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Gurgaon woman arrested for getting killed hubby: cops

7 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Gurgaon police Monday arrested a woman on charges of getting murdered her husband through contract killers for a sum of Rs 16 lakh. Gurgaon police spokesperson Subhash Bokan said the accused woman, Sweety, got her husband killed as she suspected him to be having an extra-marital affair and feared that he would transfer his entire property, including a shop and a house in Sheetla Colony here to anther woman. Bokan said Sweety's husband Joginder Singh had gone missing from his residence on January 17. The police, however, found Sunday a body stuffed inside a gunny bag, thrown into a drain at Bajghera near Dwarka expressway here, said Bokan. A motorcycle too was found near the drain, he added. The body was identified as that of Singh, following which the police began questioning his wife and other relatives and neighbours, he said. As Singh's brother suspected his sister-in-law behind the killing, the police began questioning Sweety during which she repeatedly changed her .....
                 

Don't grant extension for migrating to new tariff regime: NBA to TRAI

7 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) Monday urged TRAI to not grant any extension beyond January 31for migration to the new tariff regime under the framework for broadcasting and cable services. Rajat Sharma, President, NBA, stated that as required under the new tariff regulations, the members of the NBA, within the time line prescribed have published their reference interconnect offers (RIOs) including ala-carte and bouquet rates. To facilitate consumer awareness and for smooth transition to the new regime,the NBA members on their respective channels are advertising and providing details about various rates and packages for the consumers to exercise their choice of channels, he said in a statement. NBA members have been and would remain fully supportive of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) efforts in the successful migration to the new tariff regime, he added...
                 

Cyber expert's claim: Gopinath Munde's nephew seeks R&AW probe

7 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
NCP leader Dhananjay Munde Monday demanded a probe either by the R&AW or a Supreme Court judge into the death of his uncle and former Union minister Gopinath Munde after a cyber expert claimed that the BJP leader was "killed" as he was aware of hacking of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Dhananjay Munde, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, also termed as "shocking" the claims made by the self-proclaimed US-based Indian cyber expert. He said those who loved Gopinath Munde had always raised questions over his death wondering "if it actually was an accident or a sabotage". Munde died in a road accident in New Delhi weeks after the BJP won the 2014 elections. "A cyber expert has made a sensational claim that former Union Minister Late Gopinathrao Munde saheb was murdered. This claim needs immediate attention and investigation from RAW/Supreme Court, as it is directly linked to the death of mass leader. #EVMHacking,"..
                 

Two Delhi cops suspended for 'extorting' money from accident victim

8 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Two Delhi Police constables were suspended for allegedly extorting money from an accident victim who later succumbed to his injuries, the police said on Monday. Posted at the Kotwali Police Station in north Delhi, the policemen were accused of forcefully taking Rs 2300 from the driver of a mini truck who was involved in an accident on late Saturday night, they said. The truck had rammed into some police barricades in Kotwali and went on to hit other vehicles before overturning, they added. While the constables maintained that they had taken the victim to the hospital where he died, the deceased's family alleged that the duo had extorted money from the victim and also delayed his admission to the hospital, the police said. The family even alleged that the victim was taken to the police station and thrashed by the constables before being hospitalised. Following the allegations, an inquiry was initiated and the policemen were suspended. The post-mortem examination was carried out and .....
                 

Man held for killing woman, setting afire her body

8 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A 50-year-old man was Monday arrested in connection with the killing of a woman, whose burnt body was found near here last week, police said. The body of an unidentified woman was found in the forests near the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway on January 16, they said, adding it was later identified as that of Nirmala Sachin Yadav (47). Following the recovery, district superintendent of police Shivaji Rathod formed several teams to crack the case. The case was solved following the arrest of one Abrar Mohammad Aslam Shaikh (50), a resident of Nallasopara in adjoining Palghar district, the police said. The victim also hailed from the same area, they said. The victim and the accused were both married separately and were having an extramarital affair for the last one year, the police said. The woman was putting pressure on Shaikh to marry her, but the latter was not interested in tying the knot, they said. As the accused, who was jobless, was not interested in marrying her, he hatched..
                 

Surat couple makes Rafale-themed wedding card; earns PM's praise

9 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A Gujarati couple has earned praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for designing their wedding invitation card with a dedicated page justifying the NDA government's decision to buy Rafale fighter jets. In a letter sent to the Surat-based couple - Yuvraj Pokharna and bride-to-be Sakshi Agrawal - Modi described the content of the card as "ingenious" and asserted that it had inspired him to work even harder for the country. The couple will be tying the knot on January 22. Talking to media Monday, Pokharna said he received Modi's letter, which is addressed to his mother Babita Prakash Pokharna, on January 17 through e-mail. "Heartiest Congratulations to Pokharna family on the joyous occasion of the marriage of Yuvraj and Sakshi. I noticed a unique feature of the marriage invitation card sent to the guests," read the letter signed and sent by Modi. "The ingenuity of its content reflects your abiding concern and love for the nation. This also inspires me to keep working harder for our .....
                 

CBI seeks sanction to prosecute P Chidambaram in INX Media case

9 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The CBI has sought the sanction of the central government to prosecute former Finance Minister P Chidambaram as it has almost finalised a charge sheet in the INX Media case, which involves alleged irregularities, officials said Monday. The CBI, which registered the case on May 15, 2017, has now sought sanction of the centre mandated under the Prevention of Corruption Act, they said. Chidambaram was not listed as an accused in the FIR registered by the agency but seeking sanction to prosecute him implies that he may figure as one in the final report of the agency, the officials said. The Act mandates an investigating agency to get a prior sanction from competent authority for prosecution of an accused public servants. Chidambaram's son Karti was arrested by the agency in the case, which pertains to alleged irregularities in clearing foreign investment proposals to the tune of Rs 305 crore, for allegedly receiving Rs 10 lakh. He was later released on bail. The agency had registered the ...
                 

DU's admissions committee to meet Tuesday, may discuss upper caste quota

9 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Admissions Committee of the Delhi University will meet here Tuesday and may discuss the implementation of 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker section of the general category, sources said Monday. The varsity's Academic Council, in its meeting which held on January 2, had decided to introduce 30 new courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in almost 20 colleges. Some of the approved courses include Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Honours) in Bhimrao Ambedkar college, BA (Hons) in Economics in Dyal Singh college and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa college, BA (Hons) in Philosophy in Hansraj college among others. The post graduate courses which have been approved include Master of Arts (MA) in English in Gurunanak Dev college and Master of Science (MSc) in operational research at Shaheed Sukhdev college of Business Studies and Keshav college. The admissions committee officials, however, said that they had not received anything in writing about it till now. Sources claimed that ....
                 

Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba visits R-Day NCC camp

9 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba Monday visited the NCC Republic Day camp at Delhi cantonment here and appreciated the support lent by cadets during calamities. The Chief of the Naval Staff was given a guard of honour by smartly dressed cadets at Cariappa Parade Ground, which was followed by a band display. He also inspected the well laid-out flag areas prepared by the cadets, from all the 17 NCC Directorates, depicting various social awareness themes. Various Naval ship models fabricated by the cadets were also displayed, the Navy said in a statement. Later, the Admiral witnessed a cultural performance by the cadets, depicting the rich Indian culture. The NCC is a premier youth organisation which is single-mindedly engaged in grooming nation's future leaders and empowering them to don the mantle of country's leadership, as well as excel in all walks of life, Lanba said. Lanba also urged the NCC cadets to join the armed forces and serve the motherland...
                 

Security expert, dalit activist among speakers at lit fest

10 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Security expert Arvind Gupta will deliberate on security challenges and political scenario, while Dalit activist Kancha Ilaiah will talk on social issues during discussions at the sixth edition of the Kolkata Literature Festival (KLF). The KLF will have 24 sessions for three days from February 7 on the ground of the International Kolkata Book Fair which will be held from January 31 to February 10, KLF Director Sujata Sen told a press meet here Monday. Former deputy national security advisor Gupta had also headed the National Security Council Secretariat in the Government of India from 2014-17. His 'How India Manages Its National Security' had become one of the most talked about books in recent times. Ilaiah is an Indian political theorist, writer and activist for Dalits. The KLF will have over 65 writers from nine countries - Scotland, the UK, Russia, Italy, Cuba, France, Guatemala, Bangladesh besides India - to deliberate on different issues having different segments ....
                 

