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Delhi sees worst fog of 2017; 90 flights affected, passengers stranded at IGI Airport

Over 90 flights were affected this morning as visibility dropped to 50 metres due to dense fog at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here, the heaviest this year.While 54 domestic flights were delayed and 17 diverted to other airports, eleven international flights were delayed and 8 were diverted due to the dense fog, according to flight information available on the airport’s website.Also readDelhi: 13 trains cancelled as fog engulfs region; air quality dips to ‘very poor’So far there have been 4 cancellations, including three domestic and one international flight, according to the information.RK Jenamani, Director, IMD, Delhi area and IGI airport said, “Runway visibility since 5.30 am has been between 50-75 metres. This is so far the worst fog we have experienced this year.”Also read17 trains cancelled, 26 disrupted by fogDelhi airport has advanced technology for low-visibility landings, called CAT IIIB. As a result landings can take place with a visibility of 50 metres. However, for take-offs a minimum visibility of 125 metres is required.

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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!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
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
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
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

Botanical garden of Jammu University makes it to international list

Strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir has a reason to celebrate after the sprawling botanical garden of University of Jammu was awarded prestigious membership by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, London.Spread over an area of 6.2 acres, the Botanical garden of the Jammu University is one of the best in North India. Housing more than 500 species of angiosperms, gymnosperms, pteridophytes, bryophytes and MACRO FUNGI, the plants have been systematically been arranged as per the Bentham and Hooker’s system of classification. “Garden is having the experimental beds for researchers of the department, besides succulents, medicinal plants, and RET species. The botanical garden is also having the facilities of the green house, glass house and a registered Herbarium cum museum housing more than 12000 herbarium specimens”, said Professor Yash Paul Sharma, head, Department of Botany, Jammu University.Also readBananas successfully cultivated for first time in Jammu and KashmirScientists said the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) has conferred the membership keeping in view the coordinating efforts and building plant conservation capacity in the botanic garden and for spreading awareness amongst the masses.”BGCI is the largest plant conservation network in the world that aims to collect, conserve, characterise and cultivate world’s flora to ensure their survival against their extinction in the wild and as a source of plant material for human innovation, adaptation, and resilience”, Prof Sharma said.Also readKashmir Saffron all set to take global flight, new job opportunities surface for unemployed youthIn fact, BGCI is a global voice for all botanic gardens, championing and celebrating their inspiring work. “It is an organization that represents a network of over 500 botanic gardens in more than 100 countries, including the largest and most influential gardens of the world”, he said.Prof Sharma maintained that the registration of the Botanical garden with BGCI would help in securing funds from various agencies/Institutions of the world. “It is also a step towards a Green India Mission that would help bringing all the Institutions including civil society together and the availability of expert advice and literature pertaining to biodiversity conservation and germplasm storage would be more prompt and easier”, he said

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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
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

Any immediate respite for parents?

While the recent Gujarat High Court judgment comes as a great relief to parents by upholding state governments law for regulating school fees, how soon the parents will be able to benefit of the same remains something to be watched for.At a time when many schools across the state have started collecting fees for the next academic year, there is still no clarity on the fees for next academic year. The processes of the fee regulatory committee may take some time and, hence, schools are mulling over their decision for fees in the interim period.Commenting on the judgment, Association of Progressive Schools (AoPS) said, “Now that the judgment has come we wish government will ensure that the schools can function smoothly without having to compromise on the quality of school education in Gujarat which has started improving over the last decade.”AoPS member schools range from JG International school, Udgam school, Divine Child International School. Delhi Public School, Anand Niketan school, etc.An academician requesting anonymity said, “The order seems to be a small win in a huge battle. Even today, schools can approached the Supreme Court or they can approach the FRC. If they go to the FRC in three weeks, as per law, FRC will have to pass an order in 90 days. Even if FRC passes an order early and well in time, schools can then go for revision which again would take 90 days and eventually higher court. All of this process will take a lot of time and there is no clarity on fees for next academic year.Sources said the schools may approach the government and ask to form guideliness for FRC as per the high court order. A major concern of this entire Act is that there is no upper limit of fees. As per the order, if schools can justify to the FRC, they can charge higher fees.Dharmesh Patel, one of the parents of the association of Tripada International School in Ghatlodia, said, “The decision is great, but the biggest challenge will be to see how and when the state government implements the same. Since the Act has been upheld by the court, the responsibility of the government becomes double ensuring justice to parents. Also, since there is hardly any school which had gone to the high court, FRC’s should not take a long time.”Raising an important concern, Pooja Prajapati, President, Parents Ekta Manch said, “We welcome the decision and it is a victory for the parents. However, some questions have remained unanswered. The court has allowed schools to file an appeal in six weeks regarding their concern. Then what is the point of keeping fee slabs. Taking advantage of this slab, many schools that used to charge Rs 7000 or so and if they now increase till Rs 15000, there is no clarity on the same. Our fight will go on.”Ruchi Chaudhary, Managing Trustee, Shankus Foundation, Divine Child International School said, “We welcome the high court order and follow the notifications of going to FRC for an increment of fees so as to maintain the quality of education and other quality amenities we offer to our students.”Manan Choksi, managing director, Udgam School for Children said, “We are getting a legal opinion on whether should we collect fees up to certain amount or not collect at all. While we can return post dated cheques collected from parents once the order of FRC comes, but need some clarity to plan yearly expenses.”Schools need to approach FRC in three weeks FRC to give its order in 90 days If schools are not satisfied, they can apply for revision (90 days) Eventually they can approach a higher court Aggrieved parents have no place to approach *No upper limit of fees for justification

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Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family lands in Islamabad, to meet him shortly; Confusion over consular access

After 19 months of captivity in Pakistani jail, former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav is scheduled to meet his family in Islamabad today.According to latest reports, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has confirmed that Islamabad has ‘finally granted consular access’ toJadhav.New Delhi, however, has downplayed the development and said that Indian diplomat accompanying Jadhav’s mother and wife can’t be seen as consular access.In preparation for the meeting, Pakistan has deployed heavy security and traffic personnel within and outside their Foreign Office. Pakistani diplomatic sources said the meeting will last for an hour. Pakistan has offered to arrange media presence, if Jadhav’s mother and wife want to speak to media. But the offer has been rejected by India, reports said.Pakistani sources indicated that the meeting between Jadhav and his family members will not be the last, raising hopes that his death sentence may be deferred. The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi had issued visas to Jadhav’s mother and wife earlier in the week. The visas were issued after Pakistan decided to allow Jadhav’s wife to visit him. But later, it agreed to allow his mother to join, who had originally applied for the visa. Pakistan later agreed to Indian condition — to allow an Indian diplomat to accompany the two women and also to provide a sovereign guarantee to their security and safety. After extensive deliberations, the Indian request was allowed and December 25 was proposed last week as the meeting date.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav to meet his mother and wife today in PakistanJadhav, who was reportedly captured by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year for his involvement in terrorism and espionage. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav till it decides the case. Pakistan had earlier repeatedly rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav. India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the navy.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his mom and wife today

The Pakistan government has thrown a security blanket around the Constitutional Avenue hosting its Foreign Office and other top government offices in the wake of the arrival of Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife in in Islamabad on Monday.Both women are arriving in Pakistan via Dubai on a commercial flight on Monday morning and will leave the country the same evening after meeting Jadhav. The meeting will take place at the Pakistan Foreign Office and not in prison. India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad J P Singh will accompany them to the meeting.A Pakistan Foreign Office official will also be present during this time, as per the agreement between the two countries through diplomatic channels. India conveyed the itinerary on Saturday after Pakistan gave the deadline of Sunday to provide the requisite information about the family members’ visit or risk the meeting being deferred or cancelled.Sources said Pakistan had said they needed to put in place elaborate security arrangements for transporting Jadhav from jail to Islamabad and also for the meeting. Pakistani media reported that while Pakistan had completed the preparations to arrange the meeting India was delaying providing relevant information about the itinerary. The Indian High Commission was informed about the issuance of the deadline, the reports said. They said Pakistan needed time to bring Jadhav to the Foreign Office and for other security-related matters.In preparation for the meeting, Pakistan has deployed heavy security and traffic personnel within and outside their Foreign Office. Pakistani diplomatic sources said the meeting will last for an hour. Pakistan has offered to arrange media presence, if Jadhav’s mother and wife want to speak to media. But the offer has been rejected by India, reports said.Pakistani sources indicated that the meeting between Jadhav and his family members will not be the last, raising hopes that his death sentence may be deferred. The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi had issued visas to Jadhav’s mother and wife earlier in the week. The visas were issued after Pakistan decided to allow Jadhav’s wife to visit him. But later, it agreed to allow his mother to join, who had originally applied for the visa. Pakistan later agreed to Indian condition — to allow an Indian diplomat to accompany the two women and also to provide a sovereign guarantee to their security and safety. After extensive deliberations, the Indian request was allowed and December 25 was proposed last week as the meeting date.Jadhav, who was reportedly captured by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year for his involvement in terrorism and espionage. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav till it decides the case. Pakistan had earlier repeatedly rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav. India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the navy.

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Airport may shift some carriers to int’l terminal

Domestic passengers flying out of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI) here can now expect a few of their flights operating from the international terminal. With the city airport set to upgrade the existing infrastructure at the T2 international terminal by installing two new aerobridges, they are hinting at shifting some domestic operations to the international terminal.Manoj Gangal, Airport Director, said, “The two aerobridges will come up at the international terminal by the end of this year. Depending on time slots and a discussion with immigration, Customs and CISF, we may shift some operations, keeping airlines’ interest in mind.”Sources say that the international terminal is huge and remains non-operational for nearly six hours until the first flight of the day operates for Dubai in the afternoon. The terminal can easily be utilised for easing out some traffic at domestic terminal.Airlines Operator Committee (AOC) Chairman Shalin Joshipura said, “As of now, Air India and Jet Airways operate from T2. Once the aerobridges come, airlines might be interested to shift some of their flights to this terminal.”He added, “A lot of positive initiatives are being taken at the airport off late. This too will be an added feature.”A source said, “An international flight of SpiceJet that departs from Ahmedabad late in the evening comes from Chennai. As it has to fly abroad, it is parked at T2 and the domestic passengers are then taken to T1 by bus. This setting would surely be beneficial not just for the airlines but also convenient for the passengers.”However, while appreciating the effort, another official said, “Utilizing space is a good option but to maintain infrastructure as per standards of international airport would be a concern. Since Customs and immigration is critical points, extra care will have to be taken.”WINTER SCHEDULEFor winter schedule, Jazeera airways has commenced its operations from city whereas Air Arabia and Ethopian airlines are set to add new flights to the existing lot. Last week, SpiceJet also started Ahmedabad-Bangkok flight.

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Ryan student murder: Ruling will set example, says father of victim

The victim’s father, Barun Thakur, called the ruling a first major milestone in a long struggle for justice.”We had approached the court appealing that the accused should be treated as an adult, keeping in mind the nature of the crime. My 7-year-old son did not deserve such a brutal end. In fact, no child shall face such a fate. The accused in such cases shall be dealt with utmost harshness,” Thakur said.He also said that the board’s decision will set an example in the society that such crimes will not be tolerated. “We have crossed the first milestone in our long journey to get my son justice. This positive result has left all of us hopeful,” he added.”Even if 5 per cent of such elements fear such a treatment by court, it will bring change in the society,” the father said.”We request that carelessness on the school’s part should also be looked at and action taken against authorities concerned. The battle is way too long,” he said.The 16-year-old student of Gurugram’s Ryan International School, accused of killing 7-year-old Pradyuman Thakur on the campus, will be treated as an adult and undergo a regular court trial, the Juvenile Justice Board ruled on Wednesday.The Class 2 student was found with his throat slit on September 8. The Haryana police first arrested a school bus conductor for the crime before the CBI took over the case and arrested the juvenile, saying he wanted to have exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed by killing his schoolmate. His father has alleged that the boy was tortured to confess.

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16-year-old to be tried as an adult for Ryan murder

The 16-year-old student of Gurugram’s Ryan International School, accused of killing 7-year-old Pradyuman Thakur on the campus, will be treated as an adult and undergo a regular court trial, the Juvenile Justice Board ruled on Wednesday.The board called the crime “heinous” and said the accused was mature enough to understand the consequences of his act. The boy’s IQ level was found to be 95. This means he was average.If convicted, the class XI student will stay at Faridabad’s observation home till he turns 21, and will be shifted to a jail thereafter. The teen will be produced before a court in Haryana on Friday. The juvenile’s lawyer said he would challenge the order in the sessions court.Parliament amended the Juvenile Justice Act in December 2015 to allow children aged between 16 and 18 to be tried as adults for heinous crimes like murder and rape.The class II student was found with his throat slit on September 8. The Haryana police first arrested a school bus conductor for the crime before the CBI took over the case and arrested the juvenile, saying he wanted to have exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed by killing his schoolmate. His father has alleged that the boy was tortured to confess. The victim’s family welcomed the move, while that of the accused expressed disappointment.The ruling came after a petition was filed by Pradyuman’s father Barun Thakur. The CBI had also asked the board to treat the juvenile as an adult.”I thank the judiciary for the decision. We always knew that the journey is long but we will go till the end to get justice for my child and all other children who might be vulnerable,” he said.Sushil Tekriwal, lawyer of the victim’s father, termed the ruling a “turning point” in the case. “The verdict is historic,” said Tekriwal, adding, the board broadly based its decision on the findings of a social investigation report and a psychological report of the juvenileThe Juvenile Justice Act was amended after the December 16 gang-rape case in Delhi in which a juvenile was among those involved and was released in 2015 in accordance with the law at the time.

