see demographic distribution then the age group of 0-18 years isn’t less. We can’t leave them unvaccinated, because diseases in children are not severe but still, they are potential carriers,” said Dr Sameer Bhati, Director, Star Imaging and Path Labs.

The purpose behind opening this centre is to engage children post-vaccination when they will be under observation and to remove fear from their minds.

Dr Bhati further said, “The anxiety and fear that parents have for children regarding vaccination, and engaging children post-vaccination is important. We have given it a catchy look in a way that can engage children in other activities after vaccination.”

The guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination for children who come under comorbidities is still pending. It’s expected that these guidelines may come soon after the complete clearance of DCGI to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has already given clearance to Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D for those above 12-18 years.

“The comorbid group in children is also at high risk. The obesity group is also at high risk. According to the latest studies, we are waiting for Covid-19 vaccination guidelines for children who come under comorbidities. SEC has recommended Covaxin also,” he added. (ANI)

Dera Chief awarded Life imprisonment

The special CBI court in Haryana’s Panchkula on Monday awarded life imprisonment to all the accused in the Ranjit Singh murder case, including Dera Sacha Sauda’s Gurmeet Ram Rahim and four others.

Panchkula (Haryana) India : A fine of Rs 31 Lakhs has been levied on Ram Rahim and Rs 50,000 on the remaining accused. Earlier on October 8, the court convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and four others in connection with former Dera manager Ranjit Singh’s murder case.
Ranjit Singh was murdered in 2002 in the premises of Dera Sacha Sauda.
The Dera chief was sentenced in August 2017 to 20 years of imprisonment in connection with raping two of his women followers and the murder of a journalist.

Delhi Environment Minister launches ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign

New Delhi [India] : Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday launched the Delhi government’s ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ campaign with an aim to tackle air pollution.
While speaking to the media at ITO Chowk in the national capital, he said, “According to data from the Petroleum Conservation Research Association, if this campaign is successful, there could be a 13 to 20 per cent reduction in vehicular pollution.” The Delhi Chief Minister on October 12 urged people not to take the vehicle at least once a week and travel on the metro, bus, or share vehicles with others. He further asked people to download the Green Delhi app and complain against the industry or vehicle that is causing pollution.
Citing research from Petroleum Conservation Research Association, Kejriwal had said that switching vehicles off at red light can reduce pollution by 13 per cent, and Rs 2500 crores can be saved per year.
“Last time the campaign was very successful, we appeal to the teachers, lawyers, office workers, and trade union people that we need your cooperation. With the AQI level of Delhi rising with the start of stubble burning, we have decided to reduce our pollution level,” he had added.

Nitish Kumar : Transforming ‘Bihar’ is a Big Challenge!


Nitish Kumar is the current and the 22nd Chief Minister of Bihar. He is associated with Janata Dal (United) party. He is the second longest-serving CM of Bihar. He is associated with Janata Dal (United) party and has also served as a minister in the Union Government of India. Let us have a look at his early life, education, political career and more. 

Nitish Kumar: Birth, Family, and Education

Nitish Kumar was born on 1 March 1951 in  Bakhtiarpur, Bihar to Kaviraj Ram Lakhan Singh (Father) and Parmeshwari Devi (Mother). His father was an ayurvedic practitioner. Nitish Kumar is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Bihar College of Engineering (present-day NIT Patna). Before entering into politics, he was associated with Bihar State Electricity Board. 

Nitish Kumar: Political Career

In his early years, Nitish Kumar was associated with Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, S. N. Sinha, Karpuri Thakur and V. P. Singh. During 1974 to 1977, he participated in Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement and joined the Janata Party led by Satyendra Narain Sinha.  

He briefly served as the Union Minister for Railways, Minister for Surface Transport and the Minister for Agriculture. After the Gaisal train crash (2 August 1999), he resigned as the Union Minister of Railways. During his tenure as the Union Minister for Railways, he brought in widespread reforms including internal ticket booking facility (2002) and tatkal scheme for instant booking of tickets. 

Nitish Kumar contested from two constituencies (Nalanda and Barh) in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. He lost from his traditional constituency, Barh but won from Nalanda. 

In March 2000, for the first time, he was elected as the Chief Minister of Bihar. In November 2010, he became the Chief Minister of Bihar for the second time. However, on May 17, 2014, he resigned from the Chief Ministerial post after his party performed poorly in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and took the moral responsibility of the party’s performance. He was succeeded by Jitan Ram Manjhi of Janata Dal (United).

In 2015, he was again elected as the Chief Minister of Bihar. When corruption charges levelled against Tejashwi Yadav (Deputy CM of Bihar), Nitish Kumar asked him to resign from the cabinet, to which RJD denied. Following the denial, Nitish Kumar resigned from the Chief Ministerial post on July 26, 2017, ending the Mahagathbandhan and joined principal opposition, the NDA. He again became the Chief Minister of Bihar and serves to date on this post. 