Khandu announces hike in wages of labour class

10 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday announced enhancement of wages for the labour class, as part of New Year gifts to state government employees. The chief minister made the announcement during the second leg of Arunachal Rising Campaign at Ziro, the headquarters of Lower Subansiri district. As per a government order, the initial wages on appointment of unskilled contingent employees, casual workers and daily labourers have been hiked from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month and from Rs 9,000 to Rs 11,000 for skilled contingent employees. The unskilled contingent employees after completing 15 years and above in service getting fixed wages of Rs 11,000 per month till retirement, would now receive Rs 13,000 from 15-20 years and Rs 16,000 as monthly wages after completing 20 years of service, it said. On the other hand, skilled contingent employees after completing 15 years and above in service getting fixed wages of Rs 11,500 per month till retirement, .....
                 

Justdial Q3 net profit jumps two-fold to Rs 57 cr

10 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Local search engine Justdial Monday reported two-fold rise in standalone net profit at Rs 57.34 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2018. The company had posted net profit of Rs 28.60 crore in the year-ago period. In a statement, the company said its "net profit stood at Rs 57.3 crore, up 100.5 per cent Y-o-Y". The company's income increased to Rs 260.86 crore in the October-December period, over Rs 199.37 crore in the same quarter a year ago. "Pursuant to the approval of directors and members of the company for buyback of equity shares of Rs 220 crore, the company has completed buy-back of 27,50,000 equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each at a price of Rs 800 per share for an amount aggregating up to Rs 220 crores from the shareholders on a proportionate basis...," the statement said...
                 

Mehbooba playing communal card in Jammu: BJP

10 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Dismissing former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's claim that Gujjar and Bakerwal communities of Jammu region were being "selectively targeted" as "white lies", the BJP Monday accused her of playing "communal card". "Mehbooba Mufti's statement about Gujjar and Bakerwal communities in Jammu are white lies and the PDP, as usual, is trying to play communal card in this peaceful region," BJP state spokesperson Balbir Ram Rattan told reporters. "Unfortunately, under the governor's nose, there is selective targeting of Gujjars and Bakerwals in Jammu and the governor's administration is not taking note of it," Mehbooba had told a press conference in Srinagar on Sunday. Terming Mufti's statement as "politics of provocation" and "highly condemnable", Rattan said "the people of Jammu region have always maintained communal harmony and never fallen pray to the divisive politics on the basis of region, religion and caste". Accusing the former chief minister of trying to create a wrong impression in..
                 

Cong says no fighting between its Ktaka MLAs even as state unit suspends legislator Ganesh

10 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Congress on Monday said its Karnataka MLA Anand Singh was injured after he suffered a fall and there was no fighting between its lawmakers "as alleged by the BJP", even as its state unit suspended legislator J N Ganesh, who has been accused of assaulting Singh. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi played down the alleged incident involving Anand Singh and Ganesh and accused the BJP of spreading such news about fighting between MLAs of the ruling party. The party appeared to be in a damage control mode after the row involving Ganesh who was slapped with a case of attempt to murder for allegedly hitting Anand Singh during a brawl at a private resort here on Saturday night. "There is no fighting. I think the BJP stands exposed. The official version which we have heard it, somebody suffered a fall," Singhvi told reporters. Asked about the alleged violence that took place, he said, "This is your version, I don't know about it." Earlier, the Pradesh Congress said in a release in .....
                 

BJP cancels Modi's Brigade rally

10 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The proposed rally of Narendra Modi at the Brigade Parade Grounds here next month has been cancelled, the BJP said Monday, adding that the prime minister would initially attend three rallies in West Bengal starting next week. The historic ground, also known as the Maidan, was the venue for the mega Opposition rally organised by West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee last Saturday. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address three rallies in West Bengal. On January 28 (Sunday), he will address a rally at Thakurnagar in Bongaon. On February 2, he will address a rally at Siliguri in north Bengal," state Bharatiya Janata Party president Dilip Ghosh said. Modi's scheduled rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds on February 8 has been cancelled and, instead, he will be addressing a rally at Asansol -- represented by party MP Babul Supriyo -- on the same day, Ghosh said. "So far, this is the schedule." Asked why the BJP was not organising the Kolkata rally as ....
                 

RBI proposes to relax norms for new players' entry in retail payment

10 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Monday proposed to relax norms for entry of new players in the retail payment systems with a view to give a boost to innovation and competition. The RBI has been issuing guidelines for various payment systems and grants authorisation to non-banks for setting up and operating payment systems. Licensed banks also need to obtain specific permission from Reserve Bank for setting up and operating a payment system. At the end of 2018, there were 89 authorised non-bank Payment System Operators (PSOs). The RBI's policy paper on 'Authorisation of New Retail Payment Systems' proposes a multi-pronged policy action for a more appropriate level of retail payment systems and operators. With regard to entry point norms for entities, the paper said a judicious approach needs to be adopted with regard to networth criteria. "For all payment systems it would be desirable that they have (a) physical presence in the country, (b) impeccable track record, and (c) are likely ....
                 

TN CM launches KG classes in govt schools

10 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami Monday kicked off a pilot project enabling children to attend kindergarten classes based on Montessori education in english medium at government middle schools with anganwadi centres in the State. Palaniswami formally launched the programme at a function held at a Government Girls Middle School here on Monday, an official release said. The project would benefit 52,933 children in 2,381 anganwadi centres in the State, it said. The kindergarten classes would be supervised by the head masters of the respective middle schools. The school education department would train the teachers under the Samakra Shiksha Abhiyaan scheme. Samagra Shiksha is an overarching programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12. The children enrolled in the LKG, UKG classes would receive four pairs of uniforms, color pencils, crayons and footwear for free and a course completion .....
                 

India inks protocol with China to start tobacco export

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
India may soon start exporting tobacco to China as both the countries have signed a protocol for the same, the department of commerce said Monday. "India and China signed the Protocol of phytosanitary requirements for the export of tobacco leaves from India to China. This has paved the way for the export of Indian tobacco to China, strengthening India-China trade relations," the department said in a tweet. Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan met Zhang Jiwan, Vice Minister of General Administration of Customs of China, Monday and discussed various issues related to market access for Indian agri-commodities and the ways to resolve them. China has last year allowed imports of non-basmati rice from India. China is a major rice market in the world. These developments assumes significance as India wants to increase exports to China with a view to bridging the ballooning trade deficit, which has increased to USD 63.12 billion in 2017-18 from USD 51.08 billion in the previous fiscal...
                 

Juvenile apprehended for cyber stalking

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
: A 17-year-old Child in Conflict with the Law (CCL) was Monday apprehended for allegedly sexually harassing an unknown married woman over phone demanding sexual pleasures, police said. The cyber stalker from Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh was apprehended in a case of sexual harassment in electronic form by stalking, wherein the CCL made repeated calls to the woman and also sent abusive text messages and obscene pictures through WhatsApp to trap the lady for sexual pleasures, a release from Rachakonda Police Commissionerate said here. The CCL confessed thatin November 2018 he received a missed call on his cell phone number in which a lady spoke with him and he told her that it was a wrong number. "However, he saved that number in his mobile with bad intention to trap and exploit her sexually," it said. Later the CCL repeatedly made calls to the phone number though she was reluctant to speak to him, after which he used vulgar words. After the woman stopped responding ....
                 

DGCA puts in place norms for "digi yatra" roll-out at airports

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Aviation regulator DGCA has put in place norms for the roll-out of the much-awaited "digi yatra" facility, which will make air travel paperless and hassle-free. An initiative of the civil aviation ministry and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the facility seeks to minimise paperwork for air travel under a digital system or e-boarding process for airport entry and boarding flights using documents such as a passenger's Aadhaar number and mobile phone, among others. In this regard, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on procedures and requirements for the implementation of e-boarding process (digi yatra). The airlines will make a provision to collect the digi yatra ID of the passenger for domestic travel as per Digi Yatra policy at the time of the booking irrespective of the channel, according to the norms. The passenger will have the option to offer any one of the approved identification document .....
                 

