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A happy New Year for 100 bureaucrats

The New Year brought good news for 100 bureaucrats as government approved of their promotion. In official orders released on late evening of December 31, 40 IAS, 44 IPS and 16 IFS were promoted.Following the promotion, two 86 batch IAS Deepak Utpreti and SK Agarwal were elevated to post of additional chief secretary from principal secretary at their respective departments. They along with Yaduvendra Mathur and Sanjay Dixit of the same batch have been promoted to chief secretary pay scale.IAS JagdIsh Chandra Desai had his designation changed from director to commissioner of Child Empowerment Department while IAS Suchi Sharma became commissioner ICDS from director earlier. They along with eight others have been promoted to super time pay scale. Of these, Jagdeesh Chandra Desai has received a double promotion.Promotions also shined on the police cadre and IPS Govind Gupta, Sunil Dutt and Amrit Kalash were promoted to additional director general pay scale from IG scale earlier.The promotions are expected to be followed with change in postings, even as except for six IAS the remaining officials have been asked to continue with their current designations till further orders.CS NC Goel conveyed good newsOn his first day at office, CS NC Goel was accompanied with the news of promotion orders. Before he left the office, he called up a senior IAS and told him of the promotions been approved by the chief minister. It was minutes after that the list was officially declared by department of personnel.

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Day after Army chief’s LoC visit, Pak troops kill jawan

A day after Army chief General Bipin Rawat visited the forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC), the Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian forward positions, killing a jawan, in the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district in Jammu division on Sunday.The incident took place in the early hours of Sunday, when Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire and fired indiscriminately on the Indian forward posts along the LoC in the Nowshera sector. The Indian Army troops immediately swung into action and retaliated in equal measure to silence the Pakistani guns.”In the exchange of fire, however, Sepoy Jagsir Singh was grievously injured and later succumbed,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at the Northern Command.Hailing from village Lohgarh, Thakhran Wala, district Firozepur of Punjab, Sepoy Jagsir Singh, 32, is survived by wife Mohinder Pall Kaur, two daughters, and a son.”Sepoy Jagsir Singh was a brave and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” Colonel Joshi said.The ceasefire violation comes just a day after the chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, visited the forward posts in Rajouri and exhorted the troops to continue to remain “vigilant and ever-ready”.Pakistan’s latest provocation also comes six days after the Indian Army troops, in a tit-for-tat action, crossed the LoC and killed three Pakistani Army men in Rawalakot sector of Poonch on Monday. The attack was carried out 48 hours after four Army soldiers, including a Major, were killed by the Pakistan Army on December 23.Meanwhile, figures presented in the Lok Sabha have revealed that Pakistan violated the ceasefire along the LoC in J&K 771 times, till December 10 this year, and 110 times along the International Border (IB) till November-end. Nearly 30 people, including 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians, and four BSF personnel, were killed in these ceasefire violations this year.Also, last year, 449 incidents of ceasefire violations were reported, in which 13 civilians and 13 security personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured. The truce between India and Pakistan along the IB, the LoC, and the Actual Ground Position Line in Siachen glacier came into force in November, 2003.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
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Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
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Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Tamil Nadu: Rajinikanth to float political party, says, will contest next assembly polls

Earlier, Rajinikanth, who commands a huge fan base across the country, had been hinting for quite some time that he may join politics, but stopped short of announcing it. Rajini, while addressing his fans on Tuesday, said that he would announce his final decision on politics on December 31.”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Tamil Nadu: Rajinikanth to float political party, says, will contest next assembly polls Rajinikanth
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByDNA Web Team <!–end of artlbotbor–>Sunday 31 December 2017 9:16 ISTMust readEx-CJI TS Thakur says no to AAP’s Rajya Sabha offerKamala Mills fire: Know the story behind this picture<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday announced his decision to join politics and launch his own party. He also announced that the party will contest next assembly elections.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Earlier, Rajinikanth, who commands a huge fan base across the country, had been hinting for quite some time that he may join politics, but stopped short of announcing it. Rajini, while addressing his fans on Tuesday, said that he would announce his final decision on politics on December 31.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
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All ears for Rajinikanth’s announcement

All eyes are set on Rajinikanth for the announcement he is set to make on Sunday declaring whether or not he would take a political plunge.Many of his fans believe that the actor has taken a decision, after decades of waiting, to finally enter the world of politics.Rajinikanth, who commands a huge fan base across the country, has been hinting for quite some time that he may join politics, but stopped short of announcing it. Rajini, while addressing his fans on Tuesday, said that he would announce his final decision on politics on December 31.His fans and well-wishers see a huge opportunity for the 67-year-old actor to fill the political vacuum created by the death of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and ailing DMK president M Karunanidhi. “There is no better time to enter politics than now. No leader in the state can match the charisma and support enjoyed by our thalaivar (leader). Without any further delay, he should launch his own party,” said an office bearer of All India Rajinikanth Fans Association from Coimbatore.He said that they have made all the arrangements for welcoming the superstar’s announcement on Sunday by bursting crackers.AXW Douglas, Tuticorin district secretary of the fans association said that he has no expectation of him announcing a political plunge. “After his speech in the first day of the meet, he has been asking the fans to take care of the family first. He also stressed on the patience and to bide one’s time. We don’t know what is in his mind,” he said, adding that the actor still enjoys the biggest fan following among the Tamil actors.Veteran film producer and story writer Kalaignanam who introduced Rajinikanth as here in the 1978 movie Bairavi told a Tamil news channel that the actor would announce his political entry on December 31 in front of his fans.”He will launch his own political party. Earlier when he made up his mind on entering politics, several obstacles were created to prevent his entry. Now he has taken a firm decision to enter politics and he will not go back on it,” he said.The success of film personalities starting from DMK chief M Karunanidhi to AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran and her successor J Jayalalithaa in the politics has prompted several actors to nurture political ambitions.Rajinikanth’s contemporary Kamal Haasan has announced his political entry last month. “Both the actors – Kamal and Rajini – are aspiring to fill up the political vacuum. But they had failed to take into account that MGR and Jayalalithaa did not come to power by making a sudden political entry,” said writer and political commentator Prof Arunan. MGR was in politics since the 1950s and had parallel film and political career before floating his own party in 1972 after he was expelled from the DMK, he said, adding that while Jayalalithaa was brought to politics by MGR in the 1980s and was nominated to Rajya Sabha and then made party’s propaganda secretary. “After MGR’s death, Jayalalithaa claimed his political legacy and his party AIADMK to come to power in 1991,” he said, adding that it would not be easy to launch a new political party and aspiring to come to power in the ensuing elections.

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Jaipur: Subdued market puts a brake on roadways land auction plan

It seems that Rajasthan Roadways has come back to square one after failing to get its land auctioned in recent weeks. Sources inform that currently there are no plans to start the auction process once again or to sell the properties in near future. This is because of the current market conditions in the city.A few weeks ago the people involved in the decision-making process had also hinted that the price being offered in the market is much lower than the price which is being expected by auctioning the property. Moreover, its also being said that in last one year, even JDA has not been able to auction any of its big properties.As of now, it seems that Rajasthan roadways may have managed to find other ways to get funds, say the sources.JDA had a few days ago initiated the process to auction khasra number 151/443 land near Chomu House Parivahan Marg The dates of the proposed auction were on December 6, December 13 and December 20. Sources said that the reserve price was also kept high.The process failed as no bidders came on all these three days. Meanwhile, the employees are already in the mode of agitation. On Thursday the joint front of worker unions of roadways announced a large statewide rally at the Rajasthan assembly during the budget session.On Thursday, they burnt the effigies and agitated at Sindhi camp bus stand in which hundreds of workers were present. Their demands include stopping of the process to sell the land of roadways. Apart from this, the worker unions are also demanding on running the lok parivahan buses away from 2-5 km of the roadways bus stands apart from other demands related to payment of bonus. High pricesJDA had a few days back initiated the process to auction khasra number 151/443 land near Chomu House Parivahan Marg The dates of the proposed auction were on December 6, December 13 and December 20. Sources said that the reserve price was also kept high. The process failed as no bidders came on all these three day A few weeks back the people involved in the decision-making process has also hinted that the price being offered in the market is much lower than the price which is being expected by auctioning the property.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
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RUIDP rushes to complete phase two

The Rajasthan Urban Infrastructure Development Project (RUIDP) is expected to ink loan agreement with Asian Development Bank for the Rs 4500 crore fourth phase, the second phase of the project is still lagging behind deadline.The second phase planned to ensure development of urban infrastructure at 15 towns of the state with a cost of Rs 1762 crore was expected to be completed by December 2016. An year past the deadline as the officials attempt to ‘financially’ close the project, work related to STP at Bharatpur and sewerage at Jaisalmer are still pending. “The works related to phase two will be completed by June 2018,” urban development minister Shrichand Kriplani said after a department meeting. The second phase including 109 work packages had completed 22 of these in initial 11 months. However, work delayed on rest for various reasons including public agitation and non performing contractors. In November 2015, four contractor firms were debarred by RUIDP for poor performance, yet the project works continued to delay. As of now with work expenditure of nearly Rs 1700 crore the RUIDP claims to have achieved 96 per cent of its target. Meanwhile, the third phase of the project has commenced from 2014 and is expected to be completed by December 2019. Of the 13 cities covered under the phase work orders of Rs 3300 crore have been issued in 11 cities. At the recent meeting the urban development minister has also asked the officials to ensure that contracts for sewerage works in the remaining two cities of Kota and Mount Abu should be finalised soon. DNA was the first to report on the proposed fourth phase of the project in its July 18 edition. The phase will cover 39 cities including 10 heritage cities.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
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JNU teachers raise concern over mandatory attendance of students

A day after the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) made attendance compulsory for all the regular students from January next year, the university’s teachers association on Thursday wrote to the members of the attendance committee raising its concerns.According to a circular issued by JNU’s assistant registrar, Sajjan Singh to all centers on December 22, the decision for making the attendance mandatory was taken during the Academic Council (AC) meeting in December.However, the JNUTA claimed that no such decision was taken during the 144th AC meeting. “Please note that the circulars notifying compulsory attendance, as well as the constitution of your committee, were issued before the date for receiving comments on the AC meeting was over i.e December 27,” the JNUTA said.During the meeting, the V-C had reportedly mentioned about the formation of a committee to ensure provisions of compulsory attendance for School of Language (SOL). However, the JNUTA claimed that it was not even part of the agenda and was opposed by the majority of members.”No such proposal has been made by any board of studies and if it were to be made, it would be applicable to the school only,” JNUTA said.Claiming that there is no tendency of “absenteeism” among the students, JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai said,”We don’t want our classrooms to be turned into the last outposts of chief proctor office, because the notion of discipline in classrooms is strictly from the current dispensation’s notion of the disciplined conduct by students.”This will be the first time when JNU will maintain a record of student attendance. The university, however, has not yet specified the exact percentage of attendance that would be required to be maintained by the students and said that detailed guidelines will be issued shortly.The move also rapped by the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU), that termed it “irrational” and “unreasonable”. “We are adults. If we choose to miss classes and mess up our future, then that is on us. We are not in schools or gurukuls that we need to answer a roll call every day. This is an absolutely absurd regulation,” said JNUSU vice-president Simone Zoya Khan.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
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Liquor sale rakes in Rs 195.29 crore in Kerala during Christmas season

