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    Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

    Sonam Kapoor's endearing candour, winsome frankness has set her apart from her contemporaries

    I write this piece about Sonam Kapoor, not as a fan but as a fellow person that respects difference in others. Sonam and I, if there is any room for comparison at all, hail from different worlds in this world. She is opinionated often, and sometimes, terribly misled in her understanding of the world, politics and various seismic socio-political aspects of our country. Like her co-star Kareena Kapoor Khan, sometimes, she says things strangely. Yet, Sonam endears because of her candour and ability to discern a different voice than hers — an art that has gone quite missing from Indian social conversations and chatter these days.

    Sonam Kapoor. Twitter/ Sonam Kapoor RussiaSonam Kapoor. Twitter/ Sonam Kapoor Russia
    Sonam’s world is filled with wealth, privilege, love — from her family, her sister, friends and now, Anand Ahuja. She delights in dressing up and like Kangana Ranaut, has taken Indian women’s fashion a few notches higher. A clotheshorse, she can pull off anything — be it a feathered, lavish gown on the Cannes red carpet, or an electric blue plastic like dress at the world’s biggest movie jamboree.
    As an actor, Sonam has scope for improvement. There is will to do better but efforts are still not quite there yet. She has improved as she has grown, and has tried to diversify as performer. Neerja, Raanjhana and now Padman reflect improvement. As part of a family production, she has tried to carve out a space with her sister Rhea Kapoor. Khoobsurat might bore at times but the character of Milli ‘gets’ what a girl wants. Similarly, Veere Di Wedding, where all its lead characters swear, does not make swearing by an educated, urban woman a ‘thing’. Perhaps, because, it is nothing out of the ordinary; women swear all the time. That part is impressive. A heroine turning producer makes news these days, as their courage is systematically lauded. But Rhea Kapoor, with Sonam as muse, had taken this path quite early on with Aisha — musically solid but an average film.

    For someone having watched her films and tracking cinema for a living, I took some time to actually meet Sonam Kapoor. And that was an eventful evening. I first met Sonam for a video interview for an entertainment news website, one that Bollywood usually loves to be featured on. My first impressions were ineffectual as I watched Sonam get ready for the interview, perfectly coiffured and styled, in a lavish and comfortable office space of their film company. As the young, sincere stylist clicked a photo to post on social media, Sonam struck a perfect pose, sighed elegantly and said, “These girls…!”. Looking divine or sighing elegantly or sitting perfectly have never crossed my mind — that is not what I usually want (from life). I also don’t feel self-conscious about my split ends (which I definitely had then), or near absent pedicure. But I was amused at just how naturally Sonam took to looking gorgeous — it was rather effortless, part of her as a person. I did feel a tad bit like an unironed cotton shirt.

    And then she tore right into me. Her grouse was with the website that I then represented, for not having controlled the trolling of Fawad Khan — the dashing Pakistani heart throb who was making his Bollywood debut with Khoobsurat. Their trailer launch coverage got some really mean comments. I heard her out, wondering if I should do a self-righteous huff and leave. After all, I had not said anything nasty about Fawad and the internet is open field.

    But I held my peace because beneath the sheen and glamour that she so perfectly projected, what Sonam was saying to me made sense. I offered an apology and said we would make amends. A bit miffed, she stated that everyone thought they (Rhea and her) were dad’s credit card brats, and they were not like that. For they made their own money since they were 17 or 18.  She also reiterated that fashion can never be any one person’s bastion and that everyone should wear what they feel comfortable in. An effort was made to cut through the glam diva public image during this conversation.

    7th Pay Commission This is first state to approve CPC recommendations, hiked salary from April only

    7th Pay Commission latest news today: Jammu and Kashmir has become the first state in the country to approve the recommendations of the 7th pay panel for its employees and also announced to pay revised salary from this month itself.

    From this month onwards, employees of Jammu and Kashmir government will start getting the revised salary as per the recommendations of the 7th pay panel.
    The Jammu and Kashmir government’s information department on Tuesday said the government employees of the state will start drawing revised scales of pay from April itself. “As already announced by Govt, the employees to draw revised scales of pay from current month,” the state information department tweeted.