Delhi receives light rainfall, temperature dips

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Delhi received light rainfall on Monday, a day after recording the warmest January day since 2012. The minimum temperature was recorded at 11.5 degrees Celsius, four notches above the season's average while the maximum temperature was 22.6 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season's average. The Safdarjung observatory, the recording of which is considered official for the city, recorded 1.2 mm rainfall between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm. Palam recorded 2.8mm, Lodhi Road 0.8mm, Ridge area 0.6mm and Ayanagar 0.6mm rainfall respectively. Humidity oscillated between 98 and 66 per cent. The weatherman has forecast generally cloudy sky for Tuesday with the possibility of light to moderate rain/thundershowers and isolated hailstorm. There will be gusty winds through the day with the maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 20 and 11 degrees Celsius respectively. Delhi recorded the warmest January day since 2012 on Sunday with the maximum temperature settling at 28.7 degrees Celsius, .....
                 

2 killed, 15 injured after bus turns turtle in Odisha

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
                 

Javadekar's remark reflects BJP's fascist thinking,says Owaisi

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi Monday flayed Union minister Prakash Javadekar for his statement that there was no alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and there would be "anarchy" in his absence, saying it reflected the BJP's "classic fascist mindset and thinking." The people of the country want non-BJP, non-Congress Prime Minister, Owaisi claimed and said it was going to happen and once that happens,there would definitely be anarchy and chaos within the ranks of the RSS and BJP. Taking a dig at the Opposition rally organised by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on January 19, Javadekar had said on Sunday that they cannot present an alternative. "So the condition in the country is like if there is no Modi, there will be anarchy," he had said. Slamming Javedkar, Owaisi said, "This is the classic fascist mindset and their thinking. Every fascist thinks that hisleader is bigger than the country. The real thing is that even if there are lakhs of Modis,..
                 

Centre delaying Jalpaiguri circuit bench inauguration: Mamata

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday accused the BJP-led central government of delaying inauguration of Calcutta High Court's Jalpaiguri circuit bench. She said though the circuit bench was ready for formal inauguration, "politics" of the central government caused a delay. "We have completed the Jalpaiguri circuit bench of the Calcutta High Court and it is ready for inauguration. It's getting delayed because of Delhi (the central government). They do not work but only indulge in politics... This is nothing new," Banerjee said. The CM was talking to reporters while inaugurating the 'Uttar Banga Utsav' here. Urging the people to have faith in her government, she said it would continue the developmental works in the northern part of the state. "Since coming to power, we have given you what we had promised. So much developmental work is being done. I come here every three to four months, which had never happened earlier (in the Left Front regime). "Don't be ...
                 

Meghalaya CM launches Whatsapp based grievance redressal

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma Monday launched the Whatsapp-based grievance redressal system where people can write to him directly of their grievances and assured genuine grievances will be resolved. The Chief Minister said at the launch ceremony at his chamber that the whatsapp-based mechanism is an attempt to directly connect with the people. "The idea to have this platform is to allow people to express their concerns and grievances directly to the chief ministers office," he said. The Chief Minister said that a lot of problems are there at the grass-root level because the people are not able to connect with the right authorities. "A dedicated team would share the information received through the system with the concerned departments," he said, adding that his office would also take note of concerns received anonymously...
                 

National Women's Party launched

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The launch of a political party exclusively for women was announced in Mumbai Monday with the motto of empowerment of the fair sex. Announcing the formation of the National Women's Party (NWP), its founder-president Dr Swetha Shetty said apart from ensuring empowerment of women, the issues like getting 50 per cent reservation for them in Parliament and state assemblies, and betterment of soldiers and farmers, are their top priorities. Dr Shetty, a medical practitioner-cum- activist from Hyderabad, said the NWP will contest 283 Lok Sabha seats - half of total seats - in upcoming polls. "We are the party of mothers. Our initiative is a historic step in mission to guarantee equal representation in Parliament. The objective behind formation of this party is to remove gender disparity in politics," Dr Shetty said in a press conference here. She said the battle to get reservation for women in parliament and assemblies has been going on inconclusively for the last 20 .....
                 

MJ Akbar on booklet; MEA says nothing to do with Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A booklet featuring M J Akbar, who resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs following allegations of sexual misconduct by several women, was distributed to delegates at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas here, triggering a controversy with the Congress attacking the government over it. However, sources in the ministry said Akbar is not at all associated with the event and that the booklet was published in May last year, months before he quit as minister. The booklet highlighted achievements of the MEA in the last four years and all the ministers in the MEA featured in it. Akbar had resigned as junior External Affairs Minister in the wake of allegation of sexual misconduct during his tenure as a senior editor. The alleged incidents came to light during the #metoo movement. Akbar had denied the allegations. "The booklet was published months before Akbar quit as a minister. An unnecessary controversy is being created which is very unfortunate. The booklet only mentions achievements of..
                 

Cyber expert's EVM hacking claims a 'hacking horror show' by Congress: BJP

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Rejecting an India cyber expert's claim that the 2014 general election was rigged, the BJP Monday described this explosive allegation as a "hacking horror show organised" by the Congress, and said the opposition party has begun looking for an excuse for its likely defeat in the next Lok Sabha polls. In a sharp attack on the Congress, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said its leader Kapil Sibal's presence at the press conference in London was not a coincidence. Naqvi alleged that top Congress leaders, including its president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, would have sent Sibal as their "postman". "Electronic Voting Machines cannot be hacked. What is clear is that anti-India forces have hacked into the mind of Congress. What we have seen is a hacking horror show organised by the Congress ahead of its defeat in Lok Sabha polls. It is looking for an excuse for its impending loss," the BJP leader told reporters. He said these allegations were part of an exercise to "defame" .....
                 

Over 85 per cent polling in first phase of panchayat polls in

11 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Over 85 per cent polling was recorded in the first phase of the panchayat elections of Telangana held Monday, poll officials said. This is the first ever polls for panchayats after the formation of the State in 2014. As many as 41.56 lakh people exercised their franchise against 48.46 lakh eligible voters in the first phase, an official communication said. Polling began at 7 am and ended at 1 pm even as counting was taken up from 2 pm. Though 4,479 panchayats were scheduled to go the polls in the first phase, the election was declared unanimous in 769 panchayats, and election to another nine was cancelled due to other reasons. As many as 12,202 candidates are contesting for sarpanch posts in 3,701 panchayats while 70,094 candidates are in the fray for 28,974 wards, a senior official of the State Election Commission had earlier said. Though the elections are held without any involvement of political parties and party symbols, all major political parties have thrown their ...
                 

Two parties launch new political front in Odisha to take on

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Two fringe political parties Monday joined hands and launched a front with the sole objective of ousting the ruling BJD from power in the coming twin elections in Odisha. Samata Kranti Dal headed by former MP Braja Kishore Tripathy and Utkal Bharat led by former MP Kharavel Swain announced formation of the new political front Odisha Democratic Front. The two ex-MPs said the new political front aimed at defeating BJD in the coming Lok Sabha and state assembly election and announced to field candidates in all the 147 assembly seats in the state. Claiming that the BJD government has made Odisha poor during its 18 year-long rule, they said the Odisha Democratic Front will emerge as an alternative. They alleged that a large number of people are migrating to other states from Odisha in search of jobs and the state government has failed to create employment opportunities for the local youths. The Front leaders also criticised the state government and the chief minister .....
                 

Controversy over MEA booklet featuring MJ Akbar at Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A row has erupted over distribution of a booklet featuring M J Akbar, who resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs following allegations of sexual misconduct by several women, to delegates at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas here. However, sources in the ministry said Akbar is not at all associated with the event and that the booklet was published in May last year, months before he quit as minister. The booklet highlighted achievements of the MEA in the last four years and all the ministers in the MEA featured in it. Akbar had resigned as junior External Affairs Minister in the wake of allegation of sexual misconduct during his tenure as a senior editor. The alleged incidents came to light during the #metoo movement. Akbar had denied the allegations. "The booklet was published months before Akbar quit as a minister. An unnecessary controversy is being created which is very unfortunate," said a government official. In the booklet, Akbar also features in the inside pages as part of..
                 

CBDT directs taxman to withdraw select appeals by month-end

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The CBDT has directed the taxman to withdraw all appeal cases, pertaining to certain monetary limits and parameters, from various courts by this month-end as part of the government's drive to end frivolous litigations. CBDT Member (Revenue) Neena Kumar has recently written a letter to all range heads and principal chief commissioners of the department to "conclude" the exercise of identification and closing of such cases by holding "personal meetings with senior officials of registry of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) and High Courts so that the appeal withdrawal process is completed quickly". The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) frames policy for the I-T Department. The move assumes significance as the NDA government would present the interim Budget for 2019-20 on February 1. The country will go for general elections post this, probably in the months of March-April. Kumar, in her letter, added that "litigation management is one of the prime areas of focus of central .....
                 

