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Bollywood star faces eviction from Paris apartment

The Indian actress and her French husband owe nearly 80,000 euros in unpaid rent.

No permission for commercial activity at Cross Maidan: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court came to the rescue of Mumbaikars on Wednesday on the issue of commercial activity at Cross Maidan. It has restrained the city collector and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation from issuing permits for commercial activity on the over 19,230 sq mts land without prior permission from the court. A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M S Sonak gave the order while hearing a petition filed by Organization For Verdant Ambience And Land (oval) trust, which maintains Cross Maidan and the Oval Maidan. The two open spaces in Churchgate area are used by citizens for recreational purpose. Advocate Shreya Parikh, appearing for the trust, argued that by way of a Government Resolution (GR) issued on November 6, 2017, the ownership of the land has been transferred from the government to the BMC. Parikh said that Cross Maidan is a deemed recreational ground and no commercial activity can be allowed there. It was further pointed out that the Collector has, even after the issuance of the GR, granted permission to the French Consulate from December 5 to January 2, to use the ground. However, the court noted that since the order of the Collector is not under challenge, it cannot pass any orders against the organisers of the event. Moreover, since, by the issuance of the GR, the state is not in possession and cannot grant permission to third parties. Similarly, the corporation, which has not yet received possession of the ground, cannot issue permits to third parties. There cannot be a grant of any interim relief except that authorities will not grant permissions for any event after January 2, 2018. Posting the matter for further hearing on January 16, 2018, the court asked the state and corporation to file their detailed replies.THE ARGUMENTAdvocate Shreya Parikh, appearing for the trust, argued that by way of a GR, ownership of the land has been transferred from the government to the BMC. Parikh said that Cross Maidan is a deemed recreational ground and no commercial activity can be allowed there.

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ZEE-JLF to feature over 400 speakers

The countdown to the next edition of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) to be held on January 25-29, 2018 began with a preview held in the national Capital on Tuesday. The event was marked with a vigorous debate on the subject “Populism is the greatest threat to democracy” with JD(U) spokesperson Pavan Varma, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, academician Rakshanda Jamil, lawyer Akhil Sibal, and journalist Pragnya Tiwari participating in it.Varma spoke about how, in a democracy, populism was a deterrent to good governance because parties make promises only to win polls. He added that this breeds cynicism among people, making them feel like ‘sab to chor hai’. Agreeing with Varma, Tharoor said populism led to de-legitimisation of pluralism, or minority points of view that did not agree with the majority opinion.The organisers on Tuesday released a list of further 177 authors who will be present at this year’s festival, bringing up the total number of speakers to over 400. Dominic Dromgoole, former artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, Burmese human rights activist Ma Thida; Philip Norman, the author of Beatles biography are some of the speakers.This is the third tranche of announcements over the past two weeks. The ZEE-JLF line-up includes well-known names such as Helen Fielding, writer of the popular Bridget Jones’ Dairy series; academy award winning scriptwriter Tom Stoppard; Amy Tan, author of the bestselling Joy Luck Club; acclaimed travel Pico Iyer; and Booker Prize winner Michael Ondaatje.About the programming this year, “Poetry will be special focus this year – there will be around 35 poets from all across the world and India,” says festival director Sanjoy K Roy. “And we have around 25 Harvard professors, from particle physics, literature, history – an instant pop-up university,” says festival co-curator William Dalrymple.The festival will also, this year, inaugurate a new venue adjacent to the Diggi Palace in what used to be the car park. “This is where all the popular sessions, Bollywood, cricket, Shashi Tharoor (with a laugh) with audiences of 10,000 will be housed,” says Dalrymple. Another new venture is a literary prize named after French philosopher Romain Rolland which will be given by the French government to the best book translated from French into an Indian language.STAR-STUDDEDZEE-JLF organisers released a list of 177 more authors who will be present at the festival. The total number of speakers for this year has reached over 400.

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Uttar Pradesh: French tourists molested, thrashed in Mirzapur, eight accused nabbed

In yet another shocking incident in Uttar Pradesh, about a dozen French nationals, including females, were abused, molested and thrashed by local goons in Mirzapur district.This is the third such incident of attack on foreign tourists in the state in the last three months. However, reacting promptly the Mirzapur Police have arrested eight accused and registered an FIR against 13 people who were involved in the incident.About a dozen French tourists had come to visit Varanasi. On Saturday, they visited a natural waterfall in Lekhania Dari under Ahraura police station in Mirzapur along with an Indian friend. While they were enjoying their visit, three local guys passed lewd remarks on girls and abused them.Also readSwiss couple attacked in Fatehpur Sikri: 5 arrested, Centre and UP govt condemn incidentWhen French nationals objected, it led to an argument and soon tuned into a fight. Since the locals were less in numbers they left and again returned with 10 more local guys who thrashed French tourists. In the fight a French tourist sustained injuries on his hands, face and neck.The French nationals’ Indian friend told mediapersons that she was also abused, molested and beaten when she tried to stop them from attacking foreign tourists. She alleged that the attackers used sticks to beat them. They were taken to the hospital and given first aid.Also readIncidents like Fatehpur Sikri attack negatively impact our image: KJ Alphons writes to Yogi AdityanathThe SHO Ahraura Police Station Praveen Singh said that an FIR has been registered against 13 people and they have already arrested eight He, however, denied that anyone was seriously injured in the attack. “Only one of them sustained minor bruises and scratches and was given first aid at the Mirzapur Hospital,” clarified the SHO.The DGP Sulkhan Singh has directed the Mirzapur police to arrest remaining accused and take strict action against them. A few months ago, the DGP had suggested CCTV cameras at tourist spots to check such incidents but no headway has been made so far. A German national was thrashed by a railway contractor at Sonebhadra Railway station on November 6 when he ignored greetings of the contractor. The accused was immediately arrested by the police.A Swiss couple was attacked in Fatehpur Sikri in Agra about two months ago by a group of local touts pressing for photographs. The Swiss man had suffered fractures in the attack and couple was treated at Delhi’s Apollo Hospital. Police rounded up about 50 touts and arrested a couple of them involved in the attack after public outrage over the incident. A Russian woman was allegedly raped by a bank manager in Vrindavan in Mathura in October. The bank manager was arrested after she lodged an FIR with the Mathura Police.

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In UP’s Mirzapur, French tourists molested, thrashed by locals, 4 arrested

In yet another incident of its kind, a group of foreign tourists, including women, was allegedly beaten up and molested in Ahraura area of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday by a group of local boys.However, the Uttar Pradesh police has arrested four local boys in this regard.All the 11 tourists were natives of France.The injured tourists were shifted to the Mirzapur hospital for further treatment.“Some of local boys abused, molested and thrashed all the tourists. When I tried to stop the attackers, they also started thrashing me. The attackers called more people to attack us. In defence, we also started attacking them,” Riya Dutt, an Indian friend of French tourist told ANI.“We were going back suddenly some people came and started insulting us. These people start attacking us with sticks. One of my friend is badly injured,” one of the injured tourists said.The incident comes to light after a German national was beaten up by a man at a railway Station in Sonbhadra district a few days ago because he unintentionally ignored a man’s greeting.Also, a Swiss couple was thrashed at Fatehpur Sikri on October 26.The incident had sparked outrage with Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj and KJ Alphons seeking a report from the state government.While Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had slammed the attack, he also ordered an inquiry.The Swiss couple, 24-year-old Quentin Jeremy Clerc and Marie Droze, were attacked near the railway station at Fatehpur Sikri by a a group of boys. The locals started chasing them and harassing them. They insisted they wanted to take selfies with Marie. When the couple refused, they rained stones and sticks on Jeremy. Marie too wasn’t spared in the brutal attack.