Liquor sales during this Christmas season in Kerala clocked a new record, netting over Rs 195.29 crore, an increase of nearly Rs 38 crore over the previous year.State-owned Beverages Corporation (BEVCO), the sole vendor of Indian Made Foreign Liquor in both the wholesale and retail markets, recorded a sales turnover of Rs 195.29 crores through its 330 outlets from December 21 to 24, its officials said.The sales figure was Rs.157.39 crore during the same period last year, they said.The turnover for December stood at Rs 898 crore so far, higher than Rs 798 crore last year, and with three more days left in the month and the new year approaching, BEVCO officials said it was expected to go up further.Every year liquor sales had been going up.”This year, we have been able to record a growth of 10-12 per cent over the past year,” an official said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

Pakistan army violates ceasefire twice in a day in J&K’s Poonch

Pakistani troops today violated ceasefire twice in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir as they resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing from across the border, targeting forward posts and villages, an official said.The Indian troops guarding the Line of Control (LoC) retaliated the firing but there was no immediate report of any casualty, the official said.He said the small arms firing from Pakistani side was reported for nearly three hours in the morning in three villages of Digwar sector, causing panic among the border residents.The firing from across the border again started this evening at Khari Karmara sector in Poonch and the exchange of firing between the two sides was continuing when last reports were received, he said.The nearby Rajouri district witnessed heavy exchange of firing between Indian and Pakistani army after the latter initiated the firing in Noushera sector.The latest violation of the ceasefire agreement from Pakistan comes a few days after their troops opened fire on an Indian Army patrol, killing a Major and three soldiers in Keri sector of Rajouri district on December 23.On December 24, Pakistani troops had also targeted forward posts and villages in Shahpur sector of Poonch district for nearly four hours but there was no report of any casualty.The Indian troops also killed three Pakistani soldiers and injured another in retaliatory action at Rukh Chakri sector in Rawlakot on December 25.Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a total of 881 ceasefire violations this year, highest in past seven years, along the LoC and the International Border (IB), resulting in the death of 34 people.According to officials, Pakistan has violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 771 times till December 10, and 110 times along the IB till November-end.In these incidents of firing from across the border, 30 people — 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians and four BSF personnel — were killed.The truce between India and Pakistan along the International Border, the Line of Control and the Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir came into force in November 2003.India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.In 2016, there were 449 incidents of ceasefire violations in which 13 civilians and 13 government forces personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

Sonia Gandhi holidays in Goa as son Rahul leads Congress in protests against govt

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who earlier this month retired as the Congress President as her son Rahul took over, is vacationing in Goa and was seen riding a bicycle in the coastal city. A picture of the longest serving Congress President riding her bicycle and posing for photos with tourists was posted by actor Riteish Deshmukh.Some pictures of the Raebareli MP in Goa were also posted by news18.com. The report said that Sonia left for Goa on December 26 and is expected to be back in the first week of January.While Sonia is spending time in Goa, her son Rahul today led the party in celebrating Congress’ 133rd foundation day. He also participated in a protest by the Congress MPs in front of Gandhi statu inside Parliament premises over Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde’s comments on the Constitution.He took charge of the party from his mother on December 16. On December 15, a day before Rahul’s elevation, Sonia had said that “my role is to retire,” triggering speculation that she might quit active politics. The party, however, soon clarified that she was retiring from party, not politics.Her daughter Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra also announced that her mother would again contest from Raebareli Parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.Also readCongress Foundation Day | Constitution under threat, it’s our duty to defend it, says Rahul GandhiSonia, 71, took charge of the Congress party in 1998 and and served at the post for 19 years.

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Inter-faith marriage disrupted : BJP removes Ghaziabad chief Ajay Sharma

The BJP has removed its Ghaziabad city unit president Ajay Sharma from the post for disrupting the marriage of a Hindu woman with a Muslim man in the Rajnagar area here claiming that it was a case of “love jihad”.Sharma has been removed from the post and Ghaziabad city unit general secretary Man Singh Goswami has been appointed as the officiating city president, according to a letter by BJP Uttar Pradesh State General Secretary Vidyasagar Sonkar.”I have received the letter from the state head office and will obey the instructions,” Sharma said.A large group of BJP workers led by Sharma, and some people belonging to right-wing groups protested outside the marriage venue on December 22.The marriage between the man and the woman, who were friends and worked in a multinational company, was later solemnized in a court.Police said they used mild force to disperse the protesters.

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Lok Sabha passes Bill to protect unauthorised colonies

The Lok Sabha (LS) on Wednesday passed a Bill to protect slums and unauthorised colonies in the National Capital Region from punitive action, till a framework for orderly arrangements is in place. The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill gives immunity to slums and some unauthorised constructions till December 31, 2020.The immunity under the exisiting Bill ends on December 31.Urban development minister Hardeep Singh Puri said if the Bill is not passed, it will lead to “unprecedented chaos” in the national Capital.The legislation will give cover against punitive action on “as is where is basis” until December 2020, he said. Puri also attacked the Sheila Dikshit government for not coming out with a proper policy on the matter and said “it was the failure of governance of a very high order”.Singh said the legislation provides that no action will be taken by any local authority till December 31, 2017, with respect to encroachments or unauthorised developments as of January 1, 2006 on unauthorised colonies and village abadi areas that existed on March 31, 2002, and where constructions took place till February 8, 2007.The sealing exercise by the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee had created panic among slum-dwellers and traders in part of the city, with the legislation expected to allay their apprehensions to a large extent.Participating in the debate on the Bill, BJP MP Parvesh Varma attacked the AAP government in Delhi, accusing it of not coming out with a policy on unauthorised colonies or slums.Ramesh Bidhuri, BJP MP from south Delhi, referred to the hike in water tariffs and alleged that the Arvind Kejriwal government had deceived the people.He also blamed the Congress for its failure to come up with a policy on unauthorised construction issue.TMC MP Saugata Roy was to speak on the Bill but did not.

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In a first, JNU to maintain attendance record for students

In a first, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has made attendance compulsory for all regular students from January next year, a move that students termed was against the university’s ‘tradition’.According to a circular issued by JNU’s assistant registrar Sajjan Singh, “attendance is mandatory from the next semester for all students registered in all programmes i.e, COP, DOP, ADOP, BA, MA, MSc, MTech, MPhil, PhD etc. All schools and centers are advised to maintain an attendance record of all students”.The university has not yet specified the exact percentage of attendance that would be required to be maintained by students and said detailed guidelines will be issued shortly.While the circular mentioned that the decision was taken during the academic council meeting held on December 1, the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) has stated that no such issue was raised during the meeting. “During the meeting, the V-C had just arbitrarily mentioned about the formation of a committee to ensure provisions of compulsory attendance for School of Language, but it was not a part of the agenda,” JNUSU president Geeta Kumari said.”That random proposal, which the V-C had raised in passing amid opposition by the JNUSU and others, is now being termed as the decision of the AC. This is actually going to become a weapon in the hands of the administration to harass students, as is done in other universities,” she said.JNUSU vice-president Simone Zoya Khan also termed the move “irrational” and “unreasonable”. “We are adults. If we choose to miss classes and mess up our future then that is on us. We are not in schools or gurukuls that we need to answer a roll call every day. This is an absolutely absurd regulation,” she said, adding that it has now become routine to “misrepresent” and “manipulate” the reporting of the statutory bodies by the JNU administration.The JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) also backed the JNUSU, stating that the matter of regulating attendance was not discussed in the Academic Council meeting. “In a university where majority of the students are busy with their research work, compulsory attendance will not work,” a JNUTA member said.

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Drive to end encroachment on Noida Expressway

The local administration, along with the Indian Air Force (IAF) officials, conducted a massive anti-encroachment drive against 35 illegal farmhouses spread over several acres of government land, in the Nagla-Nagli village along the Noida Expressway on Wednesday, following an Allahabad High Court (HC) order.According to the IAF officials, they bulldozed unauthorised construction on 40 acres of land in the village. The HC, in July, 2017, had directed the district administration to identify the IAF land allotted decades ago and to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused. Several acres of land was grabbed by colonisers and illegal colonies were developed. The 482-acre land belongs to the Ministry of Defence, given to the IAF for a bombing range in 1950.”Several notices issued were not taken seriously. The encroachers were served show cause notices on November 8 and then eviction notices on December 1. Several encroachers came to the spot after knowing about the eviction drive,” said A K Shrivastava, in-charge of anti-encroachment drive and group captain in the IAF.

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Delhi nursery admission: Nursery nightmares begin

With most of the private unaided recognised schools in the national capital giving heavy weightage to the ‘neighbourhood’ criteria — children residing within the 0-3 km radius — arbitrary regulations issued by several schools are giving nightmares to parents seeking nursery admission for their children.In blatant violation of the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) guidelines, while some schools are granting extra points to “vegetarian”, “non-smoker” and “teetotaller” parents, some are preferring children/grandchildren of former school promoters or office bearers.According to the criteria released by Mahavir Senior Model School on GT-Karnal Road, extra five points will be given to non-smoker, teetotaller and vegetarian parents, in a bid to shun “social evils”.”We have included the point just to make people realise how healthy and happy their lives would be if they won’t smoke and drink. We, however, are not asking them to give a certificate as a proof,” said SL Jain, principal of the school.Similarly, in another violation, Apeejay school in Sheikh Sarai is giving 15 points to the “Children/Grandchildren of promoters/office bearers/members of board of governors of the school” in its criteria, the move experts term a “disregard” of the government’s directions. “This is a blatant violation and disregard of the DoE’s regulations. The school is also giving a backdoor entry to the candidates coming from its own play school by giving extra 10 points to the child coming from a lower class at any other Apeejay School,” said Sumit Vohra, founder of www.admissionsnursery.com.”Some schools have issued absurd admission criteria which are nowhere mentioned in the DoE’s circular issued on December 19. Parents like us are really confused. The DoE Should immediately issue notices to such schools,” said Ritika Singh, a parent seeking admission for her 3-year-old daughter.Several schools, including Abhinav Public School in Pitampura and Sachdeva Public School in Rohini have asked parents’ to give details of their monthly income, educational and professional qualification in their forms. “How can our educational and professional qualifications can be the parameters of screening the forms of our children? This is absolutely unfair,” said Sikha Sharma, another parent.Officials at the DoE, however, said that they are receiving the complaints and strict action will be taken against all these schools. “We have received numerous complaints through our grievance portal on the first day. Strict action will be taken against all such schools,” a senior official said.The admission process in the entry level classes in 1,700 private unaided recognised schools in the national capital kicked off on Wednesday. The last date to submit application forms in schools is January 17 and the first list will be released on February 1. The admission process will wrap up by March 31, 2018.

