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Mukesh Ambani has no plans to relocate to London

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : The Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Mukesh Ambani, and his family have no plans to relocate or reside in London or anywhere else in the world, clarified RIL on Friday.
In an official statement issued by RIL on Friday, the company stated that a recent report in a newspaper has led to unwarranted and baseless speculation in social media regarding the Ambani family’s plans to partly reside in Stoke Park, London. RIL’s statement read, “The Reliance Industries Limited will like to clarify that the Chairman and his family have no plans whatsoever to relocate or reside in London or anywhere else in the world.”
It further stated, “Further, RIL group company, RIIHL, which acquired Stoke Park estate recently, would like to clarify that its acquisition of the heritage property is aimed at enhancing this as a premier golfing and sporting resort, while fully complying with the planning guidelines and local regulations.”
“This acquisition will add to the fast-growing consumer business of the group. Simultaneously, it will also expand the footprint of India’s famed hospitality industry globally,” it added.

PM Modi marketed BJP at Kedarnath: Harish Rawat

Haridwar (Uttarakhand) [India] : Congress leader Harish Rawat on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Kedarnath visit, ahead of the assembly elections, was for marketing BJP and making a political speech.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi offered prayers at the Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand and unveiled an Adi Shankaracharya statue. He also inaugurated several redevelopment projects worth Rs 130 crore. The Congress leader, after offering prayers at the Tilbhandeshwar temple in Haridwar, said, “The PM has come here for giving a political speech. He has come for his party’s marketing. We see Jyotirling in our Shiva temples. We see God Kedar in our Shiva temples. We are going to pour water at Shiva temples. In the entire state, Congress workers are pouring water in Shiva temples. They are doing so in the 12 Jyotirlinga temples. We are praying for maintaining peace and communal harmony in the country and that democracy should be safeguarded.”
The Congress leader further said, “If the inflation increases a little more the people will be unable to control their anger.”
The Uttarakhand Assembly elections are due early next year.
In the 2017 elections, BJP won 57 assembly seats, Congress won 11 and the rest of the seats were won by others.

It’s time to target 5 times increase in export of technical textiles in 3 years: Piyush Goyal

New Delhi [India] : Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that the time has come to target a five times increase in the export of technical textiles in three years.
The minister was speaking to representatives of the Indian Technical Textile Association ( ITTA) in Delhi. “Centre would support Production Linked Incentives (PLIs) for the textile sector in states supporting the development and offering affordable infrastructure for textile manufacturing like cheap land and power,” said the minister.
Goyal further suggested aligning with the best standards in textile manufacturing so that there is no difference in the quality of textile meant for international and domestic consumers. The Minister suggested public-private participation in the use of government funds in Research and Development in technical textiles.
“It may be noted that the growth of technical textiles in India has gained momentum in the past five years, currently growing at an eight per cent per annum rate. Our aim is to hasten this growth to 15-20 per cent range during next five years,” he stated.
“Current world market is USD 250 billion (18 lakh crore) and India’s share in it is USD 19 billion. India is an aspiring player with USD 40 billion in size in this market (eight per cent share). The biggest players are the USA, Western Europe, China and Japan (20-40 per cent share),” he added.
The minister said that in addition to the growth in statistical terms, the growth towards high technology and indigenously innovated products will also be directed.
He further mentioned that with these objectives in mind, the government has launched National Technical Textiles Mission in February 2020, with a view to making India a self-reliant, vibrant, export-oriented economy in the world.
“Our aim is to transform India into a major player in innovations, technology development, applications in key areas (agriculture, roads, railways, water resources, hygiene and healthcare, personal protection) with emphasis on higher education and skilled workforce,” he said.
Goyal informed that in January 2019, for the first time in India, 207 HSN Codes were issued for technical textiles and in less than two years time, India has become a net exporter in technical textiles.
He added that the trade balance earlier used to be negative (-Rs 2,788 Crore) in 2018-19 and (-Rs 1,366 Crore in 2019-20), which has turned positive with Rs 1,767 Crore in 2020-21. During the year 2020-21, India’s major share of exports is in PPEs, N-95 and surgical masks, fabric for PPEs and masks, he said.
Talking about the efforts made by the government to promote technical textiles, the minister informed that 92 items have been made mandatory for use by government organisations covering agriculture/horticulture, highways, railways, water resources, medical applications and nine concerned ministries have issued instructions in this regard.
Goyal further stated that BIS has issued Indian Standards for 377 items and nearly 100 are in pipeline. “Skill development in technical textiles commenced with the introduction of six new courses and another new 20 courses are under preparation,” he added. (

Amit Shah wishes on Govardhan Puja

New Delhi [India] : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday wished people on the occasion of Govardhan Puja.
“Best wishes for ‘Govardhan Puja’ to all. Jai Shri Krishna!” tweeted Shah. Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also wished people and prayed for the welfare of all.
“Best wishes to all the countrymen on Govardhan Pooja, a symbol of nature, environment and promotion of livestock. I pray to Lord Krishna to remove the sufferings of all and for the welfare of all,” he said in a tweet.
Govardhan Puja is celebrated the day after Diwali.
This day is commemorated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra. As described in the Bhagavata Purana, Lord Krishna gave shelter and protection to villagers of Vrindavan from torrential rains by lifting up the ‘Govardhan Hill’.

Amit Shah wishes people on Gujarati New Year

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the occasion of Gujarati New Year extended greetings to the people of Gujarat.
“Happy New Year to all!! Wishing you all the best for the coming year in the form of happiness, prosperity, security and goodwill ..!!,” tweeted Shah in Gujarati. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to the people of Gujarat on the occasion of Gujarati New Year.
“Happy New Year to all Gujaratis… !! Happy New Year that is starting from today,” tweeted the Prime Minister in Gujarati. He said, “The new year starting from today will bring happiness and prosperity in your life, keep you healthy and lead you to a new step of progress.”
Gujarati New Year, also known as Bestu Varas, marks the beginning of the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar.
On this day people visit the temple to offer puja to deities. Dressed up in festival finery, people meet their relatives and friends to wish them a new year. The day is of special significance for traders and businessmen as it is marked the beginning of the financial year for them and hence, new ledgers are opened on this auspicious day. The enterprising people, mostly engaged in business, herald their Bestu Varas with celebrations, feast and revelry.
Gujarati New Year also coincides with Govardhan Puja celebrations in north India, which takes place on the next day of Diwali every year.
The day is also observed by worshiping the Govardhan Hill, as according to legends, Lord Krishna worshipped the hill in order to protect the people of Mathura city in Uttar Pradesh from heavy rain.

Uttarakhand : PM Modi inaugurates re-development projects worth Rs 130 cr

Rudraprayag (Uttarakhand) [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated various re-development projects worth Rs 130 crores in Kedarnath.
These projects include Saraswati Retaining Wall Aasthapath and Ghats, Mandakini Retaining Wall Aasthapath, Tirth Purohit Houses and Garud Chatti bridge on river Mandakini. Earlier today, he unveiled the statue of Adi Shankaracharya at the premises of the Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag district.
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 the Mandakini river, Kedarnath Temple is the of the four ancient pilgrimage sites referred to as ‘Char Dham’ 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.
The 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.

Regularly reviewed redevelopment works at Kedarnath, says PM Modi

Rudraprayag (Uttarakhand) [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that he has been regularly reviewing redevelopment works at Kedarnath.
While addressing people at Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, the Prime Minister said, “I have regularly reviewed redevelopment works at Kedarnath from Delhi. I reviewed the progress of different works being carried out here through drone footage. I want to thank all ‘Rawals’ here for their guidance for these works.” Lauding the efforts of the people in the state, the Prime Minister said that even amid snowfall, the development works were carried out here.
“Despite extreme weather conditions in Kedarnath, these development projects have come to fruition due to the labourers working tirelessly to help me achieve this mission of restoring strength to this region,” said the Prime Minister.


“I thank the Uttarakhand government, the Chief Minister and all those who have taken responsibility for these works and development,” the PM said.
The Prime Minister today offered prayers at Kedarnath Temple. This is Prime Ministers’ second visit to the temple during his term; the last time he visited the Kedarnath temple was in 2019.
He unveiled the 12-feet statue of Adi Shankaracharya at the premises of the Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag district and inaugurated various re-development projects worth Rs 130 crores.
These projects include Saraswati Retaining Wall Aasthapath and Ghats, Mandakini Retaining Wall Aasthapath, Tirth Purohit Houses and Garud Chatti bridge on river Mandakini.
“The new development projects will enhance the journey of devotees with improved amenities and safety measures to ensure that we are prepared for future calamities,” said the Prime Minister.
Located on the bank of the Mandakini river, Kedarnath Temple is the of the four ancient pilgrimage sites referred to as ‘Char Dham’ 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.

Principles of Adi Shankaracharya still applicable: PM Modi

Rudraprayag (Uttarakhand) [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the principles of Adi Shankaracharya are still applicable today. He pointed out that Indian philosophy talks about human welfare, sees life in a holistic manner and Adi Shankaracharya worked to make society aware of this truth.
“There was a time when spirituality and religion were believed to be associated only with stereotypes. But, Indian philosophy talks about human welfare, sees life in a holistic manner. Adi Shankaracharya worked to make the society aware of this truth,” said PM Modi at Kedarnath. The Prime Minister was speaking after he unveiled the statue of Adi Shankaracharya at the premises of the Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.
The Prime Minister credited Baba Kedar for reconstruction work carried out in Kedarpuri in sub-zero temperatures after the devastating floods of 2013.
“No words to describe the experience of sitting before Adi Guru Shankaracharya”s statue at his rebuilt samadhi,” said PM Modi after unveiling the statue.
PM Modi said, “You all are witness to the inauguration of Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi here today. His devotees are present here in spirit. All maths and ‘jyotirlingas’ in the country are connected with us today.”
He also recalled the destruction caused by the floods in 2013 and said, “People used to think whether Kedarnath could be redeveloped after the floods. But a voice within me always told me that it will be redeveloped again and it will be more majestic than before.”
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 the 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.

Uttarakhand will receive more tourists in next 10 years than last 100 years: PM Modi

Rudraprayag (Uttarakhand) [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that several infrastructure projects have been planned for Uttarakhand which will boost tourism in the state.
“A number of infrastructure works are planned for Uttarakhand including road connectivity to Char Dhams and ropeway near Hemkund Sahib to facilitate devotees. This decade belongs to Uttarakhand. In the next 10 years, the state will receive more tourists than it did in the last 100 years,” the Prime Minister said while addressing people at Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. “Work has also started on a cable car, so that more devotees can visit Kedarnath,” the Prime Minister added.
Lauding the efforts of the state government, he said, “Uttarakhand government is working proactively connecting Char Dham with well-constructed roads and highways which will help in boosting tourism initiatives and employment in the state.”
The Prime Minister today offered prayers at Kedarnath Temple. He also inaugurated various re-development 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.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said, “It is an auspicious day to lay the foundation of not only new projects but opening a gateway of development for this ‘Dev Bhoomi’ to maximise the safety measures for devotees.”
The Prime Minister also unveiled the 12-feet statue of Adi Shankaracharya at the premises of the Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag district. This is Prime Ministers’ second visit to the temple during his term; the last time he visited the Kedarnath temple was in 2019.
Located on the bank of the Mandakini river, Kedarnath Temple is the of the four ancient pilgrimage sites referred to as ‘Char Dham’ 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

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)

Annapurna idol in Kashi Vishwanath

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday said that a 100-year-old idol of Goddess Annapurna, handed over by Canada university to the Indian government, will be installed in Kashi Vishwanath Temple on November 15.
“100-year-ago idol of Maa Annapurna was stolen from Kashi. It ended up at a university in Canada with the exchange of hands. The government of India has received that idol from the University,” said the Chief Minister while addressing the media here. “It is now being given to the Govt of Uttar Pradesh, which will finally be placed in Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Varanasi on November 15,” he added.
Ministry of Culture in an official release on Tuesday had informed that The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) received the idol on October 15 and it will now be taken from Delhi to Aligarh on November 11.
From there it will be taken to Kanauj on November 12 and reach Ayodhya on November 14. Finally, it will reach Varanasi on November 15 where it will be placed at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh after the appropriate rituals, the release said.
Chief Minister Adityanath was accompanied by the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) G Kishan Reddy in the press conference in Lucknow.

PM Modi exhorts officials to widen COVID-19 vaccination coverage by year-end

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday exhorted officials to ensure that the country widens its COVID-19 vaccination coverage by the end of the year and enters the new year with renewed self-belief and confidence.
Immediately after returning from his visit to Italy and Glasgow, the Prime Minister held a review meeting with districts having low vaccination coverage. The meeting included districts with less than 50 per cent coverage of the first dose and low coverage of the second dose of the Covid vaccine. The Prime Minister interacted with District Magistrates of over 40 districts in Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, and other states with districts having low vaccination coverage. As per a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, during the interaction, the Prime Minister discussed the issue of vaccine hesitancy and the local factors behind it in detail. He discussed a wide array of ideas that can be implemented for ensuring 100 per cent vaccination coverage in these districts. The Prime Minister also spoke about maximising community engagement through religious and community leaders.


The District Magistrates gave an account of the issues and challenges being faced in their districts, which has resulted in low vaccination coverage. They highlighted issues like rumours resulting in vaccine hesitancy, difficult terrain, challenges created due to prevailing weather conditions in recent months. They also presented an account of the steps that have been taken by them till now to overcome these challenges. The District Magistrates also shared good practises adopted by them which has led to increase in coverage.
The Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan gave an overview of the vaccination coverage in the country. He gave an account of balance vaccine dose availability in the States, and also talked about special vaccination campaigns being run in the States to further improve vaccination coverage.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister thanked the present Chief Ministers and said that their attention will encourage the district to work with more determination.
The Prime Minster said that in this biggest pandemic of the century, the country faced many challenges. He said “One special thing in the country’s fight against Corona was that we found new solutions and tried innovative methods”.
He urged the administrators to work more on new innovative ways to increase vaccination in their districts. He conveyed that even the better performing districts had similar challenges but they were met with determination and innovation.
The Prime Minister asked the officials to develop micro strategies, keeping in mind the experience so far to go for saturation of vaccination by addressing the gaps at local level. He also asked the district officials to make different strategies for each village, each town in the districts, if need be.
In order to increase the vaccination coverage, he suggested this can be done by forming a team of 20-25 people depending on the region. He also suggested trying to have a healthy competition in the teams that you have formed. Exhorting the officials to prepare region-wise timetables for local goals, the Prime Minister said, “You will have to do your best to take your districts nearer the national average.”
The Prime Minister touched upon the issue of rumours and misunderstanding about vaccination. He suggested awareness is the only solution for this and asked the state officials to take help from the religious leaders. The Prime Minister noted that religious leaders are very enthusiastic about the vaccination campaign. PM Modi recalled his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, a few days ago. He urged for a special emphasis on taking the message of religious leaders on vaccines to the public.
The Prime Minister asked the officials to change gears from arrangements made for taking people to the vaccination center and for safe vaccination to administering vaccines from door to door. He urged the health workers to reach every house with passion ‘har ghar tika, ghar ghar tika’ – Vaccine at every doorstep. He also asked to go in the spirit of ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ knocking on every doorstep to ensure full vaccination. “Now we are preparing to take the vaccination campaign to each household. With the mantra of ‘Har Ghar Dastak’, knock on every door, every household lacking the security net of a double dose of vaccine will be approached” he said.
The Prime Minister cautioned that while knocking on every house, equal attention needed to be paid to the second dose as well as the first dose. Because whenever the cases of infection start decreasing, sometimes the feeling of urgency decreases. The urgency in administering the vaccines comes down among the people. “You will have to contact those people who have not taken the second dose despite the stipulated time on a priority basis…ignoring this has created problems for many countries in the world” he alerted.
The Prime Minister emphasised that under the ‘free vaccine for all campaign’, India created a record of administering about 2.5 crore vaccine doses in a day, this feat bears testimony to India’s capabilities, he said. He asked the district officials to learn from good practices of their colleagues in better-performing districts and emphasised approaches suitable for the local needs and the environment should be adopted.

ANI | Updated: Nov 03, 2021 15:16 IST

New Delhi [India], November 3 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday exhorted officials to ensure that the country widens its COVID-19 vaccination coverage by the end of the year and enters the new year with renewed self-belief and confidence.
Immediately after returning from his visit to Italy and Glasgow, the Prime Minister held a review meeting with districts having low vaccination coverage. The meeting included districts with less than 50 per cent coverage of the first dose and low coverage of the second dose of the Covid vaccine. The Prime Minister interacted with District Magistrates of over 40 districts in Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, and other states with districts having low vaccination coverage. As per a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, during the interaction, the Prime Minister discussed the issue of vaccine hesitancy and the local factors behind it in detail. He discussed a wide array of ideas that can be implemented for ensuring 100 per cent vaccination coverage in these districts. The Prime Minister also spoke about maximising community engagement through religious and community leaders.
The District Magistrates gave an account of the issues and challenges being faced in their districts, which has resulted in low vaccination coverage. They highlighted issues like rumours resulting in vaccine hesitancy, difficult terrain, challenges created due to prevailing weather conditions in recent months. They also presented an account of the steps that have been taken by them till now to overcome these challenges. The District Magistrates also shared good practises adopted by them which has led to increase in coverage.
The Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan gave an overview of the vaccination coverage in the country. He gave an account of balance vaccine dose availability in the States, and also talked about special vaccination campaigns being run in the States to further improve vaccination coverage.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister thanked the present Chief Ministers and said that their attention will encourage the district to work with more determination.
The Prime Minster said that in this biggest pandemic of the century, the country faced many challenges. He said “One special thing in the country’s fight against Corona was that we found new solutions and tried innovative methods”.
He urged the administrators to work more on new innovative ways to increase vaccination in their districts. He conveyed that even the better performing districts had similar challenges but they were met with determination and innovation.
The Prime Minister asked the officials to develop micro strategies, keeping in mind the experience so far to go for saturation of vaccination by addressing the gaps at local level. He also asked the district officials to make different strategies for each village, each town in the districts, if need be.
In order to increase the vaccination coverage, he suggested this can be done by forming a team of 20-25 people depending on the region. He also suggested trying to have a healthy competition in the teams that you have formed. Exhorting the officials to prepare region-wise timetables for local goals, the Prime Minister said, “You will have to do your best to take your districts nearer the national average.”
The Prime Minister touched upon the issue of rumours and misunderstanding about vaccination. He suggested awareness is the only solution for this and asked the state officials to take help from the religious leaders. The Prime Minister noted that religious leaders are very enthusiastic about the vaccination campaign. PM Modi recalled his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, a few days ago. He urged for a special emphasis on taking the message of religious leaders on vaccines to the public.
The Prime Minister asked the officials to change gears from arrangements made for taking people to the vaccination center and for safe vaccination to administering vaccines from door to door. He urged the health workers to reach every house with passion ‘har ghar tika, ghar ghar tika’ – Vaccine at every doorstep. He also asked to go in the spirit of ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ knocking on every doorstep to ensure full vaccination. “Now we are preparing to take the vaccination campaign to each household. With the mantra of ‘Har Ghar Dastak’, knock on every door, every household lacking the security net of a double dose of vaccine will be approached” he said.
The Prime Minister cautioned that while knocking on every house, equal attention needed to be paid to the second dose as well as the first dose. Because whenever the cases of infection start decreasing, sometimes the feeling of urgency decreases. The urgency in administering the vaccines comes down among the people. “You will have to contact those people who have not taken the second dose despite the stipulated time on a priority basis…ignoring this has created problems for many countries in the world” he alerted.
The Prime Minister emphasised that under the ‘free vaccine for all campaign’, India created a record of administering about 2.5 crore vaccine doses in a day, this feat bears testimony to India’s capabilities, he said. He asked the district officials to learn from good practices of their colleagues in better-performing districts and emphasised approaches suitable for the local needs and the environment should be adopted.

There should be no laxity in ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday emphasised on the need to maintain a good pace of COVID-19 vaccine administration and said that there should be no laxity in the ongoing vaccination drive.
The Prime Minister today held a review meeting to discuss the progress of COVID vaccination. “Progress made so far is due to your hard work. Every member of the administration, ASHA workers worked a lot, walked for miles and took vaccination to remote locations. But if we become lax after 1 Billion, a new crisis can come,” the Prime Minister said.
“They say one must never underestimate disease and enemies. They have to be fought against till the very end. So, I would want that there should be no laxity in the ongoing vaccination drive,” he added.
The meeting was held virtually with districts having low COVID-19 vaccination coverage. The meeting included districts with less than 50 per cent coverage of the first dose and low coverage of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Prime Minister interacted with District Magistrates of over 40 districts in Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, and other States with districts having low vaccination coverage.

7,965 cr for Armed Forces Modernization

New Delhi [India] : Defence Acquisition Council, headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Tuesday, approved proposals worth Rs 7,965 crore for Armed Forces modernisation under ‘Make in India‘, said a press release by the Ministry of Defence.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in its meeting of November 02, 2021, held under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition proposals for modernisation and operational needs of the Armed Forces amounting to Rs 7,965 crore. All of these proposals (100%) are under ‘Make in India’ with a focus on design, development and manufacturing in India, added the press release. Key approvals of procurement from domestic sources include twelve Light Utility Helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); Lynx U2 Fire Control System from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) which will enhance the detection tracking and engagement capabilities of Naval warships and Mid Life Upgradation of the Dornier Aircraft from HAL to increase the Naval capacity of maritime reconnaissance and coastal surveillance, as per the press release.

As a further impetus to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, a global procurement case of Naval guns has been foreclosed with these guns’ quantity added to the upgraded Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) being manufactured by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), according to the press statement.
These SRGMs provide niche capabilities of engaging fast manoeuvring targets using guided munitions & range extensions and are to be fitted on the warships of the Indian Navy.