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Saving India’s photo studios in the digital age

A project wants to preserve the legacy of old photo studios by making digital prints

There was no ‘Quattrocchi’ in Rafale deal: Arun Jaitley to Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today hit back at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for questioning the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, saying unlike during Congress regimes when middlemen ruled the roost, there was no “Quattrocchi” in the contract for the fighter jet.Jaitley, who is the BJP’s election in-charge for Gujarat, was referring to Ottavio Quattrocchi, the Italian businessman believed to be involved in the Bofors scam which came to light when Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister.”It (Rafale deal) was a government-to-government transaction, between two governments. It wasn’t like what used to happen during Congress governments, when middlemen used to be there in every transaction. There wasn’t any Quattrocchi in this transaction,” Jaitley told reporters here.The Rafale deal was made to boost the combat ability of the Indian Air Force, he said.”I wonder why the Congress leader is raising this issue now, as the transaction was done almost two-and-a-half years back. The very fact that it is being raised after two- and-a-half years indicates it is a motivated campaign linked to the election,” Jaitley said.Responding to Gandhi’s allegation that a certain industrialist was favoured and due procedures were not followed, Jaitley implied that Gandhi may not understand such issues because he has no experience.”Since it was a government-to-government transaction, the procedure was different. Another procedure is of tendering. He (Rahul Gandhi) is not having any experience of running a government. And, it is up to the company (Rafale) to choose its partner (in India). Government of India does not decide that,” Jaitley said.Rahul Gandhi today alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not want the “truth” behind the multi-crore Rafale deal to come out before the Assembly election, therefore delayed the winter session of Parliament.”I would ask Modiji three questions. First, is there a difference in the cost of planes in the first and the second contracts (signed with the French firm) and did India pay more or less money as per the second contract? “And, has the industrialist (whose company has formed a joint venture with the French firm), who was given the contract, ever manufactured planes?” Gandhi asked while addressing a rally in Gandhinagar district in the morning.”And a more important question, did you follow the due government procedure? Why the (then) defence minister was seen catching fish in Goa? And, was an approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security taken (for the mega deal)?,” he asked.Meanwhile, responding to the Congress vice president’s Twitter jibe at Modi over the release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, Jaitley advised Gandhi to refrain from such “immature behaviour”.”He is a big leader and such immature behaviour and use of such immature words do not suit him,” Jaitley said.

Such initiatives will better cultural exchange: Prakash Javadekar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Set in the mesmerizing Ganesh Pol at the Amber Fort in Jaipur, the Grand Opening of Bonjour India illustrated the story of the relationship between India and France. The event was graced by H.E. Jean-Yves Le Drian, minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, France and Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Human Resource Development, India. Nihal Chand Goel, ACS (Tourism, Art and Culture) Rajasthan, also graced the occasion.Inaugurating the most awaited Indo-French platform, Bonjour India, H.E. Jean-Yves Le Drian, said, “It’s a great joy that I am inaugurating the new version of Bonjour India at this beautiful place. No date could have been a better chosen as the city of Jaipur was founded on 18 November 1727. Since then, our relationship with India has grown. You will get to see this strength taking form through some of the unique events in Delhi followed by Mumbai and later in Kolkata. Bonjour India will focus on providing access to one and all under the key areas of creativity, innovation and partnership.”On the occasion, Prakash Javadekar said that through such events, the friendship and relationship of the two countries would surely get better. He also mentioned that, at present, around 5000 students from India are studying in Cannes and hopefully in future, the number will increase. “I would like to congratulate the French embassy for organising such an event and with such initiatives, the cultural exchange between the two countries will get better,” he said.

Rafale deal allegations are a disservice to armed forces and nation: Nirmala Sitharaman slams Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today that allegations relating to the procurement deal for 36 Rafale fighter jet were “shameful” and that such bickering was a “disservice” to the armed forces.Her remarks came a day after the Congress accused the prime minister of changing the “entire deal” to benefit a businessman.”These allegations are shameful…The deal was finalised following a transparent procedure,” Sitharaman told reporters.The defence minister also called the bickering against the deal as “disservice” to the armed forces, asserting that urgent requirement of the Indian Air Force was the main reason for sealing it.The defence minister said the final agreement for 36 Rafale jets was signed in September, 2016, after five rounds of lengthy discussions between Indian and French sides and approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security.She said the UPA government had sat over the proposed procurement of jets for 10 years.The Indian Air Force (IAF) said that there was “no overpricing” in the Rafale purchase as the government had “negotiated a very good” deal for the French fighter aircraft.”It is not overpricing… We have negotiated for 36 French fighter aircraft Rafale (at a price) lower than that in the contract. The government has negotiated a very good deal,” Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said.Stressing that it was a “government-to-government contract”, he told the media at the Adampur Air Force station near here that the IAF was getting 36 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) at a greatly “negotiated price”.”It is definitely a better deal. It is lower than what was there in the MRMCA contract,” he said without going into specifics.Hitting at the government over the same issue, Gandhi, who was talking to reporters after addressing a meeting of his party’s newly-formed wing All India Unorganised Workers Congress (AIUWC), said, “I happily answer all your questions fortnightly. Why don’t you question Prime Minister Modi on the Rafale deal, or on Amit Shah’s son. Why don’t you ask frankly about these. Why don’t you question the PM who changed the entire Rafale deal to help a businessman?” Gandhi also put out tweets taking a jibe at the government over Rafale deal and alleged a ‘loot’.“Modiji nice touch removing the suit. What about the loot?,” he tweeted tagging a report on the Rafale deal.He also tweeted, “Can you explain ‘Reliance’ on someone with nil experience in aerospace for Rafale deal? Self ‘Reliance’ is obviously a critical aspect of ‘Make in India’.”

‘Why no questions on PM Modi over Rafale deal,’ Rahul Gandhi asks media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter aircraft agreement and asked the media why it did not question him for allegedly changing the “entire deal” to benefit a businessman.”I answer all your questions, whatever you ask me. Why don’t you question Prime Minister Modi on the Rafale deal. Why don’t you question the prime minister who changed the entire Rafale deal to help a businessman?” he asked.He was speaking to reporters after the meeting of the newly formed All India Unorganised Workers Congress (AIUWC).He expressed satisfaction over the formation of AIUWC and said he felt good interacting with them.Earlier this week, the Congress accused the government of compromising national interest and security while promoting “crony capitalism” and causing a loss to the public exchequer.The BJP rubbished the allegation, claiming it was intended to “divert attention” as the party bigwigs faced the prospect of being questioned in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scandal.The Congress’ communications department head Randeep Surjewala alleged that the government neglected the interests of public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale aircraft, refused to transfer technology to it and instead entered into an agreement with Reliance Defence.He also alleged that the aircraft was being purchased at much higher rates than what was decided after the completion of the tender process under the previous UPA government.

In backdrop of Indo-French Festival, Amber Fort to remain shut on Nov 18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amber Fort will remain closed for tourists on November 18 and they will not be able to see this historical beauty of Rajasthan. Not only the fort, but activities like elephant ride during the day time and the night tourism will also remain shut.This is being done because the fort is one of the key venues of the Indo-French Festival, part of which will be held in Amber Fort on November 18. A main function will be held at Ganesh Pol in the fort.Due to the fort being shut, a lot of changes are being made by the guides who are otherwise flooded with demand of tourists, helping them see the fort. As it is Saturday on November 18, which is usually an off day for many people, the fort sees a lot of visitors, both domestic and foreign.There are serpentine queues at the ticket counters on weekends. However, now the tourists will have to skip the trip there and look for another options to spend there time off work. A tourists guide while speaking to DNA said that now since Amber Fort will remain closed on Saturday, they will be showing places like Nahargarh, Jaigarh which are in the vicinity of Amber while other attractions like Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar will also see large influx of the tourists.Moreover, the Indo-French Festival is being organised by the department of tourism in the state and this festival is being held in 33 cities across the country.The preparations of this function are being done since last few months by the Amber Fort administration.There’s more to exploreHowever, now the tourists will have to skip the trip there and look for another options to spend there time off work. A tourist guide speaking to DNA said that now since the fort will remain closed, they will be showing places like Nahargarh, Jaigarh which are in the vicinity of Amber while other attractions like Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar will also see large influx of the tourists. The preparations of this function are being done since last few months by the Amber Fort administration.