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Max Hospital in soup again, kin say stents put in patient without permission

The family of a 58-year-old heart patient, who died in the Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, on December 25, has accused the hospital of negligence, a charge that the upscale facility has denied. The family said they will approach Union health minister JP Nadda on Thursday.Earlier on December 8, the Delhi government had cancelled the hospital branch’s license in another case of negligence. The services, however, resumed 10 days later, after the Finance Commissioner stayed the state government’s order.”We will try to reach out to health minister J P Nadda and the chief medical officer of Delhi on Thursday. We want justice. My father was on his feet when he visited the hospital on December 25. He was sweating, so they took him to the emergency ward and an ECG test was conducted. The test revealed that he had blockage in his arteries,” said Sarika, 35, daughter of the deceased Kamlesh Chander.According to the family, the doctors inserted a stent in Chander’s body without informing them. They also said that a senior doctor was supposed to operate upon him but instead a junior doctor performed the surgery.”Even as we were discussing the matter, they came and informed us that stents have been put in his body. They did that without even asking us. Also, the doctor under whose supervision my father was admitted was on leave. A few hours later, my father died. This is fraud and negligence. We demand justice. We are waiting for the autopsy and after that we will organise the funeral,” she said.The family further stated that the hospital gave them a bill of Rs 3 lakh. A police officer said inquest proceedings under section 174 of the CrPC has been initiated,The hospital, however, denied the allegations. “The patient was brought to the emergency (ward) in the afternoon of December 25, complaining of chest pain and breathlessness. There was blockage in three major arteries. The patient was 58 years old and had a history of diabetes, hypertension, and smoking,” the hospital said in its statement. It added: “The family was counselled by Dr Devendra Agarwal, who is a senior consultant and a well-qualified interventional cardiologist. The family was informed that Dr Navin Bhamri was on a leave. The family was fully informed about the diagnosis, the patient’s condition, and the treatment plan at various stages. The documents were signed by the family. Only one stent was used in the angioplasty procedure.”IN THE PAST7-year-old Adya Singh dies of dengue, hospital bills family Rs 16 lakh. On November 20, reacting to a tweet by the child’s uncle, Union Health Minister JP Nadda asked for details and said necessary action will be taken against the hospital.

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Man rapes minor for 13 days, arrested

A 14-year-old girl, who was kidnapped from outside her house in northwest Delhi by one of her distant relatives and repeatedly raped by him in Madhya Pradesh, has been rescued. The 34-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday. Police said that the accused had managed to change his appearances and locations frequently to keep away from police net.Police said that the accused raped the minor girl for 13 days in Budh Vihar after which he dropped her at Pitampura. The minor managed to reach her home and narrated her ordeal to her mother after she saw her in tattered clothes and a semi-conscious state. Later, her family approached the police and reported the matter.”The victim was sent for a medical examination that confirmed rape. Based on her statement, raids were conducted for over a month and intelligence was developed. A team led by ACP Raja Banthia, after receiving a tip-off, raided the native place of the accused from where he was arrested,” said a senior police officer.In the first week of December, the minor girl had reportedly left her house to buy groceries from a nearby shop when the accused allegedly kidnapped her by putting a drug-laced handkerchief on her mouth. Once the minor girl was unconscious, he took her to his friend’s place in Budh Vihar where he raped her repeatedly.As per the statement given by the minor, the accused used to live in the same neighbourhood in Netaji Subhash Place where she lived and used to work as a carpenter, the officer informed.

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Gynaecologist found dead in her Andheri house

“She used to stay with her husband but he was in Chennai for the past few days,” said Paramjit Singh Dahiya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IX).”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 28 December 2017 1:46 ISTMust readOn Day 2, Mumbai commuters warm up to AC localMumbai Metro authorities don’t see the need to increase coaches despite commuter rise<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>A city-based gynaecologist’s decomposing body was found in her Andheri West apartment on Tuesday night. The police said Dr Poonam Satpute was suffering from diabetes and have registered an accidental death report since they do not suspect any foul play. They reached her house after being alerted by her neighbours about a foul smell coming from her flat.The body was sent for postmortem to Dr RN Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle, which has reserved the autopsy report. “There were no injury marks on her body. Since the cause of death is not yet confirmed, we have reserved the final report. Samples have been sent for chemical analysis,” a doctor from the postmortem team said. “She used to stay with her husband but he was in Chennai for the past few days,” said Paramjit Singh Dahiya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IX).

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Dhinakaran sent notice over information related to Jayalalithaa’s death

A one-man inquiry commission on the death of J Jayalalithaa has issued notice to rival AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran seeking information known to him on her hospitalisation and treatment.Jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala’s niece Krishnapriya, two government doctors and S Poongundran, who had served as an aide to the late chief minister, have been issued summons, commission sources said today.The panel headed by retired high court judge A Arumughaswamy had last week issued summons to Sasikala, close confidant of, and Apollo Hospitals Chairman Prathap C Reddy seeking information about the hospitalisation and treatment provided to her.Several people, including Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa, have already deposed before the commission.Jayalalithaa died on December 5 last year at the Apollo Hospitals here after being treated for 75 days for infection and other problems.The state government on September 25 set up the commission in the backdrop of suspicions raised by several persons, including former rebel AIADMK leader and now deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and his followers, regarding the circumstances leading to Jayalalithaa’s death.The term of the commission which ended on December 24 has been extended by six months, the sources said, adding that the latest summons were issued yesterday.They said Dhinakaran, nephew of Sasikala, was directed to submit within a week documents and evidence in his possession in respect of Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and medical treatment till her demise.He, however, need not personally appear before the commission and if needed will be asked to do so subsequently, the sources told PTI.Poongundran has been asked to immediately furnish information related to the employees of the late leader’s Poes Garden household and their contact details.Krishnapriya, daughter of Sasikala’s brother, has been directed to appear before the commission on January 2.She had recently said a video purportedly showing Jayalalithaa in a hospital and released by Dhinakaran’s loyalist P Vetrivel, was shot by Sasikala at the request of the late leader.Krishnapriya has condemned the release of the video clip by Vetrivel on December 20.Sudha Seshayyan and Sathyabama, both doctors, reportedly privy to some information in respect of Jayalalithaa’s treatment and subsequent death, were also asked to appear during the first week of January next.The purported video of Jayalalithaa was made available to the commission by Vetrivel yesterday following summons to him, the sources added.Vetrivel has said he released the video on his own in view of suspicions being raised against Sasikala over the circumstances leading to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa on September 22 last year.

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UP govt sends letter to Gorakhpur DM to withdraw 1995 case against Yogi Adityanath, 10 others

The Yogi Adityanath government on December 21 ordered the withdrawal of a 1995 case in which the chief minister, along with Shiv Pratap Shukla (now Minister of State for Finance at the Centre), Sheetal Pandey (BJP MLA from Sahajanwa) and 10others were booked for violating prohibitory orders.On December 20, the state government sent a letter to the District Magistrate, Gorakhpur, directing that an application be filed to withdraw the case before the court. The government order stated that based on a letter received from the District Magistrate on October 27 and after scrutinising facts of the case, it had been decided to withdraw the case. The letter mentioned the names of Yogi Adityanath, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Sheetal Pandey and ten others.The Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar has issued directions that all District Magistrates of the state withdraw cases under Sections 144 of the IPC 107 and 109 of the CrPC. The Chief Secretary has asked DMs to prepare a list of such cases in their respective districts and file appeals in designated courts in the light of the state government order.Besides Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, cases against Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, UPCC Chief Raj Babbar, Leader of Opposition Ram Gobind Chaudharay and several BJP, SP, BSP and Congress MPs, MLAs, leaders and workers would be dropped.A home department spokesperson said that the State government will also file an appeal in the Allahabad High Court requesting directions to the lower courts for withdrawal of cases against politicians in the light of Amendment into the Act.It is, however, a different matter that crime graph in UP is on the rise even after police tightening noose around hardcore criminals. It was due to this reason, the state government had introduced UPCOCA (UP Control of Organized Crime Act) which was passed by the UP Assembly but requires assent from the Upper House.During debate on UPCOCA, the Chief Minister had announced that his government has initiated a process to withdraw as many as 20,000 cases against politicians across party lines. He had stated that the move was aimed at reducing the pendency of cases in lower courts.“These cases were usually petty cases registered by the police against political leaders and workers for staging a dharna and holding demonstrations. They go on in lower courts for years and need to be closed,” he had stated in UP Assembly.The opposition has welcomed the state government’s decision. “We welcome the step but along with politicians, the state government should also withdraw cases against innocent people,” suggested Rajendra Chief Chowdhary Spokesperson, Samajwadi Party.The former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had also withdrawn about 1800 cases against party leaders and workers during his tenure.

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Ministerial panel’s report on Lokpal under examination: Govt

The government is still examining the recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee on the Lokpal act, two years after a parliamentary panel submitted its report on the proposed law, the Lok Sabha was informed today.The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 — that has provisions for establishment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants — came into force with effect from January 16, 2014.However, an amendment bill was moved in the Lok Sabha in December 2014 to remove certain difficulties in the operationalisation of the Act, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.The bill was referred to the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice for examination and report.”The said Committee has submitted its report in the Parliament on December 7, 2015. The recommendations of the said Committee were presented before an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) comprising seven Union ministers. The recommendation of the IMC are under consideration of the government,” Singh said.

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Drop in chikungunya, dengue cases as compared to last year

With a nip in temperature, the number of vector-borne diseases in the city has seen a decline. Interestingly, compared to 2016, December saw a substantial drop in number of cases particularly for chikungunya and dengue. Against 162 cases in December 2016, the city recorded just three cases for chikungunya this month while for dengue, the number of cases was 37 against 119 last year for the same period.The AMC in a release said that there has been 44% drop in chikungunya cases while for dengue it was 3.14% if the yearly data for these diseases is compared. Overall yearly malaria cases also saw a decline of 12.24% compared to last year. The department had also collected 29,736 serum samples so far till December 23, 2017 against 40,590 last year. Water-borne diseases saw a slight increase particularly for jaundice. Against 149 cases of jaundice recorded in December last year, this year the month has so far recorded 174 cases. Two cholera cases were reported in December this year from Jamalpur and Vejalpur ward.As for cases of diarrhoea, the number increased from 459 in last december to 473 this year. Overall, 2017 saw 300 more cases of diarrhoea being registered compared to last year.WHAT AMC DIDAs part of its efforts to control outbreak of disease, the civic body has so far in the year distributed 49,1905 chlorine tablets, carried out 29,934 tests for cholera and sent 2695 water samples for testing.

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4 persons planning to rob elderly couple arrested

Four persons, who were planning to rob a senior citizen couple in Kalkaji, have been arrested by the police when they were meeting to execute their plan. One of the accused, Ram Kumar had once whitewashed the residence of the old couple and was well aware of the house. Kumar had gone to Dubai but was in debt, hence wanted to carry out the robbery.”The accused have been identified as Ram Kumar alias Sohan Kumar (31), Rohit (19), Deepak Kumar (24) and Rahul (19). They were arrested from a public park and two loaded country-made pistols with live cartridges, a button-activated knife, and a stolen two-wheeler was recovered from them,” said Chinmoy Biswal, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South-East.According to the police, an information was received on Monday that the robbers who were planning to rob a senior citizen couple in Kalkaji will meet in the park. The police reached the location and surrounded the accused and later arrested them. The Activa Scooty that was recovered was stolen from Shakarpur area.The accused persons told the police that they were currently unemployed and that is why decided to rob a house.”Ram Kumar had earlier painted the house of the senior citizen couple in 2016. In December same year, he went to Dubai for work and took a loan of around a lakh which he could not repay. He came back in July 2017,” added Biswal.Rohit, who is a local goon in the Navjeevan camp area, where Kumar also resided knew he was in debt, hence planned to rob an aged couple. Kumar told him about the house he had painted earlier and was aware of the places that they kept valuables. He was also aware that they used to keep a heavy amount of cash at their home. Later, Rohit roped in two other associates and decided to execute the plan. Deepak was earlier involved in a case of robbery in the Jaitpur area in 2015.