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Pakistan issues visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family

The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi on Wednesday granted visas to former Indian navy officer and prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife. The two women will travel to Pakistan on December 25 to meet Jadhav who is currently on a death-row. They will be accompanied by an Indian diplomat during the meeting. Pakistan has so far rejected over 20 Indian requests for consular access to Jadhav.Pakistan had initially offered a meeting between Jadhav and his wife on ‘humanitarian grounds’. But after a request from India, Islamabad agreed to permit his mother and an Indian diplomat to meet Jadhav as well. Jadhav, who was detained by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.Meanwhile, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed that there are 60 civilian prisoners including Jadhav and 416 Indian fishermen in Pakistan’s custody. She said since 2014, Indian government has provided legal assistance to 3 Indian civilian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails.India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to the spy in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav till it decides the case.She said there have been reports of ill-treatment of Indian prisoners in Pakistan’s custody. “Since 2014, 10 Indian fishermen and 2 Indian civil prisoners have died in the custody of Pakistan authorities. Mortal remains of all these prisoners were brought back to India, except in the case of late Abu Bakar Nohri, who was buried in Pakistan as per the wishes of his family and as per Islamic rules,” she added.

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IIT B leads the way, bags most offers in first phase of placements

Keeping its earlier clout in campus placements intact, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), recorded the highest number of offers amongst all IITs in the first phase of placements held between December 1 and December 16, 2017.As per the figures released by the institute, a total of 1011 job offers (including a 100 pre placement offers) were rolled out to the students at the institute during the first phase. Of this, 911 offers were accepted. With this, IIT-B leaps ahead of other IITs with more offers in its kitty. “IIT Bombay has been consistently preferred as the top destination amongst the recruiters. The rise in the number of International offers and the PPOs were some of the highlights of the phase-1 of placements.Phase-2 is expected to add in some more numbers” said the spokesperson at the institute.IIT-Kanpur also saw a very successful phase I with 890 offers including pre-placement offers (PPOs) in the first phase. At IIT Madras, a total of 877 students were placed in the first phase that ended on December 10. IIT Roorkee saw 843 offers made by 205 companies that visited the campus until December 15.The average cost-to-company (CTC) for the domestic offers at IIT Bombay is 13.60 lakhs per annum while the gross salary is 11.50 lakhs per annum. For International offers, the CTC offered was 43.5 lakhs per annum while the gross salary was 40 lakhs per annum.This year, over 65 international offers came in the first few days at IIT B with some of the prominent companies being- Uber, Microsoft-Redmond, Samsung and Goldman Sachs.More PSU offersMost IITs saw a great number of Public sector undertaking companies like ONGC, ISRO, UIDAI coming to hire in the first phase. At IIT B, a total of 21 offers were made by three PSUs in the first phase. IIT Roorkee also saw the participation of 5 PSUs in the first phase. “This time, the number of PSUs hiring at the institute have gone up considerably as compared to the last time. The profiles and packages offered are also better than last year” said Prof Tom Matthew, Professor in charge of placements at IITB.Start-ups on a rollA good number of start-ups came to IIT campuses this year, after the ban was lifted this year. A total of 32 start-ups made 85 offers to IIT Madras students. Most of the start-ups were looking to recruit for the Analytics / IT job profiles. At IIT Roorkee, 37 startups came to the campus in the first phase. Several prominent start-ups like Zomato and Pay U visited IIT Kanpur this placement season.

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Kerala: Top cop suspended for criticising state over law and order, handling of Cyclone Ockhi

The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala today suspended DGP Jacob Thomas, the senior-most IPS officer in the state cadre, from service for his anti-government remarks.Thomas, who was serving as the director of the Institute of Management in Government (IMG), for the last seven months was earlier removed from the position of the chief of vigilance and anti-corruption bureau by the ruling party.According to official sources, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had directed suspension of the officer under the relevant sections of All India Service Rules as some of his recent remarks had shown the state government in poor light.Recently during a seminar on International Anti- Corruption Day, Thomas had lashed out at the state government alleging that there was total breakdown of law and order situation in the state.He also accused the government of not “properly handling” the cyclone Ockhi situation.Stating that all “corrupt forces” were united in the state and were in positions of power, the official said that there was a conscious attempt to silence those who stood against corruption.However, reacting on his suspension order, Thomas said he had only talked about corruption on the Anti-Corruption Day and that he cannot be silenced with this action.”There has been a general trend worldwide to silence people when they talk about corruption. But, I am not prepared to remain silent,” he told reporters here.”I am still swimming with big sharks. In this context, it is normal to face such action. But I will continue to swim,” he added.Jacob Thomas was already facing disciplinary action for penning his bare-all autobiography “Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumpol” (Swimming Along With Sharks), which he wrote without seeking any permission from the prior government.Though a three-member panel had recommended to initiate criminal proceedings against the officer, the government had later decided to limit it to disciplinary action only for penning the book.Known for his strong stand against corruption, the IPS officer had earned the ruling CPI(M)’s ire after he registered a vigilance case against the then industries minister E P Jayarajan over charges of nepotism following which he had to resign from the cabinet.Chief secretary, K M Abraham and Additional chief secretary, Tom Jose had lodged a complaint with the Chief Minister against Thomas after the vigilance department conducted raids on their residences over alleged disproportionate assets.

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Ryan student murder | Juvenile accused will now be tried as an adult

The Class XI student who was arrested for the murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur inside Gurugram’s Ryan International School, will now be tried as an adult.As per reports, the Juvenile Justice Board in Gurugram transferred the case to a district and sessions’ court. The hearing for the case will begin on December 22.Confirmin the incident, Sushil Tekriwal, lawyer of Pradyuman’s family, said, “The convict will be considered as an adult.”Pradyuman’s father Varun hailed the decision. “I thank the judiciary for the decision. We always knew that the journey is long but we will go till the end to get justice for my child and all other children who might be vulnerable,” he said.The cold-blooded murder case of the seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur took a new dimension after a Class 11 student of the school was arrested by the CBI. Earlier, a bus conductor was arrested for his alleged role in the case. He was subsequently released on bail. The accused reportedly said he committed the crime to postpone examinations.Also readRyan school murder: Juvenile accused to be defended by Rajesh and Nupur Talwars’ lawyerAfter facing flak from all quarters, the Haryana Police accepted that omissions took place on their part during the probe. The cops also admitted that they didn’t watch the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage carefully.The initial eight seconds of the footage shows the now accused teenager calling Pradyuman to thewashroom. The team members, however, remained silent on exactly how they made this grave error.Also readRyan school murder: Bus conductor Ashok Kumar walks free from Bhondsi jailPradyuman, a class II student of the school, was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of September 8.The weapon used in the crime has been seized.”We have come to the conclusion on the basis of CCTV, forensic evidence and scientific evidence. The student has been apprehended. He remains our prime suspect,” the spokesperson said.

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Scare as ‘drone’, flight nearly clash

The security agencies were thrown into a tizzy on Friday, when a drone-like unidentified flying object (UFO) and an Air India (AI) flight about to land at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) almost collided.Seconds later, another flight to Leh, which had taken off from another runway at IGIA, also spotted the flying object.The ATC then immediately alerted the Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC), which roped in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Delhi Police.The incident affected some departures and arrivals as a CISF search team of armed commandos was rushed to the spot to look for this flying object, which according to the two pilots was spotted not far from runway 27-9.The team, however, could not locate the UFO within the periphery of the airport.The incident sparked panic among the intelligence agencies as it was the first day of Parliament’s Winter Session and the airport was witnessing heavy VIP movement.According to sources at the airport, around 10 am, pilot of the AI 914 Dammam-Delhi flight, Sandeep Kumar, reported a “flight safety hazard”, saying that when he was about to land at runway 27 and was at a height of 2,100 ft, he saw a drone-like object flying “slightly right on the central approach path of the runway”.”The pilot immediately reported the matter to the Delhi ATC, which alerted the AOCC and the CISF and Delhi Police were roped in. The pilot also gave a hand-written complaint in this regard at the police station. Surprisingly, the object was observed by another pilot as well,” a senior officer said.Drone-like UFO sighting at the IGIA is is not something new but such incidents leave the security and intelligence sleuths rattled. In October this year, a Jet Airways Singapore-Delhi flight, while preparing to land on runway 29, reported a drone flying in the proximity, nearly 300-400 meters above the ground.Earlier, three such incidents were reported in 2016, while two were reported in 2015.UFO MENACE AT IGI AIRPORTOct 7, 2017 Jet Airways’ Singapore to Delhi flight reports a drone flying near the airport. Mar 31, 2016 UFO spotted over the apron area but disappears before security forces arrive. Mar 13, 2016 A balloon-like structure spotted close to an operational runway at Delhi airport.

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Rohit Jigyasu first Indian to be elected to ICOMOS board

The newly elected board of International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which includes an Indian on the board of members for the first time, held its first meeting in Delhi recently. ICOMOS Triennial General Assembly was hosted by Indian National Committee of ICOMOS (ICOMOS India) in Delhi from December 11-15, followed by meetings on December 16-17.Headquartered in Paris, France, ICOMOS organised its 19th Triennial General Assembly in Delhi and the theme of the assembly was ‘Heritage and Democracy’. This event of heritage professionals from around the world was held for the first time in India and third time in Asia. It was attended by nearly 900 professionals from more than 80 countries.During the assembly, elections of the new ICOMOS board were also held. Dr Rohit Jigyasu, conservation and risk management professional and president of ICOMOS India was elected as the Vice-President of ICOMOS. He is the first Indian to get elected to the bureau of ICOMOS. Toshiyoko Kono from Japan has been elected as the President.This year’s General Assembly elected 20 members of the board by a secret ballot for a term of three years. The members then elected a president, a secretary geICOMOS Triennial General Assembly was hosted by Indian National Committee of ICOMOS (ICOMOS India) in Delhi from December 11-15, followed by meetings on December 16-17neral, a treasurer, and five vice- presidents.India supported the ICOMOS India initiative and hosted the General Assembly through the engagement of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Culture, the Archaeological Survey of India, and Wild Life Institute of India. Regional states, such as the government of Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha and Bihar too supported the initiative.”It is a great honour to be selected as the vice-president. It is very important to bring Indian perspective to world heritage. I will do my best to do the same,” said Jigyasu.Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation, gave a concluding speech at the session and emphasised on the importance of protecting and managing living heritage through engagement of communities.WHAT IS ICOMOS?ICOMOS is an association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage around the world and offers advice to UNESCO on world heritage sites.

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2 men arrested for smuggling gold at IGIA

The customs officers at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Saturday caught two men for allegedly trying to smuggle gold worth over 50 lakhs into the country by hiding it in the transformer of a microwave oven. Both were arrested and the gold was seized from them.According to the officers, the two men, aged 21 and 34, arrived at the IGI airport from Dubai in different flights. When the duo was about to exit the green channel, it was then that they were stopped by the customs sleuths deployed at the terminal 3 and were asked to cooperate for a thorough frisking.”It was then, while checking their baggage, that a microwave transformer was recovered in which two gold cylinders were found concealed. The market value of these gold cylinders weighing 2,000 grams is worth Rs 56.6 lakh,” an airport official said.The officials said that both of them were asked about the gold but since they could not provide any satisfactory reply, they were arrested under the provisions of Section 104 of the Customs Act, 1962, and the gold was seized.Further investigation is underway, the officer said. Customs at the IGI airport has stepped up vigil following repeated cases of gold smuggling busted at the airport recently.