PM Modi extends greetings to people on Dhanteras

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended his greetings to the people on the occasion of Dhanteras.
“Greetings to everyone on the special occasion of Dhanteras,” tweeted the Prime Minister. Dhanteras, which marks the beginning of the five-day festival of lights is considered a propitious day to buy and bring in new things, especially metals like gold and silver.
The first day of Diwali commenced on Tuesday with Dhanteras marking the beginning of festivities.
The day is observed on the 13th lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Vikram Sambat Hindu calendar month of Aaswayuja in the Amaavasyanta Luni-Solar Calendar.
Literally, Dhanteras means ‘dhan’ or wealth, while ‘teras’ is the 13th day of the moon cycle wherein people offer prayers to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. (ANI)

PM Modi meets members of Indian community in Glasgow ahead of COP-26

Glasgow [UK], November 1 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with members of the Indian community in Glasgow on Monday to strengthen people-to-people bonds ahead of his participation in the 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-26).
“Strengthening our people-to-people bonds. Indian community members and Indologists gather in Glasgow to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet. At COP-26, the parties are expected to work to achieve the completion of Paris Agreement implementation guidelines; the mobilisation of climate finance; actions to strengthen climate adaptation, technology development and transfer; and keeping in reach the Paris Agreement goals of limiting the rise in global temperatures.


The COP-26 is going to be a multilateral event and an opportunity for “Prime Ministers of India and the UK to sit together and review the implementation, the progress that had been made on the roadmap 2030 in May 2021,” High Commissioner of India to UK Gaitri Issar Kumar had said during an interview with ANI.
The COP-26 is set to take place under the Presidency of the UK partnering with Italy. The high-level segment of COP-26 is titled the World Leaders’ Summit (WLS) and the Summit will be attended by Heads of State/Government of more than 120 countries.
PM Modi arrived in Glasgow on Sunday. The Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to participate in the event.
Later in the day, PM Modi is also scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of COP-26 and will also meet UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss bilateral ties between India and the UK.
PM Modi is also slated to launch two important initiatives under the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the 26th session of the Conference of Parties.


This comes after PM Modi participated in the G20 summit and in the Summit on Global Supply Chain Resilience, on the sidelines of the G20. He also met outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Rome.

Akhilesh Yadav should apologize for comparing Jinnah with Sardar Patel, says Adityanath

Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said that Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav should apologize to the people of the country for comparing Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who worked towards uniting the nation, with Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who divided India.
“Yesterday, I was listening to Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav’s statement. He was comparing Jinnah, who divided the country, with the Saradar Vallabhbhai Patel, who united the country. This is extremely shameful. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel laid the foundation of India’s unity and integrity and is its creator,” Adityanath said while addressing people here today. He further made a scathing attack on Yadav saying his “divisive mindset” came to the fore once again as he tried to glorify Jinnah.
“His divisive mindset came to the fore once again when he tried to glorify Jinnah by equating Sardar Patel with him. It’s Talibani mentality that believes in dividing. SP national president should apologize for this,” said Adityanath.


He added, “The whole society and the state should condemn this. SP national president should ask for an apology from the people of the country. The country cannot accept the insult of the creator of India’s integrity.”
With months ahead of 2022 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Chief Minister also said that the people of the state and the country will not accept such a “divisive mindset.”
Notably, Yadav has previously served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017. While addressing a press conference last week, he asserted that his party will form the government after 2022 assembly polls.
On the occasion of the 146th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which is celebrated as ‘National Unity Day’, Yadav was addressing a gathering when he remarked that Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah studied in the same institute, where they became barristers and fought for India’s independence.
“Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah studied in the same institute. They became barristers and fought for India’s freedom… It was Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who imposed a ban on an ideology (RSS),” Yadav had said.
Sardar Patel, who died on December 15, 1950, is widely attributed for uniting the princely states of the pre-independent country to build the Republic of India.

Akhilesh Yadav not to contest UP Polls

“Our alliance with RLD is final. Seat sharing is to be finalised,” Akhilesh Yadav said.

Lucknow ( Uttar Pradesh ) : Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav on Monday said he will not be contesting the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls early next year. He also said that an alliance between his party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for the polls has been finalised.

“Our alliance with RLD is final. Seat sharing is to be finalised,” the Samajwadi Party chief said.

Yadav, who is also SP MP from Azamgarh and the chief minister face of his party, said he will “not be contesting the assembly polls”.

On chances of taking uncle Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia  (PSPL) along in the polls, he said, “I don’t have any problem in this. He and his men will be given due honour”. 

On Sunday, Akhilesh Yadav had claimed all sections of people in Uttar Pradesh have made up their minds to bring his party to power in the state after the 2022 assembly elections.

Addressing a public meeting in Hardoi, he said that Uttar Pradesh will get back on the path to prosperity after the SP returns to power.

Taking a dig at the ruling BJP, Yadav said that the party has only one thing to do — renaming works carried out by the previous SP government.

“The BJP is inaugurating all works done by the Samajwadi Party. ‘Baba mukhyamantri’ is an amazing chief minister who has not inaugurated any work done by his government,” he said, referring to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

First arrest in Deshmukh case

The CBI took into custody Jagtap, an alleged middleman, from Maharashtra’s Thane in the morning, officials said, adding that the accused was evading the probe even after the issuance of non-bailable warrants against him last month.

Mumbai (Maharastra ) : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday arrested one person identified as, Santosh Jagtap, in connection with a case of alleged corruption against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, making it the first arrest in the high-profile case, officials said. The CBI took into custody Jagtap, an alleged middleman, from Maharashtra’s Thane in the morning, they said, adding that the accused was evading the probe even after the issuance of non-bailable warrants against him last month.

In August this year, the agency had raided the premises of Jagtap and seized Rs 9 lakh in cash, the officials said.

The CBI has booked Deshmukh and other unidentified accused under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) section related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act for an “attempt to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of public duty”.

After he was removed from the Mumbai police commissioner’s post, Param Bir Singh had alleged in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that Deshmukh had asked Waze to extort over Rs 100 crore a month from the bars and restaurants in the city.

“The Preliminary Enquiry prima facie revealed that a cognizable offence is made out in the matter, wherein the then home minister of Maharashtra, Anil Deshmukh, and unknown others attempted to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of their public duty,” the CBI FIR alleges.

According to the CBI manual, a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) is initiated to assess if there is enough prima facie material in the allegations to proceed with a regular case for a full-fledged probe, the officials said.

The CBI enquiry found that Waze, Assistant Police Inspector, Mumbai Police, was reinstated into the force after being out of police service for more than 15 years.

He was entrusted with most of the sensational and important cases of Mumbai City Police and Deshmukh, the then home minister, knew about it, the FIR alleges.

It also alleges that Deshmukh “and others” exercised undue influence over the transfer and posting of officials, thereby exercising undue influence over the performance of their official duties.

PM Modi departs for Glasgow to participate in COP26

Rome [Italy] : After taking part in the key G-20 summit and other bilaterals here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday departed for Glasgow to participate in the crucial 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-26) and hold other meetings.
“Leaving for Glasgow after a fruitful @g20org Summit in Rome. During the Summit, we were able to have elaborate deliberations on issues of global importance such as fighting the pandemic, improving health infrastructure, boosting economic cooperation and furthering innovation,” Narendra Modi wrote in a tweet. COP-26 is being held from October 31 to November 12 under the Presidency of the UK partnering with Italy.
The high-level segment of COP-26, titled the World Leaders’ Summit (WLS), will be held on November 1-2. The Summit will be attended by Heads of State/Government of more than 120 countries.
This comes after PM Modi participated in the G20 summit and in the Summit on Global Supply Chain Resilience, on the sidelines of the G20. He also met outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indonesian President Joko Widodo here.


Earlier on Saturday, world leaders including PM Modi kicked off the first session of the G20 Rome Summit and discussed the global economy and health.
On the sidelines of G20, PM Modi interacted with several world leaders including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Among other dignitaries that he was seen greeting included Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
PM Modi had also met Pope Francis on Saturday and presented him a silver candle stand and a book on India’s commitment to the environment during their meeting at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. Prime Minister also invited Pope to visit India during a “very warm” meeting at the Vatican City which lasted for an hour. He also met his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.
PM Modi will hold numerous bilateral meetings on the sidelines of COP-26, including with the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson.
COP-26 was originally slated to be held in 2020, but was deferred to 2021 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, addressing a special briefing on the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UK for COP26, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla noted that India is taking ambitious action on expanding clean and renewable energy.
He said that the country will work towards mobilisation of climate finance and for action to strengthen climate adaptation technology development at COP26 in Glasgow.
He said Prime Minister will deliver a national statement at the World Leaders Summit of COP26 on November 1.
PM Modi will participate in a leader’s event organized by the COP26 presidency around the themes of climate change, mitigation, adaptation and building resilience, clean technology innovation.
Prime Minister last attended the COP-21 in Paris in 2015, when the Paris Agreement was concluded, and whose implementation commences this year.
At COP-26, the parties will work to achieve the completion of Paris Agreement implementation guidelines; the mobilisation of climate finance; actions to strengthen climate adaptation, technology development and transfer; and keeping in reach the Paris Agreement goals of limiting the rise in global temperatures.

Jinnah and Gandhi compared

Condemning the statement, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “The country considers Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the villain of the partition. Calling Jinnah the hero of freedom is the politics of Muslim appeasement.”

Lucknow (UP): Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday, comparing Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah said that they all were from the same institute, and fought for India’s freedom. “Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah studied in the same institute,” the former UP Chief Minister said, “they became barristers and fought for India’s freedom.”

Adding further, Yadav said that “It was Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who imposed a ban on an ideology,” referring to the RSS and ruling party BJP. Condemning the statement, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “The country considers Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the villain of the partition. Calling Jinnah the hero of freedom is the politics of Muslim appeasement.”

Yadav lavished praise on Patel on his 146th birth anniversary but raised eyebrows at one point when he appeared to equate the four leaders, including Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

Addressing a public meeting in Hardoi, the SP leader said, “Sardar Patel understood the ground and he made decisions accordingly. Hence, he is also known as the Iron Man.

“Sardar Patel, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah studied in the same institute and became barristers. They helped (India) get freedom and never backed away from any struggle.”

Yadav also referred to the ban imposed on the RSS by Patel, the then home minister, following the assassination of Gandhi in 1948, saying only he could do it. He said Patel fought for farmers and hence, is known as ‘Sardar’.

“The BJP is remembering the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, today. But if it walks on the path shown by Sardar Patel, then the three farm laws, which it has enacted, should be withdrawn. This will be a true tribute to Patel,” he added.

“The BJP claims that it is walking on the path shown by Sardar Patel, but today farmers are the saddest,” Yadav said.

Farmers’ income has dipped, there is price rise and the way this government is functioning, every section of society is feeling insulted, he alleged.

On the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Yadav claimed that all sections of people in the state have made up their minds to elect an SP government in the 2022 elections. After the SP comes to power, Uttar Pradesh will get back on the path to growth and prosperity.

Taking a dig at the ruling BJP, he said that the party has only one thing to do — renaming projects completed by the previous SP government.

“The BJP is inaugurating all projects undertaken by the Samajwadi Party. ‘Baba mukhyamantri’ is an amazing chief minister who has not inaugurated any work done by his government,” Yadav said, referring to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

PM Modi’s mantra of sustainable development finds resonance at G-20 Rome declaration: Piyush Goyal

Rome [Italy] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra of sustainable lifestyles finds resonance in the G-20’s Rome declaration on sustainable consumption and responsible production patterns in line with Sustainable Development Goal 12, Union Commerce Minister and India’s G20 Sherpa Piyush Goyal said here on Sunday.
“For the first time, G20 has identified sustainable and responsible consumption and production along with the provision of finance and technology as critical enablers for achieving climate goals first decided at Paris,” said Goyal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the G-20 summit here and held several bilaterals with his counterparts.


Detailing the Rome declaration, Goyal said, “Coming out of the sustainable development point number 12 — which is aimed at encouraging the developed countries to reduce their luxurious and energy-intensive lifestyle — has been discussed and accepted.”
Underlining that energy and climate was clearly the centre stage of the discussion, Goyal said that India and many other developing countries have pushed for safeguarding the interest of the developing world.
“We are also joined by developed countries to increase the ambition from current levels of commitment,” the union minister said.
He also emphasised that the importance of energy security and the stability of energy markets has also been recognised by the G-20 leaders’ summit.
The G-20 Sherpa further said that “we have also been able to push the commitment of the developed world to provide 100 billion dollars every year from now until 2025”.
“And the commitment of all the countries to mobilise greater levels of capital for less developed countries and emerging economies,” said Goyal.
Emphasising that G20 also agreed to extend the debt service suspension initiative, he said that through this, low-income courtiers will not be burdened with debt repayment at this critical time.

G20 has delivered strong message of recovery from COVID-19 pandemic: Piyush Goyal

The G20 summit has delivered a strong message of recovery from the COVID pandemic in terms of tourism, economy and climate change, Union Commerce Minister and India’s G20 Sherpa Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.
The leaders of G20 nations have adopted a declaration during the Rome summit, the minister said. Goyal, addressing media after the conclusion of the G20 summit, said that this communique gives a very strong message under the health section where the leaders have agreed that COVID immunization is a global public good.


“The theme of the G20 summit was people planet and prosperity. Truly, within this overarching theme, this G20 has delivered a strong message of recovery from the pandemic, recovery in terms of the economy and across different sectors like health employment education tourism and most significant climate action,” Goyal, the Union Commerce and Industry Minister, said.
“Leaders adopted the ‘Rome Declaration’ at the G20 Summit. This communique gives a very strong message under health section where we have agreed that COVID immunization is a global public good,” he added.
Negotiators for the Group of 20 worked through the night and talks continued Sunday morning in hopes of reaching consensus for a final statement.
The Group of 20 leaders also agreed to end public financing for coal-fired power generation abroad, but set no target for phasing out coal domestically — a clear nod to top carbon polluters China and India.
On agriculture, the leaders have agreed that livelihoods for small and marginal farmers were the focus of our discussions, the minister said.
“Everybody has agreed that improving their livelihoods is an important global effort that we’ll have to put in,” he said.
Goyal said that energy and climate was clearly the centre stage of discussion during G20 Summit.
“Energy and climate was clearly the centre stage of our discussion. India and many other developing countries pushed for safeguarding the interest of the developing world. We are also joined by developed countries to increase the ambition from current levels of commitment,” he said.

Dehradun: 13 deaths in Accident

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India] : The death toll in the Dehradun road mishap climbed to 13 on Sunday, informed Dehradun District Magistrate Dr R Rajesh Kumar.
He further stated that teams have been deployed at the accident site to conduct rescue operations and two have been rescued so far. Dehradun District Magistrate Dr R Rajesh Kumar has given further information on the road accident of Bulhad-Baila road in the Chakrata tehsil of Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district.


Kumar said, “We had received info that the vehicle rolled down a gorge. The teams are on the spot and 13 deaths are confirmed and two have been rescued so far and making postmortem facility available at the spot.
“CM has sent a message that compensation will be given to injured and kins of deceased”, he added.
Earlier in the day, 11 people were killed and four were left injured in a road accident at Bulhad-Baila road in the Chakrata tehsil of Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district.

Local train services resume in WB

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the local train services across West Bengal resumed with 50 per cent seating capacity on Sunday.
Meanwhile, West Bengal reported 990 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths in the last 24 hours. Earlier this week, the Central government asked the West Bengal government to take note of the rising cases of COVID-19 in Kolkata and take measures to contain the spread of the virus following Durga Puja celebrations.

PM to review vaccination

New Delhi [India] : Immediately after returning to India after attending the G20 Summit and COP26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a review meeting with districts having low COVID-19 vaccination coverage on November 3 at 12 noon via video conferencing.
As per an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the meeting will include districts with less than 50 per cent coverage of the first dose and low coverage of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The Prime Minister will interact with District Magistrates of over 40 districts in Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, and other States with districts having low vaccination coverage. Chief Ministers of these States will also be present on the occasion, it added.
Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 106.14 crore. A total of 1,06,14,40,335 vaccine doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries. Of these, 68,04,806 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

Attempts were made to forget Sardar’s contributions

Narmada (Gujarat) [India] : In a veiled attack on Congress, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that attempts were made post-Independence to forget Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and his contributions, but the situation has changed as the world’s tallest statue is a testimony of the changed realities.
“Unfortunate attempts were made to forget Sardar Patel. After independence, his contributions were never given due respect. He was neither given Bharat Ratna nor proper respect. The situation has changed. He was given Bharat Ratna and this world’s tallest statue is before us to see,” Shah said while addressing the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ (National Unity Day) programme at Kevadia in Gujarat’s Narmada district to mark Sardar Patel’s 146th birth anniversary. Shah further said that in 2014, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the government at the Centre, October 31 was introduced as National Unity Day.


“When there was a change in the country in 2014, the government was formed under the leadership of Modi ji, then it was decided to celebrate October 31 as National Unity Day. This was done so that the struggle that Sardar Patel fought for independence for years continues to inspire the younger generation of the country,” Shah noted.
Earlier today, he paid floral tributes to Patel at his 182-metre tall statue, which is the tallest in the world. The statue was inaugurated in October 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking at the event, Shah said that Kevadia has become a pilgrimage site.
“Kevadia is not just the name of a place, it has become a shrine – a shrine of national unity, of patriotism. This sky-high statue of Sardar Patel is giving a message to the world that India’s future is bright, that nobody can damage the unity and integrity of India,” he said.
Sardar Patel, who is credited with uniting all 562 princely states of the pre-independent country to build the Republic of India, passed away on December 15, 1950.

Amit Shah attends ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ in Gujarat’s Kevadia, pays tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Kevadia (Gujarat) [India] : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 146th birth anniversary at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Kevadia.
Shah presided over the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ (National Unity Day) function at Kevadia where he also paid floral tribute to Sadar Patel’s 182-metre-tall statue. Men’s hockey team captain, Olympian Manpreet Singh and other athletes also participated in the parade at Statue of Unity in Kevadia today.
On the occasion of the 75th year of India’s Independence, 75 cyclists from ITBP, SSB, CISF, CRPF and BSF, who have travelled approximately 9,000 km from various parts of the country to Kevadiya, will be taking part in the event as per an official statement.
A total of 101 motorcyclists from police of the states of Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat, who have travelled from the East, South, North and West of the country to Kevadiya covering approximately 9,200 km will also be part of the event.


Twenty-three medal winners in the Olympic Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, including Manpreet Singh, the captain of India’s Bronze winning Men’s Hockey team at the Tokyo Olympics will also be participating in the event.
National Unity Day is celebrated in India on October 31. It was introduced by the Central government in 2014. The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel who had a major role in the political integration of India.

Sardar Patel wanted equal opportunities for all: PM Modi

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of National Unity Day, which is celebrated as the birth anniversary of India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, remarked on Sunday that for Sardar Patel ‘Ek Bharat’ meant equal opportunities for all including women, Dalits, deprived section of people, tribal and forest dwellers.
Addressing the nation, PM Modi said, “‘Sabka Prayas’ is even more relevant in the Amrit Kaal of Independence. This ‘Azadi ka Amrit Kaal’ is of unprecedented growth, achieving difficult goals and building the India of Sardar Saheb’s dreams.”. The Prime Minister remarked that for Sardar Patel, ‘Ek Bharat’ meant equal opportunities for all. Elaborating this concept, he said, ” ‘Ek Bharat’ is a Bharat that gives equal opportunities to women, Dalits, deprived, tribal and forest dwellers. Where housing, electricity and water is within the reach of everyone without discrimination. The Country is doing the same with ‘Sabka Prayas’,” he added.
He said that Sardar Patel is not just a historical figure but lives in the heart of every countryman and people who are taking his message of unity forward are the true symbol of an unfractured feeling of unity. Rashtriya Ekta Parades in every nook and corner of the country and events at the statue of Unity are reflecting the same spirit, he said.
He said India is not just a geographical unity but is a nation replete with the generous standards of ideals, notions, civilization and culture. “This land mass where 130 crore Indian live is an integral part of our soul, dreams and aspirations,” he said.


Referring to the strengthening of India’s democratic traditions by the emotion of One India, the Prime Minister called for a collective effort from every citizen in the direction of achieving the goals of the country. The Prime Minister emphasized that Sardar Patel wanted a strong, inclusive, sensitive and alert India. An India that has humility as well as development. “Inspired by Sardar Patel, India is becoming fully capable of meeting external and internal challenges”, he added.
Referring to steps taken to strengthen the country in the last 7 years, the Prime Minister informed that the country got rid of unnecessary old laws, strengthened the ideals of unity, and emphasis on connectivity and infrastructure has reduced geographical and cultural distances.
“Today, strengthening the feeling of ‘Ek Bharat- Shreshth Bharat’, a ‘Mahayagya’ of social, economic and constitutional integration is going on” and the country’s resolve and capability in Water, sky, land and space are unprecedented and the nation has started moving on the path of new mission of Aatmnirbharta.
The Prime Minister reiterated the power of ‘Sabka Prayas’ in the fight against Corona where new covid hospitals, essential medicines, 100 crore doses of vaccines were made possible due to the collective efforts of every citizen.
Referring to the recently launched PM GatiShakti National Master Plan to harness the collective power of government departments, the Prime Minister said that if along with the government, people’s ‘Gatishakti’ is also leveraged, nothing is impossible. Therefore, he said, that our every, action should be marked by consideration for wider national goals. He gave examples of students who can consider the sector-specific innovations when they choose their stream of study or while, shopping, people should keep the goal of Aatmnirbharta, along with their personal preferences. Similarly, industry and farmers, cooperative institutions can keep the goals of the country in mind while making their choices.
The Prime Minister gave the example of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and said that the government has made people’s participation into the nation’s strength. “Whenever ‘Ek Bharat’ moves, we get success and also contribute towards ‘Shreshth Bharat'”, he concluded.