PeriodPositions held
1985-89Member of Bihar Legislative Assembly, from Harnaut    
1986-87Member of Bihar Legislative Assembly and the Committee on Petitions    
1987-88President of Yuva Lok Dal (Bihar)
1987-89Member of Bihar Legislative Assembly and the Committee on Public Undertakings
1989Secretary-General of Janata Dal (Bihar)
1989Elected to the 9th Lok Sabha from Barh
1989-1990Member of the House Committee
April 1990-November 1990Union Minister of State, Agriculture and Co-operation
1991Re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha
1991-93General-Secretary of Janata Dal and
Deputy Leader of Janata Dal in Parliament
17 December 1991 – 10 May 1996    Member of the Railway Convention Committee    
8 April 1993 – 10 May 1996    Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture    
1996    Re-elected to the 11th Lok Sabha.
Member of the Committee on Estimates, Member of the General Purposes Committee and Member of the Joint Committee on the Constitution (Eighty-first Amendment Bill, 1996)
1996-98Member of the Committee on Defence
1998Re-elected to the 12th Lok Sabha
19 March 1998 – 5 August 1999    Union Minister of Railways    
14 April 1998 – 5 August 1999    Union Minister of Surface Transport (additional charge)
1999Re-elected to the 13th Lok Sabha    
13 October 1999 – 22 November 1999    Union Minister of Surface Transport 
22 November 1999 – 3 March 2000   Union Minister of Agriculture
3 March 2000 – 10 March 2000   Chief Minister of Bihar
27 May 2000 – 20 March 2001    Union Minister of Agriculture
20 March 2001 – 21 July 2001    Union Minister of Agriculture (additional charge of Railways)
22 July 2001 – 21 May 2004   Union Minister of Railways
2004Re-elected to the 14th Lok Sabha, from Nalanda. Member of the Committee on Coal & Steel, Member of the General Purposes Committee, Member of the Committee of Privileges and the Leader of Janata Dal (U) Parliamentary Party, Lok Sabha
24 November 2005 – 24 November 2010    Chief Minister of Bihar
2006Elected to Bihar Vidhan Parishad 
26 November 2010 – 17 May 2014    Chief Minister of Bihar
22 February 2015 – 19 November 2015    Chief Minister of Bihar
20 November 2015 – 26 July 2017    Chief Minister of Bihar
27 July 2017 – 16 November 2020Chief Minister of Bihar
2018Elected to Bihar Vidhan Parishad 
16 November 2020 to PresentChief Minister of Bihar

On 16 November 2020, Nitish Kumar sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Bihar straight for the fourth time. 

Nitish Kumar: Personal Life

On 22 February 1973, Nitish Kumar tied the knot with Manju Kumari Sinha. The couple gave birth to a son, Nishant Kumar. On 14 May 2007, Manju Kumari Sinha died in New Delhi due to pneumonia. 

Nitish Kumar is considered to be an honest, seasoned politician with a very good image.

#nitishkumar #bihar #chiefminister #story #biography

Amit Shah holds meetings with different groups

Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar) [India]: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday held several meetings with different groups in Port Blair before departing for Delhi.

Among political leaders, Shah met BJP leaders Y Satya Kumar and Ajoy Bairagi and Congress MP Kuldeep Rai Sharma. He also met activists of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
He also met Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members Ravindra Nath Chatterjee, Manoj Kumar Sirohi, Brijesh Pandey and Rajesh Ram.

Apart from this, Shah also held meetings with the members of Aanganwadi Karamchari Sangh, several NGOs, various Associations, local representatives and tribal members from Andaman and Nicobar.

Shah was on a three-day visit to Andaman and Nicobar Islands from October 15 which concluded today.

Shah on Friday visited the cell where Hindu Mahasabha leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was imprisoned at Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Under the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, he earlier in the day paid floral tributes to freedom fighters at the cellular jail of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. At the venue, the Union Minister paid tributes to Veer Savarkar.


Kerala Rains: Death toll reaches 9

Three more bodies were recovered from Koottikkal in Kerala’s Kottayam district on Sunday due to landslides triggered by heavy rainfall, which has pushed the death toll in the state to nine, officials said.

Kottayam (Kerala) [India] : State ministers K Rajan, Roshy Augustine and VN Vasavan participated in a review meeting to assess the situation arising due to heavy rains in the state, at Mundakkayam in Kottayam this morning. In view of the red alert for rainfall and possible flooding and waterlogging in several districts of Kerala, a total of 11 teams of the National Disaster Relief Teams (NDRF) have been deployed to the state in coordination with the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA).
A total of 33 people including eight women and seven children have been rescued so far, according to the NDRF.

Early this morning a team of the NDRF conducted rescue operation in Kokkayar, Idukki where a landslide occurred yesterday. Rescue operations were also conducted in and around Ernakulam district and in Vaipur, RanniTaluk in Pathanamthitta district.
According to the Met department there will be isolated heavy rain in parts of the state over the next 24 hours starting October 17.
The India Meterological Department today said that the low-pressure area over southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Kerala has become less marked and there is a possibility of light to moderate rainfall at many places with only isolated heavy rainfall over the state during next 24 hours and further decrease thereafter.
On Saturday, four people were killed in Kottayam district while two casualties have been reported in Idukki district.
Idduki and Kottayam districts in Central and South Kerala bore the brunt of the heavy rains that have been lashing the state since Friday with many people feared missing in landslides. Several people have been injured and displaced in rain-related incidents .