Sherin Mathews: US police find body in missing child case

The three-year-old went missing after her father sent her out of their home at 3am as punishment.

Personal appearance of Punjab CM’s son in criminal case stayed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Additional Sessions Judge of a Punjab court put a stay on personal appearance of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh’s son Raninder Singh till September 7 in criminal case filed by Income Tax department. Earlier in June, the Enforcement Directorate summoned Raninder for alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Raninder was summoned by the agency at its Chandigarh office to explain the alleged movement of funds to Switzerland and creation of a trust and few subsidiaries in the tax haven of British Virgin Islands. They said the alleged violations were earlier investigated by the Income Tax department and a criminal complaint was also filed by it in the court in Punjab. The case came to fore when the Income Tax department received details of Raninder allegedly holding the offshore account in the Alpine nation as part of details received in this regard by the Central Board of Direct Taxes from their French counterparts in 2011.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Private schools introduce Gujarati language in early classes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to push and revive Gujarati language in the state, some private schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and international board have introduced Gujarati language in earlier classes voluntarily.CBSE introduces three language formula for students, giving them a choice from class 6 onwards. While many schools teach two levels of the language before class 6, there are many who introduce the language in class 4 so that students have a good grip over the language.Surender Sachdeva, principal, DPS Bopal said, “While CBSE mandates three language formula from class 6, we have introduced the subject from class 5 so that children are better prepared. We are also contemplating to introduce Gujarati in class 4 as just three years of teaching a language is not sufficient. To enhance basic concept of a language, more classes are needed to be conducted.”He added that in class 9 and 10, over 100 students have opted for Gujarati. A member of Association of Progressive Schools (AoPS) Manan Choksi said, “Even if the board does not mandate to offer languages in early classes, I feel schools should voluntarily offer to teach Gujarati from class 3. Being in Gujarat, we need to promote and preserve the language which is dying.”International board does not have a mandate to offer languages in a particular class. But JG International school offers Gujarati and French from class 3 onwards.Kavita Sharma, principal, JGIS said, “We offer Gujarati and French as third language from class 3 itself. Research says students can learn more languages in early ages. Our main objective of offering Gujarati is to promote the regional language as we are in Gujarat.”Lamiya Shums, director, Anand Niketan, Shilaj, said, “We offer Gujarati from class 5 and Sanskrit from class 1. In class 5, students bifurcate as per their choice. For example, in class 5, we teach Gujarati textbook of state board of grade 3.”

Former CM Goubert remembered on 38th death anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today paid homage at the statue of former Chief Minister and veteran congress leader Edouard Goubert on his 38th death anniversary today. Congress legislators, delegates of freedom fighters association led by D Sivaraj and Congress functionaries were also among those present. Goubert, popularly known as pappa (father) Goubert, was the first Chief Minister of Puducherry after the de jure merger of former French establishments with the Indian Union in 1962. He was also the Mayor of Puducherry Municipality. Proficient in French, Goubert was chiefly responsible for establishing JIPMER, a premier medical college in Central sector here in the post merger days. He had a close rapport with the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

IAF Chief Dhanoa on 4-day trip to France to boost defence ties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief of Air Staff B S Dhanoa left for France today on a four-day visit to ramp up cooperation between the air forces of the two countries in a range of areas, the Indian Air Force said today. Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa will also take stock of progress in the supply of 36 Rafale fighter jets by French aviation major Dassault to the IAF under a Euro 7.87 billion (approx Rs 59,000 crore) deal inked in September last year. The fighter jets will be capable of carrying nuclear weapons and be equipped with the latest missiles that will give the IAF greater “potency” over arch-rival Pakistan. Dhanoa is also likely to fly a sortie in a Rafale jet. During his stay, he is scheduled to hold talks with the top brass of the French armed forces on security challenges being faced by the two countries in the current geo-political scenario and explore ways to further deepen defence cooperation. The main focus of the visit will be on improving bilateral relations, promote defence ties and outline further areas of defence cooperation between the two countries, the IAF said in a statement. Defence and security ties between India and France have been on an upswing for the last couple of years and the two nations have resolved to strengthen the relationship further. The statement said boosting cooperation between the two air forces would be a focus area. The current cooperation between the two forces include military training and joint air exercises. Dhanoa will also visit the headquarters of the French air force and a few operational air bases. The Chief of the Air Staff will interact with the top echelon of the French military aviation industry and visit the Rafale PMT Infrastructure. The Rafale combat aircraft will come with various India- specific modifications including Israeli helmet mounted displays, radar warning receivers and low band jammers, among others. The Inter-Governmental Agreement for the supply of the jets was signed in September last year, 16 months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s plans to buy 36 Rafale aircraft in fly away condition. According to the deal, the delivery of the jets will start in 36 months and will be completed in 67 months from the date the contract is inked. This visit of the Air Chief would provide further impetus towards increasing defence cooperation between the two air forces and pave the way for greater interaction and cooperation in the future, the IAF said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

French firm’s fresh proposal to NPCIL for Jaitapur plant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A French firm, which is to build six atomic reactors at Jaitapur, has submitted a fresh plan to the NPCIL proposing to share a larger role in the engineering aspect of the project, a top executive of the company said. The firm, EDF, and the NPCIL have also resolved to sign the General Framework Agreement (GFA) for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) by the end of the year. French President Emmanuel Macron is likely to visit India by the year-end and the two sides are working to fast track the negotiations so that the GFA could be signed during that time, the EDF official, who did not wish to be quoted, said. An EDF delegation also meet officials of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of External Affairs to discuss the issue. The EDF is to build six reactors, each with a capacity of 1650 MW each. When operational, the proposed plant, some 500 km south of Mumbai, will be the largest nuclear power generation park in the country. A construction of a nuclear plant is usually discussed in terms of the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction). The EDF has proposed to take care of the engineering part and a large chunk of the procurement of equipment which have to be sourced from abroad, the official said. This position has been different from what Areva, which has been taken over by EDF, had proposed when the negotiations had initially begun. However, the EDF insists that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) should take care of the construction part as it has an experience of building the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The NPCIL, on the other hand, wants the EDF to take the full responsibility of the EPC, citing the reason that the EPR technology is new to India. A senior Indian government official, on condition of anonymity, pointed out that the GFA hinges on three aspects — lower tariff, credit and a functional reference plant. No call has been taken on the fresh proposal given by the NPCIL, the official said. “Discussions are on between the Ministry of Finance and the French Treasury Department to resolve the issues related to credit. Some part of it will be in euros while the rest will be in rupees,” the EDF official said. The Flamanville EPR nuclear power reactor, which has been shown as a reference plant for the JNPP, is expected to be commissioned by 2018, the French official hoped. The EDF is constructing another EPR plant at Taishan in Guangdong province of China and it is expected to be operational by the end of this year, the official added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Game, set and match always: PM Modi and Justin Trudeau bond over Indo-Canada tennis success

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PM Narendra Modi and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who met at the G20 Summit in Hamburg on Friday, seem to be continuing the friendly banter on Twitter. Lauding the French Open mixed double victory of Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna and Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski last month, Trudeau tweeted:This naturally drew a prompt response from our social media savvy PM, who had more words of praise.While Bopanna ​clinched his maiden Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros, Dabrowski became the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam trophy.The seventh-seeded Indo-Canadian pair staged a comeback after losing the opening set and defeated Lena Groenefeld and Farah 6-2, 2-6, 12-10 in a summit clash that lasted for one hour and six minutes at Court Philippe Chatrier. Reacting to the victory at that time, Bopanna said, “We relaxed a little more in the second set, and we started playing our game. I think we were trying to do too much as a team.Just because it was a final, we were trying to go for too much maybe on the returns or even on the serve, for me. After that first set we just stuck to what we do best. We started pushing each other, motivating each other. I think that’s what made the difference. Once the nerves calmed down, we played better tennis, the Indian explained further.”With the victory, Bopanna became only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam crown, following Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza.Meanwhile, Dabrowski ​said, “It’s very special, it’s something that you always dream about as a kid.”(With Agency Inputs)