Kushwaha dares Sushil Modi to contest Lok Sabha polls

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Rashtriya Lok Samta Party chief Upendra Kushwaha Monday dared Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha poll and claiming that even a humble worker of his party was capable of defeating the veteran BJP leader in an electoral contest. The former Union minister made the remark while replying to a recent comment by state BJP president Nityanand Rai who had said that he would seek re-election from Ujiyarpur Lok Sabha seat and challenged Kushwaha, besides RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, to engage with him in an electoral fight. What to say on his comments. The senior most leader of his party Sushil Kumar Modi has been shy of contesting elections and choosing the legislative council route.I challenge Modi to contest the polls. Even a humble (adnaa saa) activist of the RLSP is capable of defeating him. Let the Deputy CM and his party accept this challenge, Kushwaha who quit the NDA and joined the Grand Alliance last month- told .....
                 

After Navy, Meghalaya suspends operation to retrieve dead miner's body

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma Monday suspended the operation to retrieve the body of a dead miner trapped inside a 370-foot-deep coal mine to avoid disintegration of the decomposed corpse. The state government's order came a day after the Navy on Sunday suspended the operation to pull the body out after it was found by the unmanned ROV last week during a routine search mission inside the main shaft where the 15 miners are trapped since December 13. The state government has given the order of suspending the operation to pull out the body of the miner as it is becoming an impossible task, Sangma told mediapersons at the sidelines of a programme here. We decided that we will suspend the operation because it is really not working out, he added. We have asked the medical department, Navy, administration and forensic department for their advice and observation, he said. Asked if the state government will call off the rescue operations involving multi-agencies including the Navy ....
                 

Former Gujarat BJP minister, ex-MLA join Congress

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Former Gujarat BJP minister Bimal Shah joined the opposition Congress Monday, claiming the the saffron outfit has turned into a "power-oriented party". Along with Shah, another BJP leader Anil Patel, a former Congress MLA who had crossed over to the ruling outfit after the 2007 polls, also joined the main opposition party. The development comes just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and is being seen as a sort of boost for the Congress, which drew a blank in Gujarat in the 2014 general elections. The two were inducted into the Congress at a function held at state Congress headquarters here in the presence of key party leaders such as Ahmed Patel and GPCC president Amit Chavda. Shah was elected to the assembly from Kapadvanj in Kheda district in 1998 and again in 2002. The 57-year-old had served as the Minister of State for Transport in 1998, when Keshubhai Patel was chief minister. Shah, however, lost in the 2007 assembly polls. In the 2017 elections, he entered the arena as ....
                 

Cong MLA charged with attempt to murder, party suspends him

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
: A red-faced Congress in Karnataka Monday suspended its MLA J N Ganesh, who was also slapped with a case of attempt to murder for allegedly hitting his lawmaker colleague Anand Singh during an alleged brawl at a private resort here on Saturday night. A day after the incident came to light, the case was registered on a complaint by Singh, who has been hospitalised for an injury he suffered in the alleged brawl at Eagleton Resorts where the Congress MLAs were sequestered to shield them from BJP's alleged poaching bid. According to the FIR, besides attempt to murder, Ganesh, who was one of the MLAs reportedly under the BJP lens for desertion, has been charged with causing grievous injuries and giving threats. Singh alleged that on Saturday night Ganesh waylaid him when he was on way to his room after dinner. According to the FIR, Singh said in his complaint that Ganesh was upset with him for not helping him financially during the assembly elections in May. The argument had..
                 

Sena, Cong claim oppn show of strength gives PM the "shivers"; Jaitley, Rajanth say oppn fears Modi's popularity

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The opposition's show of unity last week sparked a fresh war of words on Monday with BJP's estranged ally Shiv Sena and opposition Congress claiming it has given Prime Minister Narendra Modi the "shivers" ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Hitting back, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh said it is only the "fear" of Modi's popularity and a "certain comeback" and BJP's successes that is bringing multiple disparate forces to come together against the prime minister. Jaitley said any opposition grouping will be an "unviable and an unworkable" short-lived combination and asked, "Is it Modi vs Chaos? In a Facebook post titled 'Agenda for 2019 - Modi Vs Chaos', he also said it will be advantage BJP in the general elections as an aspirational society will not commit a "collective suicide" by voting for a short-lived political alliance. Echoining Jaitley's views, Rajnath Singh said it was the fear of BJP's successes that made the opposition parties come .....
                 

Zoo officials form team to probe man's killing by lions

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A day after a man was mauled to death by lions at Chhatbir Zoo in Zirakpur, authorities here have formed a team to probe the incident. On Sunday, the man entered the enclosure by scaling a 25-feet wall and as soon as he crossed over, he was attacked by a lion and a lioness. "We have formed a five-member team to probe the incident. It will find out how this incident happened and what was the motive of the man? It will also suggest measures to be taken to prevent such incidents in future," said Zoo Field Director M Sudhagarb. "It will also probe any lapse on the part of any zoo official," he said, adding that the team will submit its report within five days. Sudhagarb said the lion and the lioness which killed the man were kept under observation. "They will be kept under observation for two to three days to check any behavioural change in them," he said. The authorities have also planned to place more security men in and around the zoo, and install more CCTV cameras. "We want to close ....
                 

Eight drowned as boat capsizes in Karnataka

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Eight persons drowned and another was 'missing' while 17 people were rescued when a boat carrying about 26 pilgrims capsized at Karwar, the Indian Navy said Monday. According to police, there was an annual fair at the Kurumagada island in the Arabian sea, where the Narsimha Swamy shrine (dedicated to Lord Vishnu's incarnation Narsimha) is located. Police had earlier said nearly 1,000 people had gone there to take part in the fair and the boat capsized while returning to the Karwar beach. TheNavy said in a tweet that there were 26 people in the boat. Learning about the incident, Navy and Indian Coast Guard carried out rescue operatons. Of the 26 persons reported to be on the boat, 17 people were rescued by other civil boats operating in the area, the Navy said. Eight bodies have been recovered by the navy and Coast Guard while search is on for the one person still missing. A Dornier aircraft has been launched from Goa for search and rescue, the Navy added...
                 

UP govt announces Rs 100 hike in pension to all destitute

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a monthly hike of Rs 100 in pension to all destitute persons even as it rejected reports of launching a special pension scheme for seers. At present, all old age, widow and disabled destitute persons get a monthly pension of Rs 400. The state government has issued directives to authorities concerned to organise camps all over the state till January 30 to enrol all those eligible for the assistance, a government spokesperson said. Minister for Social Welfare Ramapati Ram Shastri said the aim is to cover all destitute under the pension scheme. The minister said that a section of the media is saying that a scheme is being brought specially for saints and seers which is not true. "Whoever is eligible and fulfils requisite norms will be brought under the scheme," Shastri pointed out. With this, nine lakh new beneficiaries are likely to be included under the pension scheme taking the total number of those benefitting from it to more than 70 .....
                 

Raj HC asks Vadra, his mother to appear before ED on Feb 12

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Rajasthan High Court Monday asked Robert Vadra and his partners in Skyline Hospitality Limited, including his mother Maureen Vadra to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on February 12 to respond to allegations of money laundering by the firm. A Jodphur bench of the high court gave the direction after vacating its earlier order that prevented the agency from taking any coercive action against Vadra and others. A bench of Justice P S Bhati, while asking Vadra and others to appear before the agency, however, refused to vacate the stay on their arrest and denied liberty to the ED to take them in custody. Justice Bhati clarified that if the need arises, the ED will have to move the court separately to seek permission for arresting them. Appearing for the ED, Additional Solicitor General Rajdeep Rastogi told the bench that the agency has initiated an inquiry against the owners and partners of Skylight Hospitality Limited on a complaint of money laundering against the .....
                 

Gujarat's textile sector attracted investments worth Rs 30,934 cr since FY'15: Govt

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The government Monday said investments worth Rs 30,934 crore have flown into the textile sector of Gujarat since 2014-15, as a reaffirmation of investor confidence. The clarification came amid reports of the investment figures in the state's textile sector not matching up. "It is reaffirmed through Office of Textile Commissioner that upon perusal of project costs submitted by 7,182 units in Gujarat, Rs 30,934 crore as investment into textile sector in Gujarat was brought to the notice of Textile Commissioner office after scrutinising and confirming each project by banks for which Unique Identification (UID) has been issued," the textile ministry said. The Centre sanctioned and released Rs 1,855 crore to aid 2,109 units through 60 banks, it added. The ministry said the reaffirmation is to ensure that investor confidence and prospects of textile sector in Gujarat do not receive a setback due to rumour-mongering...
                 