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Interpol cancels Red Corner Notice against Zakir Naik, deletes all data on him

The Interpol has cancelled the Red Corner Notice issued by it against Dr Zakir Naik and has deleted all data on the controversial Islamic peachier. The decision was taken by the Interpol’s Commission in its 102nd session held on 24-27 October 2017 and data on Naik was deleted from its database on November 9. This was conveyed by the Interpol to Naik’s London-based legal firmCorker Binning in a letter dated December 11, 2017. The Interpol contended that there was a severe lack of evidentiary basis, a failure by Indian authorities to follow due process of law, political and religious bias that formed the basis of such a notice, and lack of international interest.The Interpol’s Commission found after thorough examination that the request from the Indian NCB was not compliant with Interpol’s rules and thus decided the lndian government’s request for Red Corner notice should be cancelled. Furthermore, the Interpol general secretariat has informed all. Interpol NCB’s that it has deleted the information relating to Dr Zakir Naik and urged all NCB’s to update their national databases accordingly.The Interpol was listening to the request made by The National Central Bureau of Interpol of India made in May 2017 pertaining to Naik. The Indian NCB of Interpol had requested for Red Corner Notice of Dr Zakir Naik for “promoting enmity between two different religious groups ongrounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony, being a member of unlawful Association etc”.The Indian government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had banned Dr Zakir Naik and his organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in November last year. Following the ban, all the operations of IRF were stopped, and all the staff relieved of their duties. Dr Naik also lost his Islamic International School, a school that he had founded and developed over the Harvard pattern of academics. Despite protests, the School’s bank accounts were frozen by the Indian authorities following the ban. NIA has also charged him for radicalising youth. Naik, a 52-year-old medical doctor, has aroused controversy with his puritan brand of Islam – recommending the death penalty for homosexuals and those who abandon Islam as their faith, according to media reports. A Youtube video shows Naik saying that if Osama bin Laden “is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him”. Bangladesh suspended Peace TV channel, which features Naik’s preachings, after some media reports claimed bombers of a Dhaka cafe that killed 22 people last year were admirers of him. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. He has taken residence in Malaysia. India is likely to make a formal request to Malaysia for his extradition.Dr Naik has repeatedly denied accusations of “running away” from investigations. A non-resident Indian (NRI), Dr Naik has been away from India since May 2016, much before the Dhaka incident of July that year. He has been managing IRF’s operations and delivering talks across several countries.

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World Bank panel seeks six months time to decide if probe is required against AP govt over Amaravati construction

A World Bank inspection panel, which had recommended a probe into the charges of forcible land pooling and others, against the Andhra Pradesh government for the construction of capital in Amaravati, has now sought six months time to decide if a probe is required or not.The AP government is expecting USD 300 million loan from the World Bank for Amaravati Sustainable Capital City Development Project.In September this year, the panel had visited Amaravati to look into the complaints it received from some farmers, who alleged that they were forced to part their land, and also claimed harm from a land pooling scheme (LPS) being implemented to assemble the land required for the city, as well as from other project activities.The “requesters” (farmers and other stake holders) claim harm related to their livelihoods, environment and food security.On September 27, 2017, the panel submitted its report and recommendation to the World Bank Board of Executive Directors. It recommended “an investigation into the alleged issues of harm and related potential non-compliance with bank policies, especially relating to involuntary resettlement”.On November 27 this year, the bank management submitted to the panel an addendum offering clarifications, an update on project preparation and additional actions to “complement and clarify” the actions presented in its July 21, 2017 response in order to fully address the requesters’ concerns.The management indicated the addendum was based on the recent field missions and discussions with the panel.”Based on the addendum and the proposed actions, the panel deferred its recommendation for up to six months as to whether an investigation is warranted. The board on December 12, approved the panel decision to defer its recommendation and to report back to the board in the next six months,” the World Bank said yesterday in its project update.Officials of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA), the implementing agency of the capital, were not immediately available for comments.The total financing for the project is USD 715 million, of which the World Bank lending is proposed to be USD 300 million through an IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development )investment project financing loan.The AP government is providing USD 215 million for the project, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is considering co-financing the project by providing USD 200 million.The state government has so far pooled over 33,000 acres from farmers for construction of the new capital under different categories of agreements.The Bank’s financing is planned to be used within the 217 sq km area designated for the development of Amaravati Capital City in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. The Bank will help finance infrastructure spread across 26 revenue villages.

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Bombay HC asks BMC to process application to hold Mumbai Marathon

Good news for participants of Mumbai Marathon, the Bombay High Court, has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to process the application by Procam International Private Limited, seeking permission to hold the Mumbai Marathon in January 2018, without demanding previous years’ dues.A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M S Sonak by way of relief to the organizers directed the corporation to process their application following due process of law, without insisting for clearing of arrears.The organizers had approached to the court challenging the demand of Rs 2.74 crore made by the corporation, saying it cannot be made to pay for an entire month of advertisement fees etc, when the event is only for two days. Senior advocate Ram Apte, argued that corporation has resolved to charge for the month even for a single day. He cited the example of suburban railway pass, which has to be purchased for a month even if the passenger uses the service only few times a month.However, senior advocate Vineet Naik argued that the demand is not maintainable, and demand is illegal and arbitrary. He cited that the Chief Minister is the patron of the event and social messages for Swacch Bharat and Cancer awareness, during the event. However, Apte said the event is only for-profit event and the amount demanded is correct.The court after going through the pleadings noted that interim relief already granted will continue and the civic body should process the application for permission to hold the Mumbai Marathon, scheduled on January 21. It issued rule and posted the matter for hearing on January 10, 2018, in regard to the challenge.

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Gay prince Manvendra Singh Gohil to start LGBTQ centre in Gujarat

Rajpipla, a small city in Narmada District of Gujarat, will soon have a centre for the LGBTQ community. Manvendra Singh Gohil, erstwhile prince of Rajpipla princely state, revealed this at the recently held Delhi International Queer Theatre & Film Festival. The centre, he said, aims to provide economic and social empowerment to sexual minorities and offer skilled-based training so that they can earn a decent livelihood. “Gradually the gay community is trying not to succumb to the pressure to get married, but once people reveal their sexuality at home, their family members fail to understand and shun them. And since people in India are dependent on parents for financial and emotional needs until late youth, it leaves them with two options – either agree with the parents or be left without resources. I want the community to be independent,” said 52-year-old Gohil, who came out 11 years ago and faced a social boycott.The traumatic consequences of coming out that he faced is the reason Gohil wants to set up the community centre, which is also focused on providing social support.“When I came out in 2006, my own family disowned me and other royal families boycotted me. I see similar things happening to other people and they are left devastated.” Gohil, however, stated that he consciously decided to be on his own before he came out in public about his sexuality and advocates the same to youngsters.”Fortunately, I was on my own financially, and since we grew up with a nanny, I wasn’t very emotionally attached to my parents. But when they saw me doing well on my own and being making it to Oprah Winfrey’s show thrice and recently to Keeping Up With The Kardashians, they accepted me back. Now, the royal family wants selfies with me!,” chuckles Gohil, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Goodwill Ambassador.The community centre Gohil plans to set up would sprawl the 15,000-acre property he owns in Rajpipla and would offer a shelter home, training and workshops and also host motivational talks. A rudimentary form of the centre is already up and running in Rajpipla, with an inmate from New Jersey in residence, but Gohil is looking for funds and ideas to develop it further. “The structure is already there; it is on the banks of the Narmada in a very peaceful and non-polluted part of India. It runs entirely on solar energy and can accommodate about 10 people at present. The land is not an issue; the problem is resources and I am fundraising across the world. When money comes, I will build more homes but by the end of 2018, it will be functional and start housing people,” says Gohil who wants similar centres to be built across the country to create a strong network of the LGBTQ community.

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Students from Kota bag four gold medals and two silver medals in IJSO

Students from Kota based institute have bagged four gold and two silver medals in 14th International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) -2017 held in Netherlands from December 3 to 12, 2017. In IJSO-2016, 4 students of the same institute in Kota won the gold medal.International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) is a major international academic competition held annually and the only international academic competition that covers physics, chemistry, and biology at the same time. The competition is known for its intricacy as it requires a wide knowledge range of knowledge in all three subjects.Director of the institute Brajesh Maheshwari said “About 300 meritorious students aged upto15 years, from 50 countries participated in IJSO-2017 wherein 6 students, all from our Institute represented India. Mudita Goyal, Akhil Jain, Subarno Nath Roy and KunalSamanta won gold medal whereas Niyati Mehta and Aadarshraj Sah bagged silver and brought glory to the nation, Maheshwari said. This is the first time that six students, all from a single Institute represented India in an International level competition and won gold and silver medals, he added.The aim of IJSO is to encourage the development of scientific knowledge within precocious and talented students, while allowing them to both cooperate and socialize with each other.The Junior Science Olympiad program is conducted in 5 stages. The first stage is National Standard Examination in Junior Science (NSEJS), followed by Indian National Junior Science Olympiad (INJSO) in which 36 students from all over the country are selected.The third stage is Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in junior science in which 6 students are selected for the final round, these 6 students represent India at International Level, the fourth stage is Pre-departure Training Camp (PDT).The final stage is International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) which consists of three tests, done on different days.

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Maharashtra government pushes take-off of 11 new airports

The state government has fast-tracked the development of Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) and 10 other airports. The State has set up an 11-member Project Monitoring & Implementation Committee (PMIC), headed by Chief Secretary Sumit Malik, for early clearance of the Request For Proposal (RFP), Concession Agreement and other documents necessary for the bidding process and awarding the contract. PMIC’s members include joint secretary of the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and chairman of the Airports Authority of India.Recently, a similar PMIC, chaired by the Chief Secretary, approved the financial bid submitted by GVK-led Mumbai International Airport’s (MIAL) to construct the Navi Mumbai International Airport.MIHAN is an airport project for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur, hometown of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari. Ten other airports are being developed at Kolhapur, Shirdi, Amravati, Gondia, Nashik, Jalgaon, Nanded, Solapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.They are all under the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), part of the ambitious National Civil Aviation Policy, 2010.MIHAN aims to exploit Nagpur’s central location and convert the present airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity. The project is made up of two parts – an international airport that will act as a cargo hub and a Special Economic Zone with a residential zone.The project cost is envisaged at Rs 2,581 crore, based on 2002 rates and it is expected to attract investment of over Rs 20,000 crore.An officer from the state Civil Aviation department told DNA, “The PMIC will have a major role in providing timely clearances for RFP, Concession Agreement and other documents necessary for the development of MIHAN and 10 other airports. After PMIC’s approval, the State cabinet will give the final nod.”As reported by DNA, the state government has appointed the Maharashtra Airports Development Company (MADC) as co-ordinator and facilitator for 28 existing airports, and the development of MIHAN and 10 other airports under RCS. The state government has already agreed to provide a slew of sops, including tax-cut on air fuel for 10 years, free-of-cost land, and electricity and water at concessional rates.

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Japanese tech to make flying safer in India

Indian sky-space is expected to get safer for fliers during time of low visibility and fogs as state owned Airport Authority of India (AAI) with help from Japan, is mulling over introducing an advanced system where the aircraft will use signal multiple transponders, instead of one at present for on-ground communications, which at times does not give out exact position of the aircraft.The technology can be useful in increasing airport safety and capacity, especially under low visibility conditions, by providing airport surface surveillance and, at the same time, protecting against runway incursions by aircraft and vehicles. AAI is mandated with running of most of the civil aviation airports in the country including the air traffic management system.According to officials from Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) department of AAI, the ultra-low cost technology increases the capability of ground-based surveillance with the aircraft to 15-30 nautical miles (NM). At present the range of the ground based surveillance covers only till the terminal side.The system is currently being implemented at Sendai International airport in Japan. Japan’s Electronic Navigation Research Institute (ENRI) recently made a presentation regarding it recently at an Aviation Seminar held in Mumbai to discuss the development of indigenous technologies in Civil aviation.According to Hiromi Miyazaki, Chief Researcher at ENRI in Japan the new technology which is normally referred as multilateration surveillance system (MLAT) offers better immunity to multipath interferences though it requires fewer number of receiver stations. Also, the installation is much easier due to small size receiver unit and requires no electric construction using optical power feeding.As per UN backed International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), MLAT is an enabling technology that will enhance the provision of ATM (air traffic management) in a variety of applications, from “radar-like” air traffic control purposes to enhanced situational awareness of surface movements. MLAT offers most advantages in situations where other surveillance systems (eg radar) are not available. It can also be combined with other surveillance systems, such as radar and ADS-B (another form of communication system), to improve the total surveillance picture. MLAT applications will have a direct effect upon aerodrome operations, traffic synchronization, airspace user operations, and conflict management.Further , the use of aircraft-derived data can be used in a variety of systems e.g. ground-based conflict alert, minimum safe altitude warning, danger area proximity warning, automated support tools, surveillance data processing and distribution, the CNS officials added.