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Tamil Nadu: Congress trying to analyse DMK’s debacle in RK Nagar bypoll

The Congress in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday constituted a panel to identify the reasons for its ally DMK nominee’s drubbing in the R K Nagar bypoll.This comes a day after the DMK set up a three-member committee to identify the reasons for its failure at the hustings.The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee team will examine the factors for the defeat of N Maruthu Ganesh, a TNCC release said.The panel, led by senior party functionary R Damodaran, would also look into the congress party’s contribution towards working for the DMK nominee’s victory.The team, which has been tasked to give its report in four days, comprises four office-bearers including C D Meyappan and Americai V Narayanan, TNCC president Su Thirunavukkarasar said in the release.The bypoll was held on December 21 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of sitting member and then chief minister Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year.Belying the expectations of DMK and ruling AIADMK too, rebel leader TTV Dhinakaran, who contested as an independent, won the bypoll by a margin of 40,707 votes against E Madhushudanan (AIADMK).DMK’s N Maruthu Ganesh came third securing 24,651 votes, in the process, losing deposit.

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Uttar Pradesh: Five minors raped in separate incidents across state

Five minor girls were allegedly raped in separate incidents in four district of Uttar Pradesh in the last two days, police said.In Ballia, a five-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped by a 14-year-old boy on December 24, in a village under Sikandarpur police station.SP Anil Kumar said that the accused had been nabbed.In Pratapgarh, a six-year-old girl was allegedly raped last evening by a teenager when her parents were out for work in fields.The accused lured the girl for a cycle ride and took her to a secluded place where he raped her.He was later arrested, the police said.In Banda, a 15-year-old girl was allegedly abducted and raped several times in Attara area on December 24.An FIR was registered yesterday when the girl managed to flee from the clutches of the abductor, identified as Anirudh, who is still absconding.Another similar incident was reported in the district when a five-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her uncle Omprakash in a secluded place.An FIR has been registered in the matter and probe is on. The accused is absconding, police added.A 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped at gunpoint by two youths at her house in Nagla Bajurg village in Muzaffarnagar, the police said.Two men entered the girl’s room yesterday and took her to the terrace.Based on a complaint lodged by the victim’s father, the police said that the accused raped her at gunpoint and threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the incident.”The family members of the victim were asleep in another room when the incident took place,” the official said, adding efforts are on to nab both the culprits at the earliest.

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From foes to friends: BJP’s Eknath Khadse and NCP’s Ajit Pawar likely to share stage on December 28

Veteran BJP leader Eknath Khadse, NCP leader Ajit Pawar and Shiv Sena leader Suresh Jain are likely to share the stage on the eve of NCP MLA’s Satish Patils’s 60th birthday celebrations in Jalgaon, which will fall on December 28.As the leader of opposition, Khadse was a staunch critic of Ajit Pawar, but this birthday celebration is likely throw some new political equations in Maharashtra. It will be interesting to see what transpires among these heavy weight leaders.Sources told DNA that Khadse, who was a potential chief ministerial candidate, has been questioned by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over his work in the state. Speaking to DNA, Khadse admitted that his loyalists are pressurizing him to leave the BJP even though he has spent over 40 years in the party. “I am getting offers from the Congress as well as NCP,” Khadse said, but added that he had not yet made up his mind.The NCP has decided to tie up with the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and Pawar has started mobilizing support. “We received overwhelming response. Vidharba people also understood that the BJP has cheated them. They only made the tall promises when it come to materialising, they faltered. Our people who left NCP in 2014, now want to come back,” Nawab Malik, NCP spokesperson said.Sources said that Khadse and Pawar have scheduled a separate and confidential meeting on sidelines of the birthday celebrations to discuss the current Maharashtra’s political situations.

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Will Rajinikanth enter politics? Thalaiva to make announcement on December 31st

Amid speculations over his entry into politics, superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday said that that he would make the announcement on the issue on December 31.The 67-year-old, while speaking on the Day 1 of the ‘Fan Fest’, said that he was not saying that he would announce his political entry on December 31st, but his decision on politics.Rajinikanth’s comments came after National Award winning actor Kamal Haasan announced last month about his decision to enter politics and float his own party after touring the state. Haasan took to Twitter to blast the ruling AIADMK government after the demise of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa last year.Addressing his fans, Thalaiva said that the media seems to be more interested in his political entry than the people, he said that he was in the politics since 1996, referring to his support to DMK-Tamil Maanila Congress to unseat AIADMK government led by the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the state polls.”I know the pros and cons of the politics. That’s why I am hesitating. Otherwise I would have been already in it,” he said.Recalling his statement that ‘let us see when the war comes,’ he asked did war means election? “If it is war, you have to win it. To emerge victorious in the war, one not only require courage but also strategy. I will tell my decision on politics on December 31,” he said.During his meeting with fans in May earlier this year, the actor triggered speculation on his political entry with his “the system is rotten in Tamil Nadu” comment. “We have good leaders but the system is rotten. This system needs to be changed and a change has to be brought in the minds of people, then only will the country flourish. Let us all work together to bring about a change,” he had said.On the criticism that he is an outsider and not a Tamilian, Rajinikanth had said: “I lived in Karnataka for 23 years and Tamil Nadu for 43 years. Although I came as a Marathi from Karnataka, you people nurtured me, made me true Tamilian. I am a pure Tamil. My forefathers were from Krishnagiri district.” He added that if some in Tamil Nadu were to ask him to leave the state, he would rather go to the Himalayas than settle down in any other state.Following the death of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and ailing DMK chief M Karunanidhi, there is more pressure from his fans to take a political plunge considering the political vacuum.Tamil Nadu has a history of film personalities succeeding in politics. The film script writer – DMK founder CN Annadurai and his successor M Karunanidhi – went to become chief ministers while matinee idols – AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, and his successor J Jayalalithaa – also occupied the CM chair.

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Decked up for 25

Festive spirit was palpable in the city as children and adults alike hit the pavement under the warm and pleasant winter sun to celebrate Christmas in their own unique ways. The energetic lot was busy exploring the decked up malls, eating out exotic lucheons and dinner and participating in charity events among other things. People from various religious backgrounds were spotted at several city-based Churches on December 24 to attend the mid-night mass. The Christian Missionary schools of the city like St Xavier’s, St Sophia, St Edmund’s and St Anslem’s were heavily decked up as a part of the celebrations.“We wait for this day all year long. Apart from attending the celebrations, we also get a chance to meet our old friends,” said an attendee at the mid-night mass held at St Xavier’s School.Decorations in mallsIn addition to this, various city-based malls were seen with beautiful Christmas decore that included huge Christmas trees, lights and balloon decorations. Certain brands also organised various games and activities to attract customers. “We have a Santa Claus and several other cartoon characters of kids’ interest. The winter dresses are also on 50 per cent discount,” said Ram Chaudhary, managing team, World Trade Park.Gaurav Tower also organised a 10-day carnival. A parade of 70 artists dressed as various cartoon characters and super heroes was also taken out as a part of the carnival. The decore at the venue involves a 60-feet tall Christmas tree, which is one of the biggest in the city.“I am blessed as well as excited to have organised such a concept. The response is mind blowing with about 50,000 foot falls. We plan to go bigger next year,” said Gaurav Bardiya, director, Bardiya Group.Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti celebratedThe city also celebrated the auspicious Sikh festival, Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti, which happened to fall on December 25 this year. This day is celebrated as the birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh.City-based Gurudwaras organised huge langar on his 351st birth anniversary on Sunday. “We remember his good deeds on this day. We also pray for love, peace and harmony within our societies and families as a part of celebration,” said Amajeet Kaur, divisional railway manager, Kota.

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Cong slams govt for gas price hike, water woes

The Opposition Congress has come down heavily on the state government for increasing gas prices for industries and stopping water supply to farms in north Gujarat.State-owned Gujarat Gas hiked gas prices for industrial consumers by about 10% from December 23. For the ceramic units in Morbi, the price was revised from Rs24.87 per standard cubic metre (scm) to Rs27.37 per scm. For industries in other regions, price was hiked from Rs 26.59 per scm to Rs29.17 per scm.The ceramic industry of Morbi, which was getting gas at a cheaper rate than other industries, and continues to be charged less, has opposed the hike saying it would put additional burden of Rs80 lakh on them.State Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said that the price hike would hurt thousands of ceramic units.He also said that more than 10,000 jeera farmers of Banaskantha were staring at huge losses due to sudden stoppage of Narmada water supply under the pretext of canal repairing. Doshi questioned if the steps were taken in view of reverses suffered by BJP in Morbi as well as Banaskantha.HIKE HURDLESState-owned Gujarat Gas hiked gas prices for industrial consumers by about 10% from December 23. For the ceramic units in Morbi, the price was revised from Rs24.87 per standard cubic metre (scm) to Rs27.37 per scm.

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Parsis giving a treat to Amdavadis on Dec 29

Amdavadis, gear up for a ‘Parsi treat’ before the year ends. The Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat in association with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is all set to bring a first of its kind ‘Parsi fest’ to the city.The fest will be held at 100-year-old Nowrojee Hall in Shahibaug on December 29 and will offer Parsi delicacies, an insight into their garments, vintage car collection and books.Mehr Medora, a member of Parsi Panchayat and trustee of Ushta-te Foundation, said, “On request from the heritage cell of AMC, we have organised the event which will begin from 5.30 pm. Gujarat Governor OP Kohli will preside over the function.”Medora added, “The feat will have stalls displayed by Parsis from across the state. There will be a talk on the contribution of Parsis in the city, Parsi textile exhibition, a tour of Nowrojee hall to delve into the life of how Sir Norojee lived.” The stalls will also be on Parsi cuisine. The star attraction would be stall where visitors can dress up like Parsis in their traditional attire and get photographs clicked with vintage cars in the background.Medora added, “The aim is to showcase our community to the non-Parsis of Ahmedabad. We have invited students of CEPT university, IIMA, NID, NIFT, MICA, etc along with some prominent personalities of Ahmedabad.”Key AttractionsTalk on contribution of the Parsis of Ahmedabad. Textile exhibition. Tour of Nowrojee Hall, to see how Sir Nowrojee lived. Parsi Cuisine. Live music with a dance floor. Dress like a traditional Parsi and get your photographs with a traditional heritage background and Vintage Cars.