    7th Pay Commission recommendations were implemented by the Centre two years ago. Addressing a press conference today, Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Altaf Bukhari said J&K is the first state in India to implement the 7th CPC recommendations. The minister further said that the state doesn’t have much resources but the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has fulfilled the commitment she had made.

    India Set To Be New Engine Of Global Growth, PM Modi Tells Top US CEOs

    Observing that the world needs a new engine of growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India is poised to contribute as the new engine of global growth and asserted that a larger Indian economy has "multiple benefits" for the world.

    "This is the time when the world needs new engine of growth. It would be nice if the new engines are democratic engines," PM Modi said in his address to the American business community at the annual gala of the US India Business Council (USIBC).

    "Today, India is poised to contribute as a new engine of global growth. A larger Indian economy has multiple benefits for the world," the Prime Minister said as he listed out the achievements of his government in economic reforms and liberalisation of policies.

    As a result, India has now emerged as the one of the fastest growing economies of the world and urged the American businesses to come and invest in India, set up efficient manufacturing units.

    "India is much more than a market," he said, adding that it is a "reliable partner", as he listed out the key features of a resurgent Indian economy that is geared to become "driver of global economy".

    The Prime Minister said that a larger Indian economy has multiple benefits for the world.

    The Prime Minister said as India marches ahead on the path of development, it needs to learn from the America experience, in particular its entrepreneurship, technological advancement and products which ranges from drugs to drones.

    "Indeed, to me America is not just has a great past, but it is a country with an exciting future," the Prime Minister said.

    PM Modi exuded confidence that Indo-US partnership would benefit both the countries. He said his government has taken decisive steps to curb corruption.

    "We would continue to have disciplined and prudent Macro-economic policies," he told the US corporate leadership.

    "We would continue to improve the investment climate and ease of doing business," the Prime Minister said, adding his government wants to make India a destination which not only welcomes businesses but also it is easier to do business.

    PM Modi urged developed countries to open their market. "We see this as a win-win situation," he said.

    IPS Officer Merin Joseph Perfectly Explains What's Rotten With Articles Objectifying Women

    It's in common knowledge that internet thrives on objectification of women. From endless lists on 'wardrobe malfunctions' to obsession over female stars gaining or losing weight, objectifying women is a sure-fire traffic spinner for many sites. Magazines also routinely come out with annual lists of 'hottest', 'most beautiful' stars. While most women -- especially ones in showbiz -- have not been heard complaining against being featured in such lists, IPS officer Merin Joseph is not one of them.

    So when, a vernacular daily compiled a list of India's 'most beautiful' IPS and IFS officers, Joseph promptly decided to put them in their place.

    She pointed out that how, by handpicking a few officers as the 'most beautiful', the publication has trivialised the work they are doing. She also made it clear that they would rather be appreciated for their work, not their physical appearance.

    Referring to the article, she wrote in a Facebook post: "This perfectly sums up what is wrong with the press in India, especially the vernacular press. Shameless objectification of women and propagation of patriarchal structures, reducing a lady's worth to her face value. These are bold and brave officers working in the complex bureaucratic system in India, negotiating their way through the good , bad and ugly of our body politic- and here we have a list of officers whom people can ogle at. It's seriously disgusting, constricting and very very demeaning to our identities as smart, intelligent self made women. Have you ever wondered why we never see a list of the most handsome males in the IAS and IPS ??"

    Her post got over 2000 likes and more than 200 shares in a couple of days. It was heartening to see pretty much all the commenters agreeing with the objectification of women in the media.

    India to get its indigenously-built Supercomputer by 2017

    India will have its indigenously-built supercomputer next year in the month of August, as confirmed by the officials of Minister of Science and Technology. The building of supercomputer is a part of the government’s Rs. 4,500 crore programme, approved in March last year.

    The project is supervised by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing that built India’s first supercomputer ‘Param’. It is aimed at taking India to the elite league of nations who have made similar advancements in the field of technology.