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Ryan student murder: SC dismisses plea challenging anticipatory bail granted to school trustees

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea challenging anticipatory bail granted to Ryan International school trustees in connection with the murder of seven-year-old student Pradyuman Thakur.The parents of the victim had moved to Supreme Court against Pintos after the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted them anticipatory bail.Ryan Pinto, and his parents, Augustine Pinto and Grace Pinto, had approached the high court on September 16, seeking anticipatory bail in the case.Also readRyan student murder: Conductor Ashok Kumar’s wife says cops thrashed him, hung upside downSushil Tekriwal, Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur’s lawyer had said that they approached the court as the anticipatory bail would send a wrong message will be sent if anticipatory bail is given,” he added.Class 2 student Pradhuman Thakur was found with his throat slit in the school washroom in Gurugram on September 8.School bus conductor Ashok Kumar was arrested by Haryana police in connection with the crime. However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is now probing the matter, gave him a clean chit and held a class 11 student of the school responsible for the murder.Also readRyan student murder: Amid twists and turns, juvenile accused retracts confession

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Schools across state to participate in ‘Earth Hour’ today

Seventeen schools from across the state will switch off fans, lights and other electrical appliances for an hour on Monday under an initiative to raise awareness of energy conservation and cutting down pollution in Ahmedabad. The schools, which have come under the banner of ‘The Green Principals and Educators League’, plan to take the efforts beyond the one-day exercise by encouraging students to contribute to the cause. Students will be asked to do projects on energy conservation for their second term.The schools have asked their students to observe the similar practice of switching off electricity for an hour at their homes and encourage at least five neighbours, friends or relatives to do the same. Renu Seth, founding mentor of the initiative, said, “From the time Ahmedabad has been declared a very polluted city, I have been trying to do something to increase the environmental awareness and green practices in our schools. Last week, all schools observed their meter reading for three days for an hour to get an average. The same exercise was done with five 2BHK houses as well. Once the project is over, we will get the findings and do a comparison to come out with a figure on energy conservation.”Seth said they plan to switch off power on December 11 to commemorate the World Energy Conservation Day which falls on December 14. “But since it is a poll holiday, we thought to advance it.”PARTICIPATING SCHOOLSDAV International School St Kabir School, Naranpura Anand Niketan, Shilaj Divyapath School Cosmos Castle International School, Bopal Cosmos Castle International School, SG road Lotus School New Shama School Danilimda Olive Green Kids School, Bodakdev Olive Green Kids School, Navrangpura S V Kadi Group of Schools, Gandhinagar (all four branches) Siddharth Public School, Himmatnagar Chinar Publi School, Alwar Doon School, Bhuj

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ICJ’s Justice Dalveer Bhandari urges people spread compassion

Be compassionate and kind towards each other. This was the message Justice Dalveer Bhandari delivered at an event organised on the occasion of the Human Rights Day on Sunday.The newly inducted member of the International Court of Justice quoted the Dalai Lama to stress that the qualities of love and compassion are necessities and not luxuries, without which humanity cannot survive.Bhandari was speaking at an award function was organised by the Harmony Foundation to felicitate several organisations across the world for their excellence in serving humanity in their individual manner.The event was also attended by several dignitaries. Justice Bhandari was recently elected for a new term at the Hague world court.Justice Bhandari’s message to spread love and compassion comes at time when the nation’s conscience was shaken by the brutal killing of a migrant worker in Rajasthan.On the messages of The Dalai Lama’s, he said, “Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in re-birth or not, there is nobody who does not appreciate kindness and compassion.”

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IGIA staffer, 1 more held for gold smuggling

A housekeeping staff working at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) was held on Sunday, along with another man, for allegedly trying to smuggle into the country gold worth over Rs 14 lakh. Both the men were apprehended by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and were later handed over to the Customs, along with the four gold bars seized from them.According to senior officers, around 3.20 am, the CISF surveillance and intelligence staff at the Delhi airport spotted a cleaner of the Lion manpower, who had a pass for the apron , entering the international pier through arrival de-boarding gate number six from the apron side.”On a suspicion, the CISF surveillance team followed the staff member. They saw that the suspect was signalling to a passenger waiting inside the airport’s smoking room. Further, the team noticed that the said passenger handed over a cigarette packet to the airport ground staff member, after which he rushed towards a pier and the passenger moved towards the arrival immigrations,” a senior CISF officer said.Immediately, both of them were intercepted by the CISF team. Upon searching, four gold bars weighing approximately 466 g were recovered from the staff member, who was identified as Rajnish Pal. Later, the passenger was identified as Shahnawaz, an Indian citizen, who had arrived from Abu Dhabi, the officer said.Senior officers said the Customs was informed and both the accused, along with the seized gold, were handed over to them for further legal action.

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Pakistan will give visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother: Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today Pakistan has conveyed to India that it will give visas to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.In Islamabad, a Pakistan foreign office spokesperson said it will allow convicted Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife and mother on December 25.Swaraj said Pakistan had earlier agreed to give a visa only to Jadhav’s wife but India asked that a visa should also be given to his mother.”We also raised concern about their safety and security in Pakistan. Government of Pakistan has conveyed that they will give visa to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Swaraj tweeted.Pakistan has assured India of their safety, security and freedom of movement in that country, she said.Also read4 assurances India has asked for allowing Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, mother to travel to PakistanThe government had also asked that a diplomatic officer of the Indian High Commission should accompany them while they are in Pakistan, she added.The minister said she had spoken to Jadhav’s mother, Avantika Jadhav, and informed her about it.Jadhav, 47, was given death sentence by a Pakistani Army court in April, following which India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May. The ICJ halted his execution on India’s appeal pending the final verdict by it.

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Delhi airport gears up to tackle fog in winters

The Delhi airport, along with stakeholders like airlines, air traffic control and the weather department, has taken a slew of measures for seamless flight operations during foggy conditions, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said.A new GPS-based navigation system for airside vehicles has been introduced for all the four passenger terminals — T3, T2, T1D and T1C — of the airport to enhance operational efficiency, DIAL, a joint venture company which runs the airport, said.Foggy conditions in Delhi prevails generally from mid- December till mid-February.”This year, the spell of foggy condition is expected to start after December 17,” R K Jenamani Director-in-charge of the meteorological department at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) said on Thursday.He was speaking at a media briefing called by DIAL on its preparedness for foggy spells.”At operational level, it (dealing with fog effectively) talks volumes of our capabilities of operational readiness, emergency preparedness and crises response,” DIAL’s chief executive officer I Prabhakara Rao said.According to him, the newly-introduced GPS-based navigational system will help in effective guidance of aircraft during dense fog.The airport operator said besides ensuring availability of flight information display system, it would display weather-related information at Master Antenna Televisions at the terminals and provide regular updates to passengers and visitors on expected departure and arrival time of flights during fog.Two additional help desks have been set up at the terminals’ entrances, where information on cancellations and delays will be provided, it said.
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Gujarat elections 2017: PM Modi addresses 8K party workers of SC, ST morcha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed around 8000 workers of Schedule Caste, Schedule Tribe and Sagarkhedu (fisherman) morcha of BJP in Gujarat. The PM addressed them through the platform of audio bridge and workers of Morcha across the state listened to his speech over the works which BJP government did in Gujarat for the welfare of the people of SC, ST and fisherman communities.Addressing the workers, the Prime Minister said, “Starting from Ambaji in North Gujarat to Umergaon in South Gujarat, the entire belt is dominated by tribal population. Almost entire eastern belt of Gujarat state has the tribal population and Gujarat government has served them whole-heartedly. The Gujarat government initiated Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana scheme dedicated to tribal people having the total budget spent of Rs 65,700 crore for their welfare. The BJP has brought qualitative change in the life of the tribal population and that is why their faith is on BJP. We have implemented PESA Act enabling the village panchayats in tribal areas to have more powers and grants.” Around 2600 workers of ST Morcha took part in this programme.As many as 1,600 workers of Schedule Caste(SC) Morcha also joined in this programme. Addressing them, the PM said, “There are several elements who have been spreading myth among society and especially in Dalit community against BJP. In fact, BJP workers have served the Dalit community in such a way so that they can match their steps with the upper class. We have worked for their development through various schemes. We have inaugurated Baba Saheb Ambedkar International Research Center in New Delhi and dedicated to the great contribution of the sculptor of Indian constitution.”MODI’S POLL SCHEDULEDecember 10Palanpur : 10:30amSanand : 10:30pmKaalol : 02:30pmVadodara : 6:00pmDecember 11Patan : 12:30pmNadiad : 2:30pmAhmedabad : 7:00pm
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India’s new envoy to China Gautam Bambawale invites Chinese investments

India’s new envoy to China Gautam Bambawale has invited firms from the world’s second largest economy to invest in the country, citing heavy sales being registered by Chinese mobile phone manufacturers.Being the sixth largest economy with the seize of USD 2.5 trillion, growing at the rate of 7 to 8 per cent, India offers a huge market and several business opportunities, he said.”We believe that many Chinese companies are well suited and well positioned to take advantage of the large and growing Indian market,” Bambawale said at a seminar on ‘Investment Opportunities in India’ here yesterday.”Chinese mobile phone maker OPPO has just announced that its sales revenue in India in fiscal 2016 grew by 750 per cent, thereby making it a very significant player in India’s mobile phone market. I need not say more,” Bambawale said.He also highlighted India’s move to further liberalise business visas for Chinese travellers to India by introducing an e-visa facility.”The entire process can be done online without a need to visit either our embassy in Beijing or any one of our consulates in China,” he said.The seminar received an overwhelming response with more than 270 representatives from more than 190 Chinese companies attending the event, the Indian embassy said in a statement. Also readSpeaking to China at ‘all levels’ to include India into the Nuclear Supplies Group: RussiaRajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, emphasised the sound economic fundamentals of India – enumerating a young working population, high savings rate and low levels of government debt as important positive indicators for the Indian economy, the statement said.Kumar was here to attend the annual dialogue between NITI Aayog and China’s Development Research Centre (DRC).The DRC, under the State Council, China’s Cabinet, is the agency mainly responsible for doing research on strategic, long-term issues in China’s economic and social development.Also readIndia can grow faster than China: NITI Aayog VCSenior Chinese government officials including Vice Minister of the Development Research Centre of the State Council Wang Liming and Vice President of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Chen Zhou were also present at the event.Bambawale, who has served as High Commissioner to Pakistan and earlier as India’s envoy to Bhutan, submitted his credentials to President Xi Jinping on Tuesday.
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Stall fined Rs1k for selling cigarettes at exhibition

The Delhi State Tobacco Control Society conducted an awareness cum enforcement drive at the International Arogya 2017 Exhibition on Tuesday. It also issued a fine of Rs 1,000 to a stall which was selling cigarettes claiming it to be herbal in nature.”The counter had not displayed the mandatory display board mentioning that sale of cigarettes and other tobacco is prohibited to minors below the age of 18 years. A fine of Rs 1,000 was issued but they refused to pay the challan and refused to sign and accept the challan as well. The matter was brought to the notice of the organiser of the exhibition-FICCI,” said Dr SK Arora, Additional Director (Health), Delhi government.The stall owners refused to submit the relevant papers as well as the samples for the analysis. According to the officials, the case will be filed with the court under section 4 & 5 of COTPA for the necessary action.”It is worth mentioning that even if these are herbal but tar is produced and Carbon monoxide & other toxic gases are also released which are harmful. Second hand smoking with harmful effects does occur, therefore it needs regulation,” said Dr Arora.The Tobacco Control Cell on Monday issued the notice to the cricket association on December 2 for violating provisions under section five of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), which prohibits direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products. It also sought to know why appropriate punitive action would not be initiated against the directors and office bearers of the DDCA as per the provisions under COTPA.According to the notice, any wrong communication and promotion on the part of celebrities, especially cricket stars, will have disastrous impact on the society including youngsters. The Health Department had in 2016 written to Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Govinda, Arbaaz Khan and Sunny Leone along with Ajay Devgn, urging them not to endorse pan masala products as they contain areca nuts, a potential cancer causing agent.The Delhi government has also asked actors to join its campaign.
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India 2nd largest exporter of herbal meds after China

For the first time ever, luminaries from across the world met in Delhi to discuss the strengthening and scientific validation of traditional systems of medicine.The four-day event — International Arogya 2017 — is hosting 1,500 delegates from across 60 countries. India is the world’s second largest exporter of medicinal plants after China and both countries together produce more than 70 per cent of the total global demand for herbal products, a whitepaper launched at the event notes.The event will see discussions around Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy (AYUSH), Naturopathy, and ancient Tibetan practice of medicine — Sowa-Rigpa. The Indian domestic market for AYUSH is estimated to be Rs 500 crore, while exports amount to Rs 200 crore.Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry said, “With a wealth of 6,600 medicinal plants, India is the second largest exporter of AYUSH and herbal products in the world. We now have an opportunity to bring the Indian system of medicine in the mainstream, and integrate the AYUSH infrastructure into the Indian healthcare system. This infrastructure consists of 1,355 hospitals with 53,296-bed capacity, 22,635 dispensaries, 450 undergraduate colleges, 9,493 licensed manufacturing units, and 7.18 lakh registered practitioners. We want to tap the maximum potential of AYUSH systems in imparting preventive, promotive, and holistic healthcare to the people.”Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of AYUSH, said, “An agreement has been signed with the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop benchmarks for Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani and Panchkarma. Five AYUSH information cells have been set up in Israel, Tajikistan, Peru, Russia, and Tanzania.”More than 250 manufacturers of alternative medicine are showcasing their products and services at the International Arogya 2017. A whitepaper released in the event notes that India is the second largest exporter of Ayurvedic and alternate medicines to the world and has the potential to generate three million job opportunities. The Indian herbal market is valued at Rs 5,000 crore currently, with an annual growth rate of 14 per cent. More than 30,000 branded and 1,500 traditional AYUSH products are available in the country.PROMISINGIndia is the 2nd largest exporter of Ayurvedic and alternate medicines and has the potential to generate 3 mn jobs. The Indian herbal market is valued at Rs 5,000 crore, with an annual growth rate of 14%. About 30,000 branded and 1,500 traditional AYUSH products are available in India.
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‘Poor visibility’ at Mumbai airport forces Singapore Airlines flight to do a ‘go-around’