New drinking water supply scheme to be launched: Pondy CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Puducherry government is formulating a massive drinking water augmentation scheme for Puducherry region. The French government-sponsored Agency (French Development Agency) in Paris has consented to provide a soft loan of Rs 1,400 crores for the project to augment the drinking water supply and also for laying underground drainage pipes in the Union Territory, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told reporter here. In the first phase, Rs 534 crores out of the total loan approved by the Agency would be spent for Puducherry region to augment water supply. PWD and Local Administration Minister A Namassivayam said, the territorial government had inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the French Agency in New Delhi recently for the allocation of Rs 534 crores. Chief Minister said the government would utilise the remaining amount for laying underground drainage pipeline and also for augmenting water supply in other three regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam in the next phase. The government would soon constitute a special purpose vehicle to implement the Smart City project sanctioned for Puducherry by the Union Urban Development Ministry involving an investment of Rs 3,250 crores which includes allocation by the Centre and French government, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Varanasi: Watchman arrested for French activist’s rape

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A watchman has been arrested for allegedly raping a 65-year-old French woman who had been living for a year in a rented accommodation here, police said on Friday.Om Prakash was arrested on Thursday from his brother’s house in Mirzapur district.The watchman, who worked in the survivor’s rented place in Shooltankeshwar area, is believed to have quietly entered her room on Wednesday night. When she resisted, he beat her up and snatched her mobile phone, said senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nitin Tiwari.He fled from the scene after that.The French national, a regular visitor to Varanasi for a decade, is undergoing treatment at a hospital where her health condition is stable.
ALSO READ Madhya Pradesh: 12-yr-old speech impaired girl raped in DharShe was associated with a city-based NGO that worked for differently-abled persons and those from the marginalised sections.Based on her complaint on Thursday, an FIR was registered against the accused under IPC sections 376(rape) and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), said Tiwari.Prakash has been arrested and sent to jail.The French activist, who had been staying in Varanasi for a year, was sent for a medical examination. The report is awaited, police said.

Elderly French national assaulted, raped by guard in Varanasi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 70-year-old French national was allegedly attacked and raped on Wednesday by a guard in Varanasi. The victim was staying in the city’s Shri Gange Resorts in Sulantkeshwar area. The guard, identified as Om Prakash (35), was hired by the owners of the resort to assist the victim.On Wednesday night, the guard in an inebriated state knocked at the doors of the lady and forced himself into her room.According to an FIR registered at the Rohania Police Station, the guard punched the victim, knocking her out and then proceeded to rape her. He absconded after committing the crime.The victim raised the alarm after regaining consciousness. She was taken to the district hospital for medical examination and was treated for injuries sustained during the rape.“When the lady opened the gate, he pounced on her and punched her repeatedly till she was almost unconscious. He also warned the victim that he would kill her if she raised an alarm,” said circle officer Sneha Tiwari, who is investigating the case.The victim had come to India 40 years ago and settled in Varanasi. For the past 11 years, she was running an NGO that helped the physically handicapped live a respectable life. Earlier, the lady lived in Bhadaini area near Ganga ghat.The District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram said that the victim has sustained serious facial injuries in the attack. “She has been admitted to the district hospital for medical examination and treatment. We have informed the Embassy of France and external affairs ministry and will send a report after receiving report of medical examination,” said the DM“The police have also registered a case on the complaint of the lady. We have formed teams to raid possible hid-outs of the accused guard to arrest him,” said the SSP Nitin Tiwari.

How Gandhi’s last day was photographed

French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson took the last photos of Gandhi before his assassination.

‘Nagpur to become platform for strengthening Indo-French ties’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The city of Nagpur would emerge as a platform for strengthening the Indo-French bilateral ties, a senior official from the European country has said. A delegation of French business representatives visited Nagpur yesterday to review the Nagpur Smart City and Metro rail projects underway here in which various companies from France have invested. “Nagpur will become a platform for strengthening the Indo-French bilateral ties in future,” Paul Hermelin, special representative for bilateral economic relations, Government of France, said here yesterday. He said Nagpur is an important place on the global map. “In future many other cities in the world would get inspiration from Nagpur,” Hermelin said. France has given a financial assistance of 3.5 million euros for developmental projects in Nagpur, he said. In future also, France is committed to support the developmental works in the city, a press release issued by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation said quoting Hermelin.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

French voters vote for Parliamentary polls simultaneously with

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>French voters residing in the Union Territory of Puducherry today exercised their franchise at the second and final round of French Parliamentary polls simultaneously with France. Puducherry and its outlying regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam were former French colonies. There are an estimated 5,000 French voters residing in the Union Territory. Sources said voting took place at booths set up on the premises of the French Consulate and also at the Lycee Francais (a French school) here. Voters were let into the booths on production of electoral cards, they said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DU’s new journalism course to have Tamil, Bengali as options

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi University (DU) is all set to offer Tamil and Bengali as optional languages in its newly introduced five-year integrated journalism course.According to the University authorities, the decision was taken keeping in mind the popularity of Tamil in South East Asian countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia. “These languages will help the budding journalists as it will enable to be multilingual,” a senior official said.The course will offer various foreign languages, including Arabic, Spanish, and French. “For a journalism student, it’s very important to be acquainted with international languages as this profession requires a lot of travelling,” he said.Clearing rumours regarding a separate entrance exam being conducted for this course, a senior varsity official confirmed that the admission will be merit based. “No separate entrance examination will be conducted for this course,” he said.The course fee will be Rs 30,000 per semester and 60 students will be admitted in the current academic year. “Several faculty members have objected to making the course self-financed as that would be difficult for the economically challenged section to afford it,” the official said.The university’s Standing Committee on Academic Affairs gave its approval to the integrated course on June 9. It, however, needs to be approved by the Academic Council and the Executive Council of the University. It was proposed that the students would have to secure at least 50 per cent marks in Class XII, irrespective of the stream, to apply for the course.

ISRO working on electric propulsion system: Chairman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will work on launching vehicles with ‘electric propulsion system’ so that heavier satellites can be sent into space by the agency, its Chairman AS Kiran Kumar said on Monday.”Till today, we had the capability to launch 2.2 tonne satellites and in today’s GSLV-MKIII D1 launch, we successfully used electric propulsion system,” he told reporters here after the launch of the GSLV MkIII.”We have a six-tonne satellite in principle. It is possible to be realised using electric propulsion. So we have already started using electric propulsion system. (Even) GSAT-19 (launched today) carries an electric propulsion system. So, we have successfully tested that,” he said.”In future also, we will have many more electric propulsion systems coming up. Once we become self-reliant in four tonne we will configure our communication satellite to realise them. That is the plan,” he said.When asked whether ISRO would launch satellites from Ariane, French Guiana, he said event for the next satellite GSAT18 scheduled for June 28 weighing about 3.3 tonne and another satellite weighing 5.8 tonne, ISRO would utilise French Guiana facility.”For the next launch which is on June 28, we are actually getting it done from Ariane. It is a GSAT18 which is about 3.3 tonnes but after that we also have 5.8-tonne satellite for which also, we will be going to French Guiana,” he saidTo a query on the immediate task for ISRO, he said, “Our immediate task is to improve the launch vehicles of PSLV, at least two launches of GSLV Mark II per year and one more Mark-III within a year. these are all immediate plans.”Asked on when the GSAT19 would reach the intended orbit, Kumar said, “Right now what is achieved is geostationary transfer orbit. That means, it is about perigee of 170 kms and apogee of 39,500 km. What we will do is a series of manoeuvre using the propulsion of the satellite. Typically, it takes two weeks to three weeks.”On the status of inter-planetary mission, Kumar said the space agency had two approved missions, ‘Aditya’ and ‘Chandrayaan II’.”The launch of ‘Chandrayaan II’ will be in the first quarter of next year and with regard to ‘Aditya’ we are planning to launch it some time in 2018-’19,” he said.To a query as to whether the market size of ISRO increased with Monday’s heavy satellite launch, Kumar said “definitely with every successful launch credibility of the system goes up. Customers will have greater confidence”.