    The supercomputing mission started by the Government of India is aimed at building 80 supercomputers in the next seven years. Some of the supercomputers will be imported, and the rest will be built indigenously.
    “The first supercomputer will come up by August 2017”, stated Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology. “We are working on how to control heat”, he added. The secretary also explained that the cost of power to run this supercomputer alone will be Rs. 1,000 crore and will be kept in different institutes across the country. These supercomputers offer various features like weather forecast, climate modelling, discoveries of drugs and many others, Ashutosh added.

    Currently, countries like US, China, Japan and the European Union hold a significant share of the top supercomputing machines in the world.

    With the indigenously-built supercomputer, Prime Minister’s vision of “Make in India” is taking shape as different sectors of science and technology are coming forward to contribute to this mission, and projecting India as their new incubation hub.

    The new Supercomputer is an endeavor by the Indian Government as a part of five years long project, aimed to proliferate the momentum of research and application.

    Camel Bites Owner's Head Off After Being Made To Stand In Heat All Day In Rajasthan

    A camel, who was tied outside its owner's house in the heat all day, killed him when the man finally remembered to untie the animal. The incident was reported in Barmer in Rajasthan on Saturday. It reportedly took 25 villagers six hours to calm the animal down.
    Temperatures in Rajasthan broke past records last Friday. The highest temperature in Barmer on Saturday, when the camel remained outside in the heat with its legs tied, was about 43 degrees celsius.

    According to a report in The Times of India, the owner, Urjaram, had forgotten to untie his camel during the day, and suddenly remembered while he was entertaining guests at home. When he went out to untie the camel, it attacked him, picking him up by the neck and throwing him in the ground. A villager told TOI that the camel chewed the owner's body and severed his head in the process.

    Air Ambulance Crash Lands Near Najafgarh, 5 Injured

    An air ambulance carrying seven people on board crash-landed in a field in Kair village, Najafgarh near Delhi on Tuesday.

    According to reports, the Alchemist Airlines Air Ambulance had taken off from Patna and was on its to Delhi when it crashed at around 2:45 pm.
    News18 reported that the crash took place minutes before the plane would have landed at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is situated six nautical miles from the crash site.

    Both the engines for the Alchemist Airways' C-90 Beechking aircraft failed one after the other, which forced the pilot to make an emergency landing in a field, reported NDTV.

    Among the seven people on board, five were reported to have been injured and were being rushed to the hospital.

    India's ruling BJP wins power in northeast, expands influence

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party declared victory on Thursday in the northeastern state of Assam, an election boost that will help his right-wing nationalist government rebuild some momentum after poll losses last year.

    Grabbing power in Assam, one of five states electing new assemblies, would be a first for the Bharatiya Janata Party in India's volatile northeast, a sign its political influence is expanding beyond its traditional northern and western belt.

    The BJP led in the races for 81 of the 126 seats in Assam where clear trends had been set, unofficial tallies compiled by television broadcasters showed.

    The opposition Congress Party, which has ruled the state assembly since 2001, trailed with 26 seats.

    Modi called the Assam victory an "exceptional win" on Twitter and congratulated his party leaders.

    Elsewhere, tallies by television channels showed popular regional parties heading for victory in the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the eastern state of West Bengal, where the BJP has a small presence and was not expected to win.

    Modi called the chief ministers of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu to congratulate them, he said on Twitter.

    "The BJP had nothing to lose in these elections, only something to gain," said Manoj Joshi, a political analyst at the Observer Research Foundation. "And they have gained. It shows the momentum is still with them."

    Counting of votes from the five states began at 0230 GMT and complete results are expected later on Thursday.


    The BJP waged a polarising campaign in Assam, an underdeveloped state rife with ethnic and religious tension, and vowed to disenfranchise millions of Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants, to curry favour among discontented Hindus.

    Modi took a less prominent role in elections this year after a bad loss in a November poll in the eastern state of Bihar that turned into a referendum on his personal leadership. His party also lost in the capital New Delhi early last year.

    "The people of Assam have accepted our winning combination. This is going to be a great victory," BJP chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal told Indian television, as supporters gathered in the state capital, Guwahati.