Due to Sardar Patel, India capable of dealing with external, internal challenges, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India] : On the occasion of the birth anniversary of India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said due to Patel’s inspiration, the country has become capable of dealing with all kinds of challenges — external and internal.
Addressing the country on National Unity Day, PM Modi said, “Today, due to his inspiration, India is becoming capable of dealing with all kinds of challenges — external and internal. In the last seven years, the country got rid of decades-old unwanted laws.” “Our goals can only be met if we stay united. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel always wanted India to be strong, inclusive, sensitive, alert, polite and developed. He always gave importance to the nation’s interest,” he added.
The theme of the National Unity Day is “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat”.
As India celebrates the 146th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the “country can move ahead only if we stay united”.
He said, “Strong foundation of democracy that developed in the society and traditions of India, prospered the sense of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’. But we must also remember that all the passengers sitting in a boat have to take care of the boat. We can go ahead only if we stay united.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 146th birth anniversary at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Kevadia.
Shah presided over the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ (National Unity Day) function at Kevadia where he also paid floral tribute to Sadar Patel’s 182-metre-tall statue.
On the occasion of the 75th year of India’s Independence, 75 cyclists from ITBP, SSB, CISF, CRPF and BSF, who have travelled approximately 9,000 km from various parts of the country to Kevadiya, will be taking part in the event as per an official statement.

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)

Kashmir : First ever floating theatre at Dal Lake

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India] : The first-ever open-air floating theatre in Jammu and Kashmir has been launched in the famous Dal lake.
During the concluding ceremony of the ongoing Iconic week celebrations, the theatre was inaugurated by J-K Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta. This theatre aims to attract tourism to the union territory. Kashmir has earned fame on a global level for its natural beauty and Bollywood filmmakers have called it a ‘photographers paradise’.



On this occasion, a Shikara rally, adorned with shining lights passed through Nehru Park to Kabootar Khana with local artists singing and dancing to Kashmiri songs which entertained guests and passersby.

Bollywood film ‘Kashmir ki Kali’ was shown to tourists and residents of the area in the theatre.
Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary, Tourism and Culture, J-K government said that the theatre will benefit tourism in the union territory.
“We have a great demand for evening activities. The concept of open-air is pretty unique, not found anywhere in this world. It will greatly advantage the tourism in Kashmir. Shikara, houseboat owners, the hotel industry is welcoming tourists with open hands. J-K is safest from the COVID-19 point of view since the entire tourist industry is vaccinated. Various capacity-building programmes were done on COVID protocols by the industry. Since winter is coming soon, hope people from the country and world will visit J-K,” he said while talking to ANI.

Locals and tourists alike appreciated the government initiative which they believe will boost tourism in Kashmir.
Bilal Ahmed, a houseboat owner told ANI, “Such programmes are good. If they keep happening, tourism will increase in Kashmir. I urge everyone to visit Kashmir and enjoy. It is extremely safe. This theatre is great too. More activities like this should happen so that tourists are attracted to this place.”
“I congratulate the tourism department for organising such a great programme. This is a one of a kind that can showcase the beauty of Kashmir, which has also been shown a lot in movies. Now today, we are able to enjoy a movie in the middle of Dal Lake in a houseboat in such a great environment,” a local visitor Deeba said.

“Congress equals to scams”

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India] : Hitting out at the Congress, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the grand old party is synonymous with corruption and scams and its leaders always turn down promises.
Shah, while speaking at the inauguration event of ‘Ghasiyari Kalyan Yojana’ here, challenged Uttarakhand’s former Chief Minister Harish Rawat to an open debate over the promises made and fulfilled by Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that his party has fulfilled around 85 per cent of promises made in its manifesto. “Congress is synonymous with corruption and scams. The party do not bother about the development of any state. Congress always turns down its promise. Congress only does appeasement and cannot do any welfare work for Uttarakhand,” the Union Minister said.


“The Congress leaders could not be been seen during COVID-19, floods in the state. But when elections are around they emerge and start doing press conferences,” he said.
Shah further lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and said, “Only BJP government under the leadership of PM Modi can work for the welfare of the poor and provide good governance to the country. Uttarakhand has seen overall development in the last four years. BJP is committed to the development of the state under the leadership of CM Pushkar Singh Dhami.”
“I challenge Harish Rawat Ji to an open debate on the promises made and fulfilled by Congress and BJP in their respective election manifestos. The BJP has fulfilled around 85 per cent of promises made in its manifesto,” he added.
Shah also informed that PM Modi would be visiting the Kedarnath Dham on November 5, where he will be inaugurating an idol of Adi Shankaracharya.
Polls for the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly are scheduled to take place in early 2022.
In the 2017 elections, BJP secured 57 Assembly seats, Congress won 11 seats and the rest of the seats were won by others.

Demands 60 pc share in coal cess

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India] : Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday demanded 60 per cent share of clean energy cess levied on coal from the central government.
Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi met Chief Minister Patnaik on Friday. Union Minister of State for Railways, Coal and Mines Raosaheb Patil Danve was also present in the meeting. During the meeting, the chief minister raised the issue of clean energy cess and demanded for at least 60 per cent share of the cess collected from Odisha.
According to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) release, Odisha produced 153.85 million tonnes of coal contributing to about 25 per cent of the country’s production in the year 2020-21. Centre collects Clean Energy Cess at the rate 400 rupees per tonne which amounts to more than Rs 50,000 crore.
“Thus 60 per cent of the cess will give Odisha an amount of Rs 30,000 crore which can be utilised for the economic development of coal mining areas and the affected people,” the release said.
During the meeting, Chief Minister Patnaik also demanded the establishment of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Sundergarh.
He said that the integrated campus for a 500-bedded hospital and 100-seated medical college at Sundergarh has been completed by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) but it is yet to be operationalized.
Patnaik also requested the union minister for early functioning of MCL Medical College and Hospital at Talcher where infrastructure is ready for long, the release said.

NIA raids in J-K, 2 arrested

New Delhi [India] : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday conducted searches at eight places in three Jammu and Kashmir districts and arrested two more accused in the J-K terrorism conspiracy case.
The agency conducted searches at Srinagar, Sopore and Baramulla districts of Jammu and Kashmir and arrested Amir Ahmad Gojri and Saddat Amin. The case related to conspiracy for undertaking violent terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir and other major cities, by cadres of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Al Badr and their affiliates such as the Resistance Front (TRF), People Against Fascist Forces (PAFF).
The NIA had registered the case on October 10 this year and initiated the investigation. Till now 23 accused persons have been arrested in this case by NIA.
The searches conducted today led to the recovery of electronic devices and incriminating jehadi documents and posters, the agency said.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed that arrested accused persons are terror associates and Over Ground Workers of various proscribed terrorist organisations and have been providing logistical and material support to terrorists.

Rajinikanth undergoes carotid surgery, likely to be discharged from hospital in few days

Chennai [Tamil Nadu] : South superstar Rajinikanth, who was on Thursday admitted to Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, underwent carotid artery revascularisation on Friday.
According to a medical bulletin issued by the Kauvery Hospital, the Padma Bhushan awardee is recovering well after he underwent carotid endarterectomy which is a surgical procedure that removes plaque from the inside of a patient’s carotid artery in order to restore normal blood flow to the brain. The medical bulletin also states that the actor is likely to be discharged in a few days.

Rajinikanth, who was in New Delhi a few days back to receive the esteemed Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to cinema, had gone to the Kauvery hospital for a routine checkup, where he later had to be admitted.
During his visit to the national capital, Rajinikanth had also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind.
Earlier, in December 2020, the star had been admitted to the Apollo hospital, Hyderabad, due to fluctuating blood pressure and exhaustion.
The ‘2.0’ star had made his debut in 1975 with K Balachander’s ‘Apoorva Ragangal’ and has completed more than 45 years in the Tamil film industry.
The 70-year-old star has featured in South Indian and Bollywood movies and has a humongous fan following.
He has delivered hit films such as ‘Billu’, ‘Muthu’, ‘Baashha’, ‘Sivaji’, and ‘Enthiran’. Rajinikanth was last seen in AR Murugadoss’s ‘Darbar’. He will next be seen in his upcoming film ‘Annaatthe’, which is slated to release on November 4.

PM Modi pays floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Piazza Gandhi in Rome

Rome [Italy] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s bust at Piazza Gandhi during his two-day visit to Rome.
“Remembering Bapu – the Mahatma whose ideals continue to inspire the world! PM @narendramodi offered floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s bust at Piazza Gandhi in Rome, Italy,” official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi tweeted. PM Modi arrived at Rome today to participate in the two-day G20 Summit, the global forum for international cooperation. PM Modi is expected to hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 Summit including one with Italian PM Mario Draghi.
Ahead of the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Modi held a joint meeting with Charles Michel, President of the European Council and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission in Rome.
Apart from attending the summit, which has its focus on the global economy, health, sustainable development, environment and climate change, there are likely to be meeting with heads of several states.


PM Modi is expected to be hosted at the residence of the Italian PM in the evening. On October 30, the Prime Minister is scheduled to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican early morning and will attend the G20 summit that has “Global Economy and Global Health” as the first session.
The same day, Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to have a meeting with President of France Emmanuel Macron and a meeting with the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. PM Modi is expected to have a meeting with Singapore PM Lee Hosein Loong as well.
The next day, the Prime Minister is expected to have a meeting with Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the G20 summit besides participating in discussions on “Climate Change and Environment and Sustainable Development”. There will be a global summit on supply chain resilience, sources said.
Indian Sherpa Piyush Goyal has held various meetings with his counterparts.
G20 is a global forum whose members account for more than 80 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent population. The theme of this G20 meet under the Italian Presidency is centred around ‘People, Planet and Prosperity.’
The Summit is being attended by heads of state, governments of G20 member countries, the European Union and other invited countries and international organisations.

Rome: PM Modi gets rousing welcome from Indian diaspora at Piazza Gandhi

Rome [Italy] : Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a rousing welcome from Indian diaspora on Friday when he reached Piazza Gandhi in Rome to pay floral tributes to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Soon as the PM’s cavalcade entered the premises, chants of PM’s name reverberated in the surroundings. Excited to have a close glimpse of PM Modi and a chance to shake hands, Indian diaspora members travelled overnight to have this opportunity of meeting the PM in the foreign land.
PM Modi after paying floral tribute to Gandhi met the Indian disapora members waiting to have a quick word with the leader.
“In Rome, I had the opportunity to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, whose ideals give courage and inspiration to millions globally,” PM Modi tweeted after paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi.

A yoga guru, Hariom Kalia, along with his three students recited Shiv Stuti that brought smile to the PM’s face.
Hariom Kalia, who has been practising Yoga in Italy for more than 20 years told PM Modi that he hails from Nagpur.

Pm Modi interacted with Kalia in Marathi. Also, responded in Gujarati to a woman who asked him as to how he is doing.
Moving on to another set of supporters, PM Modi waved and the crowd started raising slogans like “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Modi, Modi”.
Vishwanath Valluri who has roots in Andhra Pradesh and is now working for the European Space Agency, told ANI that he is excited and do not have words to express the joy of meeting the PM.
“I am very excited to see PM Modi. Overall he is rebranding India’s name, through the G20 summit our voice will be heard. We felt happy and delighted to get a chance to meet our beloved leader,” he said.
Satish Kumar Joshi, Convenor, Overseas Friends of BJP said that it is a great opportunity for both Italy and India to strengthen their relationship.
“We are very proud. After several years, an Indian leader has arrived here in Italy. PM Modi is the world’s leader. Since he has assumed office in 2014, he has delivered what he promised,” he said.

SC to hear plea of Central Vista land use

New Delhi [India] : The Supreme Court on Friday posted the hearing of a plea on the issue of the proposed change in land use of a plot part of the Central Vista project to next month.
The case is related to the proposed change in land use for the new official residences of the Vice-President and the Prime Minister of India will now be heard on November 16. A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar was informed by the Centre that the government has filed its response in the plea. Therefore, the Bench granted time to the petitioner – Rajeev Suri- to file its reply on Centre’s affidavit.
Rajeev Suri has challenged the change in land use of plot number one from recreational area to residential, saying the authorities have not demonstrated any public interest in the proposed change. In its affidavit the Centre has said that a larger recreational area will be made available for people.
On the last hearing, Solicitor General told the apex court that official residences for the Vice-President and the Prime Minister are stipulated on the plot.
To this, the Bench had asked SG, “So, the public recreation area is not available now? Is the public recreational area going to be transposed to some other place or transferred to some other plot? What is your stand, we would like to know about it.”
SG had replied, “Considering that Parliament and other things would be coming up nearby, from a security point of view it would not be possible to have a recreational area in the vicinity”.
In September 2019, the government had announced the Central Vista project under which a new parliament will be made that will have a seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs.
The common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024 under the project that covers a 3-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Delhi.
The top court in January this year had held that the grant of environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use for construction of new Parliament building under the project was valid.
Earlier, the apex court order has also come on various pleas challenging several permissions given to the project by authorities including the grant of environmental clearance and the nod to change of land use.

Tennis star Leander Paes, Nafisa Ali, Mrinalini Deshprabhu join TMC in Goa in presence of Mamata Banerjee

Panaji (Goa) [India] : Ahead of the 2022 assembly polls, Tennis player Leander Paes , Bollywood actress Nafisa Ali and Mrinalini Deshprabhu on Friday joined Trinamool Congress (TMC) in presence of West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.
“We are elated to share that Nafisa Ali and Mrinalini Deshprabhu have joined the Goa Trinamool Congress family today in the presence of our Hon’ble Chairperson @MamataOfficial. We wholeheartedly welcome both leaders!,” tweeted TMC. West Bengal Chief Minister is in Goa and expected to interact with party workers and the fishermen community there.
Later, during the evening, Banerjee will visit Mangueshi Temple at 3:30 pm in Priol, Ponda. She will also visit Shri Mahalsa Narayani Temple at 04:00 pm in Mardol, Ponda. Further, Banerjee will visit to Tapobhoomi Temple at 04:30 pm in Kundaim, Ponda.
Concluding the day, Mamata Banerjee will interact with Civil Society Members at 05:45 pm in International Centre Goa.


On October 24, 300 people have joined the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) in three different events that took place in the Panaji, Navelim and Sanguem area of Goa, as per the press note released by the party.
“The entire block-level leadership of Congress party, including President Conceicao Peixote and over 170 workers, joined the Goa TMC in the presence of TMC National Vice-President Luizinho Faleiro in Navelim on Saturday,” reads the release.
As per the release on the same day, a senior Congressman from St Cruz joined the party in the presence of West Bengal Minister of State Shri Manas Ranjan Bhunia and Goa Trinamool Congress leaders Shri Yatish Naik and Shri Mario Pinto in Panaji.


Similarly, over 150 people including the Sarpanch and four Panchs of Molcornem Panchayat joined the party in the presence of TMC’s Parliamentary leader in Rajya Sabha, Shri Derek O’Brien and independent MLA from Sanguem Shri Prasad Gaonkar in Sanguem.
Goa Assembly has a strength of 40 members out of which BJP currently has 17 legislators and enjoys the support of legislators from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and three independents. GFP and MGP each have three MLAs.
Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs in the house.

Tennis star Leander Paes joins Trinamool Congress

Tennis player Leander Paes joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Goa on Friday in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee.


The 48-year-old Indian tennis legend has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. He received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honour, in 1996-97, the Arjuna Award in 1990, the Padma Shri award in 2001 and India’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan prize in January 2014, for his outstanding contribution to tennis. He won a bronze medal for India in singles in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Paes competed in consecutive Olympics from 1992 to 2016, making him the first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven Olympic Games.

Centre releases 44,000 cr GST

New Delhi [India] : The Ministry of Finance on Thursday released Rs 44,000 crore to the states and union territories with legislature under the back-to-back loan facility in lieu of GST compensation.
As per an official release, after taking into account the earlier release of Rs 1,15,000 crore (Rs 75,000 crore released on July 15, 2021, and Rs 40,000 crore released on October 7, 2021), the total amount released in the current financial year as a back-to-back loan in-lieu of GST compensation is Rs 1,59,000 crore. This release is in addition to normal GST compensation being released every two months out of actual cess collection. Subsequent to the 43rd GST council meeting held on May 28, 2021, it was decided that the central government would borrow Rs 1.59 lakh crore and release it to states and union territories with the legislature on a back-to-back basis to meet the resource gap due to the short release of compensation on account of the inadequate amount in the compensation fund.
This amount is as per the principles adopted for a similar facility in Financial Year 2020-2021, where an amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore was released to states under a similar arrangement. This amount of Rs 1.59 lakh crore would be over and above the compensation in excess of Rs 1 lakh crore (based on cess collection) that is estimated to be released to states, union territories with legislature during this financial year. The sum total of Rs 2.59 lakh crore is expected to exceed the amount of GST compensation accruing in FY 2021-2022.
All eligible states and UTs (with Legislature) have agreed to the arrangements of funding of the compensation shortfall under the back-to-back loan facility. For effective response and management of COVID-19 pandemic and a step-up in capital expenditure, all states and union territories have a very important role to play. For assisting the states/UTs in their endeavour, the Ministry of Finance has frontloaded the release of assistance under the back-to-back loan facility during FY 2021-22 of Rs 1,59,000 crore.
The release of Rs 44,000 crore being made now is funded from borrowings of government in five-year securities issued in the current financial year, at a Weighted Average Yield of 5.69 per cent. No additional market borrowing by the central government is envisaged on account of this release.
It is expected that this release will help the states, union territories in planning their public expenditure among other things, for improving, health infrastructure and taking up infrastructure projects.

PM Modi likely to meet Pope Francis just hours ahead of G20 Summit

Rome [Italy] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to meet Pope Francis in the Vatican on the second day of his arrival in Rome, Italy for the G20 Summit. While there is no official confirmation on the date and time of this significant meet, PM Modi is expected to meet the head of the Catholic Church on October 30 at the Vatican, just hours ahead of the G20 Summit.
Sources are tight-lipped on the nature of the meet. Also, it is believed that the meet is expected to be seen as a gesture inspiring confidence and trust between the two countries.
The Vatican is a city-state surrounded by Rome and is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
The PM is visiting Rome for the two-day G20 Summit, which is scheduled to take place on October 30 and 31.
PM Modi is scheduled to attend the 16th edition of the G20 summit in Rome, Italy and will attend the World Leaders’ Summit of the COP26 in Glasgow after the summit.
PM is expected to pitch for collective measures to deal with the situation in Afghanistan.
G20 is a global forum whose members account for more than 80 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent population. The theme of this G20 meet under the Italian Presidency is centred around ‘People, Planet and Prosperity.’
The summit is being attended by heads of state/ government of G20 member countries, the European Union and other invited countries and international organisations.
PM is expected to hold bilateral meetings including one with Italian PM Draghi.

Restrictions till Nov 30

New Delhi [India] : Ahead of the festive season, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday extended the COVID-19 restrictions across the country till November 30 to prevent any further spread of the pandemic.
Notably, India recorded its highest COVID-19 recovery rate today since March 2020 at 98.20 per cent, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. According to the ministry, the recovery of 17,095 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 3,36,14,434.
With 16,156 new COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours, India’s total active caseload has reached 1,60,989.
Meanwhile, the Centre will soon start a mega COVID-19 vaccination campaign ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ in poor-performing districts aiming to achieve full vaccination by the end of November, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday

G20 Summit: PM Modi to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi in Rome on his day of arrival

Rome [Italy] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his first day of arrival in Rome. The PM is arriving in Rome on Friday to participate in the G20 Summit.
Sources stated that the PM will visit Piazza Gandhi located in what people term as ‘New Rome’. The PM is expected to be accompanied by the Indian Ambassador to Italy Neena Malhotra. Sources said that the newly elected Mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri is also likely to be present at Piazza Gandhi. The PM has ensured in the past as well to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation on foreign land that shares previous ties with India and at times at places of relevance for the country.
Various news reports show that in the past, PM Modi has unveiled Gandhi statue at various foreign locations. In 2014, PM had unveiled a 2.5 metres tall bronze Gandhi statue on Roma street Parkland in Brisbane, Australia. He had then said that Gandhi is not just a person but an era.
In the same year, PM had unveiled a Gandhi statue in Washington DC on the square outside Indian Embassy.
In July 2015, PM Modi had unveiled a bust of Mahatma at Bagtyarlyk Sports Complex, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The same year, PM went to Germany and unveiled the bust of Gandhi in the city hall of Hannover.
It was in Singapore that PM Modi unveiled a plaque of Gandhi. In 2019, PM unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Yonsei University, Seoul.
PM Modi will be arriving in Italy for G20 Summit on October 29. The PM is likely to meet briefly a few representatives of the Indian diaspora, sources added.
G20 is a global forum whose members account for more than 80 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent population. The theme of this G20 meet under the Italian Presidency is centred around ‘People, Planet and Prosperity’.
The summit is being attended by heads of state/ government of G20 member countries, the European Union and other invited countries and international organisations.
PM Modi is expected to hold a few bilateral meetings including one with Italian PM Mario Draghi. (

NEET Result 2021: Supreme Court directs NTA to release medical entrance result

The apex court was hearing a plea regarding conducting re-examination for two candidates- Vaishanavi Bhopali and Abhishek Shivaji from Solapur

New Delhi (India) : The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the National Testing Agency (NTA) to release the NEET result. A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai stayed the Bombay High Court’s recent order asking the NTA not to declare the NEET results and conduct re-examination for two aspirants whose question papers and OMR sheets had got mixed up at a centre in Maharashtra.