India, France to jointly work on climate change, combating

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India and France today vowed to work together for the successful implementation of the landmark Paris climate agreement and fight the challenge posed by terrorism, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron here. Modi said India was committed to “go above and beyond” the Paris deal to protect climate for future generations as he termed the UN-brokered agreement a shared legacy of the world, a day after the US president walked out of the accord. Speaking after holding two hours of wide-ranging talks with Macron at the presidential Elysee Palace here, Modi said the Paris climate deal reflects “our duty towards protecting the mother Earth and our natural resources. For us, this (protection of environment) is an article of faith.” “Paris climate agreement is a shared legacy of the world. It will benefit the future generations as well,” Modi said addressing a joint press event with Macron. He said India is committed to the Paris accord, and “even beyond it, India will work and walk together with others to leave a gift for the future generations.” “We have natural resources because our previous generations protected these resources. We must do the same for our future generations,” Modi said. Describing the city of Paris as an important part of his political journey, the prime minister said India and France had worked shoulder to shoulder for this agreement. His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw from the Paris climate change deal on curbing carbon emissions, which had been agreed by more than 190 nations. Trump said the agreement unfairly benefited countries like India and China. On his part, Macron said he wants to restate France’s full commitment to the fight against climate warming. The Paris agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise in this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The landmark agreement, which entered into force last November, calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future, and to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change. The two leaders voiced concern over the growing threat of terrorism worldwide. “Terrorism is one of the biggest challenges the world is facing today,” Prime Minister Modi said, adding that he and Macron discussed extensively on how to save the world from terrorism and radicalisation. “We cannot see the danger of climate change but we can see the horrific effects of terrorism, we can feel it. Innocent people, women, children lose their lives to terror. Every child in France knows the face of terror,” Modi said, referring to a series of terror attacks that rocked France in recent years claiming dozens of lives. He said terrorism is visible and it affects entire world, including France and India. “World needs to unite to defeat the menace of terrorism,” Modi said. Macron said that the issues of tackling terrorism was discussed at length during his talks with Prime Minister Modi and France fully supports India’s fight against terrorism. “We are committed to work together in defence cooperation, maritime security and fighting terrorism on the internet. France will stand by India in the fight against terrorism,” he said. The two leaders agreed to fight terrorism in all its forms and to work on concrete plans to fight terrorism on the internet before the end of the year. Modi said India and France enjoy deep-rooted ties and the two nations have been working together for a very long time, bilaterally and multilaterally. “Be it trade and technology, innovation and investment, energy, education and enterprise, we want to give a boost to India-France ties,” the prime minister said. He also expressed interest in improving the cultural relations between India and France. Modi said several Indians fought in the first two world wars for world peace. Macron thanked Indian soldiers for their sacrifices for France’s freedom during World Wars. Modi also invited the French president to visit India. Macron accepted the invitation and said he will visit New Delhi by the end of the year for an international summit on solar power – an area on which France plans closer cooperation with India. Earlier, Macron greeted Prime Minister Modi with a bear hug in the courtyard of the presidential Elysee Palace when he arrived for the meeting and working lunch. The Prime Minister thanked President Macron for the warm welcome and congratulated him for the election victory. 39-year-old Macron created history last month by becoming the youngest president of France. Modi said India is in favour of a united progressive European Union. The prime minister also spoke of the service to humanity and human values that France-India relations have rendered successfully over the years. He expressed confidence that relations will go forward even faster. France is India’s 9th largest investment partner. France is also a key partner in India’s development initiatives in areas like defence, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi leaves for home after wrapping up four-nation tour

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left for home after wrapping up his four-nation tour of Germany, Spain, Russia and France. “My gratitude to the Government and people of France for their hospitality during my visit. This was a significant visit,” the prime minister tweeted. Modi, who arrived here on the last leg of his tour, held wide-ranging talks with newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron at the presidential Elysee Palace. After holding talks with Macron, Prime Minister Modi said India was committed to “go above and beyond” the Paris agreement to protect climate for future generations as he termed the UN-brokered deal a shared legacy of the world. Modi arrived in France from Russia, where he held talks with President Vladimir Putin and attended an international economic forum. Before Russia, he also visited Germany and Spain and held talks with the top leadership there.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi in France: French President Macron thanks Indian soldiers for fighting for France’s freedom in World Wars

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India and France agreed to further deepen their cooperation to tackle the challenge posed by terrorism and extremism as Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron here. Speaking at a joint press event after holding wide- ranging talks, the two leaders voiced concern over the growing threat of terrorism worldwide.”Terrorism is one of the biggest challenges the world is facing today,” Prime Minister Modi said, adding that France understands the threat posed by the menace. He said terrorism is visible and it affects entire world, including France and India. “World needs to unite to defeat the menace of terrorism,” Modi said.Macron said that the issues of tackling terrorism was discussed at length during his talks with Prime Minister Modi and France fully supports India’s fight against terrorism.
ALSO READ Let’s make the Planet great again: Emmanuel Macron’s dig at Donald TrumpThe two countries agreed to fight terrorism in all its forms, he added. Modi said India and France enjoy deep-rooted ties and the two nations have been working together for a very long time, bilaterally and multilaterally.”Be it trade and technology, innovation and investment, energy, education and enterprise, we want to give a boost to India-France ties,” the prime minister said.He also expressed interest in improving the cultural relations between India and France.Modi said several Indians fought in the first two world wars for world peace. Macron thanked Indian soldiers for their sacrifices for France’s freedom during World Wars.Modi invited the French president to visit India.Macron accepted the invitation and said he will be travelling to India by end of the year and the two sides will convene a meeting of the world solar alliance.Earlier, Macron greeted Prime Minister Modi with a bear hug in the courtyard of the presidential Elysee Palace when he arrived for the meeting and working lunch.France is India’s 9th largest investment partner. France is also a key partner in India’s development initiatives in areas like defence, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways.Prime Minister Modi had also called up Macron to congratulate him on his poll victory and said he looked forward to work with him to further deepen the bilateral ties.39-year-old Macron created history last month by becoming the youngest president of France.Modi arrived in France from Russia, where he held talks with President Vladimir Putin and attended an international economic forum. Before Russia, Modi also visited Germany and Spain and held talks with the top leadership there.

Half-Indian, gay and 38: Ireland’s next PM

There is much more to Leo Varadkar than his age, Indian heritage and sexuality.

Second Scorpene-class submarine ready for sea trials: Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The second Scorpene-class submarine is ready for surface sea trials, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said today and congratulated engineers of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) where it has been built. “Congratulations to MDL engineers as their efforts have moved the second Scorpene class submarine for surface sea trials,” Jaitley tweeted. The first Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari has already undergone various trials and is expected to be inducted into the Indian Navy later this year. The defence minister said the Scorpene-class submarines will significantly enhance India’s naval prowess. “These Scorpene class submarines will not only add to our future naval power & strengthen defence but also make our ocean safe & secure,” he said in another tweet. Six Scorpene-class submarines are being built under ‘Project 75’ of the Navy. The submarines, designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lutyens’ Delhi to get its first ever mall called The Chanakya

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Keeping in tandem with the elitism associated with Lutyens’ Delhi, the coveted area is set to get its first shopping mall in Chanakyapuri in August. Called The Chanakya, the mall is all about bespoke luxury, which will bring top international brands in couture to the central part of the capital—home to bureaucrats, diplomats and frequented by foreign travellers.Spread across 2,50,000 square feet earlier known for Chanakya cinema, it has been developed by real estate giant DLF, as a destination for luxury shoppers and retailers in the country. Hence, the space is replete with names American, Italian, French, British and Indian fashion brands, all catering to the high net worth gentry of Lutyens’ Delhi.The Chanakya will be home to American fashion brand Tom Ford for women, Italian Brunello Cucinelli, British luxury houses Ted Baker and Thomas Pink, Grassroot by Anita Dongre. French luxe player Hermes will open its New Delhi flagship store in Chanakya while German brand Mont Blanc, manufacturers of luxury writing instruments, jewellery, leather goods are also slated to open doors at the mall.Replacing the iconic single screen cinema which stood tall against travesties of time till 2000, will be a multiplex by PVR with three screens. Expecting a heavy footfall and mindful of limited parking space in the adjacent Yashwant Place, the developers have also constructed a 150-vehicle underground parking for four and two wheelers. Confirming the development, a senior official from New Delhi Municipal Corporation said that the project was awarded to DLF long back and the company plans to launch it sometime this year.The Chanakya will also host a 20,000 square feet dining area which has been designed by Shawn Sullivan of New-York based Rockwell Group. A treat for gourmands of Delhi, it will offer live-cooking theatre, gastronomic journey through world cuisines, extensive collection of international wines, tea and coffee. Talking to DNA, Dinaz Madhukar, senior vice president, DLF Luxury Retail & Hospitality, stated, “With The Chanakya, our objective is to take retail evolution beyond its largely singular, product-based definition to encompass experiences. So, it is all about world-class food and beverage offerings to a state-of-the-art cinema here.”