The pilot of a city-bound Singapore Airlines flight with 245 passengers and 14 crew members onboard was forced to discontinue the approach to landing and do a “go-around”. The flight finally landed at the assigned runway nine minutes behind the scheduled time.The airline, in a statement attributed the incident to “poor” visibility while an Air Traffic Control (ATC) source said that the go-around took place as the pilot mistook the Juhu airport runway for the assigned runway 09 of the Chhtarapati Shivaji International airport (CSIA). The ATC’s charge has been denied by the airline.”Singapore Airlines flight SQ422, operating from Singapore to Mumbai on December 4, was scheduled to land on runway 09 at CSIA at 1035 hrs. Due to poor visibility conditions, the crew discontinued the approach to runway 09 at approximately 1,000 feet, in accordance with standard operating procedures,” the airline said.”The ATC Mumbai then vectored the flight for a subsequent approach onto runway 09 and the flight landed uneventfully at 1044 hours. At no time did the pilots of SQ 422 mistake Juhu airport as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport,” it said.The Airbus A350 had 245 passengers and 14 crew on board, it said.The ATC source however said that the SIA flight was asked to do a go-around as the aircraft was noticed “moving towards Juhu airport runway.”Significanyly, the Instrumental Landing System (ILS) was not available at that point of time and approach procedures were being carried out using VORs (Very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Range)navigational aid.”As a Standard Operating Procedure, if a pilot has failed to sight the runway when on approach, he is asked to do a go-around. For a non-ILS approach, the required aerodrome operating minima is always more than for an ILS approach but then it depends on the operator as well as the type of aircraft in operations. In any case, our radars are there and any deviation is immediately communicated to the pilot to take corrective measures,” the source said.
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Ryan student murder | Pradyuman Thakur’s father approaches SC to form guidelines for child safety in schools

Varun Thakur, the father of Pradyuman, the seven-year-old child, who was killed inside a toilet at Ryan International School Gurugram, has approached the Supreme Court seeking formation of guidelines on the issue of safety and security of school children across the country.Seven-year-old Pradyuman was found dead on September 8 inside the washroom of Ryan International School in Gurugram. While the bus conductor was initially arrested for his alleged role, it was later revealed through a CBI probe that a Class XI student had committed the crime.The conductor was later released on bail.Also readI made a small mistake, there was no intercourse: Jharkhand principal accused of molesting 7-year-old Incidents over student safety have been highlighted more since the incident. On December 1, a four-year-old student from GD Birla School in Kolkata was molested by two of her physical education teachers, who were subsequently arrested. Parents had over the weekend staged protests, highlighting the high fee (Rs 60,000 per year) that was not converted into proper security for the students.On Saturday, the principal of a Jharkhand school was arrested for molesting a upper KG student. He later confessed to the crime, stating it was a ‘small mistake’ and that there were ‘no intercourse involved’.Also readKolkata rape: GD Birla school faces legal action after abrupt shutdown, rights body says fate of 7,000 students at stakeAccording to the NCRB, A total of 94,172 cases of crimes against children were registered in the country during 2015 as compared to 89,423 cases during 2014, showing an increase of 5.3%. Maharashtra accounted for 14.8% of total crimes committed against children registered in the country. The next in order was Madhya Pradesh (13.7%), Uttar Pradesh (12.1%) and Delhi (10.1%).
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Security guard held for writing IS threat at international airport

The Sahar police have arrested a 26-year-old security guard for allegedly writing a threat message on the wall of the toilet inside Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) warning of an IS attack on the cargo area on Republic Day next year. The police said that the accused wanted to play a prank.Four days back, a note with a threat message written on the toilet wall was found by the staffers working in the cargo section after which Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was alerted and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) conducted a search in the cargo section and security was tightened.The Sahar police on Saturday late night arrested Akshay Gaikar,26 from Bhandup for allegedly writing the threat message inside the airport.Gaikar was promoted as the supervisor and was the in-charge of one of the gate of cargo section. Gaikar was working at the airport since past 1.6 years.”We checked the CCTV camera footage of the cargo section and found few persons entering and leaving the toilet section. We zeroed down on Gaikar and after sustained interrogations, Gaikar claimed the responsibility of writing the threat message,” said a senior Sahar police officer.”We arrested the accused under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and when we produced him in the court, the accused has been sent to Judicial Custody.”We have completed the investigations in the case and have concluded that the accused had received a message on WhatsApp which showed a similar such incidence which provoked him to write the message to play prank and have fun looking at the police agencies being probing such incident,” said Anil Kumbhare, deputy commissioner of police, zone 8.
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How youth are driving social change in Singapore

Singapore has recently been ranked second in the 2017 World Smart Cities Index, thanks to its thriving business ecosystem, urban planning and its efforts towards clean energy. But the younger lot of Singapore, who are socially conscious, has a major contribution in its sustainable growth and addressing social issues.While many start-ups from India as well as other nations are relocating their base to Singapore, DNA managed to meet some of the young social entrepreneurs (Singaporeans and Indians), who are changing the shape of the country. Some of the most interesting social enterprises range from school of concepts to a socially conscious salon to an ex-cop who transformed an ex-convicts life, and the list goes on.Sruthi Sadanand, from Chennai, who is currently pursuing her masters in science from National University of Singapore is impressed with the ecosystem and ease that Singapore offers. She is one of the founders of Dexter Box or Infinite Engineers who design and develop fun learning activity kits for children to replace rote learning. While the kits are being used over 320 schools in Chennai, she is designing science experiments for elderly folk as well. She said, “Singapore is a country that really supports a lot of start-ups and ventures. People are easily accessible here. If I need to meet a school head for my work, I can just walk in so the paperwork is very less here and it is very encouraging.”For Mint Lim, starting School of Concepts was a deep rooted idea since her childhood. It is a social enterprise in the pre-school enrichment sector with heavily subsidized fees for its linguistic programmes that can enhance their school readiness and educational outcomes. “I am dyslexic and faced many issues on the language front. Autistic kids are not dumb but they need linguistic support. We run a literacy programme for nearly 1,000 children today.”Cheryl Ou, founder of Nail Social in Singapore, employs and trains single mothers and ex-offenders. It is a socially conscious salon to foster the future employment opportunities of local marginalised women. She said, “We specifically train and employ underprivileged women besides mentoring them through their personal challenges to become more confident and independent. In partnership with The Pink Room International Nail Academy, we network with various social agencies in Singapore to identify local women who face greater barriers of entry to employment.”A cop turned entrepreneur, Benjamin Tan, founder of Rickshaw coffee that focuses on transforming communities through coffee, got the idea for his start-up while working as a police officer. He said, “The guy who inspired me to do it as a subscription service was an ex-convict I had arrested. Lee was peddling contraband cigarettes that he delivered via bicycle and letter boxes as he was rejected by the society. And it was then I thought I should replace it with coffee beans.” Rickshaw Coffee works on a sole purpose to empower Lee to use his ability to engage people and help others in the community.
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Rs 9,046-crore nutrition mission gets go-ahead

The Cabinet on Friday approved the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), giving nod to a funding of over Rs 9,046 crore, till 2020, to combat malnutrition in the country.According to the government, the policy aims at bringing down the incidence of undernutrition and low birth weight by 2 per cent every year, and reduce stunting from 38.4 per cent, as per the National Family Health Survey, to 25 per cent by 2022. Currently, 43 per cent of children under five years of age in India are underweight, while 48 per cent suffer from stunting due to undernutrition. The policy will affect over 10 crore beneficiaries, the government stated.The policy is a part of the government’s efforts to end malnutrition by 2022. Last week, in a high-level meeting, PM Narendra Modi called for a comprehensive movement to end malnutrition and said that with such high incidence of malnutrition, India’s image of growth and development was tarnished.The mission will first be rolled out in 315 districts this year, and will be extended to 235 more districts in 2018-19. The remaining districts will be covered in 2019-20. The Rs 9,046 crore budget will be funded in a 50:50 ratio, by the Centre and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).The policy will be implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Minsitry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, and government think-tank NITI Aayog. A technical committee, formed by the NITI Aayog and comprising dieticians, doctors, and experts will decide on the delivery system, WCD minister Maneka Gandhi said.Finance minister Arun Jaitley said infection and malnutrition were deeply connected. “Since the incidence of stunting in India is high, we need inter-ministerial cooperation. The first 1,000 days of a child’s life, including the nine months of pregnancy, are crucial,” Jaitley said.As part of the policy, there will be real-time monitoring of take-home rations and the updates of health parameters of beneficiaries through smartphones given to anganwadi workers. The Android smartphones will be given to over 10 lakh anganwadi workers. They will have an operating system version of 4.4 or above, which will support 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi connectivity, with a screen size of 5 inch, and a RAM of 1GB.Ministry officials said the mission beneficiaries will need Aadhaar cards, and those without Aadhaar cards will be assisted by anganwadi workers, who will get Rs 500 as incentive. WCD officials said they were trying to ensure over 85 per cent enrollment by December 31, including that of six-month children. When pointed out that Aadhar guidelines prohibit children below five years of age, officials said their cards will be linked to their mothers’.Policy goalsAims at bringing down undernutrition and low birth weight by 2% per yearReduce stunting from 38.4% to 25% by the year 2022
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Narendra Modi to unveil Dr Ambedkar International Centre on Dec 7

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the Dr Ambedkar International Centre on December 7, two years after he laid the stone for the same on April 20, 2015. The PM will unveil it a day after Babasaheb Ambedkar Mahaparinirvan Din, Ambedkar’s death anniversary, in the presence of Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot. The Centre had spent over Rs 195.74 crore on the building.While laying down the foundation stone in 2015, PM Modi had said that the building will be prepared in the next 20 months. Yet, despite speculation that the building will be unveiled on Constitution Day on November 26, and then later, on December 6, deadlines have been missed. A social justice ministry official said there was tremendous pressure to complete the project just in time for the Gujarat elections to woo Dalit voters.The building, on 15 Janpath, is a four-storeyed one built on an area of 3.25 acres with over 13,000 sq.ft built area, and a parking facility of over 270 cars. The building will have a public library, a research center, a media centre, a convention centre, two auditoriums, and a permanent exhibition on the life of BR Ambedkar.The library will have have a book bank, apart from a reading room, a digital repository, and a multi-media library. The research centre will have resources to facilitate academic research on Ambedkarism, with facilities for conferences and seminars, microfilm, reprography, manuscript, and oral history sections. While the convention centre will have a seating capacity for 600 people, the auditoriums will have capacities of 100 each.
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State to roll out int’l board schools by Feb ’18

The state government is all set to kick-start its own Secondary School Certificate-I or SSC International board schools by February 2018. The state’s school education and sports departments issued a government resolution (GR) Thursday with guidelines on how the 100 international schools will be setup in the state.DNA was first to report that the medium of instruction at these SSC International board schools will be Marathi in Maharashtra, and will soon start other regional languages in the state as well.The state government has decided that nine international schools will guide the other international schools in their areas. The regions where the schools will open are Konkan, rural areas of Pune, Aurangabad, Nasik, Amravati and Nagpur. The GR states that one school from municipal corporations, two schools from rural district areas and two from social welfare departments will be chosen for the international school status.The selection of schools and teachers will take place in December this year. There will be a workshop on the selection of schools, principals and teachers. From March 2021 and March 2022, the 100 schools will prepare for Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Programme in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).The criteria for schools to bag the international status include having the best school infrastructure, facilities for increasing the number of students in school, separate toilets for girl and boy students, internet and technological facilities, clean premises, adequate transportation for students and a school management committee.GOING GLOBALNine international schools will guide the other international schools in their areas. The schools will open in Konkan, rural areas of Pune, Aurangabad, Nasik, Amravati and Nagpur
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Note warning ISIS attack found inside toilet of Chhatrpati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, security tightened