India to talk with Bangladesh on 31 Rohingya Muslims detained in Tripura

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
India is likely to hold talks with Bangladesh to send back 31 Rohingya Muslims, who were detained by the Border Security Force (BSF) while attempting to cross over into Tripura, officials said. The Rohingya Muslims are stuck in no-man's land, beyond the barbed wire fence along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Tripura since Friday. The local commandant of the BSF is in touch with his Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) counterpart, and the Ministry of External Affairs is expected to hold talks with the Bangladesh government for their safe return, a home ministry official said. The top brass of the BSF has briefed senior officials of the Home Ministry, which in turn is in regular touch with the Ministry of External Affairs. All the Myanmar-origin Rohingya Muslims were given "comfortable" temporary accommodation at Rayermura, where they were detained, about 15 km from Agartala, in West Tripura district, the official said. The 31 detained Rohingyas include six men, nine women and 16 children. .....
                 

First phase of agitation for rights of PoK people to end

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
SOS International, an organisation representing displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) will end its 26-day long 'chain dharna' to demand their rehabilitation, it said here on Monday. However, the organisation will start the second phase of the agitation next week with mass demonstration-cum-dharna at Poonch followed by similar programmes at various district headquarters across Jammu division. "The first phase of the agitation, which began on December 27 with holding of chain dharnas, will culminate tomorrow (Tuesday)," chairman SOS International Rajiv Chuni told reporters here. He said the PoK displaced persons were not demanding anything extra ordinary but only their "due rights", which include implementation of the whole package passed by state cabinet in October 2014, facilities to all displaced persons at par with Kashmiri Pandit migrants and reservation of eight assembly seats. The SOS International is also seeking permission to visit religious places in PoK, .....
                 

Hygiene on board trains: ECoR installs 91 sanitary napkin vending machines in 36 trains

12 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The East Coast Railway has installed 91 sanitary napkin vending machines in 36 trains as part of the railways' drive to improve hygiene on board its trains, a release from the national transporter said Monday. These are important trains, originating from its jurisdiction - Puri, Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam. Thirty-five coaches of 10 trains include Purusottam Express, Puri-Ahmedabad Express, Tapaswini Express, Puri-Durg Express, Utkal Express, Jagannath Express, Neelachal Express, Puri-Chennai Express, Puri-Ajmer Express, Puri-Shirdi Express originating from Puri have been installed with these machines. Similarly, 28 coaches of 15 trains originating from Bhubaneswar - Hirakhand Express, Rajdhani Express group of trains, Prashanti Express, Dhanbad Garib Rath Express, Bhawanipatna Link Express, Jan Shatabdi Express, Bhubaneswar-Tirupati Express, Bangalore Cant Express, Balangir Inter City, New Delhi Duronto, Krishnarajpuram Humsafar Express, Bangiriposi Express have been provided with ...
                 

BJP suffered for changing names of govt schemes: Gehlot

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the BJP "suffered" in the state because it changed the name of existing government schemes when it was in power and "now it's time" for it to face defeat at the Centre. Gehlot cited the example of the previous BJP government's decision to rename the Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra as Atal Seva Kendra to say that the saffron party will have to repent for changing names of government schemes. He said the Congress government in Rajasthan has decided to retain the name. "The scheme will remain Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra and we have directed the chief secretary to take further action," he told reporters outside Rajasthan Assembly. He said nobody would have objected had the BJP government named a new scheme after their leader. "Be it Centre or state, they did not leave any chance to change names. Such thinking develops bitterness and spoils ambience. They did not realise and now they will have to suffer. They have already suffered in Rajasthan and now it's ...
                 

Khaira takes dig at Mann's never to drink again promise

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Taking a dig at AAP leader Bhagwant Mann's announcement at a rally in Barnala, former party leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira said Monday the gathering appeared to have been called only to declare that Mann had quit drinking. "I was upset over the AAP rally as no serious discussion related to Punjab took place. The rally seemed to be 'Sharab Chhaddao' rally of Bhagwant Mann," Khaira told reporters here. "If any announcement was to be made on giving up liquor (by Mann), that's a personal decision and such an announcement is not made in presence of thousands of people. It should not be meant to seek votes," he said. Mann revealed on Sunday that he had given up drinking on his mother's advice. He said he had given up drinking as of January 1 and hoped to stay firm on his resolve for the rest of his life. Mann, who is often criticised by political opponents for "excessive drinking", earned high praise from AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal for giving up alcohol. Khaira said Mann's announcement from ....
                 

MP minister claims 'someone close' behind BJP leader's killing

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A senior Madhya Pradesh minister Monday said "someone close" might be behind the killing of a local BJP leader here, even as a top police official said they had a few leads and were close to solving the case. BJP leader Manoj Thakre (48) was Sunday found dead with injury marks on the face and neck in the Balwadi area of Barwani. Earlier, on Thursday, another BJP leader, Prahlad Bandhawar, was shot dead in Mansdaur allegedly by one Manish Bairagi with police claiming it to be the fallout of a financial dispute. The deceased was chairman of the Mandsaur Municipal Council. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bala Bachchan Monday said the person arrested for Bandhawar's killing was a BJP worker and added that "in this (Barwani) incident too, someone close is involved". Bachchan, an MLA from Rajpur, hails from Barwani. Meanwhile, Indore Inspector General of Police Varun Kapoor, briefing reporters on Thakre's case, said, "We are working on two-three leads. At present, it won't be .....
                 

JD(U) to hold divisional level conferences from Feb 9:

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The ruling Janata Dal(U) on Monday said it will organise divisional level workers' conferences in February to galvanise party cadres ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Eight such meetings will be held and Chief Minister as well as the party's national president Nitish Kumar has been requested to attend all of them, JD(U) state president Bashishtha Narain Singh said. "The party is ready to face polls whenever it happens," he said. "The party has been organising various programmes in the recent past and now it has decided to hold divisional level workers' conference, which will begin from Tirhut division on February 9," Singh told reporters here. Singh, a Rajay Sabha member, also said that the party has requested its national president Nitish Kumar to attend all the conferences. "Apart from discussing party programmes and polices, we will also be telling them about the various government welfare schemes at the conferences," he added. The party has already organised various .....
                 

Assam Cong urges Rahul to oppose citizenship bill in RS

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Assam Congress urged party president Rahul Gandhi on Monday to ensure that the grand old party votes against the contentious citizenship bill when it is placed in the Rajya Sabha. "People of Assam are very disappointed that the Congress Party MPs decided to walk out prior to the voting on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on January 8 during the passage of the Bill, thereby sending a message of tacit understanding with the BJP on this issue," the legal department of the state Congress said in a letter to Gandhi. The signatories to the letter are legal department convenor Monoj Bhagawati, chairman Niran Borah and coordinator Krishna Sarmah. The members pointed out that a secular Constitution cannot discriminate on the lines of faith, alleging that the bill struck at the very core of the Constitution. The bill, which is pending in the Rajya Sabha, seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims -- Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis -- from Bangladesh,..
                 

Maker Village comes under NIDHI-PRAYAS programme

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
In a big boost to the startup ecosystem in Kerala, the Centre has brought the electronic design and innovation hub Maker Village here under the ambit of NIDHI-PRAYAS programme. Under the programme, financial grants of up to Rs 10 lakh and lab equipment support for early stage hardware startups to pursue their ideas would be provided, a release from the Maker Village said Monday. PRAYAS - Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs- is a flagship programme under NIDHI - the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI). NIDHI had been conceived by the Department of Science and Technology as an umbrella programme for nurturing knowledge-based and technology-driven ideas and innovations into successful startups. The PRAYAS Centre to come up at the Maker Village would help young innovators turn their ideas into proof-of-concepts, the release said. This is a real Nidhi (treasure) for Maker Village. Enterprising aspirants can..
                 