Elderly French woman found dead in her Puducherry home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The body of an elderly French national of Puducherry origin was found hanging from the ceiling of her house in Arumbathapuram village here, police said. Krishnaveni (79), a mother of two sons and a daughter, had been living in the house alone. Her one son was in France while the other and a daughter were living separately in the same village, a police officer said. When her domestic help knocked at the door yesterday morning, there was no response. The woman’s relatives were informed and they broke open the door and found her body hanging from the ceiling, the officer said. Gold jewellery worn by her were reportedly missing, police said. Senior Superintendent of Police (law and order) Rajeev Ranjan visited the spot. The body has been sent for post-mortem, police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Homage paid at French War Memorial on 72nd anniversary of WWII

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>French Consul General in Puducherry Phillippe Janvier Kamiyama paid homage at the statue of ‘Soldat Inconnu’ (Unknown Soldier) at the French War Memorial here on the occasion of 72nd anniversary of the end of World War-II, today. Puducherry District Collector Satyendra Singh Dursawat and delegates of various associations of retired French military and civil service personnel paid homage at the statue. Puducherry, a former French colony, has a good number of French nationals. The band wing of Puducherry Police played the national songs of India and France adding to the luster of Indo French connection Puducherry had.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maharashtra government seeks clarity on cost of power from Jaitapur N-plant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra state government has sought clarity from French officials and the French company EDF on the cost of power produced from the Jaitapur nuclear power plant. It has even said that it will purchase power from the project only if it is affordable, said government officials. The state has made its stand clear last week during the meeting between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and a delegation led by Alexandre Ziegler, the French envoy.The state government’s position on the power purchase is revealing as work on the proposed nuclear power plant is yet to begin even after years of protest from local farmers and fishermen. The Jaitapur nuclear power plant is proposed to have a 9,900MW capacity, making it the world’s biggest nuclear power park once operational. As per the original agreement on the nuclear plant, the state government was to get 3,000 MW from the plant. But, with several delays and cost overruns, the state government does not want to buy power at an exorbitant cost.During the meeting, the delegation was also told that the locals living in villages around the proposed nuclear plant need to be informed adequately to allay their fears about nuclear power. Ever since the March 11, 2011 tsunami triggered nuclear reactor meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan, protests had escalated in Jaitapur.

Indian warships reach France’s Toulon navy base on 3-day visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three Indian warhips today reached the Toulon Naval Base in France for a three-day visit, in continuation of the Indian Navy’s overseas deployment in the Mediterranean Sea and West Coast of Africa. “The warships, INS Mumbai, Trishul and Aditya, were warmly received by the officials of the French Navy at Toulon Naval Base in coordination with the Indian Embassy,” an official spokesperson said. The visiting ships are a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command and the Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral R B Pandit, Flag Officer Commanding, Western Fleet, who is flying his flag on the guided missile destroyer, INS Mumbai. “On completion of the visit at Toulon, the bilateral exercise Varuna between the Indian Navy and the French Navy is scheduled from April 24 to 30. The Varuna series of exercises began in 2000 and have grown into an institutionalised form of interaction between the two navies,” the official said. The last such exercise was held off the Indian coast, the spokesperson said in a statement here. “The warships’ visit to Toulon seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly and like-minded countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen the existing bonds between India and France,” he said. “The visit of Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, to France, coinciding with the visit of the Indian Navy ships to France and conduct of the exercise Varuna, amply demonstrate the Indian Navy’s engagement with the French Navy,” he said. Luthra is scheduled to visit the French frigate FNS Auvergne, a French nuclear submarine unit, as well as an underwater weapons facility. He would also call on senior official in France, including Vice Admiral Charles-Henri du Che, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Sea Area (CECMED). “With the establishment of the strategic partnership with France in 1998, there has been significant progress in all areas of bilateral co-operation including defence, nuclear energy and space. A high level committee for defence cooperation between the two countries at the level of Defence Secretaries met in Paris in 2015. Bilateral exercises such as Garuda, Shakti and Varuna have been a regular feature between the two nations,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