Kerala Rains: Army conducts rescue operations in Kavali, Kottayam

Army personnel on Sunday commenced rescue operations in Kavali in Kottayam district of Kerala for people trapped under debis of a landslide, defence officials said today.
Navy Chopper with relief materials already airborne from INS Garuda towards rain-affected areas, the Defence PRO said.

Two Air Force Chopper Mi-17 are on standby at Air Force Station, Shangumugham.
Three more bodies were recovered on Sunday from debris of landslides triggered by rainfall in Koottikkal in Kerala’s Kottayam district. The death toll in the state has gone up to nine, officials said.
State ministers K Rajan, Roshy Augustine and VN Vasavan participated in a review meeting to assess the situation arising due to heavy rains in the state, at Mundakkayam in Kottayam this morning.
In view of the red alert for rainfall and possible flooding and waterlogging in several districts of Kerala, a total of 11 teams of the National Disaster Relief Teams (NDRF) have been deployed to the state in coordination with the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA).
A total of 33 people including eight women and seven children have been rescued so far, according to the NDRF.
Early this morning a team of the NDRF conducted rescue operation in Kokkayar, Idukki where a landslide occurred yesterday. Rescue operations were also conducted in and around Ernakulam district and in Vaipur, RanniTaluk in Pathanamthitta district.
According to the Met department, there will be isolated heavy rain in parts of the state over the next 24 hours starting October 17.
The India Meteorological Department today said that places with only isolated heavy rainfall over the state during next 24 hours and further decrease thereafter.

Women in Pakistan: Social Media & Literacy are the ‘hope’ for Change


There appears to have been a surge in violence against women, but in truth it is nothing new. It is just that we are more aware of it now and more women are fighting back. The last few months have been particularly harrowing for Pakistani women.

From the horrific case of 27-year-old Noor Muqaddam, who was brutally tortured and beheaded in the nation’s capital on July 21, to that of Ayesha Ikram, a TikTok creator, who was harassed and groped on the country’s Independence Day by more than 400 men on the grounds of one of the country’s major national monuments, the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore – it feels as if violence against women has reached epidemic proportions.

Many are even calling it a “femicide” to draw attention to the scale of the problem and its systemic nature. But gender-based violence in the country is not new.

According to the 2017-2018 Pakistan Demographic and health survey, 28 percent of women aged 15 to 49 had experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. This is a slight decrease from 32 percent of the women reported to have experienced physical violence at the hands of their partners in the 2012-2013. But given that domestic violence is an issue shrouded in secrecy and shame, both sets of figures are likely a gross under-estimation.

One suspects that it feels like there is a surge in violence because cases are getting more attention. Mainstream media is more attuned to the issue, and it is also being highlighted and discussed on social media platforms.

These conversations have created heightened awareness among young women in particular, who are becoming increasingly vocal about their rights. The vast majority of these women belong to the educated, urban middle and upper classes.

This is just the latest in the long history of the struggle against gender-based violence in Pakistan.

In the past, particular cases have drawn national as well international attention, leading to collective action by rights activists.

One such case was that of 28-year-old Samia Sarwar, whose murder was arranged by her family in 1999. She had been seeking a divorce from her violent husband, a decision her family did not support because it would have “dishonoured” the family name.

She was shot dead in the offices of Hina Jilani, a well-respected Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist. Sarwar had been there for a pre-arranged meeting with her mother to receive the divorce papers.

Her murder started a national conversation about honour killings. Women’s rights activists, including Jilani and her sister Asma Jahangir, also a renowned human rights lawyer and activist, highlighted it to advocate for an end to gender-based violence.

But there were counter-protests from religious conservatives arguing that Sarwar’s feminist lawyers had no business interfering in a question of “family honour”. To this day, the perpetrators have not been brought to justice.

Another well-documented case is that of Mukhtaran Mai, who was gang-raped in June 2002 by four men in Meerwala village in southern Punjab’s Muzaffargarh district. Mai was raped on the orders of a village council as “punishment” for her younger brother’s alleged illegitimate relationship with a woman from a rival tribe.

And more recently, the murder of 26-year-old Qandeel Baloch by her younger brother in July 2016 for her “intolerable” behaviour, was a turning point for many younger feminists. Baloch was a social media star who was bold and open about her sexuality. Her murder set off a public debate around the question of women’s sexuality and victim-blaming.

While cases such as these make headlines every few years, their frequency seems to have increased during the last five years. There are a few possible reasons for this.

Social media

Female education rates are gradually on the rise in Pakistan, with the rate of female secondary education rising from 28.6 percent in 2011 to 34.2 percent in 2021. There is now a new generation of young educated women who have the awareness and confidence to demand their rights.

Additionally, as technology and social media have become more accessible, news of cases has started to spread more widely and at a much greater speed.

As of this year, almost 27.5 percent of the country’s population has access to the internet, mostly through their mobile phones. While this is much less than the global average of 60.9 percent, it is still significant for a country of 223 million.

Despite the fact that the country only has 2.1 million Twitter users, a relatively low percent, tweets are often featured by media outlets and are used to further discussions.

The state has also identified social media as a possible threat to Pakistan’s national image. Fawad Chaudhry, the country’s information minister, recently alleged that Indian and Afghan accounts were “falsely” creating the impression that Pakistan is “unsafe for women”, which he argued is part of an international conspiracy to malign the country.