A note was found inside a toilet at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport warning an ISIS attack on the cargo area on Republic Day next year.Soon after the discovery, as a precautionary measure, the security personnel evacuated those working inside the cargo division of the airport.The message that was scribbled inside the toilet room said that the dreaded terror group ISIS would blow up the area on Republic Day next year.The security agencies which have taken charge of the premises and are probing the matter. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) has also been summoned to scan for any explosive amongst the tons of cargo parcels lying there.The security agencies are not ruling out any possibility on the scribbled messages though they are also looking into the messages possibly being the handiwork of pranksters.The situation is reminiscent of a similar threat message found scribbled on airport toilet wall in January 2015 on two occasions, warning of an ISIS attack on Republic Day.The sources in the security agencies claim that since the arrival terminals are used by a host of people including fliers, airport staff and airline crew, it was difficult to spot the culprit.The Mumbai airport has a high level of security following multiple terror alerts. Interestingly, the multiple intelligence input reported that the attack could take place by a smaller air strip.Juhu airport which is at stone’s throw away from CSIA has smaller strip and therefore could possibly be used to launch an attack on CSIA.
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Pakistan yet to give a sovereign guarantee about safety and security of Kulsbhushan Jadhav: VK Singh

Pakistan is yet to give a sovereign guarantee about the safety and security of Indian prisoner on death row Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife if she visits that country to meet her husband, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said today.Talking to journalists on the sidelines of an event here, Singh rubbished as “rumour” reports that China has erected a 400 metre high wall to camouflage the construction going on in Dokalam, the scene of a prolonged stand-off between Indian and Chinese armies.The minister also said India “does not care” about 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed approaching the United Nations to get his name struck off the list of designated terrorists.”Talks are still in progress. They (Pakistan) are yet to provide guarantee on the safety aspect.”Pakistan’s foreign office had earlier this month said it will allow Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife.Responding to Pakistan s offer of arranging a meeting between the former naval officer and his wife, India also requested that his mother be allowed to meet him too.A military court in Pakistan had in April this year sentenced Jadhav, a former navyman, to death on the charge of his alleged involvement in espionage and terror attacks. India strongly denied the allegation.The International Court of Justice has stayed Jadhav’s execution.Talking about Saeed, Singh said, “The government has been saying this from the beginning…Those who are terrorists are terrorists. We have no doubt about it. We don’t care where a terrorist goes and approaches whom to seek protection.” Saeed has petitioned the UN seeking removal of his name from the list of designated terrorists on the ground that none of the allegations against him either related to terrorism or otherwise have been proved in the Pakistani courts.The banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) head, who carries a USD 10 million American bounty on his head for terror activities, walked free on Friday after the Pakistan government decided against detaining him further in any other case. He was under house arrest since January this year.”Do not believe in such rumours,” he said when asked to comment on reports about China having built a 400 metre high wall to hide construction activities in Dokalam on Sikkim- Bhutan-Tibet trijunction.Singh said India wanted its citizens going abroad to believe that their government will help them in the event of any trouble.He said India was working on maintaining healthy relations with every country.
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Air pollution: What Delhi can learn from Beijing and Mexico to clear its toxic smog

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi must adopt anti-pollution steps taken by other megacities like Beijing and Mexico City if the Indian metropolis is to get serious about tackling its annual smog crisis, experts say.A toxic cloud covered India’s capital, New Delhi, and surrounding areas this month, causing respiratory problems among residents and leading to school closures, flight cancellations and the declaration of a public health emergency.The causes of the problem include the poor quality of diesel used to generate electricity and to power the vehicles clogging the streets, dust and smoke thrown out by a thriving construction industry, and biomass and kerosene used by the poor for heating and cooking.Stubble-burning on farmland around the city, described by local officials this month as a “gas chamber”, is also cited by experts as a major cause.”At the moment, Delhi is the most polluted city in the world in terms of air quality,” Sarah Colenbrander, a researcher at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Similar to other megacities, poorer residents are often worst-hit by air pollution, as they are most likely to live along busy highways or near power plants.They also tend to take jobs that are done outside, like street vending or labouring, providing little relief from the toxic fumes.Making a startDelhi residents breathe in three times as many fine particles that cause the greatest risk to health than the people of Beijing, another city notorious for high pollution levels that has begun to make strides in tackling its air problems.The Chinese capital – which is home to about 22 million people compared to Delhi’s 18 million – still suffers from chronic pollution and congestion.But Beijing officials have created an air pollution action plan ushering in strict traffic curbs and regulations on the city’s construction industry from November until March.By limiting building work across and around Greater Beijing, dust levels have fallen, said Mukesh Khare, professor of environmental engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).Delhi officials also took action to stop construction when pollution levels rose this month, but they acted after the smog arrived not before, as Beijing now does.”The structure of Beijing city, though much larger than Delhi, is similar,” said Khare, an expert in urban air pollution. “Beijing has very successfully tackled this issue. It is do-able for India as well.”Beijing leaders and city administrators are, however, free to take action against pollution spikes without having to worry about political consequences or possible court action, he noted.For every $1 spent on improving air quality in cities, $30 is returned to an economy, said Khare.Despite this, Indian authorities have failed to get the message across to the poor about the health risks and causes of air pollution, he said.Stop the gridlockLists of the world’s most polluted cities are usually dominated by Indian and Chinese cities. But 25 years ago, Mexico City would always rank near the top.Over the past decade, the high-altitude city – which still suffers from pollution and congestion – has tried different and unique ways to improve life for the 21 million people in its metropolitan region.Efforts to boost mobility in Mexico City really took off after the roll-out of a plan to connect the airport with the city centre – a journey of about 4 miles (6.5 km) that used to take more than three hours – by expanding its bus rapid transit system, said Jemilah Magnusson of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in New York.Fixing that problem showed people the relative ease and potential benefits of enlarging the city’s limited public transport network, she said.Mexico City has also created more bicycle lanes alongside a popular bike-sharing scheme.And it has introduced groundbreaking parking reforms, including restricting the amount of parking buildings can provide, whereas before they were required to offer a minimum.This measure aims to discourage the use of cars and free up more space for housing, making it cheaper.”Things will get worse”As Delhi’s air quality deteriorated this month, authorities tried using fire trucks to spray water to keep dust and other air particles down, halting construction work, increasing car parking charges, and implementing an emergency odd-even licence plate policy to limit the use of private vehicles.The effect was limited, but experts say there are other short-term measures that could be taken by Delhi officials to stop the smog in future.As in most Indian cities, the vast majority of residents do not drive cars, so improving the bus and pedestrian infrastructure would help, alongside implementing a bike-sharing scheme, introducing a permanent odd-even system, parking reforms and basic street redesign, experts said.Connecting low-income households to the electricity grid would also ease pollution problems, coupled with providing cleaner energy alternatives like solar lamps.Longer term, a national environment agency should be established with the power to make quick decisions on pollution control and to punish states for inaction, said IIT’s Khare.Delhi would also benefit from large-scale investment in a mass transit system and the creation of an air pollution action plan using forecasts provided by the Indian meteorological department to prevent smog, experts said.Meanwhile, the central government should enforce existing anti-pollution regulations and standards, and push for a shift to more energy-efficient and cleaner vehicles, they said.”If we don’t have a good action plan, things will get worse because Delhi is increasingly a growing city (and) our economy is getting better and better,” said Khare.

Justice Dalveer Bhandari flies back with divine blessings from hometown

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Recently been elected judge for the second consecutive time in International Court of Justice (ICJ), Justice Dalveer Bhandari told that it is a victory for India to be re-elected.For this victory, India has got record support in the United Nations General Assembly and the Securit Council.It has increased the expectation of India’s membership in the Security Council. He expressed this hope in a special conversation after visiting Nakoda shrine on Tuesday morning. He went to the residence of Prem Bhandari, chairman of Jaipur Foot US and met his father professor SC Bhandari.Later, he went to his sister, Nisha Sancheti’s house for lunch and left for Delhi. Bhandari reached Nakoda shrine on Tuesday morning with his wife Madhu Bhandari, son Vinayak, Pawan Mehta, Prem Bhandari and his wife Rekha Bhandari.Notably, India’s nominee Dalveer Bhandari has been re-elected as the fifth judge to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)Justice Bhandari was in his hometown on Monday, after getting re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). A huge crowd, including his relatives, friends and general public threw a warm welcome to the proud son of Jodhpur.He went to Prem Bhandari’s house situated in the inner area of the city and met his mother and father professor Bhandari.After staying there for some time, Bhandari reached the house of his sister Nisha Sancheti, located in Shastri Nagar. From there he reached Jodhpur airport and was given a guard of honor, as he returned to Delhi in the afternoon.Proud jodhpur Justice Dalveer Bhandari was in his hometown on Monday, after getting re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). A huge crowd, including his relatives, friends and general public threw a warm welcome to the proud son of Jodhpur.

J&K: Pakistani troops violate ceasefire in Rajouri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani troops opened fire at Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district in violation of the ceasefire, police said.”Pakistani troops resorted to firing in Jhangar forward area from 1845 hours to 1900 hours,” a senior police officer said, adding that further details were awaitedLast night’s violation of the ceasefire came after a lull of over a week in firing by Pakistani troops at Indian posts. ALSO READ Ceasefire agreements can help save Indo-Pak relationsPakistani troops violated the ceasefire for three consecutive days between November 15 and November 17 in Jammu and Poonch districts. An Army jawan was injured in the exchange of fire in Poonch.On November 2, a BSF jawan was killed when Pakistan Rangers attacked a patrol party along the International Border in Samba district.A girl was injured when Pakistani troops opened fire from small arms along the LoC in Karmara belt of Poonch district on October 31.On October 18, eight civilians, including a two-year-old child, were injured in heavy Pakistani shelling in Poonch. ALSO READ J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Nowgam

Jodhpur polo season begins from December 1

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The month-long Jodhpur polo season 2017 will begin at Maharaja Gaj Singh Sports Foundation Polo Ground, Air Force Road, Pabupura, from 1 December to 31 December under the auspices of Jodhpur Polo and Equestrian Institute. Gaj Singh will be the chief guest. Colonel Ummed Singh, honorary secretary, Jodhpur Polo and Equestrian Institute, said that five tournaments and seven exhibition matches will be played. In this, Jodhpur Polo Cup will be played on Friday, December 1, Umaid Bhawan Palace Cup on December 6, H.H. Maharaja of Jodhpur Cup on December 15, Rajputana and Central India Cup on 20 December and Maharaja of Jodhpur Golden Jubilee Cup round will be held on 26th December.Colonel Rathore said that seven exhibition matches will also be played. Major Thakur Sardar Singh Jasol Memorial Cup on 11th December, Jodhpur and Mundota Fort Palace on Dec. 13, British Army and Jodhpur Risala from December 14, British Excellence and Mayo College Ajmer on December 14, Army Commanders Cup on17 December, Bhanwar Baijilal Vara Raje Polo Cup on 19 December, Abu Shiyar Cup and Hermes Cup on December 21 and Jodhpur International Ladies Polo Cup 2017 will be played on December 30. There will be no matches on 12th December. All matches will be held at 3pm and on 13, 14 and 19 December, the matches will be held at 2pm.Indian players including Simran Singh Shergill, Syed Shamsher Ali, Dhruvpal Godara, Sameer Suhag, Abhimanyu Pathak, Angad Kalan, Vishal Singh, Gaurav Sahgal, Uday Kalan, Salim Azmi, Lokendra Singh Rathod, Shiddhant Sharma will be seen in action. Among foreign players Gaston Devrient, Sam Browne, Torrey Ripinsky, Malcolm Borwick, Bash Kazi, Capt. Mossy Hamilton, Lieutenant Jamie Drummond Moray will the main attraction.

Ryan student murder: Pradyuman’s family files petition in SC challenging bail granted to Pintos

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly a week after the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted anticipatory bail to Ryan International Group’s three trustees in connection with the killing of a student in its Gurgaon school, the parents of the victim have moved to Supreme Court challenging the bail granted to Pintos.The family of seven-year-old Pradyuman has filed a petition challenging the anticipatory bail granted to the Pintos”We are filing a petition challenging the anticipatory bail granted to the Pintos by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. We are challenging the manner the anticipatory bail is granted to them,” Sushil Tekriwal, Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur’s lawyer in the case told ANI.”We have said that a wrong message will be sent if anticipatory bail is given,” he added. ALSO READ Ryan student murder: Conductor Ashok Kumar’s wife says cops thrashed him, hung upside downEarlier, Ryan Pinto, and his parents, Augustine Pinto and Grace Pinto, had approached the high court on September 16, seeking anticipatory bail in the case.On October 7, the high court had granted interim bail to the three trustees.Class 2 student Pradhuman Thakur was found with his throat slit in the school washroom in Gurugram on September 8.School bus conductor Ashok Kumar was arrested by Haryana police in connection with the crime. A Gurgaon civil court today granted bail to Kumar on a bond of Rs 50,000.The Pintos, who are based in Mumbai, had approached the Bombay High Court as they had apprehended arrest in the case after the school was accused of negligence in the death of seven-year-old-Pradyuman. ALSO READ Ryan school murder: Juvenile accused to be defended by Rajesh and Nupur Talwars’ lawyer

Mumbai airport clocks 969 flights in a day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) on Friday clocked 969 aircraft movement, which is the highest figure so far in the aerodrome’s history. The GVK group-run CSIA is counted amongst world’s busiest single-runway facilities which on an average handles 837 flights a day or one in 65 seconds on an average in fiscal 2017, taking over London’s Gatwick airport that had 757 flights a day. However, there are days when the aircraft movement crosses even 900 movements a day, an airport official said.All the leading cities like New York, London, Dubai, and Singapore have more than one airports with multiple runways. The New Delhi airport has three parallel runways in use at any given time.As against this, Mumbai has to make do with a single runway for all passenger and cargo aircraft and when it is shut for repairs, it uses the secondary runway. The ATC (air traffic controller) thus has to manage two arrivals every 130 seconds and one departure in between these two arrivals. So there is one take-off or touch-down every 65 seconds from the main runway. That means the land-starved airport handled a whopping 837 flight movements a day, which on an average is 80 flights more than Gatwick handling 757 movements in a day, a CSIA official said.