NHRC notice to Delhi govt over death of sanitation worker while cleaning drain

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The National Human Rights Commission on Monday sent a notice to the Delhi government over the death of a contractual sanitation worker after he got trapped in an underground drain while cleaning it in Wazirabad, officials said. The NHRC said that reportedly, workers at the site were "not provided safety gear, such as face masks, breathing apparatus, uniforms and other equipment". The drain, reportedly, comes under the Irrigation and Flood Control Department of the Delhi government. "Allegedly, 22 people have died in the city while cleaning sewers, septic tanks and rainwater harvesting pits over the past two years," the rights panel said in a statement. The 37-year-old sanitation worker was identified as Kishan, a resident of Shri Ram JJ cluster here. The commission said it has issued a notice to the Delhi chief secretary, asking him to submit a detailed report in four weeks in the case, as well as other similar incidents over the past two years in the city. "The report should also .....
                 

Opposition to take up EVM hacking issue with Election Commission: Mamata Banerjee

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
                 

Goa Assembly may amend Act to deal with unruly tourists

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The amendment to Goa Tourist Trade Act, 1982, seeking imposition of fine on tourists creating nuisance on beaches in the state, is likely to be introduced in the state Legislative Assembly session next week. Goa Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo said such legal measure is needed to bring discipline on the beaches. He said Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is not keeping good health, will present the budget for financial year 2019-20 in the three-day session beginning January 29. "The Act is already there but an amendment is needed to fine those drinking on beaches and the tourists causing nuisance," the deputy speaker said after attending the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) to discuss the agenda for the session. Lobo said the chief minister has issued necessary directions to the state chief secretary so that the amendment can be tabled in the coming session...
                 

Consider Manu Sharma plea for premature release in next SRB meeting, HC tells govt

13 hours ago  
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The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the AAP government to consider Jessica Lal murder convict Manu Sharma's request for premature release at the next meeting of the Sentence Review Board (SRB) that is likely to be held in March. Justice Najmi Waziri issued the direction after the Delhi government told the court that under the new Delhi Prisons Rules, 2018 which came into effect from January 1, 2019, SRB meetings would be held every quarter instead of once in six months, and Sharma's case would be considered at the next one. The court said that in the circumstances, the Board will consider the reports in favour of the convict's release as well as his satisfactory conduct in prison in its next meeting, and disposed of his plea. During the hearing, the court was surprised that while the Delhi Police had not objected to Sharma's plea for premature release, its nominee on the Board had done so. Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for the 43-year-old convict, told the court that his..
                 

WhatsApp limits 'forwards' to 5 chats for users globally to combat fake news

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
WhatsApp will now globally limit message 'forwards' to five chats at a time, a practice it had introduced in India in July last year to crack down on spread of rumours and fake news through its platform. In an update to its blog Monday, the Facebook-owned company said the move will help keep "WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts". "WhatsApp carefully evaluated this test and listened to user feedback over a six-month period. The forward limit significantly reduced forwarded messages around the world," it said. It added that "starting today, all users on the latest versions of WhatsApp can now forward to only five chats at once...". The messaging platform -- which has about 1.5 billion users globally and counts India, Brazil and Indonesia among its major markets -- said it will continue to listen to user feedback on their experience, and "over time, look for new ways of addressing viral content". Earlier, WhatsApp users could forward a message to 20 recipients. A .....
                 

Attempt to murder case registered against Cong MLA who

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
                 

Adolescent school students to be made aware of HIV-AIDS

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Odisha AIDS Control Society has launched a programme to sensitize adolescent students in schools on HIV, AIDS and sexual transmission diseases, an official said Monday. The adolescent education programme was launched in Ganjam district, having the highest number of HIV positive persons in the state. The children will be made aware of the cause of the spread of STDs by the teachers in the district, AIDS control programme officer in Ganjam, Hemant Sahu, said here. As many as 60 teachers - half of them women - of 30 high schools in at least 14 out of the 22 blocks, have been sensitized on the cause of HIV and how to prevent them, Sahu said. The programme has been launched in collaboration with the school and mass education department. Teachers from highly vulnerable blocks have been selected for training, he said adding that those teachers would create awareness among students, especially those studying in classes IX and X, at least once a week. "If the school students ...
                 

IESA aims to create Rs 1,000 cr biz, 1 mn jobs from startups in 5 yrs

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Electronics and electronic chip maker body IESA expects to promote 100 startups to help them create 1,000 intellectual property rights (IPRs) and generate business worth Rs 1,000 crore in five years, a senior member of the association said. The association also expects that these steps will lead to creation of a million jobs in the country. "We have our charter according to which IESA has to incubate 100 startups, help them create 1,000 IPRs, generate business worth Rs 1,000 crore and create 1 million jobs over next five years," IESA executive council member Satya Gupta told PTI. IESA, whose members include electronic chip makers Intel, Texas Instruments, Samsung Semiconductor, eInfochips etc, has entered into an agreement with Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) to set up incubation centre in every state. India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) has set up its first incubation centre in Delhi University campus. The centre has been operational for more than two .....
                 

HUA sources allege AAP govt 'stonewalling' Ph-IV metro; Delhi govt claims delay by Centre

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The AAP government has "stonewalled" the progress of the Delhi's Metro's Phase-IV project, leading to "substantial delay" and inconvenience to people, Union government sources claimed Monday. The fresh accusation comes amid an apparent tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government after the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation imposed a condition of 50-50 per cent operational loss sharing while giving approval to the Phase-IV of the metro network late last month. A Delhi government spokesperson countered the allegation, saying, the city government has already cleared the project from its side and "any delay that is now happening is from the Centre's side". Highly-placed sources in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) alleged that "delay tactics of the Delhi government has derailed the metro Phase-IV project". The Delhi government has "stonewalled" the progress of the Delhi Metro's Phase-IV project, leading to "substantial delay" and "causing inconvenience to people", the .....
                 

Shah expresses deep pain at Siddaganga Mutt seer's demise

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Expressing his deep pain at the death of Shivakumara Swamiji, known as 'Walking God' among his countless followers, BJP president Amit Shah Monday said he helped transform millions of lives with his immense knowledge and positivity. "Deeply pained to learn about the demise of Nadedaduva Devaru, Sri Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt. Swamiji has transformed millions of lives with his immense knowledge and positivity. I was fortunate to have received his blessings," he said in a series of tweets. "His life is a message of humanity and noble-ness. May he continue to bless us with the strength to walk on the path he has shown us. My deepest condolences to his followers in this hour of grief," the BJP chief added. The 111-year-old head of the Siddaganga Math in Karnataka died Monday after prolonged illness, the seminary said...
                 

Emission norms: SC asks NGT to consider expanding scope of Volkswagen case to other car makers

13 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Supreme Court on Monday favoured widening of judicial scrutiny of a case pertaining to use of cheat device in diesel cars to flout emission norms in vehicles made by German auto major Volkswagen by bringing other auto majors under the scanner. A bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta said that the National Green Tribunal may consider whether the scope of the emission related case, involving Volkswagen presently, could be expanded to other carmakers also. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Volkswagen, said that the company has been singled out for violation of norms which are "non-existent". He said that the automobile company complies with country's existing norms on emission and has already deposited Rs 100 crore fine imposed by the NGT to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The bench refused to interfere with the orders of NGT imposing fine on the automaker but restrained the green panel from taking any punitive action against the directors ...
                 

HC raps CBI for delay in probe into Narsingh Yadav's complaint over doping scandal

14 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up the CBI for not completing its probe into wrestler Narsingh Yadav's 2016 complaint alleging that his food was spiked leading to a ban on him for four years from the sport on charge of doping, and directed a DIG rank officer to look into the matter and submit a report. Justice Najmi Waziri said the sportsperson had lodged the complaint after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) decision not to give a clean chit to him in the doping violation case and asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) why it has not taken any action for the past two-and-a-half years. The court issued a notice to the CBI and asked it to file its response regarding status of the investigation and how it has pursued the matter by the next date of hearing on February 1. Prior to the CAS decision, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) had cleared him for the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was going to represent India in the men's ...
                 

Teen killed by former friends over past dispute

14 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A 19-year-old college student was allegedly killed by his former friends over an old enmity here, police said Monday. Three youths came on a motorcycle and attacked Rohit Prajapati with sharp weapons in his stomach and chest near his house in Nayapura area late on Sunday night, the police said. The teenager, a first-year BA student in a government college, was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday morning, said Nayapura police station incharge Manoj Rana. A murder case has been registered against the three accused, two of whom have being detained. Preliminary investigation revealed that a past dispute was brewing between the deceased and the accused, who were apparently looking for an opportunity to seek revenge, the officer said. Prajapati's body was handed over to his family after post-mortem and efforts are on to nab the third accused, he added...
                 