B’luru Ex-French diplomat acquitted on charges of raping minor daughter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Five years after Pascal Mazurier, a former French diplomat, was accused of raping his three-year-old daughter, he has been acquitted by a court here today. Mazurier?s former wife Suja Jones had complained in June 2012, that Pascal had raped their child. ?The allegations were the most heinous of a kind a father would face, so ultimately based on the material and the defense we have taken, the honorable court came to a right conclusion that the offences have not been proved and ordered the acquittal of Mr. Pascal,? his counsel told ANI here after the hearing. Speaking to ANI here after his acquittal, Pascal admitted that it was mental trauma to be falsely accused, to be separated from his children and to stay for so long out of his country, during which time, he lost some dear ones. ?So yes its joy today to finally see the truth. It?s almost a five year long battle, so I?m happy. Let me get the copy of judgment, then we will take the next step. Not so many people supported me. I was not in my country, I was alone. All I had was my lawyers,? he added. Despite the Vienna convention stating that a diplomat cannot be arrested or detained, Mazurier, however, was arrested on June 2012, following a complaint by his wife. His wife had submitted a medical report to the police reportedly confirming the child had been raped on June 13, following which Pascal, who was the deputy head of chancery at the French Consulate in Bangalore, was arrested.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Global nuclear giants go bust, should India celebrate?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The global nuclear industry is going through a virtual meltdown on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. This is happening even as India is investing heavily in nuclear energy. This collapse of atomic giants offers New Delhi a new opportunity and many in the Indian atomic establishment are silently celebrating this premature death of suitors who were wooing to put tens of atomic plants in India estimated to cost at least USD 150 billion. “This atomic meltdown is a blessing in disguise” was how a top government official described the unfolding scenario. In addition, in these changed circumstances, if the Indian private industry plays its cards right, it could also provide an opportunity to the country to become a hub for low cost suppliers of nuclear technology. A little far-fetched but who knows how energy games get played in the future. In a way the diplomatic noose that had been tightened around India’s neck to buy super expensive French and American nuclear reactors has on its own been loosened if not shed at all. As part of the protracted global negotiations on admitting India back into the nuclear commerce club, a kind of barter deal had happened and India had committed itself to buy French and American reactors, but now that the commercial operations of at least two of the foreign giants is floundering, India need not back down from its commercial commitments. India can retain the moral high ground of wanting to buy the French and American reactors but since the companies themselves are in trouble no deals can be inked. India can once again hope to forge its own nuclear path free of shackles of forced imports of untested technologies. The American atomic giant Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC filed for ‘bankruptcy’ a week ago, last year the French nuclear giant Areva went through a similar process. Both these companies had shown aggressive interest in setting up atomic power plants soon after the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal was inked. Both wanted a large chunk of the nuclear commerce worth billions of dollars that India was holding out as a promise once New Delhi was extricated from the atomic dog-house as a consequence of the landmark Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. All along as negotiations were going on around the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, there was a small but influential group in the Indian nuclear establishment that was most uncomfortable at importing so many different types of reactors. This group felt that since India had mastered the making of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR’s) the effort should ideally be to multiple this technology while alongside India’s futuristic reactors the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor which uses plutonium as its main fuel and the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor that uses thorium as its main fuel could be promoted. Jairam Ramesh, the engineer-turned-influential politician in the United Progressive Alliance government, was an early opponent of importing so many different types of reactors. Towards mastering the PHWR, India on its own first enhanced the capacity of these reactors from 220 MW to 540 MW by constructing two of them at Tarapur in Maharashtra and then the same reactor has been modified to enhance the capacity to 700 MW with four units already under construction at Kakrapar and Rawatbhatta. Among imported reactors India successfully started commercial operation of two 1000 MW units at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu these are made with Russian help. In the Indian nuclear establishment some felt the Russian reactors and the Indian three stage program was more than enough to ensure long term energy security for the country. Mastering several different technologies is a complex task and there was a lot of consternation among several senior scientists that if the entire Indo-US civilian nuclear deal were to be implemented then at least three new reactor types would have to mastered. These included Areva proposing to put six atomic plants each of 1650 MW capacity at Jaitapur in Maharashtra. Westinghouse was wanting to sell at least 6 reactors of 1200 MW each to be put up at Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh — these were initially proposed to be put up at Mithivirdi in Gujarat but land acquisition issues forced Westinghouse to opt for a different site. General Electric was proposing to put a mega nuclear park as well. Each of these three different reactors are very different from each other and an entirely new set of people would have to be trained to safely operate these. Typically each new reactor operates for 60 years and then it takes another couple of decades to safely decommission them hence the investment of human resources is a commitment of at least a century. With Westinghouse filing for bankruptcy it is highly unlikely that India would order any reactors from them anytime soon. The idea was to order in one go 6 nuclear plants that would be delivered on a ‘turnkey’ basis. Now that Westinghouse itself says it can only supply the technology for the nuclear island and does not want to undertake any construction activity. Despite the fact India has already committed to pay Rs 100 crore to Westinghouse while ordering the AP 1000 reactors. These orders may obviously go into cold storage till Westinghouse and Toshiba its parent company in Japan iron out their differences. Westinghouse denies that the India project is derailed but experts say expect delays galore. Similarly, Areva the French giant that owned all the nuclear technology for the EPR 1650 MW reactor having been almost dissolved and the affairs taken over by ‘Electricite de France’ or EDF the French electricity utility, these reactors for which quite a bit of ground work was already done at Jaitapur has also been cold shouldered since no buyer government would want to get involved when a messy fight is ongoing in the French public sector companies on ownership of the atomic plants. On its own General Electric has been dragging its feet on bidding for reactors in India since its lawyers felt India’s nuclear liability law was more ‘people friendly’ as opposed to the usual global nuclear liability law that is ‘industry friendly’. In this scenario India is left with no other option but to multiply its indigenous fleet of 700 MW PHWR’s and simultaneously expand its collaboration with Russia to buy at least 20 more Russian plants similar in nature but probably more advanced than the reactors operating at Kudankulam. After India was admitted into the nuclear fold to allow global nuclear commerce all restrictions at importing uranium have already gone and if India seeks to multiply manifold its own home grown reactors that should not be difficult. In addition since the co-operation with Russia is blossoming more light water reactors could well be ordered from Russia. This sudden change in the wind direction with American and French nuclear companies all doddering has in way brought India back to where it was in 2004 before US President George Bush decided to shake hands and be friends with India in the nuclear power sector. At that point India had its PHWR’s and the Russian tech but what the country lacked was an assured supply of uranium fuel. India does not have sufficient native resources of uranium and if the nuclear program has to expand then importing uranium was the only option. Today the supply of imported uranium fuel is well guaranteed under global law thanks to the atomic embrace but this melt down of nuclear giants has tilted the balance in India’s favour. Now without ever having to officially deny buying expensive French and American reactors, New Delhi can opt to expand its existing fleet of atomic plants on its own terms. This ‘meltdown’ is making the Indian nuclear establishment smile all the way.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rs 2 lakh crore worth of defence contract firmed up in 3 yrs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over Rs 2 lakh worth of contracts for procurement of military hardware and weapons have been signed in the last three years to modernise the armed forces, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said today. Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, he said the government has taken a slew of measures for military modernisation and to keep the defence forces in a state of readiness to meet operational challenges. “147 contracts involving over Rs 2 lakh have been signed for procurement of various equipment during the year 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 (up to February, 2017),” he said. To a separate question, MoS Defence Subhash Bhamre said a committee of experts has recommended creation of a central autonomous professional organisation to build up indigenous defence capability as a strategic imperative for long-term self reliance. He also said the government has recently approved a Defence Innovation Fund (DIF) which aims at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in defence. On whether Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd and French firm DCNS were keen on making three more scorpene-class submarines, he replied in the affirmative. Replying to another question, Bhamre said 54 missing defence personnel including one from BSF of 1965 and 1971 wars are believed to be in the custody of Pakistan. He said the government has repeatedly been taking up the matter with the Pakistan government but Islamabad does not acknowledge the presence of any Indian personnel in its custody.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Book on Super 30 founder Anand Kumar to be published in French and Korean

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A book covering the life and achievements of Super 30 founder Anand Kumar is all set to be published in French and Korean. Biju Mathew, a Canadian psychiatrist, who wrote the book in association with Arun Kumar, made the announcement on Saturday. The book titled “Super 30″ after its publication in English and Hindi has already been published in Marathi and Tamil, Mathew said.”Before meeting Anand, I got to know of him through newspapers in Canada about the huge work he was doing for the students from underprivileged sections of the society and invited him for a social function. His address at the function impressed me as well as others and I asked him if I could write a book on him,” he said. The book is an example of how strong will and perseverance could help one overcome the stiffest of odds, as Anand Kumar has proved,” he said.”It is an inspiration for all those who are not privileged but have a desire to script a success story. What the students of Super 30 have achieved tells a lot about the real silent social revolution, which has brought about generational change in many families,” he added.Mathew said that he also plans a sequel after a few years.