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Central medical units not following MCI norms

In its recently revised guidelines, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has enhanced the upper age limit for appointment to senior residentship from 33 to 40 years. Some doctors have, however, pointed out that some Central and autonomous medical institutions have still not implemented these guidelines.In a letter written to the Health Minister on December 25, 2017, the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), an umbrella body of resident doctors, pointed out that the guidelines have been implemented in Delhi government institutions but the not in Institutions such as AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh.”Implementation of the 40 year age criteria for senior residents will help in filling up the posts lying vacant in our medical institutions. In addition to this, various state governments have rural service bonds after MBBS and some have service bonds after post-graduation as well. Many doctors are well above the age of 33 years when they complete the compulsory posting. Bringing uniformity in age criteria for SRs will help in solving the problem of shortage of doctors in the country,” stated the letter signed by FORDA president Dr Vivek Chouksey.

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Bridging the dead end

At least 33 people were killed on Saturday when a bus crashed through the railings of the bridge and fell into the Banas river in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur. What was more shocking and can be termed a major infrastructure failure was that the bridge on which the tragedy took over, didn’t have warning boards and the railings were not fortified which reflects the poor state of the bridge and ‘low-class’ engineering. According to the Central ministry of road, transport and highway, there are 8 major bridges in the state which can collapse at any point of time.Bridge inventory and condition survey were carried out by the Central ministry recently. The survey was basically based on visual inspection, according to which 8 major bridges of Rajasthan were found under distress condition which means bridge could collapse anytime. According to this survey, there are 5 major bridges under Udaipur region namely Panarwa, Subedra, Gogla, Nayarahat and Looniyara which are under the threat of collapse. One bridge under Ajmer region in Nagra is also on the list. One bridge at Mohabbatpura under Dausa region and one bridge at Belapur under Jaipur region is facing severe condition.Warning from the past: Deaths due to the collapse of structures: Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) indicates that a total of 38,363 people lost their lives due to the collapse of various structures between 2001 and 2015. Most people lost their lives due to the collapse of residential houses. In Rajasthan, 2,066 people lost their lives due to structural collapse. The NCRB categorizes the data on the collapse of structures into 5 different categories. Between 2001 and 2015, the collapse of bridges recorded the death of 1,217 people.Kota bridge collapse30 people were killed on December 2009, 2015 due to a collapse of an under-construction bridge over Chambal river in Rajasthan. After 10 months, a high-level probe identified non-compliance of construction sequence prepared by the project designer as one of the main reasons behind the accident.

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Gang of MTNL cable wire thieves busted

Five persons, including an ex-employee of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), have been arrested for underground cable thefts.The accused would use JCB’s to dig out the underground cable wires. Thirteen cases of MTNL cable thefts have been resolved with the arrests. They all posed as BSES officials when they committed the crime, police said.According to the police, a case was registered on the complaint of an MTNL employee who informed them about a case of theft of the underground MTNL cable wires on December 12. The police had earlier arrested Mukesh Rai and Rajesh Kumar on the day of the incident only, however, the main accused was absconding.The police had also seized a Haryana bearing JCB, 127 feet of cable wire, the iron wire used for the traction of cable and other theft equipment.A dedicated team under the supervision of ACP Anand Kumar Mishra was formed to investigate the case as many cases of MTNL cable wire thefts were reported in the area.Acting on information, Shahid alias Khurana was arrested from Sarai Kale Khan bus stand. On investigation, Shahid revealed that he runs a gang for committing theft of MTNL underground cable. Later on, his four other associates identified as Mursalin, Tosif, Anwar and Shahnawaz were also arrested from a flat in Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi. Police also recovered ten feet of MTNL cable wire from them.Khurana informed the police that he worked as a cable jointer in MTNL for around ten years. During his service, he learnt the process to root up the underground cable. Later on, he made a gang and started committing thefts for which he roped in Kumar who provided him the JCB. They later sold it to a scrap dealer, Aarif, who is currently absconding.

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Maharashtra ups revenue target of registration and stamps department

Hard-pressed to meet its rising expenses due to the implementation of schemes like farm loan waivers and infrastructure projects, the cash-strapped state government is hiking the revenue collection target for the department of registration and stamps by 10 per cent, to about Rs 23,500 crore from Rs 21,000 crore.Stamp duty and registration charges on property transactions are the second-highest revenue source for the state government after state goods and services tax (SGST).”As on mid-December 2017, the collections through stamp duty and registration fees stand at Rs 16,668 crore, which is almost 80 per cent of the Rs 21,000 crore target. The highest percentage of revenue has come from conveyance deeds (54.8 per cent), followed by mortgages (12.3 per cent), leave and license agreements (10.3 per cent), power of attorney (4.7 per cent) and gift deeds (4.1 per cent). A total of 14,59,552 documents have been registered up to December 11,” the official said.The Mumbai region has also achieved over 70 per cent (Rs 6,487 crore) of its Rs 9,250 crore target.”Though we hope to achieve the revised target, real estate transactions have slumped in markets like Mumbai. However, since the new ready reckoner (RR) rates will come into force from April 1, 2018, we feel property registrations may surge in March on expectations of a rate hike,” the official noted.Officials said SRA and redevelopment projects in Mumbai were held up in areas like the Kurla taluka after the court’s ban on new constructions in Mumbai due to the failure in solving the problem of the city’s dumping grounds. This led to lower revenues being hit due to lower registrations of conveyance deeds of development projects.HELPS THE POCKETStamp duty and registration charges on property transactions are second-highest revenue source for the state government after state goods and services tax. Mumbai region has also achieved over 70 per cent (Rs 6,487 crore) of its Rs 9,250 crore target.

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Better mid-day meals soon

After a recent episode of food poisoning caused due to mid-day meal in a Jogeshwari school, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have decided to pull up its shocks and bring the necessary changes. BMC’s education department has permitted Citizens Association Child Rights, an NGO, to hold workshop sessions for self help groups to help them improve the quality of mid-day meal, and serve variety of kichdis with the help of expert nutritionists.There are 257 self help groups in the city that serves midday meal to students of around 2,400 aided and BMC schools. The first session of the workshop was held in the first week of December in which around 70 such groups, including their helpers and cooks took part.A BMC education official said, “The self help groups are not just being given sessions by the nutritionists about how to improve the quality of food, but are also being trained to cook variety of khichdis that students will love to eat.”Nitin Wadhwani, founder director, CACR, said, “After our interaction with the groups, we will be submitting a complete proposal with suggestions to BMC for necessary improvements.”At least 27 students of Balvikas Vidya Mandir at Jogeshwari suffered food poisoning and landed in hospital due to vomiting and nausea following their mid-day meal served by a self help group, Chafai Mahila Bacchat Gat. The BMC immediately served notice to the school to stop the self help group’s service.

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Himachal CM designate Jai Ram Thakur lists out priorities

All decisions taken by the outgoing Congress government three months before the imposition of the model code of conduct would be reviewed, Himachal Pradesh chief minister designate Jai Ram Thakur said today.”We will review all the decisions taken by the Congress government, three months before imposition of the code of conduct, and ascertain if they were prudent and taken in a transparent manner,” Thakur said in an informal chat with mediapersons. Referring to the priorities of his government, the BJP leader said “deteriorating law and order, critical financial health of the government and tardy implementation of centrally sponsored schemes are areas of grave concern and the government would focus on these”.A major challenge was restoration of trust of people in the police, improving the financial position by pruning wasteful expenditure and aggressively implementing centrally sponsored schemes to provide maximum benefits to the people, he said. Thakur said that “tired and retired officials would have no place in the government” and a decision in this regard would be taken immediately after taking oath on December 27.Also readHimachal: Mandi wins the battle for CM after 54 years, Jai Ram Thakur to take oath on 27th Dec Asked about induction of ministers, he said the process was on in consultation with the party high command. The cabinet would be a mix of experience and young talent, he said. Thakur said that efforts would made to promote tourism. He also inaugurated a blood donation camp on 93rd birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. As many as 111 persons donated blood at the camp which was organised by Umang Foundation.

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11 Jamia students asked to leave NCC camp for ‘sporting beard’

Eleven Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students were allegedly asked to leave an ongoing National Cadet Corps (NCC) camp in Rohini for sporting beard. Calling it blatant “discrimination” and demanding that they should be reinstated back in the camp, the students held a protest at the university campus on Monday.According to the agitating students, they were asked to leave the camp on Sunday night after they denied to shave off their beards. “A total of 35 students from the JMI had joined the 10-day camp on December 19, of which, eleven of us sport a beard. We were repeatedly asked to shave to which we denied as it is against our religious beliefs. We were finally thrown out of the camp,” said one of the students, who did not wish to be named due to the NCC protocol.The NCC officials, however, say that the cadets other than Sikhs are forbidden from growing beard during the camps.“It’s a part of NCC’s code of conduct and not any discrimination. Nobody was asked to leave the camp,” a senior official said. Despite several attempts, NCC PRO Colonel Vikas, however, could not be reached for a comment.After staging an overnight protest outside the camp, the students continued their protest at the Jamia campus till Monday evening demanding the suspension of Jamia’s NCC in-charge Rajnish Kumar.“Our university in-charge did not help the students when they were discriminated. Some of the students have been attending the camp for the last two-three years but none of them were asked to shave,” said Aqdas Sami, a third-year Bioscience student.The students also met Vice-Chancellor, Talat Ahmad urging him to take immediate action against Kumar.“The VC assured the students that he will constitute an inquiry committee to look into the matter,” said Meeran Haider from the Jamia Students’ Forum. When DNA contacted Kumar, he denied to make any statement and said that he will submit a report to the VC. A former Jamia NCC in-charge, however, claimed that it never happened during his 30-year long association with the tri-service organisation. “Never before were the students asked to shave during the NCC camps. Ours is one of the best NCC team in Delhi,” he added. A similar issue was raised earlier in August 2015, when Andhra Pradesh Minorities Commission had issued a notice to the Director-General of NCC seeking explanation on a circular issued two years ago which had forbidden cadets, other than Sikhs, from growing beard. Later in December that year, the Commission had asked the Defence Ministry to make the exemption, granted to Sikh community applicable to Muslims, too. The matter, however, is still under examination.

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BSF scuttles smuggling attempts near Indo-Pak border in Punjab

Its "Christmas"
and a foggy day of #Punjab border
Ever vigilant #Bordermen scuttled attempts of smuggling of #Narcotics (heroin) in 3 different regions
1.Daoke, Amritsar-12.77kg
2.Bharopal, Amritsar-1kg
3.Gorkha Ghatti -1, Abohar-1kg,1 Pak made Pistol,1 Pak Sim pic.twitter.com/vfW2TTrJ29
December 25, 2017

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Monday 25 December 2017 20:10 ISTMust readSpoiler alert: 50 things can go wrong with the first AC local in MumbaiAtal Bihari Vajpayee: Master orator and statesman par excellence turns 93 today<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The Border Security Force today seized 13 kg heroin from three different locations at Indo-Pak border here today, an official said.Pakistani smugglers early today attempted to cross over to India under the cover of thick blanket of fog, the official said. A patrolling party of the force observed some suspicious movements at Indo-Pak Border Out Post Daoke and Barowal and opened fire as some people were seen moving back towards Pakistan territory, he said.A comprehensive search operation was launched this morning at Daoke wherein the troops seized 12 kg heroin while one kg heroin was seized at Barowal Border out-Post, the official said. The BSF official said that no arrest has been made in the matter while further investigation was underway. The force was looking for the person who was supposed to collect the drug consignment on the Indian side, the official added.