Simplilearn Launches Robotic Process Automation, A New Course Category

14 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
/ -- Partners with Automation Anywhere for the advanced RPA course Professional digital-skills training company Simplilearn today announced the launch of a new course category - Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Revolutionizing businesses and quickly becoming one of the quintessential technologies changing the face of IT, RPA accelerates digital transformation, automating manual, repetitive tasks, giving back time to professionals to achieve their true potential. To help professionals stay relevant in the digital age, Simplilearn will be offering three courses ranging from foundation to practitioner levels: Introduction to Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the RPA using UiPath Training Course, and the Automation Anywhere Certified Advanced RPA Professional Training Course. (Logo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/535442/Simplilearn_Logo.jpg ) Simplilearn has partnered with Automation Anywhere, the leader in RPA, to deliver the Automation Anywhere certification course. The partnership ...
                 

ONGC share buyback to open Jan 29, closes Feb 11

14 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp's (ONGC) Rs 4,022 crore share buyback programme will open on January 29 and close on February 11, the company said in its offer letter to shareholders. ONGC's board had on December 20 approved buyback of 25.29 crore shares for Rs 159 apiece as part of the government plan to get cash-rich PSUs to part with their surplus. The government, which holds 65.64 per cent stake in the company, stands to gain about Rs 2,640 crore from tendering some of its shares in the buyback programme. "The funds for the buyback will be met out of internally generated cash resources of the company," it said. ONGC said buyback is the acquisition by a company of its own shares. A buyback is an efficient form of returning surplus cash to the members holding equity shares of the company. After considering the mutual benefits to the company and the equity shareholders, "the board decided to recommend buyback of not exceeding 25.29 crore equity shares representing 1.97 per cent ...
                 

Shivakumara swami, a saga of service to society

14 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The "Walking God" as he is reverentially called, the 111-year old Sree Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga mutt has left an indelible imprint with his stellar contributions in education sector and philanthropy targeted at children in whom he saw the Almighty. Known as "trivida dasohi" for his triple sacraments - food, shelter and education - among his followers, the swamiji, who died Monday, is considered as the incarnation of Basavanna, the 12th century social reformer, as he accepted all irrespective of their religion or castes. Born on April 1, 1907 at Veerapura in Magadi Taluk near here to Honnappa and Gangamma as Shivanna, he was among the 12 siblings. Losing his mother at the age of 8 is said to be one of the reasons for transformation in Shivanna's behaviour, that turned spiritual. After completing primary education at his native village and Nagavalli, the Swamiji completed his matriculation in Tumkuru,before coming here for Bachelor of Arts degree withPhysics and .....
                 

Srinagar deputy mayor allegedly assaulted by corporators

14 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Srinagar Municipal Corporation's deputy mayor was injured Monday after he was allegedly assaulted by corporators inside the corporation's building here, officials said. Sheikh Imran was attacked after an argument broke out between him and a group of corporators over the functioning of the civic body this morning, an aide of Imran said. "The deputy mayor was assaulted by the corporators. He was injured and had to be rushed to a hospital," he said. An official at the Shaheed Gunj police station said they have taken cognizance of the incident and an investigation is underway. Imran, who won the civic body polls as an independent candidate, was elected as the deputy mayor with the backing of the Congress. The corporation has seen several controversies in the short span of two months with a female corporator levelling allegations of sexual harassment against BJP-backed Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu last month...
                 

Niraamaya Retreats Launches India's First Comprehensive Ayurveda App, AyuRythm

14 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
/ -- The convergence of technology and traditional healing systems have found resonance among millennials who use a wide variety of apps to measure their health indicators and monitor their fitness levels. Niraamaya Retreats, India's leading hospitality group that offers integrated wellness and healing programs, weighs in favour of 'disease prevention' through its various Ayurveda and Yoga-led programs. (Logo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/810926/Niraamaya_Wellness_Logo.jpg ) In keeping with the times, AyuRythm was launched to track an individual's health indicators and seek underlying causes of a disease or an ailment . Niraamaya Retreats' new mobile-based app intricately blends technology and Ayurveda - an ancient healing and wellness system - to suggest solutions for the underlying causes of ailments and stress-related issues and help reduce chances of disease flare-ups in the future. How AyuRythm Works AyuRythm is the world's first Ayurvedic diagnostic app on a mobile phone. ....
                 

ASI kills wife then shoots self

14 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A 43-year-old assistant sub-inspector of police allegedly shot dead his wife before killing himself with his service revolver over a "domestic dispute" here on Monday, police said. The deceased were identified as Gurdeep Singh and his wife Surender Kaur, 38, police said. The couple, along with their children, was living in village Nasrauli. The children had gone to school when the incident occurred, Superintendent of Police Astha Modi said. Gurdeep, an assistant sub-inspector, first shot dead his wife and then immediately killed himself with his service revolver, the SP said. The ASI was posted in Panchkula police line and had come to his native village this Monday. Police said the exact cause behind the incident could not be ascertained so far but it could be due to a domestic dispute. The SP said no suicide note was recovered from the spot and investigation was on...
                 

AP CM asks Bihar to send technical team to check fish quality

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
After Bihar banned sale of Andhra fish over quality concerns, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Monday requested his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar to send a technical team to look into the issue and restore the trade between the two states. The Bihar government has imposed a ban for 15 days in Patna after it found formalin, a known carcinogen, in some of the consignments brought from Andhra Pradesh. Formalin is used to preserve fish. In a letter written to the Bihar Chief Minister, Naidu informed that the state government has conducted surprise raids and tested samples but could not find formalin in any fish products. The AP State Fish Farmers Association has denied alleged use of formalin to preserve the fish. Acquaculture farmers and traders have said this could be an attempt to disturb trade between the two states, he added. In this backdrop, Naidu requested the Bihar CM to "depute a technical team from Bihar state for quality check" and take initiative against the persons .....
                 

Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swamiji passes away

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Shivakumara Swamiji, the 111-year old head of the Siddaganga Math in Karnataka, known as 'Walking God' among his countless followers, died Monday after prolonged illness, the seminary said. The senior pontiff who had undergone a surgery at a hospital in Chennai recently for liver complications, had shown signs of improvement but his condition deteriorated in the past few days, said doctors who attended on him. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and the education society run by the Swamiji announced the demise of the seer, plunging lakhs of his followers across the state into grief. "I am deeply saddened to announce that the walking God, Parama Poojya Siddaganga Sri, has passed away. It is an irreparable loss to the state. "His contribution to the society transformed lakhs of people from across the state. He shaped future of many people," said Kumaraswamy as he announced the seer's passing away in Tumakuru where the math is based. The Siddaganga Education Society founded by .....
                 

SC refuses to hear PIL seeking to restrain parties from fielding candidates with criminal record

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking a direction to the Election Commission to restrain political parties from fielding candidates with criminal antecedents in polls. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, allowed BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, who is the petitioner, to give a representation to the poll panel in this regard. "We are not inclined to entertain this petition. However, it will be open to the petitioner to approach the Election Commission by giving a representation," the bench, which also comprised Justice Sanjiv Khanna, said. Upadhyay, in his plea, had sought a direction to the poll panel "to restrict political parties to setup candidates with criminal antecedents in serious offences". The plea said the cause of action had arisen on October 10, 2018 when the EC, while issuing notification for assembly elections in five states, did not amend the Election Symbol Order 1968 and the Model Code of Conduct to restrict .....
                 

Man stabbed to death by friend after scuffle in north Delhi

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A 25-year-old man was stabbed to death allegedly by his friend after a quarrel broke out between them over a minor issue in north Delhi's Kashmere Gate area, police said Monday. In his complaint, Sandeep Sharma stated that he along with his friends Arjun, Vivek, Harish and Sharad had gone for dinner in Ashok Vihar Sunday night following which an argument broke out between Harish and Sharad over a minor issue. However, the issue was resorted later, they said. After dinner, when Sharma and his friends were returning home in his car, both Harish and Sharad continued to fight and abuse each other, they added. At around 10 pm, after dropping Arjun, Vivek and Sharad at Kashmere Gate, Sharma asked Harish to take an auto rickshaw to his residence in Krishna Nagar. Meanwhile, a quarrel broke out between the victim and the accused when Sharma was heading to his home in Ghaziabad. A scuffle broke out between Sharad and Harish again following which Harish attacked Sharad on his neck with a knife,..
                 