With social media playing a key role in taking the conversation forward, women also face constant threats and harassment on these channels.

Conservative commentators and groups use these to counter the claims of feminists by arguing that Pakistan is indeed one of the safest countries for women – a claim also repeated by the country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan. In June, rights activists condemned Khan’s comment that, “If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men, unless they are robots. It’s just common sense.”

He later tried to backtrack on this, stating that only a rapist is responsible for their crime, but this too was couched problematically in a discussion about the need to lower “temptations” in society.

Women’s March

The last four years have also seen the emergence of Aurat March (Women’s March) in major cities across the country on International Women’s Day on March 8.

They were first held in 2018 in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, with hundreds attending. In 2019, they spread to Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad, attracting thousands of participants.

While most of those who attend are from the urban upper and middle classes, organisers have been working towards making the marches more inclusive; encouraging transgender women to participate and providing transport for working-class women to make it easier for them to attend.

These demonstrations have highlighted gender-based injustices, such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, the undervaluing of women’s paid and unpaid labour, and lack of access to female healthcare. The issue of gender-based violence has consistently been front and centre.

The growth in popularity of these marches can also be attributed, at least in part, to social media, with much of the publicity and conversations before and after the march taking place on various online platforms.

Not part of the conversation

These certainly are all hopeful signs of resistance, however, the vast majority of women in Pakistan are still not part of these conversations and the movement. There is still a long way to go in terms of diversification.

For example, all of the high-profile cases mentioned earlier took place in the province of Punjab. Cases of violence against women from lower socioeconomic classes and from provinces other than Punjab, which has historically been the most economically and politically dominant province, rarely garner national attention.

Pakistanis living in the country’s peripheries complain that women’s rights activists rarely take up their issues.

Supporters of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), which advocates for the rights of Pashtuns, the country’s second-largest ethnic group, highlighted the case of a woman in Khaissor a village in the former tribal areas of Waziristan. She was allegedly harassed by security forces, with the details of the case surfacing on social media in 2019. This case received very little attention, both from feminist activists and the mainstream media, due to the gap between women in urban centres and those in rural and remote areas.

Hence, while social media is helping to amplify the cases of violence against women, it has not been able to bridge the ethnic and class divides that have long existed in the country.

In addition to this, the vast majority of women in Pakistan still do not use social media at all. There is a 65 percent gap in digital access between women and men in Pakistan, the highest such gender gap in the world, and the women who have access by and large belong to the upper and upper-middle class.

Furthermore, as has historically been the case, progress on women’s rights is still frequently blocked by religious conservative groups, which often work in tandem with the state.

Most recently, the Domestic Violence Bill – despite being passed by the National Assembly to ensure legal protection and relief for victims – was stalled after an adviser to the prime minister recommended that it be sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology for review.

The victims of domestic violence continue to wait to find out what legal channels are available to them.

The ‘woman card’

Despite the various hurdles that women’s rights activists face, from religious conservatives to the country’s ethnic and economic divisions, there are signs of a wider change in attitudes towards gender-based violence, and not just in the virtual realm.

After the Minar-e-Pakistan incident, for example, hundreds of young women and men descended on the same spot where the Tik Tok star had been harassed a week earlier, in a bid to proclaim women’s right to occupy public spaces.

On television talk shows, though largely dominated by male commentators, women journalists are increasingly vocal in their opposition to gender-based violence and are refusing to be silenced by male anchors and conservative commentators.

Feminists are also creating alternative forums for discussion. For example, a group of women journalists recently started a channel on Youtube called Aurat Card (Woman Card), a tongue-in-cheek reference to the misogynistic claim that women use their gender to gain “unfair advantages”. The show presents critical views on a range of social and political issues.

As a teacher, I have seen a change among university students during the last 10 years, where conversations about harassment are becoming increasingly frequent on campuses. However, with a female tertiary education rate of only 8.3 percent, even these conversations remain confined to a small section of the society, and that too in big urban centres.

So, while violence against women appears to be at a peak and regressive forces are as vocal as ever, there are positive signs that women, particularly those who are young and educated, are becoming more aware and vocal in their resistance.

Calling this a gender revolution may be premature, but a change is certainly taking place. The struggle for equal rights for women still has a long way to go, but the grip of conservative men is gradually being challenged and is loosening, and they have good reason to be scared.

#women #pakistan #march #socialmedia #literacy

Hockey India Academy National C’ship: 28 teams to battle it out for top honours

A total of 28 teams will battle it out to etch their names in history books as they gear up for the first Hockey India junior men Academy National Championship that is scheduled to start from Monday in Bhopal.