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Those who smuggle cattle will die: Rajasthan BJP MLA

A BJP lawmaker from Rajasthan has defended cow protection groups, stating that those who smuggle cows will be killed.According to an NDTV report, Gyan Dev Ahuja made the statements following reports of a mob beating up an alleged cow smuggler on Saturday. Ahuja, however, insisted that the man was not assaulted, but a truck fell on him.Ahuja, who is known for his extremist views, had last year claimed that 300 condoms and 200 liquor bottles were found each day on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.On December 12, the Alwar police arrested a suspected cow smuggler and recovered 13 cows from a vehicle in which he was travelling along with three others who managed to get away. The cows were supposedly being taken to Haryana from Bhiwadi in Alwar.“The incident took place near Narnaul in the early hours of Monday. Four persons travelling in an Eicher truck carrying the cows evaded police checking and tried to escape. When the police followed them, they opened fire on the police team. The police retaliated and fired five rounds. There were four persons in the truck. They tried to get away on foot, one has been arrested and search is on for other three. The arrested, one Umar, son of Ameen is a resident of Palla village in Nuh of Haryana.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav LIVE updates | No consular access for ex-Indian Navy official, reports Pak media

13:18 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Jadhav’s wife and mother will first visit the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The meeting is expected to take place at 1pm (Pak time).12:55 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Elaborate security arrangements are in place around Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From Pakistan Rangers to Anti-Terrorism squads and sharp shooters have been deployed on roof tops.12:48 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: The Pakistani media has started to gather outside Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.12:38 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Latest media reports from Islamabad say that Kulbhushan Jadhav has not been granted any consular access. 12:36 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Dr Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan, took to Twitter and said that the meeting between Jadhav and his family has been allowed as a ‘humanitarian gesture’ on the birthday of ‘Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’12:33 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: There are conflicting reports over consular access being granted to Kulbhushan Jadhav. While Pakistan claims to have finally granted the access, India has downplayed the news and said that the Indian diplomat accompanying the wife and mother of Jadhav can’t be seen as consular access.12:32 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Wife and mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav have reached Islamabad.

No looking back for Jai Ram Thakur after joining BJP in ’83

The biggest asset of the 52-year-old Jai Ram Thakur, set to be Himachal Pradesh’s next chief minister, is that he has climbed every step required to reach the top.Born on January 6, 1965, to a poor family in Tandi village of Mandi’s Thunag area, Thakur was fourth among five siblings and his father Jhethu Ram worked as a mason. He lost his father exactly a year ago on December 25.After passing out from a local government school, he completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA) from a govt college in Mandi.It was during his stay there that he first got attracted to student politics in 1983, and joined BJP’s student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). By 1986, he earned a name in the field and soon became ABVP’s state secretary.After completing his college education, Thakur was elevated to BJP’s youth wing — Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — in the 90s. He spent the following years in Jammu & Kashmir as the organisational secretary from 1989 to 1992, honing his skills as a student leader.He fought his first state legislative assembly elections in 1993, from Chachiot (now Seraj), at the young age of 28, but lost by a slender margin of 800 votes. He, however, succeeded in catching the attention of BJP’s top brass, because Mandi had always been considered a bastion of the Congress party.He contested the assembly election again in 1998 from Seraj and since then has won all five assembly elections back-to-back, that too with huge margins. Known to be a low-profile party loyalist, Thakur was re-elected in 2003 and given charge of the party in 2006. Within seven months of his leadership, BJP came back to power with an emphatic win in the 2007 assembly polls.Despite being a three-time MLA, Thakur remained state chief till 2009, before being inducted into cabinet ranks as rural development and panchayati raj minister. He had always been touted as the CM-in-waiting during his time in the cabinet till 2012.Known for his proximity with the RSS, Thakur belongs to the dominant Rajput community that has a significant presence in the state. He will be the sixth leader of the state to occupy the chief ministers office, but the first one from Mandi region.

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Ex-Ola driver, friend had gang rape on mind

Kashimira police have arrested Suresh Gosavi (32) who was earlier associated with app-based cab service Ola, and his friend Umesh Jhala (31). The survivor, who usually took a bus home, decided to take a cab on the fated day as she wanted to reach home early. She had not booked the cab via app. After she got into the car, Gosavi took the car to an isolated place and raped her. He then took her to a lodge, but she raised alarm and fled the spot. Gosavi has confessed that he was under the influence of alcohol. Cops are also checking his past record to see if he has any past offenses recorded against him.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Monday 25 December 2017 1:58 ISTMust readMumbai’s first AC local train to begin operations tomorrow210 train services to be hit this X’mas weekend<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>In the Kashimira rape case, where a former app-based cab driver and his friend were suspected to have raped a 32-year-old woman on December 19, it has now emerged that the survivor escaped gang rape as she raised an alarm when the accused were taking her to a lodge.Kashimira police have arrested Suresh Gosavi (32) who was earlier associated with app-based cab service Ola, and his friend Umesh Jhala (31). The survivor, who usually took a bus home, decided to take a cab on the fated day as she wanted to reach home early. She had not booked the cab via app. After she got into the car, Gosavi took the car to an isolated place and raped her. He then took her to a lodge, but she raised alarm and fled the spot. Gosavi has confessed that he was under the influence of alcohol. Cops are also checking his past record to see if he has any past offenses recorded against him.

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Mumbai’s first AC local train to begin operations tomorrow

The first Air Conditioned local train will depart on its historical introductory run on Monday from Borivali station at 10.30 am for the Churchgate station. After the introduction, the AC local train will be operated on an experimental basis between Churchgate and Borivali stations till December 29 wherein only 6 services shall ply per day.After reaching Churchgate, the train will depart for Borivali again within 5 minutes of its arrival. This train will follow a schedule of 6 services – 3 services each towards Churchgate and Borivali – until December 29.The train service will have halts at Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri. It will then be monitored during the weekend. From January 1, it will have 12 services each day. Those having existing first class tickets and season passes wouldn’t be allowed to travel in AC rake but those with AC ticket/passes can travel in regular first class.People have been given option of buying daily tickets — for instance a journey between Churchgate to Borivali will cost Rs 165 which is Rs 15 more than the daily ticket price of regular first class.It will cost more to travel shorter distances. For instance, a Churchgate-Dadar/Bandra would cost Rs 85 (Rs 30 more than the regular first class). There is also an option of buying weekly, fortnightly and monthly passes.The Churchgate-Borivali weekly pass will cost Rs 855 as compared to Rs 755 for monthly pass for a regular first class on the same route. The fortnightly pass will cost Rs 1245 and monthly will be Rs 1640 for the same route of this AC rake. For those on Churchgate-Andheri route, AC passes will cost Rs 655, Rs 945, Rs 1240 for weekly, fortnightly and monthly respectively. In comparison, it costs Rs 670 for monthly first class pass on same route. The Churchgate-Dadar/Bandra would cost the same at Rs 445, Rs 630 and Rs 820 for weekly, fortnightly and monthly respectively.The coaches reserved for Ladies and Seats earmarked for Senior Citizens/Divyangs are different from Standard Configuration. 1st and 12th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked as Ladies coaches and 7 seats in 2nd and 11th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked for Senior citizens while 10 seats in 4th and 7th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked for Divyangs.

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Jammu and Kashmir: Pakistan violates ceasefire; targets Indian forward posts along LoC at Poonch

Pakistani forces on Sunday again targeted Indian forward posts and villages in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, a day after an Army major and three soldiers were killed in firing from across the Line of Control (LoC).Indian troops guarding the LoC retaliated effectively and the firing between the two sides was going on when the last reports came, a police official said.The latest ceasefire violation comes a day after the Pakistani forces opened fire on an Indian Army patrol, killing a Major and three soldiers, in Keri sector of the state’s Rajouri district.The Pakistani troops started firing from heavy and light weapons from across the border, targeting forward posts and villages in Shahpur sector around 12.55 pm today, a police official said.However, there is no immediate report of any casualty in the skirmishes, the official said.Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a total of 881 ceasefire violations this year, highest in the past seven years, along the LoC and the International Border (IB), resulting in the death of 34 persons.According to officials, Pakistan has violated ceasefire along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 771 times till December 10, and 110 times along the IB till November-end this year.Thirty persons — 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians and four BSF personnel — were killed in such incidents.The truce between India and Pakistan along the International Border, Line of Control and the Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir came into force in November, 2003.India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.In 2016, there were 449 incidents of ceasefire violations wherein 13 civilians and 13 government forces personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured.In 2014, there were 583 incidents of ceasefire violation in which 14 civilians and three security personnel were killed and 101 civilians and 28 security personnel were injured.In 2015, the number of ceasefire violations was 405; 347 in 2013, 114 in 2012, 62 in 2011 and 70 in 2010.

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Max hospital case: Probe to be delayed in twin baby case as police still waiting for DMC’s reply

Delhi Police’s probe into the case of the twin babies, one of whom was wrongly declared dead by the Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, may be delayed since it is waiting for the Delhi Medical Council’s (DMC) reply on the matter.The DMC has already issued a notice to nine doctors and two nurses of the hospital on December 20 for alleged medical negligence in connection with the case and has sought a response from them in 15 days.Currently, the case is being probed by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch.A senior police officer, privy to the probe, said that since the case was of medical negligence, they had to rely on expert’s opinion.”Our officers have interacted with the doctors and nurses of the hospital. We have also spoken to the child’s family but there are some technical points that we need clarity on before we proceed ahead in the probe,” he said.The officer said that the baby was 22-weeks-old and premature. According to medical guidelines, babies born before 22 weeks or around that time usually do not survive and were not considered as deliveries.There are medical guidelines, but the fact that the baby was declared dead despite being alive, was being probed, he said.The officer said that they were awaiting the council’s report in the matter and further investigation will be based on the report.The case pertains to a baby boy being wrongly declared dead after his birth on November 30 by the upscale private hospital. The other twin, a girl, was still-born. The infant boy died a week later at a nursing home in Pitampura.The case sparked a public outcry and the family has been protesting in front of the hospital, soon after an appellate authority stayed the order by the Delhi government to cancel the licence of the facility.

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Vijay Rupani, others to take oath on Tuesday, ceremony in Gandhinagar

Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani met Governor O P Kohli on Saturday and staked claim to form the government. Vaghani told media persons that party leaders would meet again and, with the consent of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, will decide on the probable names for the cabinet.”We met the governor and staked claim to form the government. The governor invited us to form the government on December 26. The swearing-in ceremony will be held at Helipad Ground on the Secretariat campus,” said Vaghani”The party leaders will sit with the CM and Deputy CM in a day or two and decide the size of the cabinet and who all will be included. Many eligible candidates have been elected, so there is no dearth of options,” he added.The BJP won the Assembly elections with 99 seats. But many of its prominent faces, such as Shankar Chaudhary, Dilip Sanghani, Chiman Shapariya, and many others who were ministerial probables lost the polls. This also indicated that the party will have to induct young new faces this time, according to a senior leader.”The size of the cabinet may be around 20, including the CM and the deputy CM. Nine members can get cabinet-level portfolios, while 10 to 12 members will get state-level portfolios. In the absence of experienced women and scheduled caste members, making selection in those categories will be a tough task,’ the leader noted.