4 assurances India has asked for allowing Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, mother to travel to Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Thursday conveyed that it will allow Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother to travel to Pakistan to meet him. Jadhav is currently in death row holed up in Pakistan prison.The former Navy officer has been accused by Pakistan of hatching a conspiracy against them and planning terrorist acts in its soil. However, India has maintained that Jadhav was illegally abducted by Pak authorities. India has moved to ICJ seeking that Jadhav be freed. The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar laid out a series of assurances it wants from Pakistan regarding the visit of Jadhav’s family to the neighbouring country. On November 10, Pakistan had said it will allow Jadhav to meet his wife, months after India requested it to grant visa to his mother on humanitarian grounds.Here are the assurances India has asked:1.India has sought ‘sovereign guarantee’ from Pakistan to ensure safety and security of the wife and the mother of Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav if they are allowed to visit him.2.The external affairs ministry said Pakistan has also been asked not to subject the two women to any questioning, harassment or interrogation during their stay in Pakistan.3. The High Commission in Islamabad should be allowed to accompany the two women at all times, including during the meeting with Jadhav.4. MEA spokesperson also said that allowing the visit does not absolve Pakistan of the violations of the Vienna Convention on consular access and not following the due process in treating Jadhav who faces death sentence through a ‘farcical process and on concocted charges’.It will be interesting to see how Pakistan reacts to these requests. It is hard to think that Pakistan will allow a staffer of Indian High Commission to accompany Jadhav’s family when they meet him.Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. The International Court of Justice in May halted his execution on India’s appeal.Last month, the Pakistan Army had said it is close to a decision on the mercy petition of Jadhav. After India approached the ICJ, a 10-member bench on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.The ICJ has asked Pakistan to submit its response or memorial by December 13 before the court could start further proceedings in the case. (With agency inputs)

Gujarat elections 2017: Gap between male, female electors’ growing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Call it an effect of the state’s constantly declining sex ratio. A reflection of women being left out of the electoral process or even a testimony to the large-scale migration happening to a state like Gujarat, but the gap between number of male and female electors have been widening since 1962.Electors refer to the number of people eligible to vote, while voters refer to the number of people who actually voted in a given election.Election Commission statistics for Gujarat show that the difference in the number of electors has been widening for the last four decades. This coincides with a drop in sex ratio for Gujarat for the same period.Sex ratio refers to the number of women per 1000 males.In the year 1962, the state had 49.83 lakh male electors against 45.52 lakh female electors, a difference of 4.3 lakh. The female sex ratio of Gujarat in 1961 was 946 females per 1000 male. In the year 2012, Gujarat had 199.50 male electors against 181.49 female electors – a difference of 18.01 lakh. The female sex ratio of Gujarat in 1991 was 934. The sex ratio in the 0 to 6 years category in 1991 was 921, which is quite low.Why the sex ratio of 1991 is important is that babies born or who went missing then would have been eligible voters in the 2012 election.Population experts, statisticians and development professors that DNA talked to, however, do not believe the sex ratio is the only factor responsible for the wide gap between male and female voters.They state a host of factors, including large scale migration of men to states like Gujarat and women missing the electoral registration process, among others. Aparajita Chattopadhyay, assistant professor, department of development studies at International Institute of Population Studies (IIPH), said sex ratio at birth and child sex ratio are factors.”The decline of child sex ratio was distinct during 1980-90s- period. Those cohort of babies are now eligible voters,” she said. She also added that it could be due to higher male in-migration from other states- due to economic boom ( industrial development) in states like Gujarat. In 2012, Chattopadhyay had co-authored a paper – Daughter Discrimination and Future Sex Ratio at birth in India.Laxmi Kant Dwivedi, assistant professor with the Department of Mathematical Demography & Statistics said it is difficult to comment without considering the whole set of data. He said sex ratio and child mortality could be a factor to a lesser extent.”There could be many reasons including sex differential in the registration of voting list, women not showing interest in registering as voters, female migration because of marriage and therefore not interested to register etc,” said Dwivedi.Not everyone seems to agree that the difference in the male-female elector is a reflection of the poor sex ratio. Chander Shekhar, professor, Department of Fertility Studies at IIPH, said a quick look at 2011 census figures on age distribution shows the difference between male (20,221,695) and female (19,062,585) population of 18+ years is 11.6 lakh.”So the 18 lakh difference reported in the EC report could be a result of other factors. We need to consider factors like male and female migration including in migration of main males from UP, Bihar, Rajasthan and out-migration to other states as well as international migration,” he said.”The other factors may include child and adult mortality rate among men and women and omission rate in census. Therefore, the sex ratio of a population is affected by all these factors,” he said.He believes it is more of a problem with the coverage (registration of electors), more coverage for men than women.

India allows Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother, wife to visit Pakistan, but ‘conditions apply’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Wife and mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian naval officer facing death sentence in Pakistan, can travel across border to meet him, India announced on Thursday.However, the women’s travel permission is linked with certain pre-conditions.”In our response, we have conveyed that Jadhav’s wife would like to travel with her mother-in-law for the meeting. We have also sought sovereign guarantee from the Pakistan Government to ensure safety, and security of both. Also, during their stay in Pakistan they should not be questioned, or harassed,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.”We have further asked that a diplomat from our High Commission in Pakistan shall be allowed to accompany them at all times, including during the meeting,” he added. The 46-year-old was arrested in March last year on charges on espionage. The Pakistan authorities alleged that Jadhav was working with RA&W and was involved in terrorist activities in strife-torn Balochistan region.After nearly four months of trail termed as ‘farcical’ trial, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court. But, India moved to International Court of Justice and in major victory, the ICJ stayed Jadhav’s death sentence in May this year.

Ryan student murder: Conductor Ashok Kumar’s wife says cops thrashed him, hung upside down

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Schoolbus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested in connection with the killing of seven-year-old Pradhyman Thakur has said that he is in a lot of pain with his wife alleging torture by police.Ashok Kumar was on Wednesday released from jail after a Gurgaon court granted him bail.After he was freed from the Bhondsi jail, Kumar went straight to his house in Ghambroj village in Sohna.However, speaking to media, his wife said, “Police beat him up, hung him upside down.”She also claimed that they tortured him and even sedated him to make him confess in the murder case.Verma had filed the bail application for Kumar after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested a 16-year-old school student of Ryan International on charges of killing his junior.Pradhuman was found with his throat slit in the toilet of the school in Bhondsi, Gurgaon, on September 8.Kumar, who was arrested by the Gurgaon SIT, has not got a clean chit from the CBI.

26 Indian students top Cambridge exams

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The results of the Cambridge Assessment International Education were declared on Wednesday. For the academic year 2016-17, 26 students from India received the ‘Top in the World’ awards for their exceptional performance in the Cambridge exams.These toppers achieved the highest marks in the Cambridge IGCSE or Cambridge International AS and A level subject in the November 2016, March 2017 and June 2017 Cambridge exam series. Eleven students from Mumbai have won the ‘Top in the World’ awards.Across India, 160 students have received outstanding Cambridge learner awards in 2016-17. Eighty-eight students received ‘Top in Country’ awards for gaining the highest marks in the country for a single Cambridge IGCSE or Cambridge International AS & A Level subject. Fifty one students were recognised for high achievement in a subject, and for best performance across a set number of Cambridge subjects.The Top in World and Top in Country students from schools across the country will be recognised for their impressive academic achievements at a Cambridge Outstanding Learner Awards ceremony early next year. The toppers in the Best Across and High Achievement categories will be honored with Cambridge Outstanding Cambridge Learner certificates. Over 400 schools in India are offering the Cambridge programs and qualifications and the number is growing each year.Ruchira Ghosh, Regional Director South Asia, Cambridge International, said, “We are delighted to see students across India showcase their passion for learning and accomplish their goals.”Mumbai students who were awarded Top in World by Cambridge Assessment International Education are: Samragyi Thakur from Podar International School in IGCSE for Hindi as a Second Language in November 2016. Biyani Ved Umesh from Prabhavati Padamshi Soni International Junior College in International AS Level for Business subject in March 2017.

Crafts council scholarship to encourage young talent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Young artisans across all fields of art will be awarded the Kamaladevi Puraskar (KDP) for their talent in a function to be held at India International Centre on Saturday. Given annually by Delhi Crafts Council (DCC), KDP is an annual scholarship award given to encourage young talent among artists in the age 14-20 years, so they continue to practice their craft and are motivated to take it up as a means of livelihood eventually.The award was instituted in 1986 in the name of its patron founder Kamala Deviji, who also presented the first Puraskar. The awards will also mark the Golden Jubilee year of DCC, hence the focus will be on crafts that support the performing arts. Since the inception of the award more than three decades ago, over 150 children have benefited from the scholarships. Some of the awardees have also been honoured as Master Craftsmen, an award bestowed on them by the Government of India.Five young artisans, who have been selected for the Kamaladevi Puraskar this year, represent the art of leather puppet making for the Ravan Chhayashadow puppet theatre of Odisha, mask making for SeraikelaChhau of Jharkhand, Potloi (dress) making for the RaasLeela of Manipur, Phad painting for the storytelling tradition of Rajasthan, and making of the Manipuripungdrum.”Theatre craft was an area of particular interest to Late Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and the DCC would like to pay tribute to her while celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year. Short cultural performances of the related crafts will also be presented by talented groups that have traveled especially for this event,” a representative of DCC said.Shekhar Sen, chairperson, Sangeet Natak Academy will be the chief guest and Guru Singhajit Singh will be the guest of honour at the event.

Ryan school murder: Bus conductor Ashok Kumar walks free from Bhondsi jail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ryan school bus conductor Ashok Kumar walked free from Bhondsi jail on Wednesday, a day after Gurugram court granted him bail in the sensational murder case of Pradyuman Thakur.Earlier on Tuesday, the High Court judge granted bail to the bus conductor due to ‘lack of evidence’. The decision was made after the CBI failed to submit incriminating evidence against Ashok that could directly connect him to the case.”The bail was granted under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which states that everyone has the right to personal liberty and life,” said Advocate Anil Sharma, who was present in the court on behalf of Ashok’s lawyer Mohit Verma.However, the victim’s family had opposed to giving bail to Kumar, stating that the investigation is not over yet. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is now handling the probe, had also stated that they have not given a clean chit to anyone as of now.On Monday, the CBI submitted the DNA sample report in the Gurugram court. The report stated that the blood samples recovered from Ashok’s shirt by the Haryana Police did not match with that of the murdered child.Meanwhile, a Class 11 student was arrested in connection to the sensational Ryan School murder case.Ashok was accused of murdering a Class II student, Pradyuman Thakur, in a Gurugram school.The seven-year-old was found dead in the washroom of Gurugram’s Ryan School International with his throat brutally slit on September 8.