“We stay the high court judgement. The National Testing Agency can announce the results,” the bench said after taking note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the NTA. “We will decide what happens to the two students upon reopening (after Diwali vacation). In the meanwhile, we issue notice and file a counter. But we cannot hold the results of 16 lakh students,” the bench said. In an unprecedented order, the Bombay High Court on October 20 directed the NTA, set up in 2018 for conducting NEET for admission to undergraduate medical courses, to hold a fresh exams for the two students and declare their results along with the main results of the test conducted on September 12.

The high court had taken note of the fact that the test booklet and OMR sheet of two medical aspirants — Vaishanavi Bhopali and Abhishek Shivaji – got mixed up at the examination centre before the start of the test and ordered that they be given fresh opportunity to appear.

A record 16.14 lakh candidates had registered for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) this year of which 95 per cent appeared for the exam. The NEET-UG exam was conducted across 3,800 centres. Once announced, NEET result will be available at the website- neet.nta.nic.in.  

Pune police arrested Kiran Gosavi, a witness in Aryan Khan drugs case

The Pune Police said that they have detained Kiran Gosavi, a witness in the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case, in connection with a cheating case on Thursday morning from Pune’s outskirts, adding that process to formally arrest him is underway.

Pune (Maharashtra) [India] : Pune City police commissioner Amitabh Gupta said, “Kiran Gosavi had collected Rs 3 lakh from Chinmay Deshmukh on the pretext of providing job in Malaysia in 2018. He had sent Deshmukh to Malaysia on a tourist visa. After Deshmukh realised that he was cheated by Gosavi, he filed a complaint.” Gupta added, “Since then, Gosavi was on the run. Now we have been detained him from the outskirts of Pune. The process to formally arrest him is underway.”
A case was registered against Gosavi with Faraskhana police station of Pune city on May 19, 2018, for allegedly committing fraud by promising a person a job in Malaysia by taking money.
However, he neither returned the money nor offered the job to the complainant. The accused was booked under sections 419, 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with relevant sections of the Intellectual Technology (IT) Act.


Chargesheet was filed in the court as the accused was not found. He is still wanted in the case.
Gosavi is a witness in the Mumbai cruise drugs case in which Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was arrested under the NDPS Act.
Prabhakar Sail, who is the personal bodyguard of Gosavi and also a witness in the Mumbai cruise ship raid case, had alleged that NCB Zonal Director, Kiran Gosavi and some other NCB officials had sought Rs 25 crores from Shah Rukh Khan in order to release Aryan Khan.
Other than this, a case of fraud has also been registered against Gosavi at the Kelwa Police station in Palghar on October 18. As per the police, he had duped people of lakhs of rupees on the pretext of sending them abroad for jobs.

NCB witness Gosavi wants call, chat details of Prabhakar Sail to be released

Kiran Gosavi, the NCB’s witness in the Mumbai cruise drugs case, on Thursday asked the officials to release the call and chat detail records of Prabhakar Sail.
Sail, who is the personal bodyguard of Kiran Gosavi and also a witness in the Mumbai cruise ship raid case, has alleged that Gosavi took Rs 50 lakh from an individual after the raid at the cruise ship. In a video message, before being detained by the Pune Police on Thursday, Gosavi claimed that the allegations made by Sail are not true.
“Prabhakar Sail is lying. All I want to request is that his call detail reports must be released. My call detail reports or chats can be released, Prabhakar Sail and his brother’s call detail reports, as well as chats, should be released, everything will be clear,” Gosavi said.
Kiran Gosavi is the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) witness in the drugs on cruise case involving Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan.
He was detained earlier today by the Pune Police three days after he claimed he would surrender at a police station in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow.
He has been detained in connection with a 2018 cheating case in which he was absconding. In 2019, Pune City Police declared him wanted. He was missing since then and was only spotted during the cruise raid as an NCB witness. On October 14, Police issued a lookout circular against him.
Other than this, a case of fraud had also been registered against Gosavi at the Kelwa Police station in Palghar on October 18. As per the police, he had duped people of lakhs of rupees on the pretext of sending them abroad for jobs.

India : 16,156 new COVID-19 cases, 733 deaths

New Delhi [India] : India reported 16,156 new COVID-19 cases and 733 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.
The country also reported 17,095 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the recovery rate at 98.20 per cent, which is the highest since March 2020. The country’s active caseload stands at 1,60,989, which is the lowest in 243 days.
The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of the total cases, currently at 0.47 per cent, which is the lowest since March 2020.
At 1.19 per cent, the weekly positivity rate is less than 2 per cent for the last 34 days. The daily positivity rate stands at 1.25 per cent, which is less than 2 per cent for the last 24 days.
The total number of samples tested for COVID-19 till October 27 is 60,44,98,405 including 12,90,900 samples tested on Wednesday, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Meanwhile, 104.04 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive.

India successfully launches surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-5

New Delhi [India] : India has successfully launched the surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Agni-5 that can strike targets at ranges up to 5,000 km with a very high degree of accuracy.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence, the launch was carried out on Wednesday at approximately 7:30 pm from APJ Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha. The missile, which uses a three-stage solid-fuelled engine, is capable of striking targets at ranges up to 5,000 kilometres with a very high degree of accuracy, said the ministry.
The ministry further stated that the successful test of Agni-5 is in line with India’s stated policy to have ‘credible minimum deterrence’ that underpins the commitment to ‘No First Use’.

“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.

Drugs on cruise case : Bombay HC adjourns hearing on bail plea of Aryan Khan, others till tomorrow

Bombay High Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on the bail application of Aryan Khan, Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaz Seth Merchant, in connection with the drugs on cruise case, till tomorrow.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : “The arguments of lawyers of accused number 1, 2 and 3 have concluded today. The hearing is scheduled for 3 pm tomorrow for further arguments,” Munmun Dhamecha’s lawyer Kaashif Khan Deshmukh told the media after the conclusion of the hearing today. Following the conclusion of the arguments presented by lawyers of the three accused, Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) Anil Singh, who is representing the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), will respond to their arguments in the court tomorrow.
A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday refused to grant bail to Aryan and two others in connection with the seizure of drugs. Following this, Aryan Khan moved a bail application in the Bombay High Court against the NDPS court order on his bail rejection.
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.

No nation can develop with army of illiterates, govt’s responsibility to educate them: Amit Shah

New Delhi [India]: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that “no nation can develop with an army of illiterates” and it is the government’s responsibility to educate them.
“I was trolled but I would like to say again that ‘no nation can develop with the army of illiterates’. It is the governments’ responsibility to educate them. Somebody who does not know his Constitutional rights cannot contribute to the nation, as much as it can be done,” Shah said while speaking at the inaugural session of the National Conference of ‘Delivering Democracy’. The Union Minister further dubbed the BJP’s decision to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi the CM of Gujarat “rare” because he (Modi) had no real experience of running administrations in 2001.


“In 2001, the BJP decided that Narendra Modi will become the CM of Gujarat. It was a rare occasion – because he had no real experience of running administrations until then,” he said.
“The state was reeling under a lot of pressure after facing the Kutch earthquake. He tried to change things and did a lot of work on development and transparency. When Modi Ji became the CM of Gujarat, the state had 67 per cent enrolment and 37 per cent dropout. He started a ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme to promote gender ratio and education. This eventually saw 100 per cent enrolment and also took steps to ensure dropout ratio reduced to almost zero.”
“After the 1960s and by 2014 people doubted if the multi-party democratic system can be successful… People wondered if the system failed as it didn’t yield fruitful results. With great patience, they took a decision and gave power to PM Modi with an absolute majority,” Shah said.
He also slammed the previous Congress-led Central government and said that during their reign there was a ‘policy paralysis’.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the National Conference of “Delivering Democracy”, the Union Minister said, “What government did we have at the time of 2014 polls? We had a government where cabinet ministers did not consider PM, a PM; everybody considered themselves the PM.”
“There was policy paralysis. Perhaps respect for India was at its lowest, corruption of Rs 12 lakh crore. There were questions on internal security. It seemed our democratic system would collapse at any time. At that time BJP decided to field then Gujarat CM as its PM candidate.”

Amit Shah visits WB Governor Jagdeep Dhankar at AIIMS

Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the national capital on Wednesday.
The governor was admitted after testing positive for malaria on Monday.

EC warns Assam CM

New Delhi [India] : The Election Commission of India has issued a warning to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday over reports of his alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct while campaigning for the five assembly seats scheduled for by-polls on October 30.
“The commission issues warning to him (Himanta Biswa Sarma) and cautions him to be more careful and exercise restraint in the future and strictly follow the provisions of Model Code of Conduct while making public appearances,” reads the ECI order. Earlier on Tuesday, the Congress delegation approached the Election Commission to complain against the Assam CM for violating the Model Code of Conduct by announcing financial help to self-help groups of tea garden workers.
As per the order, Assam CM denied all allegations on the grounds that all the announcements are either ongoing projects or have already been announced by the state government.
The commission carefully considered the matter and is of the view that “Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma… has acted in contravention to the spirit of the advisory/instruction issued by the commission…concerning Model Code of Conduct.”
Bypolls for Gossaigaon, Bhabanipur, Tamulpur, Mariani and Thowra will be held in Assam on October 30. The results will be declared on November 2.

Rajinikanth meets PM Modi and President Kovind

New Delhi [India] : After receiving Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest film honour, from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu a few days ago, superstar Rajinikanth paid a visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind.
On Wednesday, Rajinikanth took to Twitter and shared a few pictures from their meeting.



He also shared that it was a great pleasure to meet the PM and President.
“It is a great pleasure to meet and greet the esteemed President and the Prime Minister,” he tweeted.
Rajinikanth was accompanied by his wife Latha.
The meeting comes after Rajinikanth was conferred with the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award on Monday at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. He received the award for his remarkable contribution to Indian cinema.

‘Will quit if proven wrong’

Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik on Wednesday posted purported pictures of the ‘nikah’ of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede.The NCP leader also posted a screenshot of the ‘Nikah Nama’ of Wankhede with his first wife Dr Shabana Qureshi. “Photo of sweet couple Sameer Dawood Wankhede and Dr Shabana Qureshi” Malik said in a tweet along with a photograph. In a subsequent tweet, the minister said, “Presenting shortly the ‘Nikah Nama’ of the first marriage of ‘Sameer Dawood Wankhede’.”

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : This follows a day after Malik shared a letter he had received apparently from an NCB official that claimed that Wankhede had violated rules and framed people in false cases to extort money.
Malik had earlier also accused Wankhede of using a fake birth certificate to secure his government job.
He had shared the birth certificate of Wankhede on Twitter saying “Sameer Dawood Wankhede’s fraud started from here.” Following this Wankhede said he will fight Malik legally.
Wankhede had previously said that all the allegations are false and that he was being targeted and is ready for a probe into allegations against him.
NCB on Tuesday also denied to probe the anonymous letter received by
Malik which he forwarded to NCB Director General SN Pradhan.


NCB said that “no action” will be taken as per the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission. “No action will be initiated on the anonymous letter (containing allegations against NCB Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede) forwarded by Maharashtra Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik to Director General of NCB as per guidelines of Central Vigilance Commission,” said the probe agency.
Sameer Wankhede is investigating the Mumbai cruise ship drugs case in which Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son has been arrested.

Wankhede let international drug lord off hook in Mumbai cruise ship raid, alleges Nawab Malik

Making further allegations against the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik said that during the rave party in Mumbai cruise ship, in which Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s Aryan Khan has been arrested, an international drug lord was present on the ship and Wankhede allegedly let the mafia off the hook.
Addressing a press conference, the Minister said, “The rave party was held when the COVID protocols were in place. No permission was sought from the Maharashtra Police or state home department. The permission was granted by the Shipping Director. “During the rave party, an international drug lord was present in the ship and the NCB officials, led by Sameer Wankhede, let him off the hook. The drug lord is a close friend of Wankhede. He should tell why did he (Wankhede) let him (drug mafia) go,” he further alleged.
“I have the video of the drug lord dancing with his girlfriend. If the NCB does not take action, then he will release the video,” he added.
He further stated that the issue is not the rave party but the forging of documents by Wankhede. “The NCB Zonal Director forged documents and made Scheduled Caste certificate in order to get into public service commission,” he alleged.
Demanding a Central Vigilance Commission probe into the allegation of extortion bid of Rs 25 lakh from Shah Rukh Khan in order to release Aryan Khan, Malik said, “The Central agency had called Bollywood actors like Deepika Padukone and Sara Ali Khan last year (Sushant Singh Rajput case), similarly the CVC should initiate investigation against Wankhede in the alleged extortion bid.”
Prabhakar Sail, on Monday, had alleged that Wankhede, Kiran Gosavi, another witness in the drugs case, and some other NCB officials had sought Rs 25 lakh from Shah Rukh Khan.
Sail is also a witness in the Mumbai cruise ship drug case.
Malik also said that the pictures and the post that he is putting out are false then he would resign from public life.
Aryan Khan, son of actor Shah Rukh 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.
Aryan Khan’s bail plea was rejected by the special court on October 20 in the case following which his judicial custody in the matter got extended till October 30. Khan approached the Bombay High Court for an urgent bail hearing.

Plea in Bombay HC seeks to refrain Nawab Malik from commenting on cruise ship case

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in the Bombay High Court seeking to refrain Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state cabinet minister Nawab Malik from commenting “in any manner” on the ongoing probe in the cruise ship drugs case.
The PIL filed by Kausar Ali, a Mumbai-based businessman and priest (Maulana), stated that Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, “a non-corrupt officer, has been most effective in handling the drug menace”. “Under Wankhede’s supervision, the central agency, NCB has been most effective,” reads the PIL.
The plea further said that Malik’s tweets and statements are only demoralising Wankhede and his team.
On Wednesday morning, when the PIL was mentioned before a division bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta, the court declined the request for an immediate hearing. It asked the petitioner to move the vacation bench or wait until regular court resumes after the Diwali vacation.
The NCP leader had earlier today posted purported pictures of Wankhede ‘nikah’ on Twitter.
This follows a day after Malik shared a letter he had received apparently from an NCB official that claimed that Wankhede had violated rules and framed people in false cases to extort money.
Malik had earlier also accused Wankhede of using a fake birth certificate to secure his government job.
He had shared the birth certificate of Wankhede on Twitter saying “Sameer Dawood Wankhede’s fraud started from here.” Following this Wankhede said he will fight Malik legally.
Sameer Wankhede is investigating the Mumbai cruise ship drugs case in which Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son has been arrested.

Drugs on cruise case : 5-member NCB team reaches Mumbai to probe allegations of corruption

A five-member team of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) reached Mumbai on Wednesday to probe allegations of corruption levelled by Prabhakar Sail, a witness in the drugs on cruise matter of Mumbai, sources said on Tuesday.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : The team is led by Deputy Director General (DDG) of NCB Gyaneshwar Singh and 4 other NCB officers. The bodyguard of NCB witness Kiran Gosavi, Prabhakar Rohoji Sail alleged that Gosavi took Rs 50 lakh from an individual after the raid at the cruise ship. Sali had said, “I worked as a bodyguard of Kiran Gosavi. I assisted him during the Mumbai cruise drugs case.”
Kosavi has, however, denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, the NCB named Sail as a “hostile witness” in its affidavit in court on Monday.
Earlier today, Mumbai Police appointed an ACP-level officer to investigate the allegations levelled against NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, who is probing the drug case.
“All the complaints received against Wankhede will be probed by the officer. Four Police stations in Mumbai have received such complaints so far,” said police.
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 have been arrested in the case.

Mumbai Police appoint ACP-level officer to probe allegations against Sameer Wankhede

Mumbai Police have appointed an ACP-level officer, Milind Khetle to investigate the allegations levelled against NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, said police sources on Wednesday.
All the complaints received against Wankhede will be probed by Khetle. Four Police stations in Mumbai have received such complaints so far, said the sources. However, the Mumbai police have not registered any case against Wankhede.
Prabhakar Sail, who is the personal bodyguard of Kiran Gosavi and a witness in the Mumbai cruise ship raid, had alleged that Wankhede, Gosavi and some other NCB officers had sought Rs 25 lakh from Bollywood Actor Shah Rukh Khan to release his son Aryan Khan in the drugs bust case.
However, the Mumbai Police did not elaborate what complaints that they have received against Wankhede

Sonia speaks to Lalu

Amid trouble in the grand alliance of the opposition in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said he had a telephonic conversation with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday.

New Delhi [India] : However, the details of the discussion are still unknown. The telephonic conversation comes after Congress and RJD broke off the alliance ahead of the by-polls in Kusheshwar Asthan (SC) and Tarapur constituencies in Bihar scheduled on October 30.
Earlier, breaking the alliance with Congress in Bihar, Lalu Yadav 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.


However, on Tuesday, the RJD chief called upon Congress to become a ‘strong alternative’ to the BJP at the national level politics and said that his party has always supported Congress in every situation.
The RJD and the Congress had contested the 2020 Bihar polls as coalition partners. The alliance fell short of 10 seats from the majority mark in the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections, with RJD emerging as the single-largest party with 75 seats. Congress could only manage to win 19 of the 70 seats it had contested on.
The ruling coalition, NDA secured a majority with 125-seats in the 243-seat strong Bihar Legislative Assembly of which BJP won 74 seats, Janata Dal (United) on 43 while eight seats were won by two other NDA constituents.

India adds 13,451 new COVID-19 infections, active cases lowest in 242 days

New Delhi [India] : India reported 13,451 new COVID-19 cases and 585 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally to 3,42,15,653, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.
Of the new infections reported in India in the last 24 hours, Kerala reported 7,163 new cases. With this, the country’s active caseload stands at 1,62,661, which is the lowest in 242 days.
The active cases account for 0.48 per cent of total cases, which is the lowest since March 2020, the release said.
The country also reported 14,021 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s recovery rate to 98.19 per cent, which is the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.
The weekly positivity rate stands at 1.22 per cent currently, while the daily positivity rate remained at 1.03 per cent.
India has also ramped up testing capacity and has, so far, tested 60.32 crore samples for COVID-19.
The country has also administered 103.53 crore vaccine doses under Nationwide Vaccination Drive, till now.

SC forms commitee to probe ‘falsity, discover truth’ in Pegasus row

Noting there is no clear stand of the Centre on the Pegasus spyware case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday formed a three-member committee to probe the “falsity and discover the truth” in the matter. The Supreme Court Wednesday formed a three-member committee to oversee a technical committee comprising of three members, including those who are experts in cyber security, digital forensics, networks and hardware, which will probe Pegasus spyware case.

New Delhi [India] : A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli asked a three-member committee, supervised by retired judge Justice R V Raveendran, to examine the allegations thoroughly and expeditiously and place a report before the court. The court will hear the matter again after eight weeks.
The Technical Committee shall comprise Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Dr Prabaharan P, Dr Ashwin Anil Gumaste.
The apex court in its remark said, “The present batch of Writ Petitions raise an Orwellian concern, about the alleged possibility of utilizing modern technology to hear what you hear, see what you see and to know what you do.”
“At the outset, certain nuances of the right to privacy in India- its facets and importance, need to be discussed,” the court said.
“Having regard to the importance of the protection of journalistic sources for press freedom in a democratic society and the potential chilling effect that snooping techniques may have, this Court’s task in the present matter, where certain grave allegations of infringement of the rights of the citizens of the country have been raised, assumes great significance,” it added.
The Centre had earlier told the apex court that it was willing to set up a committee of independent experts to examine all aspects of the alleged Pegasus snooping row. It had maintained that what software was used for an interception in the interest of national security can’t be open for public debate.
The government had also contended that it is willing to place the details of surveillance before the expert committee proposed to be constituted by it to examine the issues and the committee can give a report to the Supreme Court.
The petitioners’ lawyers had repeatedly told the Bench that the Central government has evaded answering the question if it or any of its agencies have ever used the Pegasus spyware and urged the court to direct the government to come clean on this issue.
There are many pleas filed before the top court by senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar, Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas of Communist Marxist Party of India (Marxist) and advocate ML Sharma, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya, seeking inquiry headed by a sitting or retired judge of the top court to investigate the alleged snooping.
Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, SNM Abdi, Prem Shankar Jha, Rupesh Kumar Singh and Ipsa Shatakshi, who are reported to be on the potential list of snoop targets of Pegasus spyware, had also approached the top court along with The Editors Guild of India (EGI) among others.
The plea said that the targeted surveillance using military-grade spyware is an unacceptable violation of the right to privacy which has been held to be a fundamental right under Articles 14, 19 and 21 by the Supreme Court in the KS Puttaswamy case (2017).
In July, names of over 40 Indian journalists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware, according to a report published in The Wire.

IPL 2022 to have 74 matches, each team to play 7 home, 7 away games

The Governing Council of the IPL had issued an Invitation to Tender (ITT) to acquire the right to own and operate two new franchises. Pursuant to the tender process, various interested parties submitted their bids for the new franchises. The bids were submitted by the authorised representatives of the interested parties in Dubai on Monday.