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India]: After six days of pool matches, the quarter-finals will be played on October 24 and following a day’s break semi-finals will be held on October 26. The Medal matches of the inaugural edition of the tournament are scheduled for October 27. Welcoming Hockey India’s initiative to organise an exclusive championship for academies, Ghumanhera Riser’s Academy coach Baljeet Singh in a Hockey India release said, “This tournament gives those players a chance, who missed out on the state team selections, it gives an opportunity to showcase their talent on a national platform. Exclusive tournaments for academies is a very good move by Hockey India as it will not only give exposure to young players but also motivate academies like us to produce more talents for the country.”
“To be honest, we have been really enjoying being a part of this kind of setup. As an academy, it gives us an opportunity to test ourselves about where do we stand, we can get to know about how other academies work, so it’s a great platform for players as well as academies,” said Baljeet.
He further added that their team had faced difficulties due to COVID-19 pandemic situations, but they are prepared in all the possible ways and are confident of performing well in the tournament.
“Due to COVID-19 situation, it was really difficult to assemble players and form a team, so there were a lot of difficulties initially. But, I would say, we are prepared in all the possible ways, and are confident of performing well in the tournament,” said Baljeet.
Speaking about SGPC Hockey Academy’s preparations for the tournament, coach Bhupinder Singh stated that the team is very excited about taking part in this prestigious event and they have prepared taking weather conditions into consideration.
“We are very excited about taking part in this prestigious event. We have waited for a long time for any kind of competition. Preparation-wise, we have left no stones unturned, in fact, we have had prepared taking weather conditions into consideration as it will be hot in Bhopal. Also, I think it’s a great opportunity for academy players to play on a national level, and it will certainly benefit them,” said SGPC Hockey Academy coach Bhupinder Singh.
Meanwhile, Praful Tirkey, coach of Naval Tata Hockey Academy- Jamshedpur, who are grouped in Pool A said, “We have been training since August itself under a bio-secure bubble. Our players had been waiting for a long time for their first competition, and as soon as they heard about the Academy nationals, they got very excited.”
“It’s a great initiative by Hockey India to introduce tournaments for academies because before that a lot of players used to leave the sport because they were not getting opportunities in State competitions, so I think Academy Nationals broaden the scope for them. If more and more players will be involved, more it will benefit to inculcate a competitive culture or to lay a strong hockey foundation at the grassroots,” Praful Tirkey added.
The participating teams include Berar Hockey Academy (Vidarbha) Amravati, Naval Tata Hockey Academy – Jamshedpur and Olympian Vivek Singh Hockey Academy in Pool A, while Bhai Behlo Hockey Academy Bhagta, Namdhari Sports Academy and RV Academy of Hockey are in Pool B.
Dhyan Chand Hockey Academy, Mumbai Schools Sports Association, and Raja Karan Hockey Academy are grouped in Pool C, while Ghumanhera Riser’s Academy, Mata Sahib Kaur Hockey Academy Jarkhar – Ludhiana, Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy are in Pool D.
HIM Academy, Markandeshwar Hockey Academy, SAI – Academy (Kolkata) and Citizen Hockey XI are in Pool E and in Pool F Hubli Hockey Academy, Malwa Hockey Academy Hanumangarh, Salute Hockey Academy, Republican Sports Club are grouped together.
Pool G will include Jai Bharat Hockey Academy, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Hockey Academy, SGPC Hockey Academy and Thirumalvalavan Hockey Academy. Lakshmi Ammal Sports Academy, Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy, Tamil Nadu Hockey Academy, Vadipatti Raja Hockey Academy feature in Pool H.

AIADMK celebrates 50th anniversary with pomp and show

The fiftieth-anniversary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) was celebrated with pomp and show here on Sunday, marking the commencement of year-long celebrations to commemorate the golden jubilee of its founding.

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) , India: AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and Deputy Coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami had on Friday released a joint statement announcing that AIADMK’s party headquarters in Royapettah will be renamed as the ‘MGR Maaligai’ on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee celebrations today.
Party workers flocked to the headquarters that was decked up in flowers and garlands. Large posters and banners of AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and leader J Jayalalithaa have been set up.
AIADMK leaders Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam garlanded the statue of Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa. Meanwhile, expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala hoisted the party flag and distributed sweets outside the MGR memorial at Thyagaraya Nagar.

Sasikala had on Saturday paid floral tribute to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at her memorial at the Marina Beach here.
AIADMK was formed on October 17, 1972.

FM Sitharaman holds discussions with major investment firm’s chief investment officer in US

During her visit to the US, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met a private investment firm’s Chief Investment Officer here and held discussions over the interest of the company to invest in India.

New York [US]: Sitharaman also held talks with Legatum’s Chief Investment Officer Philip Vassiliou over the robust structural growth and continued interest of the firm in investing in India. “Union Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman met Mr Philip Vassiliou, Chief Investment Officer, Legatum, in New York, USA, today. The robust structural growth and continued interest of the company to invest in India formed part of the discussion,” the Ministry of Finance said in a tweet on Sunday.
Sitharaman– who is currently in the US — has earlier this week attended the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank during his visit.
On the sidelines of these meetings, Sitharaman also engaged with more than 25 bilateral meetings including top officials of the Biden administration and a host of top American CEOs.
This is the first visit of Sitharaman to the US after the pandemic. New Delhi sees the visit as crucial to advance India-US economic partnership.

No celebrations minus MS Dhoni, CSK will celebrate IPL win after skipper returns to India: CEO

New Delhi [India]: Chennai Super Kings will wait for skipper MS Dhoni to return to India before the franchise celebrates winning the fourth Indian Premier League title. CSK beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs on Friday at the Dubai International Stadium, but the party will happen after Dhoni is done mentoring the Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman.