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Orders dip as GST hits Jodhpur craft exporters

Handicraft exporters are in crisis. Due to GST, handicraft items of Jodhpur have become expensive in the international market and their demand has decreased. The handicraft export business of Jodhpur has declined nearly 40 percent and business worth Rs 700 crore has been reduced since the implementation of GST.Before GST, where 150-180 million exports of handicrafts from Jodhpur were going on every month, right now it has come down to 75 to 90 million per month. The provision of GST from 12 to 28 percent on handicraft furniture has hit exporters and foreign customers are now heading towards China, Vietnam and Indonesia.Nirmal Bhandari, Chief patron of Jodhpur Handicrafts Exporters Federation said that the government has imposed five percent GST on brass handicrafts of Moradabad, while the 28 percent GST was recovered from Jodhpur handicraft till November and now 18 percent in December, due to which, demand has started decreasing in overseas countries. While there is no GST refund yet and it is becoming very difficult for the exporters to work. Not only this, even crores of rupees of VAT have not been refunded. Now, the situation has reached in such condition that the exporters have started refusing the order.According to exporters, orders were taken from buyers from UK, Europe and USA in April for Christmas season. The orders have been supplied in August, September, October and mid-November, but exporters had to supply this order at 28 per cent loss, because the government has implemented GST in July. So far, the handicraft industry was completely tax free, but now 18 per cent tax has been levied. The order that has been supplied will be paid by the buyers 120 days after the shipment arrives. In such a situation, exporters are unable to understand how to compensate for the 28 per cent loss from the previous supply.

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Tihar prisoner commits suicide

According to the police, the deceased pensioner, identified as Soniram, booked for a case of robbery, hung himself to end his life in jail number five. As other inmates raised alarm, authorities brought him down he was rushed to the jail hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police was then informed and the body was sent for a post-mortem examination. The victim's family was informed and inmates are being questioned to find out the motive behind the death.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Sunday 24 December 2017 4:06 ISTMust readGirls in Rohini Ashram force fed intoxicants: DCW chiefMetro’s technical audit is good news for Blue Line<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>An under trial prisoner at Tihar Jail allegedly committed suicide on Saturday by hanging himself. However, police have not found any suicide note and the motive behind suicide is being probed into.According to the police, the deceased pensioner, identified as Soniram, booked for a case of robbery, hung himself to end his life in jail number five. As other inmates raised alarm, authorities brought him down he was rushed to the jail hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police was then informed and the body was sent for a post-mortem examination. The victim’s family was informed and inmates are being questioned to find out the motive behind the death.

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Yogi Adityanath meets distressed homebuyers, promises quick action

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met distressed homebuyers and pulled up Noida Authority for lapses in the handling of the matter. Adityanath has directed officials to hand over 40,000 flats by December 31, while another 40,000 to be handed over by March, 2018.The UP CM also asked the Noida Authority to draw up a list of defaulter builders categorising them as per their position on the properties — one, who will be able to deliver the flats on time; two, those who need help of co-developers to complete their projects; three, those who won’t be able to complete their projects.Adityanath met distressed homebuyers at Amity University where officials of all the three authorities — Noida authority, Greater Noida Authority, and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority were present along with the heads of many home buyers’ associations.During the meeting, the distressed homebuyers kept their issues in front of Yogi and he made a note of all of them. After this, he promised the homebuyers that the 40,000 flats will be handed over to the buyers December 31, while another 40,000 would be handed over by March 31.However, the homebuyers were not satisfied with the promises made as they said the CM needed to check the ground reality. The buyers invovled in different projects in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway — such as Jaypee, Amrapali, Supertech, Unitech, Pan Oasis — also announced that they will protest against the government on Sunday at the Film City in Sector 16A.According to members of the association, during the UP elections, BJP candidates had promised flat buyers of GB Nagar that they would be giving all possible support in securing possession of homes. But, they alleged, after the BJP victory in the UP elections nothing was done for them.”We have been getting such promises from the past many years but no work on the ground has been done. All the people are just coming and giving hope but nothing is done. We are left hopeless,”said Shweta Bharti, General Secretary, NEFOWA (Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association).The UP CM also attacked previous state governments saying that all corruption had been done in their era, but the BJP government was working for the benefit of the people. He further directed the authorities to hand over a list to the three-minister panel of the builders categorising them into three lists so that they knew who needed help and against whom do they have to take action.Ninety-four projects in Noida and around 190 projects in Greater Noida are stuck owing to financial reasons. In a high-level meeting held in September this year, UP chief minister ordered officials to ensure that 50,000 homebuyers got their homes in Noida and Greater Noida areas.On December 4, the ministerial panel — during the course of a meeting with builders and officials of Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) — had declared that 32,500 flats would be delivered by the end of this month.NO HOMESAs many as 1.6 lakh homes are delayed in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway put together and homebuyers who are burdened withboth equated monthly instalments and rent said that delivery of flats being promised by authorities comprise projects that were, in any case, nearing completion and do not include the big builders in Noida, whose projects have been delayed for years or against whom insolvency proceedings are currently on. None of those projects have been revived.

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Armed cops lock down Noida as UP CM visits

The whole of Noida became a fortress, as UP chief minister, Yogi Adityanath defied the ‘Noida jinx’ and arrived in the city on Saturday to check arrangements ahead of the Prime Minister’s Christmas visit here. Hundreds of armed policemen were deployed with dog squads, bomb detection teams and snipers to ensure his security.Adityanath landed at the helipad at Botanical Garden and reached the Botanical Garden Metro station, where the PM will be arriving on December 25 to inaugurate Kalkaji-Botanical Garden metro line.According to senior police officers, more than 1,500 armed police and paramilitary personnel were deployed for Adityanath’s security. Before his arrival, Noida Police’s dog squad and bomb detection teams repeatedly sanitised the area which the CM was scheduled to visit. Police sources also said that snipers were also stationed at high rises to keep a hawk-eye vigil on the movement of the CM’s convoy.Principal Secretary (Industrial Development) Alok Sinha, ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar are stationed here and are supervising security arrangements. The SPG would take over the programme sites and a multi-layered security arrangement has been put in place.Ahead of the CM’s visit, traffic police had also advised commuters to avoid the Botanical Garden to Okhla Barrage road on Saturday afternoon.

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ED files chargesheet against businessman Gagan Dhawan

The Enforcement Directorate filed a chargesheet on Saturday against Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in connection with a Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case.Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, before whom the final report was filed by ED special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana, took cognisance of the document and posted the matter for hearing on January 3, 2018.Dhawan, who was arrested on November 1, was sent to judicial custody on November 15 by the court after the probe agency said he was not needed for further custodial interrogation.The ED had alleged that Dhawan had facilitated the directors of Gujarat-based pharma firm Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) in the purchase of several properties and helped in misuse and diversion of the credit facilities of several banks totalling Rs 5,000 crore.”Rs 1.5 crore was received by the accused from the SBL group. Prior to that, the amount of bank loans was rotated in various group companies of SBL group,” the ED had claimed.The ED registered the case against him after taking cognisance of the case filed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the pharma firm, its directors and several other persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.On August 25, the ED officials raided Dhawan’s office and that of a former Congress MLA Sumesh Shokeen in money laundering case.The firm and Dhawan are also being probed for allegedly bribing senior income tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.The FIR has alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

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AAP women’s wing meets L-G Anil Baijal

The action comes after the party had alleged on Friday that BJP leaders and the Delhi police were involved in the running and illegal confinement of women and girls in the ashram, in the name of religious preaching. The party said that despite receiving several complaints the police had not taken any action till date.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Sunday 24 December 2017 3:29 ISTMust readGirls in Rohini Ashram force fed intoxicants: DCW chiefMetro’s technical audit is good news for Blue Line<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The women’s wing of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) met the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal expressing concern over the security of women in the national Capital in the backdrop of the alleged sexual assault of minor girls and women by self-styled godman Virendra Dev Dikshit in his ashram located in northwest Delhi’s Rohini and many other areas. The members urged the L-G to ask the concerned agencies to take swift action in the matter and rescue the inmates from all these ashrams spread across the city. They also urged Baijal to personally monitor the investigation in the case.The action comes after the party had alleged on Friday that BJP leaders and the Delhi police were involved in the running and illegal confinement of women and girls in the ashram, in the name of religious preaching. The party said that despite receiving several complaints the police had not taken any action till date.

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CBI files graft charges against NBCC chief

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday filed corruption charges against NBCC (India) Ltd chairman and managing director Anoop Kumar Mittal, among others, and arrested a public servant Pradeep Kumar Mishra and one Akashdeep Chauhan in connection with a deal for a sub-contract for re-development of Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.The FIR was lodged on December 22, 2017 against the NBCC CMD on a day when a foundation stone was laid on the redevelopment project of ITPO, Pragati Maidan by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.Mishra and Chauhan, who works for Mumbai-based Capacite Structures’ MD Sanjay Kulkarni, were sent to 4-day police custody by a special CBI court on Saturday.Mishra, a government official, allegedly demanded a Royal Enfield from Capacite Structures for facilitating an introduction to Mittal for a sub-contract in the multi-crore project.The CBI also carried out searches in Ghaziabad, Delhi and Mumbai; however, Mittal’s home and office premises were not searchedThe agency arrested Mishra while he was allegedly receiving the promised bike as illegal gratification from Chauhan, CBI sources said.Kulkarni allegedly approached a middleman, Rishabh Agrawal, for getting the sub-contract. Agrawal is then said to have approached Mishra, who assured him the sub-contract would go to Capacite if he was given a new Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle.The contract was related to the re-development project of ITPO Complex at Pragati Maidan. The agency has alleged that a contract was awarded to Shapoorji Pallonji and Co (p) Ltd- Shapoorji Pallonji Qatar WLL (JV) – for Rs 2149.93 crore by NBCC and that one Mumbai-based Capacite Structures was trying to get that work from Shapoorji Pallonji on a sub-contract basis.”Under the influence of Mishra, Anoop Kumar Mittal, CMD, NBCC (India) Ltd. strongly directed Rakesh Gupta, Executive Director, NBCC (India) Ltd. to settle this matter in favour of M/s Capacite Structures Limited. In furtherance to the above-said conspiracy, a meeting was held on December 15, 2017, between Kulkarni, representative of M/s Shapoorji Pallonji including Sh. Sanjay Kharkhanis and some senior level officers of NBCC including Gupta. After this meeting, Mittal assured Kulkarni and Mishra about getting the work from Shapoorji Pallonji to the company of Kulkarni,” the FIR alleged.”Mittal further assured Mishra and Kulkarni that if the work was not given to /s Capacite Structures Limited, he would ensure that it would not be given to anyone else,” the FIR read.The CBI has registered a case under 120-B IPC and Section 9 & 10 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against Mishra, Mittal, Kulkarni, Agrawal, Chouhan and other unknown public servants and private persons.