Dubai [UAE] : BCCI announced the following successful bidders (subject to definitive documentation and other formalities being completed): RPSG Ventures Ltd. – Lucknow (for INR 7,090 crores) and Irelia Company Pte Ltd (CVC Capital Partners) – Ahmedabad (for INR 5,625 crores). The new franchises will participate in IPL from the 2022 season onwards subject to the bidders completing the post-bid formalities as specified in the ITT document. The IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play seven home and seven away matches.
BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly said: “The BCCI is happy to welcome two new teams from the next season of the Indian Premier League. I would like to congratulate RPSG Ventures Ltd & Irelia Company Pte Ltd for being successful bidders. The IPL will now go to two new cities in India viz in Lucknow and Ahmedabad. It is heartening to see the inclusion of two new teams at such a high valuation, and it reiterates the cricketing and financial strength of our cricket ecosystem. True to IPL’s motto of ‘Where Talent Meets Opportunity’, the inclusion of two new teams will bring more domestic cricketers from our country to the global stage. The ITT process included two interested bidders from outside of India, which strongly emphasises the global appeal of the IPL as a sports property. The IPL is proving to be a wonderful instrument in globalising the game of cricket. I am keenly looking forward to IPL 2022.”
Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI said: “It is a momentous day for all of us and I formally welcome RPSG Ventures Ltd. and Irelia Company Pte Ltd into the IPL fold. We had promised that IPL will be bigger and better from the 15th season and with Lucknow and Ahmedabad, we will take the league to different parts of India. The IPL has established gold standards for leagues across the world and remains a premium event on the sporting calendar as it has grown rapidly in a short span. Despite numerous challenges posed by COVID-19, the 13th and 14th seasons were completed, and the bids prove that interested parties have faith in BCCI and its hosting capabilities. I am thrilled for the people of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat as the long wait is over and they will now have their own IPL team. My best wishes to the two new teams.”
Brijesh Patel, Chairman, IPL said: “The level of interest among the interested parties prove that IPL is among the most sought-after sporting leagues in the world. We had bids from different parts of the world and from parties with diverse portfolios wanting to make a foray into the world of sports. I extend my heartiest congratulations to RPSG Ventures Ltd and Irelia Company Pte Ltd for securing the rights to operate the two teams. We had a wonderful 14th season and the 2022 season will see a new beginning.”
Arun Singh Dhumal, Honorary Treasurer, BCCI said: “The fact that winning bids were way above the base price set for the two new IPL franchises is a direct indication of the true value of the Indian Premier League. We received tremendous interest after the ITT was floated with many conglomerates putting their hat into the ring. I congratulate RPSG Ventures Ltd. and Irelia Company Pte Ltd for placing the highest bids and winning the rights to own the IPL teams. I also thank all the bidders for showing faith in the BCCI and IPL. This is the start of an exciting chapter, and I can’t wait for the big auction to see how the new teams shape up.”

IPL will fulfil aspiration of cricket fans across the world, says BCCI Vice President Shukla

Dubai [UAE] : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice President Rajeev Shukla on Monday said the Indian Premier League (IPL) has reached its pinnacle and the tournament will now cater for the aspiration of fans across the world.
BCCI announced Ahmedabad and Lucknow will be the two new members of the IPL family as it will now be a ten-team affair from the next season. The new franchises will participate in IPL from the 2022 season onwards subject to the bidders completing the post-bid formalities as specified in the ITT document.
Rajeev Shukla also hailed the “wonderful achievement” of BCCI following the announcement of two new teams.
“It’s a big achievement, a big success. I congratulate the people of Uttar Pradesh as the state didn’t have any IPL team before. Talking about Ahmedabad it has a very good stadium and getting an IPL team is a welcome move,” Shukla told ANI.
“Delighted to know two more teams have added. It is a wonderful achievement as far as BCCI is concerned and all the IPL fans. What an amazing story it has been, in 2008 during the inception of IPL it was difficult to look for a franchise and look at today where have we reached,” he pointed out.
“Now the IPL will really work in such a way that it caters for the aspiration and fulfil the aspiration of cricket fans across the world. As far as globalisation of IPL is concerned, it had happened long back but now it is expanding. It has reached its pinnacle and that’s something which must be recognised,” Shukla added.
The IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play seven home and seven away matches.

PM Modi congratulates Uzbek President on Winning Second Term

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on winning a second term in the presidential polls with a landslide victory.
Extending his wishes PM Modi said: “Heartiest congratulations to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on his victory in the election.” Expressing his faith in Mirziyoyev, PM Modi said that the India-Uzbekistan strategic partnership will continue to strengthen in his second term.
“Heartiest congratulations to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on his victory in the election. I am confident that the India-Uzbekistan strategic partnership will continue to strengthen in your second term. My best wishes to you and the friendly people of Uzbekistan,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
Uzbek people voted for the presidential election on Sunday with little opposition against the incumbent President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The 64-year-old Mirziyoyev from the Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party assumed office in 2016.

Manoj Bajpayee’s third National Award as Best Actor

Actors Manoj Bajpayee was conferred with the Best Actor Award for his film ‘Bhonsle’ at the 67th National Film Awards, which took place on Monday.

New Delhi [India], October 25 : Manoj, who has previously won the National Film Award twice, Best Supporting Actor in ‘Satya’, and Special Jury Award for his feature film ‘Pinjar’, was felicitated at the in-person ceremony for his performance in the Devashish Makhija directorial ‘Bhonsle’. The movie saw the ‘Family Man’ star portraying the titular character who is a retired policeman and is living a non-interfering life in a colony dominated by locals, diagnosed with stage 4 brain tumour.
Manoj, who was dressed in a black shirt and trousers for the award ceremony, spoke about receiving the award and said, “The National Award for ‘Bhonsle’ means a lot because this was a film which we wanted to make but we were not getting money from anyone to make it, it took us four years to make this film, so definitely it means the world to all of us. It’s kind of a poetic justice that has happened to ‘Bhonsle’ and I share this award with the director and the entire team.”
“This is my third National Award and every time I went there it always takes me back to my first one when I got it for ‘Satya’, so it’s a great moment when you are honoured for films which are very close to your heart,” the actor added.

Southwest monsoon withdraws

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India] : The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Thiruvananthapuram on Monday said the southwest monsoon has withdrawn from the entire country.
In a press release, the IMD stated, “In view of a significant reduction in rainfall activity over most parts of the country the Southwest monsoon has withdrawn from the entire country today, the 25th October 2021.” The release further added, “Simultaneously with the setting in of northeasterly winds in the lower tropospheric levels, the northeast monsoon rains have commenced over extreme south peninsular India today, the 25th October 2021.”
“A cyclonic circulation is likely to develop over Southeast Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood by tomorrow. It is likely to move westwards. Under its influence, a low-pressure Area is likely to form over central parts of South Bay of Bengal during subsequent 48 hours,” said the release.

Mega Star Rajinikanth receives Dada Saheb Falke Award

Superstar Rajinikanth received a standing ovation by the audience while he was conferred with Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest film honour, by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in the capital today.

New Delhi [India] : The veteran star was felicitated with a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize. Born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad on December 12, 1950, to Ramoji Rao and Jijabai, Rajinikanth worked as a bus conductor before embarking on his film journey about 45 years ago.
While accepting the award, Rajinikanth took a stroll down memory lane to thank one of his old friends, who saw acting talent in him and encouraged him to try his luck in films.


“I am extremely happy to receive this prestigious award. My heartfelt thanks to the central government for honouring me with the Dadasaheb Phalke award. I would like to dedicate this award to my guru K Balachander. Today, I remember him with great gratitude. I also want to thank my friend who saw this talent in me and suggested me to do acting while I was working as a bus conductor,” he recalled.
Rajinikanth also dedicated his win to all the producers, directors, members of the film industry and fans.
“Thanks to everyone for their support… press, media, directors, distributors, producers and fans… my heartfelt thanks to everyone. Also, a special thanks to Tamil people… without them I am nobody,” he expressed his gratitude.
Rajinikanth attended the presentation ceremony along with his wife Latha, daughter Aishwarya, and son-in-law Dhanush.

Cruise drugs case: Actor Ananya Panday not appearing before NCB today

Bollywood actor Ananya Panday who was summoned by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with Mumbai drugs-on-the-cruise case is not appearing before the agency on Monday due to some personal commitments.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Panday was supposed to appear before NCB for the third round of questioning in connection with the investigation into the case on Monday. The actor requested the agency for any further date as she cannot join the questioning today due to some personal commitments.
However, NCB has accepted her request. The agency will fix any other date for fresh summons for some other date.
Earlier, the actor was quizzed by NCB on Friday for over four hours. She had been summoned by the agency on Thursday as well.
During the questioning on Thursday, the actor denied the allegations of supplying or consuming drugs.
As per the NCB sources, Ananya denied the allegation of supplying drugs to Aryan Khan, who is currently lodged in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail and an accused in the case, and said that she has never consumed drugs.
“The chats recovered from Aryan Khan’s mobile phone reveal that in the year 2018-19, she helped supply drugs to Aryan thrice by providing him the numbers of drug dealers,” NCB sources had told ANI.
“Ananya denied the supply related talks in the chat conversation and told the NCB officials that she has never consumed or supplied drugs,” sources added.

NEET-PG counselling on hold

New Delhi [India], October 25 (ANI) The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to put the counselling for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (PG) on hold until it decides the validity of the Centre’s decision to introduce Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Economically Weaker OBC and EWS reservation in the All India Quota (AIQ).
As the Supreme Court was informed that the full schedule for the counselling starting from October 24 and ending on October 29 has been announced, the Apex Court said the counselling should not proceed till the court decides the issue.

NCB to move Bombay HC

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) will move Bombay High Court seeking cancellation of bail of Sameer Khan, the son-in-law of Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik for violating bail conditions in a drug case.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : “We will move for bail cancellation Sameer Khan in Bombay HC for violating bail conditions,” a top NCB official told . Notably, Nawab Malik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan was earlier arrested on January 13 this year by NCB in connection with a drug case. Khan was granted bail on September 27, after eight months in prison.
Meanwhile, the NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede and Nawab Malik are at loggerheads over the investigation of the drugs-on-cruise in Mumbai. Malik has shared the birth certificate of Wankhede on Twitter saying “Sameer Dawood Wankhede’s fraud started from here.”
Following this Wankhede said he will fight Malik legally.
“I have come to know about a fresh tweet by Nawab Malik about my birth certificate. This is an ugly attempt to bring in all the things which are not connected to all this. My mother was a Muslim so does he want to bring my dead mother in all this? To verify my caste and background, anyone can go to my native place and verify my lineage from my great grandfather. But he should not spread this filth like this. I will fight all this legally and don’t want to comment much on it outside court,” Wankhede told .
Earlier, the Maharashtra minister had put an allegation of extortion on Wankhede while challenging the NCB official that he will lose his job within a year.
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 Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, have been arrested so far in the case. 

‘My family, dead mother being targeted’: NCB’s Sameer Wankhede tells court

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede told a special court in Mumbai on Monday that he and his family were being targeted and is ready for probe into allegations against him.
“My family including my sister and deceased mother are being targeted,” the NCB zonal director told the court. Wankhede was appearing before special NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) court in connection with the probe of drugs-on-the-cruise case today. Two affidavits have been filed in the case — one by NCB and another by Wankhede.
Wankhede and Maharastra minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik are at loggerheads over the investigation of the drugs-on-cruise in Mumbai.
Malik has shared the birth certificate of Wankhede on Twitter saying “Sameer Dawood Wankhede’s fraud started from here.”

Sameer Wankhere and Maharastra Minister Nawab Malik


Following this Wankhede said he will fight Malik legally.
“I have come to know about a fresh tweet by Nawab Malik about my birth certificate. This is an ugly attempt to bring in all the things which are not connected to all this. My mother was a Muslim so does he want to bring my dead mother in all this? To verify my caste and background, anyone can go to my native place and verify my lineage from my great grandfather. But he should not spread this filth like this. I will fight all this legally and don’t want to comment much on it outside court,” Wankhede told ANI.
Earlier, the Maharashtra minister had put an allegation of extortion on Wankhede while challenging the NCB official that he will lose his job within a year.
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 Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, have been arrested so far in the case.

Cruise drugs case: NCB witness Prabhakar Sail reaches Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office

Prabhakar Sail, a witness of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the cruise drugs case, reached Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office on Monday.
Notably, Sail, who is the bodyguard of another NCB witness Kiran Gosavi in the Mumbai Cruise Drugs case, has alleged that Gosavi took Rs 50 lakh from an individual after the raid at the cruise ship. On October 18, a case was registered against Gosavi, the man who was seen accosting Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan at Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) office in connection with the drugs-on-cruise matter.


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 Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, have been arrested so far in the case.

HM at Kheer Bhawani temple

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday offered prayers at Kheer Bhawani Durga temple in Ganderbal. He was accompanied by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha. Shah will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various development projects in Srinagar today.

Ganderbal (Jammu and Kashmir) [India] : The Union Home Minister is on a three-day visit to the union territory, the first time since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
Shah on Sunday visited forward areas at the Makwal border in Jammu and Kashmir with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and interacted with jawans and local residents. He also met with the delegations of Kashmiri Pandits, Gujjar-Bakarwal community, Pahadi community and Jammu and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce in Jammu.


His visit has come amid several incidents of killings of civilians by the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir which is sparking fear in the valley. Shah on Sunday met the family of Deepak Chand, a young teacher who died in a terrorist attack in Srinagar.
On Saturday, he met families of soldiers and civilians killed this month in a spate of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.
Stating that Jammu and Kashmir is in the heart of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that a new era of development has started in the Union Territory and nobody can stop this development.
While addressing an event in Jammu, the Union Minister said, “Nobody can stop the era of development that has started in J-K. It is the land of temples, of Mata Vaishno Devi, of Prem Nath Dogra, the land of sacrifices of Syama Prasad Mukherjee. We would not let the people, who are trying to disrupt peace in J-K succeed.”

PM Modi Inaugurates nine medical colleges in UP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh from Siddharthnagar.

Siddharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya were also present at the event. These nine medical colleges are situated in the districts of Siddharthnagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur.


Eight Medical Colleges have been sanctioned under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for “Establishment of new medical colleges attached with district/ referral hospitals” and one Medical College at Jaunpur has been made functional by the State Government through its own resources.
Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, preference is given to underserved, backward and aspirational districts. The Scheme aims to increase the availability of health professionals, correct the existing geographical imbalance in the distribution of medical colleges and effectively utilize the existing infrastructure of district hospitals.
Under three phases of the Scheme, 157 new medical colleges have been approved across the nation, out of which 63 medical colleges are already functional. 

Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath Yogi presents Lord Buddha’s idol to PM Modi

Siddharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday presented Lord Buddha’s idol to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in Siddharthnagar district of Uttar Pradesh where he inaugurated nine medical colleges in the state.
Ahead of the inauguration the Prime Minister viewed an exhibition at the venue. He was escorted by Chief Minister and Governor Anandiben Patel. Nine medical colleges inaugurated are situated in the districts of Siddharthnagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur.
Eight Medical Colleges have been sanctioned under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for “Establishment of new medical colleges attached with district/ referral hospitals” and one Medical College at Jaunpur has been made functional by the State Government through its own resources.
Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, preference is given to underserved, backward and aspirational districts. The Scheme aims to increase the availability of health professionals, correct the existing geographical imbalance in the distribution of medical colleges and effectively utilize the existing infrastructure of district hospitals.
Under three phases of the Scheme, 157 new medical colleges have been approved across the nation, out of which 63 medical colleges are already functional.

PM Modi slams earlier UP governments for ruining Purvanchal’s image, not focusing on health care facilities

Slamming the previous governments in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that they ruined Purvanchal’s image and not focusing on developing health care facilities in the region.
Speaking while inaugurating nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh from Siddharthnagar, PM Modi said, “Earlier, Purvanchal’s image was ruined by previous governments, it was defamed because of ‘dimagi’ fever. The same region will now infuse new hopes. People of Uttar Pradesh can’t forget how Yogi ji had highlighted about Uttar Pradesh’s poor medical system in Parliament, despite not being a Chief Minister.” The Prime Minister said that the current government’s priority is to save the poor’s money and provide them facilities.
“Has it ever happened before that nine colleges were inaugurated? The reason is political priorities. Previous governments were only filling their family lockers and earning for themselves. But our priority is to save poor’s money and provide them facilities,” he said.
The Prime Minister further informed that the opening of new nine medical colleges will add over 2500 new beds and will provide 5000 employment opportunities to doctors and paramedics.
“Earlier government has left people of ‘Purvanchal’ to suffer from diseases but now it will become a medical hub of Northern India,” he added.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya were also present at the event.
These nine medical colleges are situated in the districts of Siddharthnagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur.
Eight Medical Colleges have been sanctioned under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for “Establishment of new medical colleges attached with district/ referral hospitals” and one Medical College at Jaunpur has been made functional by the State Government through its own resources.
Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, preference is given to underserved, backward and aspirational districts. The Scheme aims to increase the availability of health professionals, correct the existing geographical imbalance in the distribution of medical colleges and effectively utilize the existing infrastructure of district hospitals.
Under three phases of the Scheme, 157 new medical colleges have been approved across the nation, out of which 63 medical colleges are already functional.

India reports 14,306 new COVID-19 cases with Kerala contributing 8,538 fresh infections

New Delhi [India] : India reported 14,306 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday.
Out of 14,306 new cases and 443 deaths in the country, Kerala reported 8,538 new cases and 71 deaths, yesterday. The active caseload remained below the 2 lakh mark at 1,67,695 which is the lowest in 239 days. Active cases presently constitute 0.49 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, which is the lowest since March 2020.
The recovery of 18,762 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 3,35,67,367.
Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.18 per cent and it is currently at its highest peak since March 2020.
With 443 new fatalities, the cumulative death toll mounted to 4,54,712 in the country.
The weekly positivity rate is at 1.24 per cent and it remained below 2 per cent for the last 31 days now.
At 1.43 per cent, the daily positivity rate has remained below 2 per cent for the last 21 days and below 3 per cent for 56 consecutive days now.
The testing capacity across the country continues to expand. The last 24 hours saw a total of 9,98,397 COVID-19 tests being conducted. India has so far conducted 60,07,69,717 cumulative tests.
Meanwhile, with the administration of 12,30,720 COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has gone up to 1,02,27,12,895 as per provisional reports till 7 am today.

T20 WC: Babar, Rizwan, Shaheen steal show as Pakistan thrash India by 10 wickets

Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam put on a remarkable show on Sunday as Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets in their opening game of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Dubai [UAE] : Rizwan (79*) and Babar (68*) didn’t give any chance to India bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match Before this game, Pakistan had failed to beat India in the history of the men’s World Cup but the Babar-led side came out with flying colours on Sunday on the back of some sensational performance after Shaheen Shah Afridi’s show with the ball.
Chasing 152, Pakistan got off to a steady start as openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam took Pakistan to 35 after five overs. The two batsmen looked in great touch and steered the side to 71/0 after the end of 10 overs.
Both Rizwan (79) and Babar (68) not only hit timely boundaries but also made sure they rotate the strike at regular intervals to put pressure on India
Rizwan and Babar continued to pile further pressure as they both smashed respective half-centuries to take Pakistan over the 100-run mark without losing a wicket.
Earlier, put into bat first, India posted 151/7 in their 20 overs on the back of skipper Kohli’s fifty. The India captain once again showed what it takes to be a big match player as he hit a quality 57 to take his side over the 150-run mark.
India got off to the worst start possible as it was once again a left-arm pacer who came in to haunt the Indian top order after Mohammad Amir had rocked the lineup in the 2017 Champions Trophy final.
Suryakumar Yadav then joined Kohli in the middle and the hopes were high from them.
Both batters put on a brief 25-run stand for the third wicket, but as soon as the innings started streamlining for India, Hasan Ali dismissed Suryakumar (11), leaving the Men in Blue at 31/3.
Rishabh Pant then came together with Kohli and at the halfway mark, India’s score read 60/3.
Pant changed the tempo of India’s innings with two sixes in the 12th over bowled by Hasan Ali and the Men in Blue started to gain some momentum.
However, Pant went for a shot too many and he perished off the bowling of Shadab Khan after playing a knock of 39, reducing India to 84/4 in the 13th over.
Kohli brought up his 29th half-century in the 18th over of the innings and he changed his batting gears upon reaching the landmark.
Jadeja departed after scoring 13, and Shaheen once again changed the game as he took the key wicket of skipper Kohli (57).
Brief Scores: India 151/7 (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-31) vs Pakistan 152/0 (Mohammad Rizwan 79*, Babar Azam 68*; Jasprit Bumrah 0-22)

Now no injustice to Jammu: HM

Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India] : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday reaffirmed that “the time of injustice to the people of Jammu is over, now no one can do injustice to you.”
While addressing an event after the inauguration ceremony on IIT Jammu, the Union Minister said, “I came to Jammu today to say that time of injustice to the people of Jammu is over. Now no one can do injustice to you. Some are trying to disrupt the era of development here, but want to assure you that no one will be able to disturb the era of development.” Shah also remembered Prem Nath Dogra on his birth anniversary.


“Today is the birth anniversary of Prem Nath Dogra. People of India can’t forget him. He along with Shyama Prasad Mukherjee gave the slogan that in a country two Vidhan, two Nishan, two Pradhan will not work,” he added.
On the second day of his three-day to Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Home Minister today unveiled the three phases of the IIT Jammu campus.

J-K: Amit Shah visits Gurudwara Digiana Ashram in Jammu

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday visited Gurudwara Digiana Ashram in Jammu.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha accompanied Shah to the Gurudwara. The Union home minister is on a three-day visit to the Union territory for the first time since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
His visit has come amid several incidents of killings of civilians by the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir which is sparking fear in the valley.
Earlier in the day, Shah inaugurated a new campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Jammu.
On Saturday, he met families of soldiers and civilians killed this month in a spate of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

‘Centre uses ‘repression’ with J-K’

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday alleged that “repression” is the only method of the Centre to deal with the Jammu and Kashmir situation.