Centre should reimburse Rs 3,722 Cr spent on Pollavaram: CM

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Monday wrote a letter to Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari demanding that the Centre immediately reimburse Rs 3,722 crore spent by the state government on the Polavaram project. He also wanted the Centre to expedite approval of the revised cost estimates of Polavaram, submitted to the Central Water Commission in August 2017. Naidu wrote the letter even as the Union Minister spoke at a BJP workers' conference here asserting that the Centre would spend "100 per cent" money on Polavaram. The Chief Minister said Rs 10,459 crore was spent after Polavaram was declared a national project in June 2014. Of this, the Centre reimbursed Rs 6,727 crore, with the last tranche coming in June 2018. "The Centre is yet to reimburse Rs 3,722 crore spent by the state. The state government is providing required funds from its available meagre resources for the project so that the progress of ongoing works is not hampered. This is ....
                 

Delhi court allows extradition process against 4 Sterling Biotech promoters

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A Delhi court Monday allowed the Enforcement Directorate to go ahead with the extradition process against four Sterling Biotech promoters in a Rs 8,100-crore bank fraud case. The agency had sought permission from Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora to initiate extradition proceedings against Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) promoters Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, Chetankumar Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara and Hiteshkumar Narendrabhai Patel. Earlier in the day, the ED told the court that the four accused are reportedly in Italy and Nigeria and their extradition is required for probing the case. The agency has registered the alleged bank fraud case against the firm SBL under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The court had earlier this month issued open-ended non-bailable warrants against the four promoters of the Gujarat pharma firm in the case. The accused are being probed by the agency also for allegedly bribing senior income tax department officials ....
                 

It's going to be advantage BJP in 2019 general elections, says Jaitley

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Dismissing opposition parties' 'Mahagathbandhan' as unviable and unworkable, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Monday said its going to be advantage BJP in the next general election as an aspirational society will not commit a "collective suicide" by voting for a short-lived political alliance. The two-fold strategy of the opposition parties for the 2019 general elections is to pursue anti-Modi agenda and take advantage of the electoral arithmetic, he said in a Facebook post titled 'Agenda for 2019 Modi Vs Chaos'. People are more intelligent than what many politicians think, Jaitley said, adding they will never choose chaos as an option. "The BJP and NDA have to be prepared for a battle for a 50 per cent vote in the direct fight contest. Many States will still witness triangular contests. If a second term for Prime Minister Modi is the issue, it is advantage BJP. The election will be more presidential. "If negativism is the political campaign in an aspirational nation, it won't work. If ...
                 

Malegaon case: HC asks NIA how it verified photocopies of evidence

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Bombay High Court Monday asked the National Investigating Agency (NIA) how it and the trial court verified the authenticity of photocopies of some documentary evidence relied upon in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. A bench of justices A S Oka and A S Gadkari asked the NIA to inform the high court about it on Wednesday. The bench was hearing a bunch of appeals filed by Sameer Kulkarni, one of the accused in the case. Kulkarni has challenged the decision of the special NIA court permitting the probe agency to bring photocopies of missing statements of witnesses and confessions of the accused on record, and lead evidence in its support. In January 2017, the special NIA court had permitted the use of photocopies after the probe agency submitted that some files containing original witness statements and confessions of accused under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Section 164 had gone missing and could not be traced. The agency pleaded that since these statements were not traceable and the..
                 

HDFC Bank gains nearly 1% on quarterly earnings

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Shares of HDFC Bank increased nearly 1 per cent after the private sector lender reported a 20 per cent rise in net profit for the December 2018 quarter. Its shares gained 0.72 per cent to close at Rs 2,146.55 apiece on the BSE. During the day, it touched a high of Rs 2,165, up 1.58 per cent from the previous close. Following the uptrend, the stock settled at Rs 2,145.40, a gain of 0.71 per cent, on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). It was trading at an intra-day high of Rs 2,166.50, 1.70 per cent higher from the previous close. In terms of equity volume, 1.80 lakh shares were traded on the BSE, while over 43 lakh scrips of the bank changed hands on the NSE during the day. The private sector lender Saturday reported a 20.3 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 5,585.9 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, mainly on account of higher net interest income (NII). The bank had posted a net profit of Rs 4,642.6 crore in the October-December quarter of 2017-18. Total income of the .....
                 

Cong corporator wants Kareena to contest from Bhopal LS seat

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A local Congress corporator has requested party chief Rahul Gandhi to field noted Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan from the Bhopal constituency in Madhya Pradesh in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. In a letter written to Gandhi on Sunday, corporator Yogendra Singh Chauhan claimed the actress would be the most suitable candidate to defeat the BJP in Bhopal seat, held by the saffron party since long. Kareena Kapoor Khan is the wife of Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan, who is the son of former Indian cricketer late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, scion of the erstwhile Bhopal state. Pataudi had in 1991 unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha poll from Bhopal, a BJP bastion, on Congress' ticket. Taking a swipe at Chauhan, MP BJP spokesman Rajnish Agrawal dubbed the corporator's move as "entertaining". "We are too strong in the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat as our MPs have worked for its all round development," he said. Asked what will be their strategy if the actress was fielded from the ....
                 

Maha cop killed while stopping truck carrying bullocks, 2 held

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
A police constable was killed while trying to stop a truck carrying bullocks in Chandrapur in Maharashtra, over 800 kilometres from here, police said Monday. The incident happened Sunday night at Khambada Vani Naka on the Nagpur-Chandrapur Road when constable Prakash Meshram, who was deployed on an anti-liquor check, tried to halt a truck carrying 12 bullocks, an official said. "The driver did not halt and drove ahead, crushing constable Meshram under the vehicle's wheels. He is survived by his wife and daughter," he informed. Two people in the truck, identified as Imtiaz Ahmed Fayyaz Ahmed and Mohammad Raza Abdul Jabbar Qureshi, both 19 years of age, were arrested while two others managed to flee from the vehicle, he added. This is the second incident of a policeman losing his life while on a vehicle check in the last three months, the official said. Sub-Inspector Chhatrapati Chide was mowed down in November last year during a police check by a sports utility vehicle ....
                 

Centre to soon take up linking of Godavari and Cauvery:

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The Centre would soon take up a major project to link rivers Godavari and Cauvery that would resolve water issues between four southern states, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari announced here Monday. The objective of the project, expected to cost upto Rs 60,000 crore, was to make good use of about 1100 tmc ft of Godavari water that currently drained into the sea, he said, addressing a meeting of BJP workers here. "The detailed project report for linking rivers Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery is ready. We will soon present it to the Cabinet for approval. Thereafter, we will raise finances for the project either from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank as the project cost is about Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore," Gadkari said. The Godavari water would thus be taken to the tail end of Tamil Nadu, he said. "Every year, about 1,100 tmc ft of Godavari water is going waste into the Bay of Bengal while there is a dispute between Tamil Nadu and .....
                 

Fine from polluting industries must be incremental: NGT

15 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
The National Green Tribunal has said recovery of penalty from polluting industries for damaging the environment must be incremental and asked the Central Pollution Control Board to prepare a policy in this regard. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said a policy in this regard be placed online by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and CPCB. "The principle of recovery of compensation for damage to the environment must be incremental for subsequent defaults to the extent of double the amount which is imposed in the first instance," the bench said. It said the "polluter pays principle" applies also against officials who fail to take action to curb pollution. The tribunal said the penalty not yet recovered should be recovered now. The directions on Friday came when the NGT was perusing a report filed by DPCC about the pollution caused by industries in Narela and Bawana areas. In its report, DPCC told the tribunal that half of the total of 3,376 plots in Narela ...
                 

Countries like US, Japan, China ageing, India getting younger: Swaraj

16 hours ago  
Business / Business Standard/ General News  
Underlining that countries such as the US, Japan and China are ageing rapidly, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Monday said India is getting younger and this demographic perspective offers it an "unprecedented edge" that will help in building a "New Young India" by 2022. Swaraj, in her inaugural address at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, said the Indian diaspora has dramatically changed the world's perception of Indians and our country. "India has the largest diaspora in the world, at almost 31 million, which is spread throughout the globe. However, what marks all of you is the shared common identity of Indianness and a shared common origin India, land of your forefathers," Swaraj said at the Youth PBD. The Youth PBD marked the start of the 15th Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas and was attended by Swaraj, Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, among..