    Victory in Assam, while symbolic, will have little impact on Modi's ability to control the upper house of parliament, where his party lacks a majority and the opposition has stymied key economic reforms.

    But the prospect of Congress weakened further by the state vote will raise his party's hopes for its bitter foe to be less resistant to the legislation.

    Unofficial counts showed a Congress-led coalition was headed for defeat at the hands of leftist parties in Kerala.

    (Additional reporting by Biswajyoti Das in GUWAHATI and Sujoy Dhar in KOLKATA; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Clarence Fernandez)

    JDU Leader's Son Rocky Yadav Accused Of Killing Bihar Teen Arrested

    Rocky Yadav, the son of a JDU leader who allegedly shot dead a teenager for overtaking his SUV in Bihar's Gaya on Saturday, has been arrested, police said.

    Confirming the arrest, Gaya's Senior Superintendent of Police Garima Mallick said, " We have been carrying out regular raids and based on our interrogation of various people we have made the arrest. I cannot give you more details right now."

    The arrest happened a day after Rocky's mother Manorama Devi, member of leglislative council, was  interrogated. Sources said Rocky was picked up from a factory located on the road to Bodh Gaya, in which Bindi Yadav, Rocky's father, has business interests.

    Aditya Sachdeva, 19, was driving home with friends in his Maruti Swift when he overtook the politician's son Range Rover.

    Rocky Yadav, 30, son of a JD(U) leader allegedly shot dead the teenager.
    His friends claim that Rocky then fired a warning shot from the SUV, forcing Mr Sachdeva to stop, after which he was beaten up and then shot at. He died on the spot.

    "I would like to fold my hands and ask Nitish Kumar to please get this boy justice," Mr Sachdeva's cousin Rishi Sachdeva appealed to the Bihar Chief Minister .

    The Range Rover belonging to JD(U) leader Manorama Devi's family and the Swift in which the teenager who was killed was travelling.
    Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister, has rebuked the media and political opponents for what he describes as "focusing not on what but who". That clumsy comment rankles, though the Chief Minister has stressed that the suspect's bodyguard has been arrested along with his father for helping organize his escape.

    His mother, Manorama Devi had told NDTV,  "We don't know where he is, he will surrender. We didn't play a role in his escape."

    The Chief Minister has denied that this is the latest in a snaking line of crimes that expose the "jungle raj" or return of lawlessness to Bihar, as alleged by the main opposition party, the BJP

    BSF Troops Seize Fake Currency on Indo-Bangla Border

    Here are some important reports from the biggest newspapers of India.

    1. BSF troops seize fake currency, 900 cattle on Indo-Bangla border
    Here are some important reports from the biggest newspapers of India.

    Troops of the Border Security Force (BSF) deployed along the India-Bangladesh border under the Guwahati sector on Saturday night seized fake Indian currency notes worth Rs 1.5 lakhs, but not before a mob on the international boundary in Dhubri district attacked them and freed the main culprit, reported the Indian Express daily.

    While a joint operation team of the BSF and Assam Police was carrying out an operation based on specific intelligence inputs in a house in Jordanga village under Mankachar police station in Dhubri district located close to the international boundary, the villagers comprising women and children too encircled the troops, assaulted them and would have killed them, had more reinforcements not reached the spot on time.

    2. MCD bypolls: BJP releases names of candidates

    The BJP Sunday announced its list of 13 candidates who will contest for the post of councillors in the MCD bypolls in May.
    The BJP gave tickets to three of its former MLAs and family members of a few party workers, reported the Indian Express daily.

    The three former MLAs are Mahendra Nagpal, who will contest from Wazirabad ward, Krishan Gehlot, who will contest from Nawada, and Jitender Singh Shunty who will contest from Jhilmil.

    3. Under RTE: Government definition of 'orphans' unclear, puts them at disadvantage

    Three years after the Right to Education (RTE) Act came into force, an NGO approached the Delhi High Court with a plea to include the city's orphans under "disadvantaged categories" for admission under the RTE. The HC allowed orphans to be added to the category, reported the Indian Express daily.