New Delhi [India] “Even after turning Kashmir into an open-air prison, Bipin Rawat’s statement comes as no surprise because repression is GOIs only method to deal with the situation in J&K. It also contradicts their official narrative that all is well here,” Mufti said in a tweet reacting to Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat’s statement over warning of further curbs in Kashmir. Bipin Rawat had on Saturday said that “overflow” of the situation in Afghanistan can happen in Jammu and Kashmir and “we have to prepare for it”.
“What is happening in Afghanistan, we know its overflow can happen in Jammu and Kashmir, We have to prepare for it, seal our borders, monitoring has become very important. We have to keep an eye on who’s coming from outside, checking should be done,” CDS Gen Rawat said on the sidelines of an event in Guwahati.
Talking about internal security, he said that every citizen should be educated about it.
“Nobody will come to our defence, we have to defend ourselves, defend our people, and defend our property. Internal security is very much, a concern for us and in order to defend, I think we must actually educate our people about internal security,” Gen Rawat said.

Mumbai Cruise Drugs case: NCB witness Kiran Gosavi’s bodyguard makes allegations regarding ‘pay off’

As investigations in the Mumbai Cruise Drugs case continue, the bodyguard of NCB witness Kiran Gosavi, Prabhakar Rohoji Sail alleged that Gosavi took Rs 50 lakh from an individual after the raid at the cruise ship.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : In a video message, the bodyguard is heard saying, “I worked as a bodyguard of Kiran Gosavi. I assisted him during the Mumbai cruise drugs case.” “On the night of the raid, I reached the place around 9:45 a.m. He asked me to stand near a car and somebody gave me two bags filled with cash for Gosavi. I took it to Vashi at Gosavi’s home and gave it to him. Right after this, I saw that Kiran Gosavi packing bags and leaving for somewhere,” he alleged.
“I handed over the bags of cash to him in his car. However, when he counted the cash it was only Rs 38 lakhs. Later, I left from there to Vashi,” he further alleged.
Meanwhile, reacting to the allegations made by the driver, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, in a tweet wrote, “Witness in #AryanKhan case made to sign on blank paper by NCB is shocking. Also, there are reports that there was a demand of huge money. CM Uddhav Thackeray said that these cases are made to defame Mah’shtra. This seems to be coming through Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil. Police should take a suo-moto cognizance”
On October 18, a case was registered against Kiran Gosavi, the man who was seen accosting Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan at Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) office in connection with the drugs-on-cruise matter.
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 Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, have been arrested so far in the case.

INDIA vs PAKISTAN: The world to come to its feet as the arch-rivals meet once again

The sensitive nature of cross-border relationship between the neighbours has led to minimal sporting engagements and cricket has always become the vehicle of one upmanship for the fans on both sides.

Dubai : The most sought-after megastars of the current generation are primed to show their might against a bunch of enigmatic cricketers as India and Pakistan engage in an ICC T20 World Cup face-off, something that transcends the 22-yard strip.

The sensitive nature of the cross-border relationship between the neighbours has led to minimal sporting engagements and cricket has always become the vehicle of one-upmanship for the fans on both sides. In terms of numbers, India have an all-win record against their arch-rivals in the T20 World Cup since its inception in 2007. Incidentally, all the matches were won under the one and only Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will be there on skipperVirat Kohali’s ears with his ‘diamond crusted info-nuggets’, which might lead to Babar Azam tearing a hair or two in exasperation.

Yet, this is a match that everyone awaits in the global event — the fans because of its novelty factor, the ICC and the broadcasters for filling up the coffers. Everyone is invested be it emotionally, like the fans, or materially, like the other stakeholders.

Be it Sunil Gavaskar or Sourav Ganguly, everyone who understands the game would tell you that this is the one format where the margins are thinnest and qualitative difference matters the least, as anyone performer can win it for his side on a given day.

It could be Kohli, who would love to get over his mediocre run of form in a match that always carries a posterity value or Shaheen Shah Afridi could tail one into KL Rahul’s pads first up to set it up for Pakistan.

It could be Mohammed Rizwan, who might just launch into Mohammed Shami or it could be Suryakumar Yadav, who could play a reverse flick off Hasn Ali. The players may say that it’s just “another game of cricket” but even they know that in this day and age of retro videos and offensive memes, a not-so-great performance stays forever.

No one knows it better than the current chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma, who is carrying the cross of a last-ball six off Javed Miandad for the past 35 years. But cricket has changed since those heady days of Sharjah and India, with its robust structure and talent factory, has produced world-class performers by the dozens.

The Virat Kohlis, the Rohit Sharma and the Jasprit Bumrahs don’t carry any baggage despite the blip in the 2017 Champions Trophy final.

On Sunday, the Pakistanis will have a lot more to prove than their Indian counterparts.

For the likes of Shah, Rizwan, Harris Rauf and their uber cool captain Babar, it will not just be about breaking a World Cup jinx against a world-class side. It is also about how global cricket perceives Pakistan which saw two of the cricketing elites England and New Zealand close ranks and refuse to tour the country.

Over the years, Pakistan cricket have faced an existential crisis and a good game against India will certainly give them some breathing space.
But it will be easier said than done against an Indian side whose players are coming into the tournament with a heavy dose of IPL games in the UAE, which is Pakistan’s adopted home.

For India, their strength is a crack top-five that comprises Rohit, Rahul, Kohli, Suryakumar and Rishabh Pant. Here is a line-up that can send a chill down the spine of Afridi, Rauf, Hasan, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan, who are going to form the core of their bowling attack.

India’s problem is going to be a long tail and the absence of a sixth bowler if Hardik Pandya is played purely as a batter. But if one believes in the MSD template of T20 cricket, this format is all about handling the pressure and if 20 is required off 10 balls, Pandya is still a better bet than a greenhorn like Ishan Kishan, who is supposedly in better form.

The bowling department will depend on which side of the track they are playing as Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja , Shami and Varun Chakravarthy pick themselves. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s experience holds him in good stead and he has better variations than Shardul Thakur, who despite a knack of getting wickets, can go for runs. If there’s an extra spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, with his great game awareness, could be more effective than Rahul Chahar, but the Indian team management can throw in a surprise or two.

For Pakistan, their two main players will be skipper Babar, an all-format superstar and someone who is destined to be one of the modern day greats. He will require support from Shaheen with the new ball as Hasan and Rauf could go for runs against India.

Left-arm spinner Imad has had a great record in UAE for Pakistan and how he varies his pace in the power play and middle-overs against the likes of Pant and Surya will also define how they fare.

Similarly, the two old men in Shoaib Malik and Mohammed Hafeez will be keen to settle scores with India. On paper, it looks unlikely but T20 is a different beast.

Teams (from) India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar

Pakistan (Playing XI): Babar Azam (captain), Mohammed Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Harris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haider Ali.

Match starts: 7:30 pm IST.

‘Afghanistan is a concern”

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said on Saturday that “overflow” of the situation in Afghanistan can happen in Jammu and Kashmir and “we have to prepare for it”.

Guwahati (Assam) [India] : “What is happening in Afghanistan, we know its overflow can happen in Jammu and Kashmir, We have to prepare for it, seal our borders, monitoring has become very important. We have to keep an eye on who’s coming from outside, checking should be done,” CDS Gen Rawat said on the sidelines of an event in Guwahati. He also said that common people and tourists have to face the burden of heavy checking and they should understand that it’s for their safety and security.
Talking about internal security, he said that every citizen should be educated about it.
“Nobody will come to our defence, we have to defend ourselves, defend our people, and defend our property. Internal security is very much, a concern for us and in order to defend, I think we must actually educate our people about internal security,” Gen Rawat said.
“If every person living in this region, living anywhere in the country understands his/her duty, you will find we will be able to take care of internal security,” he added.
He also called upon people to fulfil their duties towards internal security.
“If every citizen plays his and her part, you can deal with the situation. People come and live in your neighbourhood, you must know who lives in your neighbourhood. No terrorist can stay in our neighbourhood if we are agile. Every citizen should question if they feel suspicious about anyone and inform the local police about it,” he said.

Will oversee legal aid: Minister

Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju on Saturday announced that he would be going to Jammu and Kashmir on October 29 to understand and oversee how legal aid is being made available to those in the border areas.

Aurangabad (Maharashtra) [India] : He added that he is looking forward to a harmonious relationship between the judiciary, executive and legislature “I am going to Jammu and Kashmir on 29th October to understand and oversee how legal aid is being made available to those in the border areas, ” said the Law Minister Rijiju during the inauguration of Annexe building of Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court.
Congratulating the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the inauguration of the Annexe building of Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court, Rijiju said, “Politics is always there because politics is the essence of democracy. When it comes to democracy, there has to be politics, but there is no politics in the judiciary. Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis laid the foundation, and present Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is laying the foundation. This is teamwork”.
“I am also looking forward to a harmonious relationship between the judiciary, executive and legislature. We all are working for our nation. We are committed to dispensing justice to the nation and its citizens. We are a team, we are different organs of our set-up, states. I consider myself to be part of the team, he added.
Reflecting upon the concerns for the Judicial infrastructure, he added, “Judiciary isn’t only being given full support but also they’re being given space to become robust. To make our democracy successful, a robust judiciary is of the utmost importance”.

ISKCON devotees protest

ISKCON devotees held a protest in Kolkata on Saturday following incidents of violence, in which an ISKCON temple in Noakhali, Bangladesh was vandalised by a mob killing one devotee.

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : A kirtan was held as a part of the protest and the devotees lit candles in the memory of the victims of the violence against minorities in Bangladesh. Posters related to the vandalism were shown during the protest. Radharaman Das, Vice-President, ISKCON said, “The cycle of violence that lasted for 10 days in Bangladesh was brutal. Many were killed and little children were raped. Till when we will keep dying like this? It is the duty of every government to protect its minorities. These protests are also meant to awake the government. It is not happening for the first time there, it keeps happening. As a part of the protest, Kirtan is also being held to pray that the souls of the deceased attain peace. People can come here and light a lamp, offer flowers.”

Other Indian states also witnessed protests from ISKCON on Saturday.
A protest was held in Ahmedabad as well by ISKCON devotees. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and other organisations were also a part of this protest.

A peaceful Kirtan was held as a part of the protest and the protesting devotees demanded justice for the victims of the latest wave of violence against Hindus in Bangladesh.
“The Hindu community is shocked and saddened by the recent series of violent attacks upon the Hindu minority in Bangladesh, including our own ISKCON temples and members. They should get the freedom to practice their religion. Whatever happened was wrong. If this keeps happening, where we Hindus will go to practice our religion? We appeal the Bangladesh government that it should act to bring an end to the violence against minorities and to take tangible steps to ensure the long-term safety and well-being of all Bangladeshi citizens and temples. We also appeal to the Indian Government to take cognizance of it,” said Kalanath Chaitanyadas, President, ISKCON Ahmedabad.
Protests were also held in Delhi over the recent communal violence against Hindus by ISKCON devotees and organisation members.

Bhajan and Kirtan were performed at the protest site as ISKCON demanded justice for Hindus in Bangladesh.
Vrajendranandan Das, Director, ISKCON National Communications said, “We are protesting against the incident, which has taken place in Bangladesh where Hindus and minorities have been killed. We are also praying for them by doing ‘Bhajan and Kirtan’. We demand the Bangladesh government to take strict action against what is currently happening in their country and we want in future that they must assure the security of Hindus and minorities in Bangladesh. We trust them for that. They should ensure our protection in future. The protest shall impact the Indian government, which shares a good relationship with the Bangladesh government. We are also praying for the people who have been killed there.”
Communal tensions have gripped Bangladesh over the past few days following allegations of the Quran being dishonoured at a puja pavilion in Cumilla on October 13, triggering violence in several districts across the country.
At least four people were killed in police shootings during the attack on Puja locations in Chandpur’s Hajiganj on October 13 and in Noakhali’s Choumuhani, attacks on Hindu temples left two people dead on October 15.
ISKCON has called a worldwide protest at about 700 ISKCON temples across 150 nations today against the violence on Hindus in Bangladesh. 

Financial autonomy of judiciary

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Saturday pushed for “complete financial autonomy of the judiciary” through the establishment of a National Judicial Infrastructure Authority (NJIA) of India.

New Delhi [India] : Noting that good judicial infrastructure for Courts in India has always been an “afterthought”, the CJI said he has sent a proposal for setting up the NJAI to the Ministry of Law and Justice. CJI Ramana urged law minister Kiran Rijiju to ensure that the proposal is taken up in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament.
“If we want a different outcome from the judicial system, we cannot continue to work in these circumstances. An integral aspect, in this regard, is the financial autonomy of the judiciary. I have, therefore, sent a proposal for the establishment of the National Judicial Infrastructure Authority to the Ministry of Law and Justice, and I am hoping for a positive response soon. I urge the Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice to expedite the process and ensure that the proposal to create the National Judicial Infrastructure Authority of India (NJIAI) with statutory backing is taken up in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament,” CJI Ramana said.
He added that “Institutionalising the mechanism for augmenting and creating state-of-the-art judicial infrastructure is the best gift that we can think of giving to our people and our country in this 75th year of our Independence.”
CJI further said that good judicial infrastructure for Courts in India has always been an “afterthought” and it is because of this mindset that Courts in India still operate from “dilapidated structures” making it difficult to effectively perform their function.
“Judicial infrastructure is important for improving access to justice and to meet the growing demands of a public that is more aware of its rights and is developing economically, socially, and culturally. It is baffling to note that the improvement and maintenance of judicial infrastructure is still being carried out in an ad-hoc and unplanned manner,” he further said.
Speaking at the inauguration function of the annexe building of Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court, CJI said the Aurangabad Bench complex provides a good example of the issue he wishes to highlight.
The need for an additional Court complex at the Aurangabad Bench was
identified as early as in 2011, at a meeting convened by the then senior-most judge at this Bench, he said, adding that it has taken more than 10 years for this vision to be implemented is “extremely worrisome”.
“This is not the fault of any institution or organ of the State but is emblematic of a deeper structural problem that has plagued judicial infrastructure development in our country since independence. Today’s success should not, therefore, blind us to the issues that exist,” CJI added.
“An effective judiciary can aid in the effective growth of the economy, CJI Ramana further said. He said according to international research published in 2018, failure to deliver timely justice cost the country as much as 9 per cent of annual GDP. Moreover, the impact of an under-supported judiciary is also seen on foreign investments. Without adequate infrastructure, we cannot aspire to fill this gap,” be further stated.
CJI said that it is a common notion that only criminals or victims of crime approach the court. “People take pride in stating that we have never seen a court building in our lifetime. But, it is high time that we make efforts to remove the taboo associated with approaching Courts for the affirmation of their rights.,” He added.
The common man deals with multiple legal issues during his lifetime, one must never feel hesitant to approach Courts, said CJI.
“After all, people’s faith in the judiciary is the biggest strength of democracy. Courts are extremely essential for any society that is governed by the rule of law. Court buildings are not merely structures made of mortar and bricks. Rather, they actively assure the constitutional guarantee of the Right to Justice. The Courts in India have repeatedly upheld the rights and freedoms of individuals. They stood up whenever the individuals or society are at the receiving end of the executive excesses. It is an assurance that the seeker of justice, howsoever weak, need not worry about the might of the State,” CJI said.
The event was also attended by Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, Supreme Court Judges — Justice UU Lalit, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice BR Gavai, Justice Abhay Oka, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Dipankar Datta, Senior most judge at Aurangabad Bench Justice SV Gangapurwala and Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni.
Justice Chandrachud in his address said that this building today is a landmark in the history of Aurangabad and Maharashtra and this building represents the ethos of Marathwada, it represents the value of diversity, tolerance and plurality of this State.
He said, “We have formulated live streaming rules so that courts can live stream its proceedings to the masses.”
Everyone in the country has a right to know what goes inside a courtroom, he added.
Justice Chandrachud also said that the object of both judges and lawyers is to administer justice to the common man and it is this quest for justice that unifies the Bench and the Bar.
Justice Chandrachud further said the government is the largest litigant and he has written to the Chief Justices of all High Courts to request that by January 2022, the cases must be e-filed in the district and High Courts.
Justice Lalit expressed happiness on the inauguration of the annexe building. “It is a cause of celebration for us, jubilation but it is up to us to put that life and spirit into this structure and make it into a temple of justice in the true sense,” Justice Lalit said.
Law Minister Kiran Rijiju said that “Judiciary is not only being given full support but also they are being given space for the judiciary to become robust. In democracy to make our democracy successful, a robust judiciary is of utmost importance. “
“We have taken many decisions to provide support to infrastructure to the judiciary,” Rijiju said.
“I am going to Jammu and Kashmir on October 29 for the purpose of overseeing and understanding how legal aids and legal awareness are being provided to the last mile person standing in the border area,” he added
Rijiju further said that Supreme Court emerged as a legal leader with over 96,213 virtual hearings till July 9, 2021, and upgraded cloud-based video-conferencing infrastructure.
“I am also looking forward for a harmonious relationship between the judiciary, executive and legislature. We all are working for our nation. We are committed to dispensing justice to the nation and its citizens. We are a team, we are different organs of our set-up, states. I consider myself to be part of the team,” he added.
The Law Minister further said that “Politics is always there because politics is the essence of democracy. When it comes to democracy, there has to be politics, but there is no politics in the judiciary.”
He also mentioned that former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis laid the foundation of the annex building in Aurangabad Bench, and present Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is laying the foundation. “This is teamwork,” he added.

PM Modi to interact with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers today

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to interact with the seven Indian manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, days after the country crossed a milestone of administering 100 crore vaccinations.
During the interaction, the PM will take stock of the experiences of the manufacturers as well as discuss various issues like furthering vaccine research. As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with the administration of 68,48,417 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has surpassed the 100 Crore mark to reach 101.30 Cr (1,01,30,28,411) as per provisional reports till 7 am today.

Amit Shah : Three-day visit to J-K

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India] : Union Home Minister Amit Shah reached Srinagar on Saturday for a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to review the security situation in the union territory.
He was welcomed at the airport by the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Shah will chair the security review meeting in Srinagar and will hold an interaction with members of Jammu and Kashmir’s Youth Clubs on Saturday.


Shah will also inaugurate the first direct international flight between Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar and Sharjah in UAE on the first day of his three-day visit to the union territory.
This is his first visit to the union territory since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
Over the past few days, several civilians have been killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, sparking fear in the valley.
Recently, after the killings of non-locals in Jammu and Kashmir around 700 people have been detained in the union territory, a few under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), police officials informed.
Meanwhile, a total of 26 detainees are being shifted to the Central Jail of Agra from Jammu and Kashmir under the Public Safety Act 1978. The order has been issued ahead of Shah’s three-day visit to the union territory beginning Saturday.
So far, as many as 15 terrorists have been neutralised in two weeks in the union territory informed IGP (Kashmir), Vijay Kumar, on Wednesday.

J-K: Amit Shah visits residence of policeman killed by terrorists last month

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday visited the residence of Inspector Parvez Ahmed, who was killed by terrorists last month in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowgam.
During his visit, Shah met Ahmed’s wife Fatima Akhter and gave her official papers for a government job. Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Union Minister Jitendra Singh and Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh were also present during Shah’s visit to Ahmed’s residence.
The Union Home Minister is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to review the security situation in the union territory.
This is his first visit to the union territory since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.

‘BJP supports conversion, communalism’

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India] : Slamming Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday said the party has only two issues left — “conversion and communalism”.
The chief minister said that there are no such issues in Chhattisgarh. “BJP has no more work left in Chhattisgarh… Now they only have two issues left one is conversion and the other is communalism. There is no such situation here and those who will try to sponsor it will fall on their face,” Baghel told reporters.
The chief minister’s remarks came against the backdrop of a rally held in Surguja district on Thursday marking protests against alleged forced conversion in the state. Many BJP leaders reportedly participated in the protest rally.

Need to ensure Afghan territory is not used to attack any country

India and UK on Friday agreed on the need to ensure that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists.

New Delhi [India] : This statement was issued after External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar held bilateral talks with the visiting UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss and discussed several issues including strengthening cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and countering terrorism and radical extremism. A statement issued by External Affairs Ministry said that Jaishankar and Truss discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest while sharing their commitment to a multi-polar world and multilateralism.
“They agreed to strengthen cooperation in West Asia and the Indo-Pacific, on countering terrorism and radical extremism, and addressing emerging challenges in the cyber and space domains,” the statement said.


“On Afghanistan, the need for full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance was discussed, as also the need for Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist attacks,” it added.
EAM Jaishankar and the British foreign secretary also did a comprehensive review of the bilateral relations, which included gauging the progress of Roadmap 2030.
Both Ministers undertook a detailed review of the Roadmap 2030 launched during the India-UK Virtual Summit held on 4 May 2021.
India and UK Roadmap 2030 aimed to elevate the India-UK relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) and this will also guide cooperation for the next 10 years covering all aspects of our multi-faceted relations.
During her stay in New Delhi, Truss also met the Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman and the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav.
On 23 October, she will be visiting Mumbai where she will participate in business and defence engagements held in connection with the visit of Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) to India. She would also pay her respects at the memorial to honour the victims of the terrorist attack in Mumbai on 26 November 2008.