Speaking to ANI, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan said there can be no celebration without the skipper. “We shall wait for the skipper to return to India. We shall happily wait as there can be no celebration without MS. He has already switched caps from CSK skipper to Team India mentor, so we shall have a small get together once he returns to India after the T20 World Cup,” he said.

CSK redeemed itself after a dismal performance last year to clinch the IPL 2021 title but head coach Stephen Fleming still rates the 2018 final win as special and termed it “very emotional”. The former New Zealand skipper said he is very proud to have won the IPL 2021 final since many pundits had written off CSK due to the absence of young blood in the side.

“It’s very hard to rate them, they (IPL wins) all are specials as they are results of our hard work. I think the one coming back in 2018 was very emotional but there is a lot of hard work in this one too,” Fleming said during the post-match press conference. “If you look back when we were called Dad’s Army in the first year (2018), I think a lot of people had no hope from us to maintain the competitiveness during this cycle.”

For IPL 2022, two new teams are set to come in, and it needs to be seen how many players a franchise is allowed to retain before the mega auction. Fleming knows it will be difficult to retain most CSK players and he is looking forward to see how things pan out ahead of the IPL 2022.

“We don’t know (on being asked if this was an end of an era). But we know that whenever we get to the end of the cycle we know that we cannot get some players back,” said Fleming.

“CSK always had a system where we maintain players and keep them with you for a long period of time and get the best out of them. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the next few months. Most teams will have a change in them and we will be one of them,” he added. (ANI)

ED issues fresh summons to actor Jacqueline Fernandez in Rs 200-cr money laundering case

New Delhi [India]: The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday issued fresh summons to Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez to appear before its Delhi office on Monday for questioning in connection with the Rs 200-crore money laundering case.

ED issued a fresh summon to Jacqueline after the actor skipped interrogation in the case linked to conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar.
The actress was unable to present herself before the ED officials on Saturday citing personal unavoidable reasons. (ANI)

Everybody is of the opinion that Rahul Gandhi should become Congress president: Ambika Soni

New Delhi [India]: Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said on Saturday that everyone in the party is of the opinion that party leader Rahul Gandhi should become the party president.

While speaking to ANI, Soni said, “Everybody agreed unanimously, whether he (Rahul Gandhi) will become (the party president) or not is up to him. Everybody is of the opinion that Rahul Gandhi should become the party president.”
Her remarks came after the conclusion of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held in the national capital today.

Sonia Gandhi was made interim president by CWC after Rahul Gandhi stepped down as the president of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) accepting the responsibility of poll debacle in the 2019 general elections.

Congress’s supreme body, the CWC, met on Saturday at the AICC headquarters here today to discuss the organisational elections, forthcoming Assembly polls and current political situation. (ANI)

US Development Finance Corporation chief Marchick to visit India

US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Chief Operating Officer (COO) David Marchick will be visiting India from October 24-26 with an aim to advance DFC investments helping boost global health and expand COVID-19 vaccine production capacity.

Washington [US]: “COO Marchick and the travelling delegation will arrive in India on October 24, 2021. In Hyderabad, the delegation will visit the offices of Biological E, the Indian vaccine manufacturer, and participate in a signing ceremony to open a new facility with substantial capacity for vaccine manufacturing. This work is in support of the historic commitment set out by President Biden and his counterparts in the “Quad” – Australia, India, Japan, and the United States,” read DFC media advisory. Marchick is also scheduled to visit South Africa. His visit to both nations is scheduled to start on October 18 and will end in India on October 26.
DFC Vice President of Development Credit Jim Polan and other DFC senior staff will accompany the COO, the media release said.
While in South Africa, the DFC delegation will visit Africa Data Centres, a DFC client that is developing and expanding critical technology infrastructure throughout Africa.
“The delegation will tour the sterile facilities of Aspen Pharmacare, Africa’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, in Gqeberha (formally known as Port Elizabeth), as well as meet with other pharmaceutical manufacturers critical to the COVID-19 response, added the media advisory.” the media advisory
DFC’s media advisory noted that since day one of the Biden Administration, “President Biden has stated that the only way to defeat COVID-19 is to end the pandemic both at home and abroad by vaccinating Americans at home and non-Americans abroad.”
So far, the United States committed to donating 1.1 billion doses of vaccines and has already shipped nearly 200 million doses to developing countries – “more doses than the rest of the world combined.”
DFC’s financial tools are driving growth in vaccine manufacturing capacity in multiple regions, with multiple technologies and within large and small countries, the advisory said.
Already, DFC’s support is projected to facilitate capacity expansion to produce nearly 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses across the globe by the end of 2022, with more projects in the pipeline.
The agency is also working on expanding access to critical therapeutics and introducing medical equipment designed for low-resource environments under DFC’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative, added the advisory.

India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeds 97.23 crores

With the administration of 8,36,118 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 97.23 crores, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.