    When the Directorate of Education (DoE) announced guidelines for nursery admission for the 2013-14 academic year, for the first time, it stated that "orphans" be included "within the meaning of children belonging to disadvantaged groups".

    4. Private schools need Delhi government's nod to fire teachers, rules SC

    A driver who was sacked by a private school in 2003 has secured a judgment from the Supreme Court forbidding recognised schools in Delhi from dismissing any employee, including teachers, without "prior approval" of the director of education.

    In its judgment on April 13, SC upheld a provision in the Delhi School Education Act 1973 that requires all recognised schools to obtain the government's approval before sacking an employee. The section -8(2) of the DSEA 1973 -had been struck down by the Delhi high court in July 2005, reported the Times of India daily.

    5. Government mulls sops to attract doctors to rural postings

    A severe shortage of doctors in rural areas has forced the health ministry to dust off an earlier proposal to post MBBS students in the hinterland. However, this time, it may not make a rural stint mandatory.

    Instead, the plan is to incentivise students and doctors by making their access to postgraduate courses easier or by offering them better pay .

    "The ministry has deliberated on the plan and it has in principle approval from the health minister. A formal proposal with details of incentives has to be drawn up before we take it to the next level in the government for approval," a senior official told the Times of India daily.

    Dipa Karmakar Creates History, First Indian Gymnast to Qualify for Olympics

    Dipa Karmakar on Sunday created history by becoming the first ever Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games.

    Karmakar produced a strong show, finishing ninth in the first of the four subdivisions of the women's artistic category, at the Final Qualifier and Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro.

    She garnered a total score of 52.698 points. Her final rankings will be known only after completion of the event with competition in three other subdivisions going on currently.

    Her first vault, the much difficult Produnova, gave Karmakar 15.066 points, the highest among the 14 competitors. But a poor show in the uneven bars took her points down as she collected 11.700, the second worse among the 14 participants.

    The Tripura girl secured 13.366 and 12.566 points in the beam and floor exercises.

    Gymnastic officials said that her Rio Games berth is more or less assured after the strong show.
    "Dipa is 100 per cent assured of an Olympic berth with this 52.698 score. There are three subdivisions to go but she has already beaten gymnasts from three countries. So she has qualified," international referee Deepak Kagra told PTI.

    "This Test event has participants from 33 countries and since her score is above the participants of at least three countries, she will finish in the top 30 country-wise. That is enough for her to qualify for Rio Olympics," he added.

    The 22-year-old could not clinch an Olympic berth in the World Championships in November last as she finished outside the podium, in fifth place.

    She was earlier put as second reserve for the ongoing Olympic Test event in Rio but was informed last month that she had sneaked into the shortlist of participants.

    Karmakar had created history by becoming the first woman gymnast to win a medal -- a bronze -- in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. He then became the first Indian woman gymnast to feature in the finals of World Championships in November last.

    Panama Paper leaks: Amitabh Bachchan denies link with offshore companies

    Actor Amitabh Bachchan, whose name figured in the Panama Paper leaks as allegedly having links with offshore entities in two tax havens, on Tuesday denied any connection with those companies, saying his name may have been “misused”.

    He also claimed that even the news report had not suggested any wrongdoing on his part.

    The Indian Express carried a report on Monday based on leaked documents of a Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca which is said to feature links of over 500 Indians to firms and accounts in offshore tax havens.

    Referring to the report, Bachchan, 73, said, “I do not know any of the companies referred to by Indian Express - Sea Bulk Shipping Company Ltd, Lady Shipping Ltd, Treasure Shipping Ltd, and Tramp Shipping Ltd. I have never been a director of any of the above stated companies. It is possible that my name has been misused.

    “I have paid all my taxes including on monies spent by me overseas. Monies that I have remitted overseas have been in compliance with law, including remittances through Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), after paying Indian taxes. In any event the news report in Indian Express does not even suggest any illegality on my part,” his statement read.

    The names of his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, her parents and brother also figured in the leaked documents as being directors in a firm in the British Virgin Islands.