Shaheed Diwas 2017: Why no political party is worthy of Bhagat Singh’s legacy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite their lip service to Bhagat Singh and other martyrs at various functions, no modern Indian political party is remotely worthy of Bhagat Singh’s legacy. Had he been around today, most of them (including the Communists) would be imminently uncomfortable with the various ideas that the remarkable young man held. Here are some facts about Bhagat Singh that we ought to revisit on the day when the British hung him for the assassination of British police officer John Saunders, which was in retaliation to the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.He was a staunch atheist and was against anything communalBhagat Singh was an avowed atheist, which led to a fellow prisoner calling him ‘vain’. At a time when religion seems to be the reason behind burning bridges in the nation and across the world, it is fitting that we revisit one of the most powerful essays ever written by an Indian. In his essay, the young revolutionary detailed the various reasons he had chosen a god-less path.In his seminal piece ‘Why I am an atheist’, he wrote: “As regard the origin of God, my thought is that man created God in his imagination when he realised his weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings. In this way he got the courage to face all the trying circumstances and to meet all dangers that might occur in his life and also to restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God, with his whimsical laws and parental generosity was painted with variegated colours of imagination. He was used as a deterrent factor when his fury and his laws were repeatedly propagated so that man might not become a danger to society.”(Read: Why I am an atheist, by Bhagat Singh)He was also shocked by untouchability as he wondered how we could practice such a heinous ritual in the 20th century. S Irfan Habib, wrote: “In the first piece, Bhagat Singh starts by saying that “our country is unique where six crore citizens are called untouchables and their mere touch defiles the upper castes. Gods get enraged if they enter the temples. It is shameful that such things are being practised in the twentieth century. We claim to be a spiritual country but hesitate to accept equality of all human beings while materialist Europe is talking of revolution since centuries. They had proclaimed equality during the American and French revolutions. However, we are still debating whether the untouchable is entitled for the sacred thread or can he read the Vedas or not. We are chagrined about discrimination against Indians in foreign lands, and whine that the English do not give us equal rights in India. Given our conduct, Bhagat Singh wondered, do we really have any right to complain about such matters?” “He was an anarcho-communistInspired by the writings of Mikhail Bakunin, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, Bhagat Singh gravitated towards the idea of anarchy which must overthrow the government. He had written: “The ultimate goal of Anarchism is complete independence, according to which no one will be obsessed with God or religion, now will anybody be crazy for moeny or otherworldly desires. There will no chains on his body or control by the state.”In fact, he believed that anarchy was similar to the idea of universal brotherhood without hierarchies. His communist slant must also be put in context and not treated with the same retrospective lens that we treat communism now since we have seen states like China and Russia garble the fundamentals of that particular ideology to create oppressive states (not unlike the way modern-day terrorists use religion to justify their heinous crimes).As far as the young revolutionary’s thoughts are concerned, given his hatred for oppression, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would found the atrocities carried out in the name of communism abhorrent.He understood the power of ideas and literatureWhat truly set Bhagat Singh apart from his contemporaries is the depth of his intellect for the young man understood the power literature and language had on people. When he was just 16 years old he had written an essay for a competition organised by the Punjab Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in 1923, where he won him the grand prize of Rs 50.In a piece titled ‘The Problem of Punjab’s Language and Script’, he lamented the fact that Punjabi hadn’t been adopted by the denizens and that they refused to do so because of religious convictions (Hindus would prefer Hindi, Muslims would prefer Urdu, etc.).Giving examples of how other revolutions were built by language he explained: “Perhaps Garibaldi could not have succeeded in mobilising the army with such ease if Mazzini had not invested his thirty years in his mission of cultural and literary renaissance. The revival of Irish language was attempted with the same enthusiasm along with the renaissance in Ireland. The rulers so much wanted to suppress their language for the ultimate suppression of the Irish people that even kids were punished for the crime of keeping a few verses in Gaelic. The French revolution would have been impossible without the literature of Rousseau and Voltaire. Had Tolstoy, Karl Marx and Maxim Gorky not invested years of their lives in the creation of a new literature, the Russian Revolution would not have taken place, leave alone the propagation and practice of communism.”He went on to lament that this lack of a common literature was hurting the state . He lamented how Swami Ramtirtha had been forgotten in Punjab while his contemporary Swami Vivekananda had become a permanent institution in Bengal.He added: “We find only one reason on bottom, and that is the total lack of literacy interest and awakening, the truth is that no country or community can progress without its literature. But language is the primary need of literature and this is absent in Punjab. In spite of releasing this handicap for long, the question of language has still remained unresolved. The main reason behind this is the unfortunate communalisation of language in our province.”How extraordinary is it that a 16-year-old boy could understand the power of language in creating ideas and history? Read moreHe knew an idea was more powerful than guns and bombsInterestingly, despite his own act to avenge Lala Lajpat Rai, he abhorred individual acts of violence and believed they wouldn’t lead very far. He had written: “I am not a terrorist and I never was, except perhaps in the beginning of my revolutionary career. And I am convinced that we cannot gain anything through these methods. One can easily judge it from the history of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. All our activities were directed towards an aim, i.e., identifying ourselves with the great movement as its military wing. If anybody has misunderstood me, let him amend his ideas. I do not mean that bombs and pistols are useless, rather the contrary. But I mean to say that mere bomb throwing is not only useless but sometimes harmful.”He even urged the Punjab Students’ held in 1929 (under the guidance of Subhas Chandra Bose) to eschew pistols and bombs with ideas. The message that was read at the gathering read: “Today, we cannot ask the youth to take to pistols and bombs. Today, students are confronted with a far more important assignment. In the coming Lahore Session the Congress is to give call for a fierce fight for the independence of the country. The youth will have to bear a great burden in this difficult times in the history of the nation.” Read moreHe was the ultimate rebelPerhaps nothing sums up Bhagat Singh’s sheer audacity than this letter which he wrote to his father when the latter had approached the tribunal saying his son was innocent. Lashing out in a critical letter, Bhagat Singh said he wasn’t entitled to take a move on his behalf. Refusing to defend himself, since he felt he did no wrong, he wrote in the letter: “Father, I am quite perplexed. I fear I might overlook the ordinary principle of etiquette and my language may become a little but harsh while criticizing or rather censoring this move on your part. Let me be candid. I feel as though I have been stabbed at the back. Had any other person done it, I would have considered it to be nothing short o treachery. But in your case, let me say that it has been a weakness – a weakness of the worst type.This was the time where everybody’s mettle was being tested. Let me say, father, you have failed. I know you are as sincere a patriot as one can be. I know you are as sincere a patriot as one can be. I know you have devoted your life to the cause of Indian independence, but why, at this moment, have you displayed such a weakness? I cannot understand.”Bhagat’s response to his own father shows just how strong his ideals were and how deeply entrenched rebellion was in his veins. That’s why it’s sad to see political organisations of various hues trying to appropriate Bhagat Singh because, frankly, none of them are remotely worthy of his legacy.

India: How traditional cookery is changing to fight pollution

Villagers in remote parts of India are being persuaded to change their cooking habits.

Near collision of IndiGo, Silk Air planes, govt launches probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two IndiGo and SilkAir planes were involved in a near-miss over Kolkata airspace last December, it has emerged, prompting the government to launch a probe. The IndiGo plane from Kolkata to Hyderabad (VT-IEM) and the Kolkata-bound SilkAir aircraft from Singapore (9VMGH) were involved in the incident that happened on December 11. Together, there were more than 200 people in the two planes. Both the airlines did not provide the number of passengers who were on board their respective flights when the incident happened. Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has started a formal inquiry into the “serious incident”, according to a recent notification issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry. Citing preliminary data from Indian authorities, French aviation watchdog BEA said vertical separation between the two aircraft “was zero feet” while the least horizontal separation between the two planes was reduced to just 0.6 NM. About the incident, an IndiGo spokesperson said there was a reduction in horizontal separation between the two aircraft but “no error has been found on part of the IndiGo flight crew”. The airline also said the situation could have been avoided had the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) not cleared its plane for take-off and made SilkAir discontinue the approach. When contacted, a SilkAir spokesperson said the airline has provided AAIB with all the information and reports for the flight to aid them in their investigation. In a statement sent to(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India refuses to let UAE military paratrooper perform at Republic Day Parade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has nixed the UAE’s proposal to send a military paratrooper team for live display during Republic Day Parade, citing security concerns.The Ministry of Defence has, instead, insisted on sending a marching contingent for the parade, which will be attended by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the chief guest.”After France sent a contingent of French Army soldiers last year, we have decided to make it a practice. So, we invited a contingent from the UAE, but they wanted to send military paratroopers.””The Ministry of Defence was not ready for this due to security concerns as the Rajpath literally turns into a high-security zone with the President, the Prime Minister and many VVIPs attending the event. The weather may also not be conducive during that period,” said a government official.It would be the second time when any foreign contingent will be participating in the parade on January 26.Last year, French President Francois Hollande was the chief guest of the Republic Day Parade.Following Modi’s visit to the UAE last year, which saw several steps taken to enhance bilateral ties, inviting the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi is also seen a important move to strengthen ties with the Gulf country.The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces.

Live presentation on cashless transactions during Republic Day parade this year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Live presentation on cashless transactions through UPI and Bhim App, and participation of about 40 soldiers from the UAE will be some of the highlights of the Republic Day parade this year. Interestingly, while the National Security Guard will be part of the parade for the first time, special forces of the army won’t be there.Sources said the Information Technology Ministry would be showcasing digital transactions instead of cash transactions in line with the demonetization decision of the Modi government. Also the much-loved canine squad of the Indian army will not be there unlike last year, sources said.The NSG will be showcasing their anti-terror, anti- hijacking and special operations capabilities. The chief guest for the Republic Day is Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. And hence, a platoon of the UAE army will also take part in the parade like the French soldiers last year. Last year, the French troops had participated because President Francois Hollande was the chief guest.

Indian man who hid wife’s body in fridge sentenced for life in jail

An Indian man who murdered his French wife and hid her body in the refrigerator is jailed for life.

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