New Delhi [India]: As per provisional reports, till 7 am today, 97,23,77,045 doses have been administered in the country so far through 96,05,482 sessions. Of the total, 1,03,75,703 health care workers received the first dose and 90,68,232 second vaccine doses; 1,83,61,275 front line workers were administered the first dose and 1,54,90,253 were given the second dose of the vaccine.
According to the health ministry, 39,14,51,891 people in the age group 18-44 years were administered the first dose while 10,85,40,506 were given the second dose.
Also, in the age group of 45-59 years, 16,73,04,569 people have received the first dose and 8,53,97,182 have received the second dose whereas for the people over 60 years, 10,55,20,693 were administered with the first dose and 6,08,66,741 were given the second dose.
Meanwhile, 15,981 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the last 24 hours. The daily new cases were reported to be less than 20,000 for the past eight days now.
With this, the active caseload is presently 2,01,632, which is the lowest in 218 days and presently constitute 0.59 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.
The recovery of 17,861 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 3,33,99,961.
Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.08 per cent, which is currently at its highest peak since March 2020.
Also, the weekly positivity rate is at 1.44 per cent which is less than three per cent for the last 113 days now.
The daily positivity rate is reported to be 1.73 per cent and has remained below three per cent for the last 47 days and below five per cent for 130 consecutive days now.
The testing capacity across the country continues to be expanded. In the last 24 hours, a total of 9,23,003 tests were conducted, talking the cumulative tests conducted so far to 58,98,35,258.

I am full-time, hands-on Congress President, says Sonia Gandhi at CWC meeting

In her remarks on Saturday, Sonia Gandhi also said the party is ready for the internal elecAddressing the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, interim President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday slammed party leaders for speaking to the media. In her opening remarks, Sonia Gandhi said: “I have always appreciated frankness. There is no need to speak to me through the media. So let us all have a free and honest discussion. But what should get communicated outside the four walls of this room is the collective decision of the CWC.”

News Delhi, India : Sonia Gandhi’s statement came after senior party leader Kapil Sibal had recently said that “there is no president in our party, so we do not know who is taking all the decisions. We know it, yet we don’t know, one of my senior colleagues perhaps has written or is about to write to the interim president to immediately convene a CWC meeting so that a dialogue can be initiated”.

In her remarks on Saturday, she also said the party is ready for the internal elections.

“Today is the occasion for bringing clarity once and for all. A schedule for the full-fledged organisational elections is before you.”

She also praised young leaders for taking over leadership role

“In the last two years, a large number of our colleagues, particularly the younger ones have taken on leadership roles in taking party policies and programmes to the people, whether it be the agitation of farmers, provision of relief during the pandemic, highlighting issues of concern to youth and women, atrocities on Dalits, Adivasis and minorities, price rise, and the destruction of the public sector. Never have we let issues of public importance and concern go unaddressed.”

CWC meet – What Sonia Gandhi said on farmers’ protest, Kashmir killings, fuel price hike

Regarding the farmers’ protests, the Congress interim President said: “The shocking incidents at Lakhimpur Kheri betrays the mindset of the BJP, how it perceives the Kisan Andolan, how it has been dealing with this determined struggle by Kisans to protect their lives and livelihoods.

She said that the economy continues to be a cause of great concern in spite of the government propaganda and the only answer the Centre seems to have for the country’s economic recovery is selling off national assets built with great effort over the decades.

“The public sector has had not just strategic and economic objectives, it has had social goals as well, as, for instance, empowerment of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and development of backward areas. But all this is in jeopardy with the Modi government’s single-point agenda of ‘Becho, Becho, Becho’.”

She said that prices of essential commodities, including food and fuel continue to rise unabated.

“Could anyone in the country ever imagine that petrol prices would be over 100 Rs rupees a litre, diesel would be nearing the Rs 100 a litre mark, a gas cylinder would cost Rs 900 and cooking oil would be Rs 200 a litre. This is making life unbearable for people across the country.”

Sonia Gandhi also condemned the killings in Jammu and Kashmir and said minorities clearly have been targeted.

“This must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. We have done so and I do so again this morning. Jammu and Kashmir has been a Union Territory for two years. The entire responsibility for bringing the perpetrators of these barbaric crimes to justice is that of the Union government. Restoring social peace and harmony and confidence amongst the people in Jammu and Kashmir rests with the Modi government too.

“There has always been a broad consensus on foreign and neighbourhood policy in our country. But that consensus has been damaged because of the Prime Minister continued reluctance to take the Opposition into confidence in any meaningful manner. Foreign policy has become a diabolical instrument of electoral mobilisation and polarisation. We face serious challenges on our borders and on other fronts. The Prime Minister telling the opposition leaders last year that there had not been any occupation of our territory by China and his silence ever since is costing our nation dearly,” she added.

The Congress faces many challenges but, “if we are united, if we are disciplined and if we focus on the party’s interests alone, I am confident that we will do well”.

Centre’s foreign policy diabolical instrument of electoral mobilisation, polarisation

Claiming that India’s foreign policy has become a diabolical instrument of electoral mobilisation and polarisation, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the consensus between government and Opposition on diplomatic issues has been damaged because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s continued reluctance to take the Opposition into confidence.
Speaking at the Congress’ Working Commitee meeting, Gandhi said PM Modi’s silence on borders issues is costing the nation ‘dearly’. “There has always been a broad consensus on foreign and neighbourhood policy in our country. But that consensus has been damaged because of the Prime Minister’s continued reluctance to take the Opposition into confidence in any meaningful manner. Foreign policy has become a diabolical instrument of electoral mobilisation and polarisation. We face serious challenges on our borders and on other fronts. The Prime Minister told the opposition leaders last year that there had not been any occupation of our territory by China and his silence ever since is costing our nation dearly,” she said.
She also slammed the Centre’s National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) scheme, and said the country’s social goals are in jeopardy because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s single-point agenda of “Becho, Becho, Becho” (sell, sell, sell).
The Congress chief said the economy continues to be a cause of great concern “in spite of the government propaganda to make us believe that it is not.”
“As we all know, the only answer the government seems to have for economic recovery is selling off national assets built with great effort over the decades. The public sector has had not just strategic and economic objectives—it has had social goals as well, as, for instance, empowerment of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and development of backward areas. But all this is in jeopardy with the Modi government’s single-point agenda of Becho, Becho, Becho,” she added.