    The newspaper quoted her media adviser Archana Sadanand, who raised questions about the International Consortium of Investigating Journalists and said all the information the paper had was totally untrue and false.

    Why is BS Bassi silent about what really killed Sunanda Pushkar, asks Subramanian Swamy

     Sunanda Pushkar, died of poisoning, a report by an All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) panel confirmed on Friday.

    BJP member Subramanian Swamy on Saturday claimed that the FBI found the presence of heart arrest injectable poison Lidocaine in the body of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former Union minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. He questioned Delhi Police Chief BS Bassi that why he was silent about the matter and did not reveal it to the media.

        Police Commissioner is not telling the media that the FBI found the presence of heart arrest injectable poison lidocaine in Sunanda body.
        — Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) January 16, 2016

    Sunanda Pushkar, died of poisoning, a report by an All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) panel confirmed on Friday.
    The 43-page report, submitted to the Delhi police, also upheld the findings of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s forensics report.

    In February 2015, the viscera samples were sent to the FBI lab in Washington DC to determine the kind of poison that killed her, following contrary reports from the AIIMS and the Delhi police. They differed over whether she was poisoned or died from an antidepressant overdose.

    Delhi police chief BS Bassi told the press that the cause of death was "unnatural". "The current investigation of the final viscera report submitted to the Delhi police states that Sunanda Pushkar did not die a natural death. That is for certain. It was an unnatural death," Bassi said.

    Pushkar was found dead inside her suite at a five-star hotel here in January 2014, a day after she was involved in a spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on Twitter over the latter's alleged affair with Tharoor.

    The Forensics and Toxicology department at AIIMS, the country's premier medical facility, said that the cause of death was poisoning, and that there were more than one chemical that had been identified. However, the names of the chemicals were not revealed.

    Sources said that the AIIMS report noted that the medical board had given poisoning as the cause of death in the column of opinion after the examination of Puskhar's body on January 18, 2014.

    The FBI was sent samples of the stomach, spleen, liver, kidney and urine. Sources said that their analysis endorsed the cause of death, saying that the same poison was present in all of them. It endorsed the AIIMS post-mortem report.

    Film-maker Shyam Benegal to head committee to revamp Censor Board

    The government on Friday constituted a committee headed by film-maker Shyam Benegal to look into the revamp of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

    The committee, which will submit its report in two months, also includes film-maker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Piyush Pandey and film critic Bhawana Somaaya. National Film Development Council managing director Nina Lath Gupta and joint secretary (films) Sanjay Murthy will also be part of the committee.

    The government said in a statement that the panel has been formed “in sync with the vision” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The recommendations of the committee are expected to provide a holistic framework and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view this framework, the statement said.
    “During their deliberations, the committee will be expected to take note of the best practices in various parts of the world, especially where the film industry is given sufficient and adequate space for creative and aesthetic expression,” the statement said.

    The committee will recommend broad guidelines, procedures under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, and rules for the benefit of the chairperson and other members of the screening committee. The staffing pattern of the CBFC will also be looked into in an effort to recommend a framework which would provide efficient, transparent user-friendly services, the statement added.

    The announcement on Friday came within days of information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Arun Jaitley saying that the “time has come” to have a re-look at the functioning of the CBFC as he would like the Censor Board to be “controversy- free”.

    Film-makers have complained of arbitrary objections and cuts sought by the Censor Board in the recent past, including criticism for cuts in the latest James Bond movie Spectre for screening in India. A list of banned “cuss” words, circulated by CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani had also become a subject of controversy.

    Noida jinx will keep Akhilesh Yadav away from meeting PM

     The blind and unreasonable belief started in 1988 with then chief minister late Veer Bahadur Singh who experienced the "curse" first hand. Later, ND Tiwari, Kalyan Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati "have also fallen prey" to this phenomenon.

    It might constitute a serious breach of protocol. But, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav would still not go to Noida to receive the Prime Minister there on Thursday. The reason: the Noida jinx.