Jaishankar, UK counterpart review Roadmap 2030, appreciate progress despite COVID constraints

New Delhi [India] : External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Friday met British foreign secretary Liz Truss and did a comprehensive review of the bilateral relations, which included gauging the progress of Roadmap 2030.
Both Ministers undertook a detailed review of the Roadmap 2030 launched during the India-UK Virtual Summit held on 4 May, 2021, External Affairs Ministery (EAM) said in a statement. India and UK Roadmap 2030 aimed to elevate the India-UK relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) and this will also guide cooperation for the next 10 years covering all aspects of our multi-faceted relations.
After the meeting, the ministers appreciated the progress so far on the implementation of the Roadmap despite the constraints posed by the pandemic.
“There was detailed discussions focused on enhancing cooperation in the key priority areas of trade and investments, people-to-people relationship, health partnership, climate change, science & innovation and defence & security,” said MEA.
Both Ministers welcomed the progress in delivering the Enhanced Trade Partnership announced at the Virtual Summit and underlined the need for launching FTA negotiations at the earliest, with a focus on negotiating an interim agreement that can deliver quick gains to businesses in both India and the UK.
Both Ministers also discussed the Migration and Mobility Partnership and the Global Innovation Partnership and committed to their early implementation.
They also acknowledged the establishment of new dialogue mechanisms for discussing consular issues and maritime security. Both sides also agreed on instituting the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum Track, a new 1.5 Dialogue mechanism to foster expert deliberations on long-term strategic links between the two countries.
During her stay in New Delhi, Truss also met the Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman and the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav.

TMC MP’s car attacked in Tripura

Party workers claim that BJP was responsible for the attack.

Trinamool Congress MP Sushmita Dev’s vehicle was attacked in Tripura’s Amtuli on Friday. Members of the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), who were with her during her campaign, were injured during the attack. Party workers alleged that BJP was responsible for the attack during Dev’s ‘Tripurar Jonno Trinamool’ drive.

“During our outreach program, some goons attacked our cars, they beat our workers. It’s clear that BJP is ‘Bharatiya Gunda Party’. CM Biplab Deb is giving them protection, the attackers didn’t even bother to cover their faces. CM is a useless fellow,” the TMC MP said.

Siddhartha Kar, Officer-in-charge at the Amtali police station said, “At around 1:30 pm we got information that two cars were attacked by unknown miscreants. Our 4 officers moved there immediately & rescued them (TMC workers). They lodged a complaint, we will register it and will probe.”

“People of #Tripura will give a befitting response to this BARBARIC ATTACK! Police must immediately stop acting as mere spectators. This collapse of law and order is unacceptable. WE DEMAND JUSTICE!,” the AITC wrote on Twitter.

The former Congress leader, Dev was the national spokesperson of the grand old party and the chief of the All India Mahila Congress. She sent her resignation letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, sources said but offered no reason for her quitting, and joined the TMC in the presence of senior party leaders Abhishek Banerjee and Derek O’Brien in Kolkata  

“In my 30 years in politics, I haven’t demanded anything from the Congress high command,” Dev said earlier.

Army brass to discuss China-Pak

At a time when Pakistan and China have heightened activities along the borders, top Indian Army brass would be discussing the ways to deal with the security situation during the Commanders’ conference on Monday.

New Delhi (India) : The meeting would be happening at a time when the Pakistan Army is violating ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and attempting to infiltrate terrorists into India, whereas the Chinese have also continued to deploy their troops along with the eastern Ladakh sector. “The Army commanders’ conference would start deliberations on the present situation along the Northern borders with China and the Pakistan Army actions in support of terror groups on the western front,” government sources told ANI.
The Army commanders are also expected to take up the issue of Pakistan Army and ISI activities in Punjab and adjoining areas along with the other security challenges faced by the country, they said.
The Indian Army has adopted a very strict posture against the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control and deployed a heavy number of troops to respond to any possible misadventure by the adversary there.
On the Pakistan front also, activities have gone up significantly from the last month of September with an increase in ceasefire violation along the Line of Control and a rise in terrorist activities inside the Kashmir valley.
The security forces have also taken strong steps against the terrorist activities and a large number of overground workers along with terrorist commanders are being neutralised in encounters.

CBI has disappointed: Jharkhand HC

While hearing the Dhanbad Judge death case, Jharkhand High Court on Friday said that the investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case is at the same place where it was earlier.

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India] : A bench headed by the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court Justice Ravi Ranjan and comprising of Justice Sujeet Narayan said, ” the CBI has once again disappointed. Investigation pace is at the same place where it was earlier”. The court came down heavily on the agency and expressed strong discontent stating that the agency “did not inform the High Court before filing the charge sheet despite the bench comprising the chief justice monitoring the process”.
The court has also asked the CBI Director to be present at the next hearing through video conferencing.
The next hearing of the case is scheduled on October 29.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday has filed a charge sheet before a special court in Jharkhand in connection with Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand, who was allegedly mowed down by an autorickshaw.
The case has been registered under Sections 302 (Murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence), and 34 (Common Intention). Further investigation is underway.
Uttam Anand was an Additional District Judge posted in the Dhanbad district of Jharkhand was allegedly murdered after being mowed down by an autorickshaw in July this year. Two people involved in the alleged killing were arrested by Jharkhand police, and the vehicle used for the crime was seized.
On August 19, CBI submitted a progress report of probe into the death of Dhanbad additional session judge Uttam Anand in a sealed cover in the Jharkhand High Court.
The Supreme Court had also taken a suo motu cognizance of the alleged killing of ASG Anand. 

India deploys Pinaka, Smerch rocket system on China border

Indian Army has deployed Pinaka and Smerch Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems (MRLS) at forward position near the China border to counter any threat arising across on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Guwahati (Assam) [India] : Pinaka weapon system is an autonomous rocket artillery system that can engage area targets up to 38km at mean sea level. At these altitudes, the ranges are enhanced significantly which further augments the deep strike capability of the weapon system. A battery of six launchers of Pinaka can fire a salvo of 72 rockets in 44 seconds thereby neutralising an area of 1000m by 800m.
Talking about the weapon systems, deployed battery commander at the location Lieutenant Colonel Sarath told , “The Pinaka weapon system is indigenous multi rocket launcher system designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and it is a state of art, completely autonomous weapon system, which can engage targets up to 38 kilometres at mean sea level and at higher altitudes, the ranges get significantly enhanced, which subsequently enhance our deep strike capability.”


Talking about the advantage of Pinaka and Smerch to India’s firepower, he said, “The quick reaction time and the high accuracy of these weapon systems ensure delivery of a very high volume of firepower on critical and time-sensitive enemy targets in a very short time.”
The Smerch system is the longest range conventional rocket system in Indian army inventory having a maximum range of 90 Km. A battery of four launchers can fire a salvo of 48 rockets in 40 seconds neutralising an area of 1200m by 1200m.
Describing the features of the weapon system, the battery commander of Smerch Major Srinath said, “The launcher is a very potent weapon in the arsenal of Indian artillery. The weapon can fire up to a range of 90 kilometres. Being based on a 10 by 10 tatra, it’s extremely mobile, and there is no issue with mobility in any sort of terrain. There are 12 tubes in the cluster, and it fires 12 rockets in a span of 40 seconds.”
Pinaka is named after the bow of Lord Shiva. Both these weapon systems (Pinaka and Smerch) are designed to fire a variety of ammunition like high explosives and submunitions against area targets.
The upgraded version of the Pinaka ammunition system is already on the production line and can fire up to a range of 75km with superior precision which significantly enhances the existing capability manifolds.
The quick response and high accuracy of these weapon systems ensure the delivery of a large volume of fire against critical and time-sensitive enemy targets, within a very short time.

T20 WC: Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah to be X factor for India, believes Agarkar

Former cricketer Ajit Agarkar stated that Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah could be team India’s X factor in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Dubai [UAE] : The Sunday evening will see the Dubai International Stadium house one of the most historic and mouth-watering clashes in cricketing history as team India will start their campaign in the T20 World Cup by locking horns with arch-nemesis Pakistan in the Super 12 stage. Speaking on the Star Sports show ‘Class of 2007’, former Team India batter Ajit Agarkar shared his thoughts on who will be Team India’s X factor in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. He said: “Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. I think Rohit could be the key, opening the innings and Bumrah with what he does.”
Former Team India all-rounder Irfan Pathan also spoke about Virat Kohli’s men in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, “I think nobody expected anything from the 2007 team, but there are a lot of expectations from the current World Cup squad. The new team has expectations and experience. When we entered the 2007 T20 World Cup, we hardly had the experience of playing in T20 format.”
“But now, things are different, people play IPL, they play a lot of T20 games and there are a lot of conversations around T20 format. In 2007, there was no social media, but now there is social media, so there are a lot of conversations around performances and memes. I think the boys know that there are a lot of expectations from them and they know how to handle it,” he added.
After almost a two-year hiatus, Virat Kohli and Co. face-off against Babar Azam-led Pakistan in this highly anticipated encounter which will also be the Indian skipper’s swansong with the captaincy tag. Pakistan is yet to get a one-up over their rivals in World Cups. However, both teams have entered the tournament with a fresh perspective, filled to the brim with enormous young talent and the hunger and eagerness to prove themselves on the biggest stage of them all.
The India vs Pakistan fixture in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be live on Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar VIP on October 24th at 7:30 PM.
The stakes in the India-Pakistan fixture are at an all-time high with Kohli and company looking to continue their dominance against Pakistan. Both sides have a strong lineup and on the day of the major clash, time will tell which side will emerge triumphantly.

Sharjeel Imam’s bail plea rejected

Saket court has dismissed Jawahar Lal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam’s bail plea in a case related to alleged inflammatory and instigating speeches during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

New Delhi [India] : The court while passing the order on October 22, observed, “A cursory and plain reading of the speech dated December 13, 2019, revealed that same is clearly on communal/divisive lines. In my view, the tone and tenor of the incendiary speech tend to have a debilitating effect upon public tranquility, peace and harmony of the society.” The Court also quoted Swami Vivekanand in its order, “We are what our thoughts have made us, so take care about what you think, Words are secondary, Thoughts live, they travel far”.
Imam, arrested under charges of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), sought bail from a local court in connection with a case relating to northeast Delhi violence in July.

Delhi Court quotes Swami Vivekananda while dismissing Sharjeel Imam’s bail

A Delhi Court on Thursday while dismissing the bail plea of JNU student and activist Sharjeel Imam quoted Swami Vivekananda, “We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think; Words are secondary; Thoughts live; they travel far.”
The Court dismissed Imam’s bail plea in a case related to alleged inflammatory and instigating speeches during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Saket Court’s Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Aggarwal while dismissing the bail observed that “a cursory and plain reading of the speech dated December 13, 2019, reveals that same is clearly on communal/divisive lines. In my view, the tone and tenor of the incendiary speech tend to have a debilitating effect upon public tranquillity, peace and harmony of the society.”
“Considering the contents of speech which tend to have a debilitating effect on the communal peace and harmony, I am not inclined to grant bail to the applicant/accused Sharjeel Imam at this stage. The accused cannot claim any parity with co-accused as his role is entirely different from other co-accused. Accordingly, the instant application moved on behalf of accused Sharjeel Imam for grant of regular bail stands dismissed”, ASJ Anuj Aggarwal said.
However, the Court also said in view of the settled position of law, the issue of whether the said speech would fall within the ambit of section 124A (Sedition) Indian Penal Code or not, requires a deeper analysis at an appropriate stage.
After taking note of the submission of both sides, the Court also observed that “the fundamental right of ‘freedom of speech and expression’ as enshrined under Article 19 has been placed upon a very high pedestal in the constitution of this country and its essence is well captured in statement of John Milton, the Famous British Poet and Intellect who says “give me the liberty to know, to argue freely, and to utter according to conscience, above all liberties”.
However, the very same constitution places, reasonable restriction upon the exercise of said right inter alia on the grounds of public order and incitement to offence. That apart, Article 51A(e) of the Constitution also casts a fundamental duty upon citizens of this country to promote harmony and spread common brotherhood amongst all the people of India, transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities. Therefore, it is no gainsaying that the fundamental right of ‘freedom of speech and expression’ cannot be exercised at the cost of communal peace and harmony of the society, the court said.
Imam was arrested on January 28, 2020, from Bihar for giving allegedly a seditious speech and abetting riots in the Jamia Millia Islamia area in December last year.
According to the Delhi Police, in the said speech, Sharjeel Imam was seen instigating a particular religious community against the government by creating unfounded fears in their minds regarding CAB and NRC. As per the prosecution, speeches delivered by the applicant/accused were seditious, communal/divisive in nature and were aimed at promoting enmity between different religions.
After the conclusion of the investigation, the accused was charge-sheeted with an offence under section 124A/153A for the speech dated December 12, 2019. The accused was also charge-sheeted for offences under section 143/147/148/149/186/353/332/333/307/308/427/435/323/341/ 120B/34 IPC and 3/4, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and under section 25/27 Arms Act with aid of section 109 IPC for instigating co-accused in committing the said offences.
Sharjeel Imam is presently facing various cases in five states including Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Delhi.

Cinema halls, theatres to reopen

Maharashtra government on Friday reopened cinema halls, theatres and auditoriums with 50 per cent seating capacity as COVID-19 cases are going down in the state.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Addressing a press conference, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that if the situation is in control after Diwali then the seating capacity will be increased. “We have re-opened theatres with 50 per cent capacity from today. The theatre owners are demanding to reopen with 100 per cent seating capacity but we have told them to wait till Diwali. After Diwali if the situation is under control, then we will increase the capacity,” said Pawar.
Earlier on Monday, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that amusement parks, auditoriums and theatres would be reopened from October 22.
In a tweet, the chief minister said, “Restrictions are being gradually eased as the number of COVID cases is on the decline. Amusement parks, auditoriums, and theatres will be opened from October 22nd. Guidelines for extending the hours of restaurants and shops across the state will be out soon.”
The Chief Minister also said that the guidelines for extending the hours of restaurants and shops across the state will be released soon.
Cinema halls and theatres, shut since March 2020, were reopened in November last year. However, they closed again in April 2021 after the second coronavirus wave hit Maharashtra.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there are 27,899 active COVID-19 cases in the state.

Online application for NEET

The National Testing Agency announced that it has opened the window for filling up of the second set of information and correct/modify the particulars of the first and second phase of the online application form for NEET (UG) -2021 till October 26, 2021.

New Delhi [India] : As per a statement issued by NTA, it said that on receiving numerous requests from the candidates, the National Testing Agency is again opening the window for filling up of the second set of information and correct/modify the particulars of the first and second phase of the online application form for NEET (UG) -2021 from October 21 – October 26 upto 11.50 pm. “The interested candidates may avail this facility as the last and final opportunity for correcting their particulars which were filled in the first and second phase of the online application form of NEET (UG)-2021,” NTA said in a statement

NTA further said that this facility is also available for candidates who have done one-time corrections in these particular fields earlier.
The candidates are advised by the agency to check, cross-check and verify their registered e-mail
address and ensure that it is their own e-mail address only as NTA will be sending the scanned copy of the scorecard to the registered e-mail address.
In case any candidate faces difficulty in making corrections in the online application form of
NEET (UG) – 2021, the candidate can contact the official website.

‘Brother-sister would have fled to Italy ‘

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said that if pandemic had occurred during the Congress regime then the “brother-sister duo would have fled to Italy”.

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : While addressing at the Samajik Pratinidhi Sammelan, the UP Chief Minister slammed the Opposition parties and said, “When COVID-19 struck, if there had there been a Congress government, then brother and sister would have fled to Italy. If there had been Samajwadi Party (SP) government, then there would have been a competition between the uncle and the nephew to misappropriate aid and the poor would not have been cared for. God knows what would have happened under ‘Behenji’.” Further attacking the Samajwadi Party, the Chief Minister said, “No one would have dared to open fire at Ram Bhakts on November 2, 1990, had there been a BJP government. They were ‘Ramdrohi’ who ordered firing at Ram Sewaks for vote-bank. Those who do not belong to Ram, do not belong to us.”
He further questioned the recent meeting of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav with the family of student leader Umar Khalid and said, “An anti-national had given the slogan ‘Desh ke tukde honge’, and after giving this slogan recently his family members met the chief of a political party (SP). Umar Khalid’s family members met this party’s chief. What does this prove? This proves the party’s intentions for the state.”
The Chief Minister further added that the Central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking steps to alleviate the status of backward castes.
“The Constitutional right given to the OBC Commission was an important step towards empowering backward sections,” he said.
He further said that various government schemes were being implemented for the welfare of various communities without discrimination.

SC: Notice to Twitter India

New Delhi [India] : The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to former Twitter India Managing Director (MD) Manish Maheshwari over plea of Uttar Pradesh government against Karnataka HC decision to quash a notice seeking Maheshwari’s appearance for a probe into a communally sensitive video uploaded on the micro-blogging site.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on June 16, filed FIR against nine entities, including Twitter India in connection with the Loni incident. The Karnataka High Court on June 24 granted interim relief to Maheshwari and directed the Uttar Pradesh Police not to take any coercive steps against him till the next date of hearing in connection with the probe into the circulation of a viral video clip of an assault of an elderly man on the social media platform.
Consequently, the Uttar Pradesh government challenged the interim protection granted to Twitter’s MD in the Supreme Court of India.

‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’

Administration of 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses isn’t just a number, but shows India’s ability as a nation, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister said India’s vaccine campaign is a living example of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas’. “

New Delhi [India] : On 21 October, India achieved the difficult but unparalleled target of administering 100 crore vaccine doses. This has come about by the unified efforts of 130 crore Indians. I congratulate our citizens on achieving this feat,” the Prime Minister said.
“100 crore vaccination mark is not just a number but shows our ability as a nation… It is a new chapter in history, a testament that India can achieve a tough aim successfully. It shows that country works hard for the fulfilment of its goals,” he added.


PM Modi noted that there were apprehensions over India’s vaccination programme.
“When the biggest pandemic of 100 years came, questions started arising on India. Will India be able to fight this global pandemic? From where will India get the money to buy so many vaccines from other countries? When will India get the vaccine? Will the people of India get the vaccine or not? Will India be able to vaccinate enough people to stop the pandemic from spreading? There were various questions, but today this 100 crore vaccine dose is answering every question,” he stated.
He said that today many people are comparing India’s vaccination programme with other countries of the world. “The speed with which India crossed the 100 crore mark is also being appreciated,” he added.
The Prime Minister further said the Central government ensured that VIP culture does not overshadow India’s vaccination program and everyone was treated equally.
On October 21, India has achieved the difficult but extraordinary target of 1 billion, 100 crore vaccine doses.
Meanwhile, more than 100.59 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
From February 2, front line workers were made eligible for vaccination. These included State and Central Police personnel, Armed Force Personnel, Home Guards, Civil Defence and Disaster Management Volunteers, Municipal workers, Prison Staff, PRI Staff and Revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance, Railway Protection Force and election Staff.
The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include persons above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified 20 comorbidities. It was further expanded to all people above 45 years of age from April 1. From May 1, all persons above 18 years of age were made eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. 

PM Modi lauds COVID vaccination programme for being ‘science-born, science-driven, science-based’

Emphasising on the scientific approach of India amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that it is a matter of pride that the vaccination programme was “science-born, science-driven and science-based”.
In an address to the nation, PM Modi said, “India’s entire COVID vaccination programme is born in the womb of science, has grown on scientific grounds and has reached all four directions through scientific methods. It is a matter of pride for all of us that the entire vaccination programme has been science born, science-driven and science-based. From the development of vaccines to inoculation, science has been the base for all processes.” At the same time, the Prime Minister also warned that complacency can be dangerous, and caution regarding COVID-19 should continue.
“No matter how good the shield is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if the armour gives a complete guarantee of protection, weapons should not be thrown away while the battle is still on. I request that we have to celebrate our festivals with the utmost care,” PM Modi said.
He further asserted that the 100 crore vaccine landmark is symbolic of the country’s strength.
“100 crore vaccine dose is not only a figure, but it is also a reflection of the country’s strength. It is the creation of a new chapter in history. This is a picture of a New India that knows how to achieve difficult goals,” he further asserted.
On October 21, India has achieved the difficult but extraordinary target of 1 billion, 100 crore vaccine doses.
Meanwhile, more than 100.59 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

PM Modi urges people to follow COVID protocols during celebration of festivals

After India achieved the landmark of administering over 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged citizens to celebrate upcoming festivals with the utmost care, adding the armour of inoculation does not guarantee complete protection against the virus.
Addressing the nation, PM Modi urged people to keep following COVID protocols and said, “No matter how good the armour is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if armour guarantees complete protection, weapons are not thrown while the battle is on. I request that we have to celebrate our festivals with the utmost care.” “I appeal to all those who have not taken the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to give utmost priority to getting vaccinated. Those who are vaccinated should encourage others,” he added.
The Prime Minister also reiterated his clarion call of “Vocal For Local” and appealed to people to buy ‘Made in India’ products during the festival season.
“Emphasis should be given to buying made in India products. This will be possible only with the efforts of everyone. We have to put –buying things made by Indians, being Vocal For Local– into practice,” he stated.
Meanwhile, more than 100.59 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

‘Centre fully with people of Uttarkhand’

Union Home Minister Amit Shah conducted an aerial survey of rain-affected areas of Uttarakhand on Thursday and said effective coordination between various agencies and timely warnings had helped contain the loss to life and property in the state.

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India] : He said 17 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 60 of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and 15 teams of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and more than 5,000 security personnel continue to be engaged in the relief operations in the state to help people. “I assure the people of Uttarakhand that in this hour of crisis, Narendra Modi government stands completely with you,” the Home Minister said in a tweet.
Amit Shah said he conducted an aerial survey of the areas affected by the natural calamity and assessed the damage and reviewed the relief work.
“Under the leadership of Modiji, we were able to reduce the loss of life and property to a great extent due to the coordination between central and state government and rescue agencies and timely warnings,” he said.
Shah also addressed the media after his aerial survey.
“I held a high-level review meeting with officials of the state and Centre over the natural calamity in Uttarakhand. Due to timely rainfall alerts, the extent of damage could be controlled. Now, the Char Dham Yatra has resumed,” he said.
He said that more than 3,500 people were rescued and over 16,000 precautionary evacuations were done so far.
Shah arrived in Dehradun earlier today to take stock of the situation arising out of incessant rains.
He said that the death toll in the rain-battered Uttarakhand has gone up to 64 and more than 11 people have been reported missing so far.
The minister said normalcy is returning in the state gradually. “Roads have been cleared in Nainital, Almora and Haldwani. Power stations will also resume operations soon. Mobile network has been restored in 80 per cent of areas of the state,” he said.