‘NSG is a world-class force”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday greeted the elite National Security Guard (NSG) force on its 37th raising day, saying it is a “world-class trained force to tackle all facets of terrorism” and the country is proud of its troops.

New Delhi [India] : The elite striking force, the NSG was established in 1984 after the Union Cabinet decided to create a ‘Federal Contingency Force’ that was ‘well trained to tackle various manifestations of terrorism. Every year, the Raising Day of the NSG is celebrated on October 16. This year marks the 37th anniversary of the establishment of the NSG, popularly known as Black Cats.
“Greetings to our brave NSG personnel on their 37th Raising Day. NSG is a world-class trained force to tackle all facets of terrorism. This formidable force has left no stone unturned to live up to its motto ‘Sarvatra Sarvottam Suraksha’. India is proud of NSG black cats,” the Home Minister tweeted.
NSG is intended to be deployed in exceptional circumstances only and is not meant to take over the functions of other paramilitary forces or state police forces.

The task-oriented force comprises two complementary elements in the form of the Special Action Group (SAG). The SAG is formed of army personnel as well as the Special Ranger Groups, which comprise of personnel drawn from State Police Forces or Central Armed Police Forces. It has six operational centres, with plans for the seventh one in Pathankot.
The NSG is capable of handling a variety of high-pressure situations such as terrorist attacks, hostage captivity and hijackings. It also used to handle VIP security in the country, till a decision to withdraw the force from the same was taken in 2020 by the Central government.
The Black Cats played a key role during the ‘Operation Black Tornado’ of 2008, when NSG commandos stormed the Nariman House, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Oberoi Trident hotel, and coordinating with personnel of other forces, killed all terrorists who had laid siege to the sites during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

‘Hindutva means love for nation”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said Hindutva means love for the nation and it is a social service.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Addressing an event, Thackeray said, “Hindutva means love for the nation. Balasaheb had said that we are citizens first, religion comes later. When we step out of houses by keeping religion at home, the nation becomes our religion. It is our duty to speak against anyone who does anything in religion’s name,” he stated. The chief minister said Hindutva is a social service.
“People say that Garba is not being allowed, what kind of Hindutva is this? Hindutva is a social service. We do not think of religion or caste at the time of donating blood. We do not see if the blood is Hindu, Muslim or Marathi. Shivaji Maharaj and Shiv Sena founder had taught us that we should not be afraid of anything. We are not scared of ED and CBI. We are not the ones to hide behind Police after making threats,” he stated.
He said Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP because the party did not conform to the promise.
“Two rallies happening today-ours and RSS’. Our paths may be different, ideology is same-Hindutva, so we went with BJP. You did not conform to promise, otherwise, we would have been together. I became chief minister for the promise I made to my father. Other Shiv Sainiks will be the chief minister too,” the Maharashtra chief minister alleged.
“Maharashtra is viewed from a different perspective. If something happens in Maharashtra they say democracy was murdered here. If this is the case in Maharashtra, then what did happen in Uttar Pradesh?” he added.

11 terrorists killed in eight encounters in J-K after recent civilian killings: IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India] : A total of 11 terrorists have been killed so far in the eight encounters conducted by the security forces after the recent civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir, said Vijay Kumar, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kashmir on Friday.
“A total of 11 terrorists have been killed so far in the eight encounters done by the security forces. There was a lot of responsibility on us after the recent civilian killings,” he said. He said that after the killings of civilians, a lot of terrorists had run away to South Kashmir, out of which one was killed in Shopian.
He revealed the identity of the terrorist killed in Bemina on Friday as Tanzeel.
“He was a local terrorist associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) – The Resistance Front (TRF). He was given a chance to surrender, but he started firing on the police after which he was killed in the retaliatory firing from the police,” he added.

He also said that three terrorists involved in encounters in Bemina and Pulwama had escaped and the police forces are currently searching for them.
Earlier today, an encounter took place between the terrorists and security forces in the Bemina region of Jammu and Kashmir in which the terrorist was eliminated. A terrorist identified as the killer of newly recruited sub-inspector Arshid Ahmad Mir, who lost his life in the terror attack in Srinagar on Sunday, was killed in the encounter with the security forces in the Bemina.
Also on Friday, another encounter between security forces and terrorists started in the Wahibug area in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. One terrorist involved in a recent civilian killing in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir was neutralised by the security forces in the encounter.
The terrorist neutralised by the police in an encounter at Wahibug area in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday has been identified by the police as Shahid Bashir Sheikh. He is from Srinagar and was involved in the killing of a civilian on October 2 this year.

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