    For the uninitiated, that is the fear of UP chief ministers that a visit to Noida brings misfortune, preventing the incumbent from remaining in his seat of power for long. Akhilesh, projected as a young and modern-thinking politician, has also been stricken by this patently baseless apprehension.
    The blind and unreasonable belief started in 1988 with then chief minister late Veer Bahadur Singh who experienced the "curse" first hand. Later, ND Tiwari, Kalyan Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati "have also fallen prey" to this phenomenon.

    The PM would be in Noida to inaugurate the Delhi-Meerut Expressway. As a matter of protocol, both the CM and the Governor receive the PM when he visits their state. On Thursday, while UP Governor Ram Naik would be there to receive Modi, the CM will stay away.

    Whether it was the inauguration of the Yamuna Expressway or other projects, laying the foundation of a university or opening Nasscom's Noida office, Akhilesh has preferred to press the remote control button from Lucknow or Delhi, assiduously avoiding the allegedly cursed destination. Even the horrific episode in Dadri (Noida), where a Muslim man Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched on suspicion of eating beef, failed to shake up Akhilesh enough.

    PM Modi slams Congress, says it has no right to talk about tolerance after 1984 anti-Sikh riots

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday slammed Congress for protesting against 'rising intolerance', saying that it was on this very day in 1984 that the anti-Sikh riots began in Delhi.

    "Do you remember November 2, 1984? What happened in Delhi? Sikhs were being killed... and ironically on November 2, the Congress talks of tolerance. Drown in shame!", he said at a rally in Purnea in Bihar.

    "Congress has no right to talk about tolerance after 1984 anti-Sikh riots; they are enacting a drama", he added.

    "Justice was never delivered to 1984 riot victims," said the PM.

    The PM's remarks come ahead of a meeting between Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday, where she is likely to raise concerns over 'rising intolerance' in the country. Writers, historians, scientists and businessmen have all launched scathing attacks on the Modi government in the past few weeks.

    The PM is scheduled to address three more rallies in what is the campaigning for the last phase of Bihar elections.

    Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has alleged there was a "systematic, orchestrated and vicious" campaign by opponents to target the BJP-led NDA even as he stressed that while fringe elements should be segregated, not everybody should be painted with the same brush.

    "This is a systematic, orchestrated, vicious campaign across the country by our opponents for whatever reason. Some people are misled and some people are misleading them.

    "This is not good for the country," the urban development minister said at a cultural event here in an apparent reference to the protest by authors, filmmakers and intellectuals over what they have charged is "growing intolerance" in the country.

    Meanwhile, Janata Dal (United) lashed out at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for his defence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and questioned his stand on the growing intolerance in the country.

    REET 2015 | REET Syllabus 2015 | REET Exam Date, Application form

    REET 2015 Exam in Rajasthan, REET Syllabus 2015 for level 1 & Level 2, BSER REET Exam Date 2015, Rajasthan REET Application form 2015, Download REET Sample Paper & RTET Previous Year Papers

    REET Exam 2015 – it was big announcement for Rajasthan graduated youth who are looking job of 3rd grade teacher. Rajasthan government has announced that “” REET exam will be considered for 3rd grade teacher instead RTET”.Aspirants are searching REET syllabus & exam date 2015. Government & BSER is announced exam date. in the syllabus section, they are changed the syllabus and removed Rajasthan GK.  For your information this exam is equivalent to RTET. Anatomy of REET, RTET & BSER is mentioned below.

    This is not official website of REET. You may visit Board of Secondary Education Rajasthan website for official information. Rajasthan Board will conduct REET exam. Our team trying to update all information related to REET in real time.

    Congress demands Smriti Irani’s resignation

     Congress on Wednesday demanded that Smriti Irani resign as HRD minister after a trial court took cognizance of a complaint about her educational qualifications, the party taking pleasure in the fact that PM Narendra Modi's weapon to take on Rahul Gandhi was on the back foot.

    AICC spokesman Ajay Maken said Irani could not be the minister in-charge of education when an inquiry seeking details from Delhi University about her degrees was on. "Is it not a conflict of interest? She should resign or the PM should remove her," he said.