CCEA approves PM GatiShakti National Master Plan; monitoring through three-tier system

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved PM GatiShakti National Master Plan including an institutional framework for rolling out, implementation, monitoring and support mechanism for providing multi-modal connectivity.

New Delhi (India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched PM GatiShakti NMP for multi-modal connectivity on October 13. Implementation framework includes Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGOS), Network Planning Group (NPG) and Technical Support Unit (TSU) with required technical competencies.
An official release said that EGOS will be headed by Cabinet Secretary and will consist of secretaries of 18 ministries as members and Head of Logistics Division as Member Convenor.
The EGOS has been mandated to review and monitor the implementation of the PM GatiShakti NMP to ensure logistics efficiency.
It is empowered to prescribe framework and norms for undertaking any subsequent amendments to the NMP.
EGOS shall also set out the procedure and definitive framework for synchronization of various activities and ensure that various initiatives of infrastructure development are part of the common integrated digital platform.
EGOS will also look at the interventions required to meet the demand side, to efficiently transport bulk goods on the requirement of various ministries like steel, coal and fertilizer.
CCEA has also approved formation, composition and terms of reference for Network Planning Group (NPG) consisting of heads of network planning wing of respective infrastructure ministries and it will assist the EGOS.
Further, in view of the complexities involved in the overall integration of networks, enhancing optimization to avoid duplication of works for holistic development of any region as well as reducing logistics costs through micro-plan detailing, the Technical Support Unit (TSU) has been approved for providing the required competencies.
The structure of TSU has also been approved and it shall have domain experts from various infrastructure sectors.
The release said that PM GatiShakti NMP is intended to break departmental silos and bring in more holistic and integrated planning and execution of projects with a view to addressing the issues of multi-modal connectivity and last-mile connectivity.
“This will help in bringing down the logistics cost. This will translate into enormous economic gains to consumers, farmers, youth as well as those engaged in businesses. With this approval, the rollout of PM GatiShakti will get further momentum which will result in a holistic and integrated planning framework for infrastructure development in the country,” the release said.
It said PM GatiShakti shall bring various stakeholders together and help integrate different modes of transportation

Explosive-laden truck caught in West Bengal

Birbhum (West Bengal) [India] : Rampurhat, Birbhum district police caught a truck full of explosives carrying 5500 gelatin sticks and 2500 detonators on Wednesday, informed the Rampurhat police.
According to the police, the truck was travelling through state highway and passing nearby Madhyam Khand village which is near Rampurhat police station when it was caught.
District Police Nagendra Nath Tripathi said the Rampurhat police had information regarding the matter before in which police were on the investigation.
The purpose of the moving truck loaded with explosives is yet to be ascertained.
Further investigation is underway.

Priyanka Gandhi to flag off ‘Pratigya Yatra’

Ahead of upcoming state Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi would flag-off the ‘Pratigya Yatra’ on October 23. The Congress leader will flag off the yatra from Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki.

New Delhi [India] : According to the sources, the ‘Pratigya Yatra’ will commence from Barabanki in the Bundelkhand region and will end at Jhansi via Lucknow, Unnao, Fatehpur, Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur, Jalaun. Similarly, in the western UP region, the yatra will start from Saharanpur and will move through Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur, Bareilly, Badaun, Aligarh, Hathras, Agra, Mathura.
In Awadh region, the yatra will start from Varanasi and will end at Rae Bareli via Chandauli, Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh, Amethi.
During this ‘Pratigya Yatra’, Priyanka will hold several meetings.
Before leaving for the yatra in Barabanki, Priyanka Gandhi is likely to make announcements like women’s reservation in education and jobs, free education for women, farmer’s loan waiver and rebate in electricity rates, the sources informed.
She has earlier announced that Congress will give 40 per cent of the total election tickets to women in the state.
Apart from this, a promise has also been made to give mobile and scooty to the girl students.
The Congress under the leadership of Priyanka Gandhi has put up full force for the upcoming UP elections. Apart from the return of its old vote bank, Congress is also especially eyeing women voters.
Priyanka Gandhi is constantly trying to give the message that Congress is playing the real role of the opposition against the Yogi government. Recently, by holding a big rally in Banaras, Congress has tried to show its strength in the state.

India : 10.5% growth

India will grow by 10.5 per cent or even more, according to Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, said a press release from the Public Affairs Forum of India.

New Delhi [India] : He was speaking at the Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI)’s 8th National Forum with the theme “Reviving the Economy: Reimagine. Reboot. Reform” which was held virtually today. Dr Kumar further clarified, “Unevenness in demand across various parts of the country is not because of a lack of consumer confidence, which has come up in a significant manner, but because of certain supply constraints.”
He described these constraints as “chips, ships and global trips,” which have constrained India’s growth recovery. However, he was confident that India will grow by 10.5 % or more despite these constraints.
To strengthen the point about India’s economic recovery, he pointed out that the PMI for manufacturing and services has shown a smart uptake in September 2021, which will only get better going forward, he said. “My own assessment is that we are in the last leg of the W -shaped recovery–going up after first phase of the Covid-19 was over but then going down again with the onset of the second wave,” said Kumar.
Looking at the rising exports, the vice-chairman of NITI Aayog was confident that India would reach the target figure of US$400 billion in this fiscal itself. The government is focused on doubling the country’s share of exports in the next three to four years. “If we do that, our rate of growth of exports will be higher than growth. And that target can only be achieved if the government and industry work in partnership.
The PLI scheme, he pointed out was directed at helping Indian companies achieve global competitiveness. The government has shown that it is willing to put its money where its policies are to incentivise companies to play a bigger role in bringing frontline technologies and global scale. Not just that the redefining of the MSMEs is to make them a part of the regional and global manufacturing network.
He also emphasised the need to diversify India’s export basket into non-petroleum and agro products. He also advocated the need to get better market access in the European Union and the US. India, he added should not just focus on merchandise exports, but also on services export, which is the country’s strength.
Dr Kumar also focused on the policy transformation in the investment sector. “We want companies to manufacture here to avail of low tax rates and other benefits. We want companies to manufacture in India and not just ship assembled products because our focus is on job creation too. He also added that the private sector has to work with the government to take the country forward and make development a people’s movement. He urged industrialists not to be sceptical about the government’s intention because it has already taken a lot of hard decisions like the rollback of the retrospective tax, etc.
Dr Kumar urged the industry to figure out the exact reasons or driving factors behind the falling women’s participation in the workforce through certain surveys. “I have been mystified why there has been a decline in women workforce,” he said and added that it was a loss to the economy. He said that NITI Aayog only had certain hypothesis regarding this issue but no real details. In fact, NITI Aayog has designed and developed a Women Entrepreneur Model for women empowerment.
To achieve greater equality in society, Dr Kumar spoke about greater jobs in the infrastructure sector which is not only employment intensive but also has a multiplier effect.
Vinita Sethi, Treasurer, PAFI and SVP & Chief Public Affairs, Apollo Hospitals Group gave the welcome address and introduced Dr Kumar.

HC expresses unhappiness with Delhi govt over illegal ‘temple’ construction

New Delhi [India ): The Delhi High Court on Thursday expressed unhappiness with the Delhi government in dealing with illegal encroachment in Defence Colony and stated “one can’t just make a structure of five bricks, an idol and say that it’s a temple.”
Justice Rekha Palli said that “One can’t just make a structure of five bricks, an idol and say that it’s a temple. To demolish this we have to involve the religious committee.” The Delhi government counsel told the court that there may be a law and order concern, therefore, the religious committee is needed to look into it.
The court remarked that like this, anyone will make a structure outside High Court overnight and then they will have to ask the religious committee regarding this.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Viraht Sahni and was represented by Senior Advocate PV Kapur, with lawyers Kaveri Kapur, and Jitender Kumar.
The petitioner has sought direction from the respondent to remove the illegal encroachment in form of a temple in front of his property.
Delhi government has earlier submitted that it is conscious of its duty and has already planned to demolish the illegal encroachment at the said site and need requisite police assistance to carry out the said demolition. Police had submitted that it will render the necessary assistance to the govt to carry out the proposed demolition drive.

BJP has pushed Kashmir back

Mehbooba Mufti made the remarks in response to photographs and videos on social media in which security forces are seen frisking women and minors during surprise checking in Lal Chowk.

Shrinagar( Jammu & Kashmir ) : PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday alleged that the BJP government’s policies on Jammu and Kashmir have taken the union territory “back by decades”.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister made the remarks in response to photographs and videos on social media in which security forces are seen frisking women and minors during surprise checking in Lal Chowk and other commercial areas of the city.

“Sums up the current situation in Kashmir where women & even children are suspects now. This is what BJP has brought J&K to. Their policies have taken us back by decades,” she said in a tweet. 

The checking was intensified in the city and elsewhere in the valley after the recent killings of civilians including non-local labourers by militants.

Promises Smartphone and scooty for girls in UP

Smartphone for inter pass girls, scooty for graduate girls if Congress forms govt in Uttar Pradesh, On Tuesday, Priyanka Gandhi had announced that her party will give tickets to 40 per cent women in the coming assembly elections in UP to make women, roughly constituting about half the electorate, a full-fledged partner in power.

Laucknow , UP (India) : After promising 40 per cent tickets to women in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections next year, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra announced on Thursday that all class 12 pass girls will be given a smartphone while all graduate girls will get an electronic scooty if her party forms a government in the state.

“Yesterday I met some girl students. They said that they need smartphones for their studies and their security. I am happy that today the UP Congress has decided, with the consent of the manifesto committee, that it will provide smartphones to inter pass girls and electronic scooties to graduate girls on coming to power,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

The Congress national general secretary and in charge of party affairs in UP also attached with her tweet a video of a group of school/college girls interacting with mediapersons, saying they got pictures clicked with her.

One of the students is seen saying that Priyanka Gandhi asked them if they had phones for clicking selfies. “We said we neither have phones nor are they allowed in colleges. She then asked us if she should get it announced that girls should get phones and we said what more can we ask for our safety,” the student said in the video.

“She asked us to study hard. I want that she continues to meet and talk to us like this,” another student is seen saying in the video.

The girls said Priyanka Gandhi has also told them about the Congress slogan “ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon”.

On Tuesday, the Congress leader had announced that her party will give tickets to 40 per cent women in the coming assembly elections in UP to make women, roughly constituting about half the electorate, a full-fledged partner in power.

The move, she claimed, is aimed at empowering every woman who wants justice, change and unity of her state and also against the efforts to divide them into caste and religion that is stopping them from emerging as a force.

3% increase in DA by Central Government

The DA is a part of the salary given to government employees and pensioners. Notably, the payment of DA of employees has not been revised since January 2020.

In the wake of rising inflation, Union Cabinet has approved 3 per cent increase in the Dearness Allowance of Central Government employees and pensioners. This will come into effect from 1st July 2021. This will be an additional 3% payable on the existing 28% of basic pay and pension. The decision will benefit 47.14 lakh central government employees and 68.62 lakh pensioners.

The move would, however, put a burden of Rs 9,488.70 crore on the government’s exchequer every year.

In July, the Central government had restored Dearness Allowance (DA) benefits for its employees and pensioners and had increased the DA from 17 per cent to 28 per cent. 

The DA is a part of the salary given to government employees and pensioners. Notably, the payment of DA of employees has not been revised since January 2020. 

Kerala : Heavy rainfall with thunderstorms

A ‘Yellow alert’, predicting isolated heavy rainfall, was issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kasaragod districts for the day.

After a brief lull, heavy rainfall, accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning, lashed several parts of Kerala on Thursday as the weathermen issued an Orange Alert for eight districts of the state indicating very heavy showers.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), in its latest update, put the districts- Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur- on Orange alert.

A ‘Yellow alert’, predicting isolated heavy rainfall, was issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kasaragod districts for the day.

A Red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while Orange alert denotes very heavy rains from 6 cm to 20 cm of rains. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 to 11 cm.

“Southwest monsoon has been active over Kerala. Rain occurred at most places in the state and at a few places in Lakshadweep,” an IMD statement said.

Parambikulam in Palakkad district received 12 cm rains while Palluruthy in Ernakulam and Enamakkal (Thrissur) and Mannarkkad (Palakkad ) received 11 cm and 9 cm each rainfall respectively, according to the statement.

Fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea in the state as squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph is likely to prevail over Kerala coast on Thursday, it added.

The southern state was ravaged by heavy downpour and subsequent landslides in the south-central districts On October 15 and 16 which resulted in the loss of 42 lives and six people going missing. 

CBDT issues refunds of Rs 92,961 cr to 63.23 lakh taxpayers

New Delhi [India] : The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued refunds of over Rs 92,961 crore to more than 63.23 lakh taxpayers from April 1 to October 18, the Income Tax Department said on Thursday.
“CBDT issues refunds of over Rs 92,961 crore to more than 63.23 lakh taxpayers from April 1, 2021 to October 18, 2021. Income tax refunds of Rs. 23,026 crore have been issued in 61,53,231 cases and corporate tax refunds of Rs. 69,934 crore have been issued in 1,69,355 case,” the Income Tax department tweeted. The department said the amount includes 32.49 lakh refunds of Assessment Year (AY) 2021-22 amounting to Rs 2498.18 crore.
Meanwhile, the direct taxes watchdog on September 22, had issued refunds of over Rs 74,158 crore to more than 45.25 lakh taxpayers between April 1 and September 20. Then, Income tax refunds of Rs 18,873 crore were issued in 43,68,741cases and corporate tax refunds of Rs 55,285 crore were issued in 1,55,920 cases.
The amount at the time included 17.45 lakh refunds of AY 2021-22 amounting to Rs 1350.4 crore. (

Farmers have right to protest but they can’t block roads indefinitely : Supreme Court

The apex court said that ‘farmers have right to protest but they cannot block roads indefinitely.’

New Delhi (India) : The Supreme Court on Thursday said farmers protesting at Delhi borders against the three farms laws have the right to agitate but they cannot block roads indefinitely.

A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul said it was not against the right to protest even when the legal challenge is pending but ultimately some solution has to be found. 

“Farmers have the right to protest but they cannot keep roads blocked indefinitely. You may have a right to agitate in any manner but roads should not be blocked like this. People have the right to go on roads but it cannot be blocked.” the bench also comprising Justice M M Sundresh said.

The top court asked the farmer unions, who have been arrayed as parties in the case, to respond within three weeks on the issue and posted the matter for hearing on December 7.

The apex court was hearing a PIL filed by a Noida-resident Monicca Agarwal complaining of delays in daily commute caused due to the road blockade owing to the ongoing farmers’ protests.

Farmers have been camping at Delhi borders to demand that the three agri laws be rolled back>

Farmers vacate portion of service road at Delhi’s Ghazipur border

Farmers at the Ghaziapur border in Delhi are vacating a section of the service road below the flyover to allow the movement of public vehicles. The service lane portion of the road goes from Ghaziabad to Delhi, on which the media centre was built by the farmers. Farmers will now sit only on the upper part of the flyover. 

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh have been agitating at three Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — since last November against the three farm laws that they claim will do away with the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

Over 10 rounds of talks with the government, which has been projecting the laws at major agricultural reforms, have failed to break the deadlock between the two parties. Although the Supreme Court has put the three laws on hold, farmers are adamant about their demand.

Earlier on January 26, a tractor parade in Delhi, that was to highlight the demands of farmer unions to repeal three agriculture laws, had dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the national capital as thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with the police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.

Amit Shah conducts aerial survey of rain-affected areas in Uttarakhand

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India] : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday conducted an aerial survey of the rain-affected areas of Uttarakhand. He was accompanied by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Governor Lt General Gurmit Singh (Retd). Shah arrived in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun earlier today to take stock of the situation arising out of incessant rains. As per an updated natural disaster incident report issued on Wednesday, eight people were reported dead on October 18. Of these, three each died in Pauri and Pithoragarh and two in Champawat.


64 deaths, over 11 people missing due to heavy rains in Uttarakhand: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah On Thursday said that the death toll in the rain-battered Uttarakhand has mounted to 64 and more than 11 people have been reported missing so far.
Shah, who was addressing the media after conducting an aerial survey of the rain-affected areas in the state, said that no tourist casualty has been reported in the state so far and the Char Dham Yatra has also been resumed. “I held a high-level review meeting with officials of the State and Centre over the natural calamity in Uttarakhand. Due to timely rainfall alerts, the extent of damage could be controlled. Now, the Char Dham Yatra has resumed,” said the Home Minister.
He further said that more than 3,500 people were rescued and over 16,000 precautionary evacuations were done so far.
“As many as 3,500 people were rescued and more than 16,000 precautionary evacuations were done in the state. 17 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, 7 State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams, 15 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and more than 5,000 police personnel are deployed for the rescue operations,” Shah said.
The Home Minister added that normalcy is returning in the state gradually. “Roads have been cleared in Nainital, Almora and Haldwani. Power stations will also resume operations soon. The mobile network has been restored in 80 per cent of areas of the state,” he stated.
Shah arrived in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun earlier today to take stock of the situation arising out of incessant rains.
Damage to properties has also been recorded in Uttarakhand following torrential rains in the last few days.

100 cr vaccination mark : WHO chief congratulates PM Modi, scientists, health workers for efforts

Geneva [Switzerland] : As India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive achieved another milestone with a cumulative administration of over 100 crore vaccine doses on Thursday, World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with scientists, health workers and people of India for efforts to protect people from coronavirus.
“Congratulations, Prime Minister @narendramodi, the scientists, #healthworkers and people of #India, on your efforts to protect the vulnerable populations from #COVID19 and achieve #VaccinEquity targets,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a tweet. In a landmark achievement, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses on Thursday.
A total of 100 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the CoWIN portal at 9:47 am today.
India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16, 2021. Initially, the vaccination was opened for Health Care Workers (HCWs) only.
From February 2, front line workers were made eligible for vaccination. These included state and Central Police personnel, Armed Force Personnel, Home Guards, Civil Defence and Disaster Management Volunteers, Municipal workers, Prison Staff, PRI Staff and Revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance, Railway Protection Force and election Staff.
The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include persons above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified 20 comorbidities. It was further expanded to all people above 45 years of age from April 1. From May 1 all persons above 18 years of age were made eligible for COVID-19 vaccination

Bhutan PM congratulates India for crossing 1 billion COVID vaccine doses

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering congratulated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for achieving one billion COVID-19 vaccination doses on Thursday morning.

Thimphu [Bhutan] : “I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this achievement. My appreciation also goes to all the healthcare providers and people involved in making this possible, more specifically the 1,000 million people who came forward to take the jab. It reflects the trust people have in the system. I always believe that the collective, unconditional faith in leadership and the system is key to any nation’s success,” Prime Minister Office said in a Facebook post. He also stated that Bhutan being a close neighbour to India, feel more secure.
“I have been closely following the spiralling numbers and this morning, in what is a huge accomplishment not just for your country but the world, India hits the one billion mark of COVID-19 vaccination doses this morning. On behalf of the people of Bhutan, I congratulate India! Narendra Modi PMO India.
“Being able to administer the shots in one billion arms, despite all the challenges, is a feat not many can easily achieve. At this time of the pandemic, any individual getting vaccinated is a progression that contributes to global herd immunity. This will be significant for all of us in emerging from the pandemic sooner. And on a practical note, being a close neighbour, we feel more secure,” Prime Minister Tshering said in the post.
The Prime Minister further expressed his appreciation to PM Modi for contributing to global welfare through sharing of vaccines, medical supplies and other supports. “Bhutan has benefitted a lot and remains grateful,” he added.
In a landmark achievement, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses on Thursday.
A total of 100 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the CoWIN portal at 9:47 am today.
India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16, 2021. Initially, the vaccination was opened for Health Care Workers (HCWs) only.
From February 2, front line workers were made eligible for vaccination. These included state and Central Police personnel, Armed Force Personnel, Home Guards, Civil Defence and Disaster Management Volunteers, Municipal workers, Prison Staff, PRI Staff and Revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance, Railway Protection Force and election Staff.
The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include persons above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified 20 comorbidities. It was further expanded to all people above 45 years of age from April 1. From May 1 all persons above 18 years of age were made eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

India thanks Bhutan PM for wishing on country’s achievement of reaching 1 billion vaccination doses

Indian embassy in Bhutan on Thursday thanked Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering for his wishes on India’s achievement of reaching the milestone of one billion vaccination doses.
“Thank you Dr Lotay Tshering @PMBhutan for your best wishes on India’s achievement reaching the milestone of 1 Billion Vaccination Doses as well as your appreciation for the #VaccineMaitri initiative launched by PM @narendramodi,” the embassy tweeted. In a landmark achievement, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 100 crore doses on Thursday. A total of 100 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far to eligible beneficiaries, as per the CoWIN portal at 9:47 am today.
India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16, 2021. Initially, the vaccination was opened for Health Care Workers (HCWs) only.
From February 2, front line workers were made eligible for vaccination. These included state and Central Police personnel, Armed Force Personnel, Home Guards, Civil Defence and Disaster Management Volunteers, Municipal workers, Prison Staff, PRI Staff and Revenue workers involved in containment and surveillance, Railway Protection Force and election Staff.
The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include persons above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified 20 comorbidities. It was further expanded to all people above 45 years of age from April 1. From May 1 all persons above 18 years of age were made eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

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