Partner-state Jharkhand brings it sweet gift to trade fair

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At the 37th India International Trade Fair (IITF), currently on at Pragati Maidan, the state pavillions remain the show stealer. The 14-day event is a huge draw for businessmen, traders and a common man for the cultural melange it is offering this year with more than 3,000 exhibitors and over 200 companies participating in the fair.Different states that have participated in the exhibition have put their heritage, art and craft on display with traditional highlights. From straw hats to Modi jackets, visitors are having a field day peeking into the culture of more than 26 states. The state partner for this year Jharkhand is showcasing its sea of natural resources, a lot of which is a boon for various health issues. For those suffering from diabetes, a visit to Jharkhand pavillion will leave a sweet aftertaste in the mouth.Entrepreneurs, some of whom hail from tribal areas of the state, are offering five different types of honey touted as effective in controlling sugar levels. Of the available flavours of litchi, jamun etc, it is the neem variety that is the surprise package. With not a hint of bitterness in it, it is flying off the shelves at the IITF. The state is also displaying its achievements in different industrial sectors, including heavy machinery.Another state that is drawing selfie aficionados is Goa, that has decorated its entrance based on a church-wedding theme. Decked up in white flowers, complete with sofas in soft tones of white, the arena exudes warmth, prompting many a visitors to click selfies here.Madhya Pradesh, that boasts of national wildlife parks and huge green cover, is using tigers and jungle boy Mowgli to attract adults and kids alike.Among the northeastern states exhibiting artifacts, Manipur’s bags and slippers made from grass is getting popular here. Made from freshwater grass, the USP of these products lies in being eco-friendly, which are nominally priced at starting tag of Rs 350.The IITF 2017 kicked off on November 14 with Startup India, Standup India as its main theme for this year. Vietnam is the partner country while Kyrgyzstan is the focus country. To facilitate more visitors, the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation reduced the number of days for businessmen and traders to four this year as opposed to the previous practice of opening it for them for five days.STATES SHINEFrom straw hats to Modi jackets, visitors are having a field day peeking into the culture of more than 26 states
Jharkhand showcased its sea of natural resources, a lot of which are a boon for various health issues. Some of the items were types of honey available in litchi, jamun and need flavour

Afghanistan pavilion charms visitors at the Trade Fair

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Passing by the Afghanistan pavilion at the India International Trade Fair in Pragati Maidan, this writer cannot help but reminisce about a childhood that was peppered with the story of a little girl, Mini and her friendship with Kabuliwala, a dry fruit seller. Dressed in their traditional attire of Pathani suits, the tall, well-built Pathans at this pavilion seem taken straight out of the tale written by Rabindranath Tagore.Afghanistan, a long standing ally of India, has been provided a special block this year as a mark of decades of long friendship between the two nations. More than 50 different stalls have been put up in the area, bringing to the host nations all the highlights of Afghani culture. It has its most famous advertisement —dry fruits— ranging from almonds, raisins, hazelnuts, spices like saffron, handicrafts, embroidered clothes and marble figurines.Ghulam Rasool, a trader proudly claims that the taste of his country’s produce stands apart, something Rishi Khanna, a visitor at the stall validates.”The almonds I tasted here have a completely different flavour. They have a distinct sweetness, something that we do not have in our dry fruit,” he states.Haider Ali, one of the participants in IITF is elated at the huge space awarded to his country. Visibly pleased with the affection they have received since they set up shop at the exhibition, his lessons in history are also not lost.”Indians are so warm and compassionate towards us. The two nations have seen its shares of ups and downs but their friendship remained intact. The same is reflecting in the way their citizens behave,” he averred.Businessmen are also hopeful that once the Chabahar Port becomes operational, it will increase the influx of traders coming for the Trade Fair as well more diversified merchandise.

Most schools to charge by the month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Schools across the city are in a fix over new admissions. While the admission season for nursery begins after Diwali, this year the same has been delayed.Due to an unclear picture, most schools have changed their admissions as per the Fee Regulatory Act. Most schools have decided to charge admission, term, and monthly fees on a per-month basis. MP Chandran, spokesperson of Association of Progressive Schools (AoPS) said, “We have communicated to our member schools that we have decided to charge admission fee for only one month as per the Act, subject to the decision by the HC. We are considering only sibling cases in JG International school.”Parents and school community have been in confusion since March 30 when the state government through its Gujarat Self-Financed School (Regulation of Fees Bill), 2017, put a cap on annual fees of self-financed schools across Gujarat at Rs 15,000 for primary section, Rs 25,000 for secondary and Rs 27,000 for higher secondary classes.Manan Chokshi, Managing Trustee, Udgam School for Children said, “Since there is no clarity from the state government as well as the HC yet, we have decided to start our admissions from December 1…. We have decided to charge admission fee only for one month along with regular fees. At the moment, we are only accepting inquiries and shortlisting them.”

Herculean effort behind ICJ win: MEA reached out to 175 countries, Swaraj spoke to 60 of her counterparts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Intense efforts were made since June when India announced Judge Dalveer Bhandari’s name for the International Court of Justice and support was sought from nearly 175 nations, including at the highest level, culminating in his re-election to the world court.According to officials, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj directly spoke with her counterparts from nearly 60 countries to push Bhandari’s case.In the run up to the re-election, India made intense positive campaign regarding the candidature. It raised the issue at every possible meeting at various levels, an official said.At the highest level also, the prime minister raised the issue during his meetings with world leaders, the official said.”India never indulged in the negative campaign. It was run on the strength of our candidate and strength of India strong constitutional system,” an official said.In what was described by India as one of its “biggest diplomatic victories” in the multilateral arena, Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the Hague-based International Court of Justice after separate but simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters here.Bhandari, 70, was declared re-elected for a fresh nine- year term at the ICJ after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood from the race about an hour before the scheduled voting.According to observers, Bhandari’s victory has sent a strong message to the leading powers about the winds of change in the world and underscored the point that India is now a force to reckon with.The ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term. To be elected, the candidate needed majority in both the chambers.Established in 1945, the role of the ICJ is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions.Soon after the election results were announced, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin was congratulated by representatives of other countries on the floor of the General Assembly.”Vande Matram – India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind,” tweeted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.In the previous 11 rounds of voting, Bhandari had consistently polled nearly two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly.With Bhandari’s election, Britain will not have a judge on the world court’s 15-member panel for the first time.Also for the first time in 70 years, a permanent member of the Security Council lost to a non-permanent member for a seat in the ICJ.The British move to block voting in the Security Council and go for the joint consultation mechanism, which was last used some 96 years ago, also fell flat yesterday.This is because, many of the Security Council members including some Permanent Members which were consistently supporting Britain in the secret ballot, backed off from voting in favour of the UK move to stop next rounds of voting as this required open voting, observers said.”It is actually perhaps the biggest diplomatic victory we have in a multilateral arena,” a long-time friend of India at the United Nations said.In a dramatic move, British Permanent Representative to the UN Matthew Rycroft wrote identical letters to the presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council before the two chambers were scheduled to meet at 3 pm (local time) for the 12th round of voting.Rycroft said in his letter the current deadlock is unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting and the UK therefore has decided to withdraw Greenwood’s nomination.”In taking this step, we have borne in mind the close relationship that the United Kingdom and India have always enjoyed and we will continue to enjoy…,” Rycroft said.Noting that Britain is a major player in the UN system, sources said the “signal to all the membership is clear that Indians are now a force to reckon with”.According to informed sources, three hours before the voting, General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak and Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi in his capacity as Security Council President for the month of November convened a consultative meeting with the Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN Rycroft and Akbaruddin.India refused to budge against any kind of pressure and insisted to complete the democratic process, sources said.It was unclear what transpired in the next two hours that forced Britain to withdraw from the race.In Washington, US President Donald Trump in between had a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Indian- origin Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.It is learnt that many of the Britain’s supporters at this point of time clearly told them that they would vote for Greenwood only in a secret ballot but could not be seen voting in open against India and that too at a time when two-thirds of the world community was backing New Delhi.Reading the writing on the wall, Britain decided to withdraw from the race, sources said.At the start of the General Assembly and the Security Council meeting both Lajcak and Cardi read similar letters from Rycroft informing them about UK’s decision to withdraw from the race.Thereafter Lajcak and Cardi announced to complete the rest of the election process by having the name of just Bhandari on the ballot. Soon Bhandari was declared elected.In the last 10 days, it is learnt that India mounted an unprecedented diplomatic campaign to win the ICJ seat.Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is believed to have taken up the matter with some of the world leaders.After Bhandari’s re-election, he congratulated him and said: “His re-election is a proud moment for us”.He also expressed gratitude to the members of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council for “their support and trust in India.”

UK Foreign Secy Boris Johsnon says supporting India part of strategy after pulling out of ICJ race

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UK government today said the withdrawal of its candidate from the race for the last seat of the world court was part of its foreign policy objective to support India in the United Nations.India’s Dalveer Bhandari was today re-elected to the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) with more than two-thirds of the UN members backing him, forcing Britain to withdraw its candidate amidst high drama at the UN.Addressing Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson dismissed the idea that the defeat of the British candidate, Christopher Greenwood, was a “failure of British democracy”.”I congratulate the Indian judge on his election. It is a fine thing that another common law judge has joined the International Court of Justice,” he said.When asked what it symbolises for British diplomacy, he added: “It has been the long-standing objective of UK foreign policy to support India in the United Nations”.India’s nominee Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.The defeat of Greenwood at the world court has been widely seen as a sign of the UK’s diminishing global stature and it was no surprise that the issue was raised in the Commons as Johnson and his Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) team addressed questions from British MPs on a range of foreign policy affairs.Labour MP Lillian Greenwood also raised the issue of human rights in Kashmir, asking the FCO what steps had been taken by the UK government to engage with India and Pakistan on the issue.”The situation in Kashmir remains tragic, as it has for many decades. But we maintain that it is an issue to be resolved between the governments of India and Pakistan… we continue to monitor situation very carefully,” said Foreign Office minister Rory Stewart.Earlier, Britain’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, in a statement said it decided to withdraw Sir Chris Greenwood as a candidate for re-election as a Judge of the International Court of Justice.”The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections,” he said. “If the UK could not win in this run-off, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead. We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the United Nations and globally,” he said.Rycroft said that the UK will continue to support the work of the ICJ, “in line with our commitment to the importance of the rule of law in the UN system and in the international community more generally”.Britain’s withdrawal from the election to the prestigious world court would mean that there will not be a British judge on the UN’s most powerful court for the first time in its history.

Win wouldn’t have been possible without PM Modi and Sushma Swaraj: Dalveer Bhandari after ICJ re-election

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India’s Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice with more than two-thirds of the UN members backing him, forcing Britain to withdraw its candidate amidst high drama in the hard-fought race to the world court.In one of the country’s “biggest diplomatic victories” in the multilateral arena, Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the Hague-based International Court of Justice after separate but simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters here.”The win wouldn’t have been possible without the support of PM Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj,” Dalveer Bhandari said, adding,”the win happened due to coincidence.”Reflecting on the victory, Bhandari said India is known as an “emerging nation worldwide”.Bhandari, 70, was declared re-elected for a fresh nine- year term at the ICJ after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood from the race about an hour before the scheduled voting.According to observers, Bhandari’s victory has sent a strong message to the leading powers about the winds of change in the world and underscored the point that India is now a force to reckon with.The ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term. To be elected, the candidate needed majority in both the chambers.Established in 1945, the role of the ICJ is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions.Soon after the election results were announced, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin was congratulated by representatives of other countries on the floor of the General Assembly.”Vande Matram – India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind,” tweeted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.In the previous 11 rounds of voting, Bhandari had consistently polled nearly two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly.With Bhandari’s election, Britain will not have a judge on the world court’s 15-member panel for the first time.Also for the first time in 70 years, a permanent member of the Security Council lost to a non-permanent member for a seat in the ICJ.The British move to block voting in the Security Council and go for the joint consultation mechanism, which was last used some 96 years ago, also felt flat yesterday.This is because, many of the Security Council members including some Permanent Members which were consistently supporting Britain in the secret ballot, backed off from voting in favour of the UK move to stop next rounds of voting as this required open voting, observers said.”It is actually perhaps the biggest diplomatic victory we have in a multilateral arena,” a long-time friend of India at the United Nations said.In a dramatic move, British Permanent Representative to the UN Matthew Rycroft wrote identical letters to the presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council before the two chambers were scheduled to meet at 3 pm (local time) for the 12th round of voting.Rycroft said in his letter the current deadlock is unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting and the UK therefore has decided to withdraw Greenwood’s nomination.”In taking this step, we have borne in mind the close relationship that the United Kingdom and India have always enjoyed and we will continue to enjoy…,” Rycroft said.Noting that Britain is a major player in the UN system, sources said the “signal to all the membership is clear that Indians are now a force to reckon with”.According to informed sources, three hours before the voting, General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak and Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi in his capacity as Security Council President for the month of November convened a consultative meeting with the Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN Rycroft and Akbaruddin.India refused to budge against any kind of pressure and insisted to complete the democratic process, sources said.It was unclear what transpired in the next two hours that forced Britain to withdraw from the race.In Washington, US President Donald Trump in between had a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Indian- origin Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.It is learnt that many of the Britain’s supporters at this point of time clearly told them that they would vote for Greenwood only in a secret ballot but could not be seen voting in open against India and that too at a time when two-thirds of the world community was backing New Delhi.Reading the writing on the wall, Britain decided to withdraw from the race, sources said.At the start of the General Assembly and the Security Council meeting both Lajcak and Cardi read similar letters from Rycroft informing them about UK’s decision to withdraw from the race.Thereafter Lajcak and Cardi announced to complete the rest of the election process by having the name of just Bhandari on the ballot. Soon Bhandari was declared elected.In the last 10 days, it is learnt that India mounted an unprecedented diplomatic campaign to win the ICJ seat.Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is believed to have taken up the matter with some of the world leaders.

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