    Maken reminded that Congress had raised the issue immediately after the PM constituted his Cabinet as Irani's election affidavits had serious discrepancies with different claims about her degrees.

    NSUI, the Congress's students' outfit, held a demonstration in front of Shastri Bhavan which houses the HRD ministry to seek Irani's resignation. Shouting slogans, NSUI members burnt her effigy. NSUI chief Roji John said, "It is an insult to the academic and student community that a person who is not clear about her own educational qualifications is the country's HRD minister. She must resign."
    Congress is set to pile more pressure with the party's Delhi unit deciding to hold a protest at Jantar Mantar seeking Irani's resignation on Thursday.

    For the party aggressively pursuing 'Modigate', the court observation on Irani has brought special relish that goes beyond the satisfaction of punching holes in BJP's claim of "scam-free" governance.

    BJP had lately deployed Irani to take on Rahul after the latter's post-sabbatical aggression against Modi government, especially the PM, in Parliament.

    Irani's forays into Rahul's constituency Amethi reflected a strategy to tie down Rahul to his seat and cut down on his national campaign. The HRD minister contested unsuccessfully against Rahul in the 2014 polls. After Rahul accused the Centre of "politics of revenge" for cancelling the food park in Amethi, Irani held a rally in the UP town attacking the Congress leader. She then challenged that "the Gandhis would be seeing more of me in Amethi".

    Six dead in ammonia gas tanker leak near Ludhiana

    At least six persons were killed and around 100 others complained of breathing problems when an ammonia gas tanker leaked early on Saturday near Ludhiana, police said.

    The leak occurred when the tanker got stuck under a flyover on the Doraha bypass along a canal, about 25 kms from Ludhiana, according to the police.

    Six persons died after inhaling the leaked gas. Doraha Police Station's SHO Rajnish Kumar Sood said the bodies have been shifted to a hospital in Ludhiana. Around 100 others complained of breathing problems, he added.
    The affected people have been admitted to different hospitals in Doraha, Khanna and Ludhiana, the SHO said.

    Residents in the area were forced to vacate their homes when the gas from the tanker spread in and around Doraha, police said.

    The tanker had Gujarat registration number, according to the police. Police officers have rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.

    More details are awaited. Identities of the victims are yet to be ascertained, the police said. 

    IPL 8: Virat Kohli smiles as girlfriend Anushka Sharma performs

    Star batsman and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli was seen savouring the moves as his girlfriend, Bollywood beauty Anushka Sharma, set the floor afire with her performance at the glitzy opening ceremony of the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

    TV cameras kept zooming at Kohli as Anushka gyrated to the tunes of her popular movie songs at the Salt Lake Stadium. Seemingly embarrassed at first, the cricket icon was later seen smiling and watching the actress.

    The hot and happening couple was on Monday spotted at the Kolkata airport together during their arrival for the IPL opener.

    Reflecting the grandeur and exuberance of Indian festivities, the glitzy and technologically stunning opening of the eighth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL-8) began here on Tuesday at the Salt Lake stadium amid a replay of magical moments of the previous editions of the league. Fireworks explode at the Salt Lake Stadium during the Pepsi IPL 2015 opening night in Kolkata on Tuesday.PTI
    The stadium erupted in celebrations even though thundershowers led to an hour-and-a-half delay. The rain clearly failed to dampen the spirits of the nearly 15,000 patiently waiting cricket fans.

    As the audience waited for the star performers -- Hrithik Roshan, Anushka Sharma and Shahid Kapoor -- to fire up the show, captains of the seven of the eight teams took the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Spirit of Cricket pledge by signing a bat.

    Bollywood Actor Hritik Roshan performs during the Pepsi IPL 2015 opening night event at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday. PTI PhotoSunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner was not present, and his teammate Shikhar Dhawan stepped in to sign the bat on behalf of the Australian.

    Farhan Akhtar rooting for Mumbai Indians

    Lauding the Indian Premier League (IPL) for its high entertainment quotient, actor-director Farhan Akhtar on Tuesday said he will be rooting for Mumbai Indians and was excited to see cricketer Yuvraj Singh play.

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