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Ashok Chavan may get second term as MPCC chief

The Bombay High Court’s rejection of the Governor’s prosecution order in the Adarsh scam has brightened Ashok Chavan’s chances of getting yet another term as the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) supremo.The state unit has already completed the election process, authorising the party high command to decide Chavan’s fate. However, insiders in the party admit that the court order has come as a major slap on the BJP’s face which will have to rework its strategy to target Chavan.This apart, Chavan was instrumental in organising protests against the BJP-led government in November and December in six revenue divisions, where he travelled extensively. By and large, the party leaders say Chavan had brought factions together to take on the BJP on issues such as farmers plight, lapses in the implementation of crop loan waiver, deteriorating law and order and finances.Subsequently, the state Congress unit and the state Nationalist Congress Party jointly took out a march and organised a rally at Nagpur on the second day of the winter session on December 12 hinting at an alliance in the run-up to the next Assembly elections slated for 2019.Further, Chavan’s stock soared after Congress won 73 of 81 seats in the Nanded Municipal Corporation, where BJP had made it a prestige issue and cornered him in his home town.MPCC spokesman Ratnakar Mahajan told DNA,” Clearly, Chavan will now strive for the responsibility bestowed upon him with renewed vigour as the Bombay high court has set aside the Governor’s sanction to act against him in the Adarsh case. The party’s high command is expected to continue with him as the state unit president for another term.”Newly-anointed All India Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi is soon expected to take a call in this regard.Already, the party high command has given a green signal to Chavan to organise a mass contact programme in all 288 Assembly constituencies across the state in January. Chavan had already begun preparations for the same.The party MPs, legislators, party office bearers will address public rallies, hold protest marches and reach out to voters at the booth level in a bid to further strengthen the party’s organisation to take on the BJP.Congress had won 42 Assembly seats and bagged only two seats in the 2014 elections. Thereafter, the party has been struggling to regain its stronghold and come second in successive elections held for civic and local bodies in the state.Past protestsAshok Chavan was instrumental in organising protests against the BJP-led government in November and December in six revenue divisions that he travelled.

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X’mas bells in Valley church after 50 yrs

History will be created on Monday when the sacred bell at the British-era Holy Family Catholic Church in Srinagar will ring after 50 years, on the occasion of Christmas.The 105 kg bell, the largest of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir, was installed in the 121-year-old church in October this year. The belfry of the church was torched in 1967, in an incident of arson, and since then there had been no bell to call the faithful for the prayers.”It is a very happy and historic occasion. Most of the Christian people here are less than 50 years of age. They have never heard bells ringing on the occasion of Christmas. Only few elderly people remember that,” said SM Rath, spokesman of the Church Committee.Traditionally, the bell is used to call worshipers to the church for a prayer service and for announcing times of daily prayer. “There was no bell since 1967. We put up a bell only in October this year. Now every Sunday, the bell rings in church. This will be first time that this bell will ring on Christmas,” Rath said. Midnight prayer services, however, will not be held due to the security reasons.”We have one prayer service on December 24. Usually, the service should be held at 11.30 pm but we have not been holding the midnight services for the last 25 years. Our prayer service will be held at 6 pm on December 24. On Christmas, we will have a prayer service at 10 am,” Rath said.He further said that there are less than 200 Christians — Catholics and Protestants — living in Srinagar. There are five churches in Kashmir and regular prayer services are held only in three of them.

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Suspense over new Himachal Pradesh CM continues, BJP MLAs to meet tomorrow

Amid the suspense over the new Himachal Pradesh chief minister, a meeting of BJP MLAs has been convened tomorrow and they would be addressed by the central observers, the party’s state unit chief Satpal Singh Satti said today.According to senior party leaders, announcement regarding the new chief minister would be made soon, may be at the meeting of the MLAs, but there was no official communication about it yet.The two-member team of central observers, which was in the state on December 21 and 22, had taken feedback from members of the state BJP’s core committee, MPs and some MLAs.Also readPM Modi meets BJP MPs from Gujarat, HimachalUnion Health Minister J P Nadda and five times MLA Jai Ram Thakur are the front runners for the post and announcement of the leader would be made after perusing the report of the observers, party leaders had said.The two central observers — Union ministers Nirmala Sitharamana and Narendra Singh Tomar — would arrive here tomorrow and address the MLAs, Satti said.Also readHow BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal will impact Bengal political equationsThe leadership issue cropped up following the shocking defeat of the BJPs chief ministerial face Prem Kumar Dhumal, which threw the leadership race wide open.Dhumal who was defeated from Sujanpur by Rajinder Rana of the Congress.Satti, who himself lost from Una, said that inspite of “unexpected results” in some constituencies the performance of the party was spectacular.”After feedback from candidates at a meeting in Bilaspur, ahead of counting, we were expecting at least 42 seats. The party won 44 seats,” he said.The state BJP chief said the performance of the BJP in tribal areas was satisfying as it grabbed two out three seats reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates.

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Timeline of fodder scam case which rocked Lalu Prasad Yadav’s political career

A special CBI court on Saturday convicted former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and 14 others in the high-profile fodder scam case. The quantum of sentence will be announced on January 3 next year.However, another former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra was found innocent along with six others.The fodder scam case has been at the center of Bihar politics and have rocked Lalu Prasad’s political career.The case pertains to an alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994. Here is a brief timeline of the case: 23 December 2017: Special CBI court in Ranchi announces verdict on fodder scam. Lalu Prasad Yadav found guilty in the fodder scam case along with 14 others. The quantum of sentence will be announced on January 3, 2018.8 May 2017: The SC ruled criminal conspiracy charges against Lalu Prasad in connection to the two-decade old fodder scam.November 2014: Lalu Yadav moved Jharkhand HC challenging the CBI court’s 2006 verdict that named him in six cases within the fodder scam. The HC ruled that the proceedings would continue under IPC Sections 201 and 511. Other charges were dropped on grounds that a person once convicted or acquitted cannot be tried for the same offence.30 September 2013: The CBI court convicted Lalu and 44 others in the fodder scam. This made him ineligible to stand in elections for six years. The former CM stood disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha.13 August 2013: Lalu Prasad’s plea to transfer the trail court judge was rejected by SC.1 March 2012: Charges were framed against Lalu Yadav, Jagannath Mishra, Jagdish Sharma and 31 others for fraudulent withdrawal of 46 lakhs from the treasuries of Banka and Bhagalpur against forged bills.2 April 2010: The SC ruled that a state government “is not a competent authority” for a plea by the state government to the Patna High court challenging the CBI’s 2006 verdict on disproportionate asset case.31 May 2007: 58 people, including Lalu’s nephews, two former regional directors of the Animal Husbandry Department, and four suppliers were all given 5-6 years in prison.18 December 2006: Lalu, and his wife Rabri were acquitted of charges in the disproportionate assets case filed against them by the CBI seven years ago in the special CBI court.February 2002: The trial began in a special CBI court in Ranchi.5 October 2001: The creation of new state forced the case to be transferred to the Jharkhand High Court.9 June 2000: Charges were framed against Yadav in court.10 May 2000: Patna High Court granted provisional bail to Lalu. It will be extended on 25 occasions.5 April 2000: Both Yadav and Devi surrendered to CBI court. While Rabri Devi was granted bail, Lalu Prasad was sent to jail as judge dismissed his bail plea.4 April 2000: A charge sheet was filed against Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi.19 August 1998: A case of disproportionate assets was registered against Lalu and his wife Rabri Devi.30 July 1997: After stepping down as the Bihar chief minister, the RJD chief surrendered before a court.23 June 1997: 56 people, including Yadav were accused in charge sheets filed by CBI. The charges included IPC 420 (forgery) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and Section 13 (b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.17 June 1997: The Governor of Bihar gave his approval for the prosecution.10 May 1997: The CBI issued a formal request to Governor of Bihar to prosecute Yadav.March 19 1996: A two member bench was appointed by the SC to examine the development of the investigation.11 March 1996: The Patna High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe into the case.27 January 1996: The Rs. 1000 crore fodder scam surfaced after conducting a raid in the Animal Husbandry department. The large scale embezzlement took funds from government and supplied it to non-existent companies for purchase and supply of cattle fodder in Bihar in the 1990s.(With inputs from ANI)

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Supreme Court refuses to stay Karnataka High Court order on tobacco warning

On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to stay an order passed by the Karnataka High Court that quashed the government regulation requiring tobacco products to display pictorial warnings covering 85 per cent of the packaging space.The Karnataka HC had last week quashed the government regulation —which increased the size of the pictorial warning on tobacco products from 40 per cent to 85 per cent — that was introduced in a bid to inform the general public about the health hazards of tobacco products and to dissuade them from consuming it. Since then, several petitions — including one filed by NGO Health for Millions — have been filed challenging the HC’s order.A vacation bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul refused to stay the order and directed Karnataka HC to upload the judgment online.The matter will next be heard on January 8 for further arguments on this appeal.On December 15, a two-judge bench at the HC had observed that the Union health ministry did not have jurisdictional powers to pass such a rule. The HC further found that the rule violated constitutional norms as it put “unreasonable” restrictions on the right to do business.However, the HC reverted the surface area for pictorial warnings to 40 per cent, that existed before the 85 per cent stipulation come in.

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Mamata Banerjee attacks Centre over no national holiday on Dec 25

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday fired a fresh salvo against the Centre while inaugurating the Christmas Festival on Park Street.She began by questioning the intent of the BJP-run Central government behind the cancellation of December 25 as a national holiday. “It is still not clear to me why this kind of decision was taken. I would like to listen to the logic behind it, if there is any. We in Bengal, however, have declared it as a holiday. I still believe that Centre should roll back its decision,” she said.She then said that the tableaux from Bengal during the Republic Day parade had won first prizes on two occasions, but two recent proposals have been rejected by the Centre. “Last year, our proposed theme was Kanyashree, which had been appreciated worldwide, but was not accepted by the Centre. It is an insult to the people of Bengal. This year, we had proposed ‘Ekotai Sompriti’ (Unity is harmony) and we complied with all their suggestions, but it was rejected,” Mamata said.She said that she had always participated in all the festivals of different religions but in other states people are lynched because they follow other faiths. “What we are seeing is that leaders are out to divide people on the basis of religion.”

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Rajya Sabha adjourned till Wednesday over impasse

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu met Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress deputy leader in the House Anand Sharma and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel in his chamber to break the logjam in Rajya Sabha as Congres has sought an apology by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks during Gujarat elections against his predecessor Manmohan Singh.Earlier in the day, Naidu adjourned the House soon after it convened following a demand by the Congress.Azad sought an adjournment and pitched for an end to the tussle that continues since December 15.”The House should be adjourned till a solution is found,” he said, adding that the Congress members do not want to enter the Well to force an adjournment.The meetings took place after Naidu adjourned the House till December 27 for a long weekend and Christmas break.Sources said Naidu insisted on normal functioning of the Rajya Sabha when it reconvenes on December 27.He was learnt to have asked Leader of the House Arun Jaitley and Azad to continue with the negotiations to end the stalemate.Both sides have dug in their heels over the issue, with the Congress demanding an apology from Modi for his remarks during the Gujarat election campaign that Manmohan Singh had connived with some Pakistani current and former officials to influence the polls.The Congress has softened its stand a bit, and saidModi should at least give a clarification about his remarks.Even Naidu said recently that there was no question of an apology by anybody as the subject of confrontation was an event that happened outside the House.The day so farNaidu adjourned the House soon after it convened following a demand by the Congress Azad pitched for an end to the tussle that continues since December 15 The meetings took place after Naidu adjourned the House till December 27 for a long weekend and Christmas

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