Akhilesh bats for SP over school bags gaffe

first_imgJumping into the matter, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has expressed his wonder over how school bags bearing his photograph were being distributed in Gujarat by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.“The question is how are bags from U.P. being distributed in Gujarat,” the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said, reacting to the embarrassing gaffe by the Gujarat government.The Gujarat Education Department has distributed thousands of school bags bearing Mr. Yadav’s picture in the tribal district of Chhota Udepur. The matter came to light on Tuesday.The bags were distributed to newly enrolled students in government-run primary schools. The BJP-ruled state has already ordered a probe to ascertain how the bags landed in Gujarat, even as social media users ridiculed the incident.Taking to Twitter, Mr. Yadav used the incident to flaunt the achievements of his government, which lasted from 2012 to 2017. “They have used stickers to hide the picture [Mr. Yadav’s] but the work and colours of the Samajwadis are still clear,” Mr. Yadav said.SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the BJP was so overwhelmed by the development and welfare work done by the previous Akhilesh Yadav government that they were merely changing the names of schemes started by him and projecting them as their achievements.last_img read more

JD(U), RJD face off over Tejaswi’s resignation

first_imgLeaders of the ruling Janata Dal (United) have begun demanding Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav’s resignation, following the CBI raids on his family and an FIR lodged against him on corruption charges.“Tejaswi Yadav is yet to explain the charges made against him,” said JD(U) leader and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar. Party sources told The Hindu that if the RJD did not act on the issue by Saturday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be forced to take a decision in line with his “zero tolerance to corruption” principle.Following the JD(U) leader’s statement, RJD legislator from Maner Bhai Virendra told journalists that his party had 80 MLAs in the Assembly and would not function “on the advice of others.”The rift in the ruling coalition in Bihar seems to be widening after the Janata Dal(U) said on Thursday that if Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav did not explain the corruption charges against him, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be forced to take action.“All RJD [Rashtriya Janata Dal] legislators are strongly behind our leader Lalu Prasad and Tejaswi Yadav, who will not tender his resignation,” Bhai Virendra, party leader, said. Several RJD leaders, who did not want to be named, said there was “no question of Tejaswi Yadav resigning, come what may.”Mr. Nitish Kumar had earlier asked his party members not to comment on the issue, but after the JD(U)’s meeting on Tuesday, which sent a message to the RJD that those against whom charges of corruption have been made should explain the facts in public, they have started attacking the RJD. Mr. Kumar, however, continues to maintain a studied silence.“It’s a matter of hours or a few days that Nitish Kumar will take a decision on the issue if Tejaswi Yadav does not resign. Mr. Kumar himself may resign and form the government with the outside support of the BJP,” said a party insider, who was present at the JD(U) meeting. Of the 29 leaders who spoke at the meeting, 27 reportedly advocated snapping of ties with the RJD.RJD leaders too appeared to be ready to face the political fallout of the imbroglio. “Why should we worry about the fall of the government? We are the major partner in the coalition. We will face the situation as it comes,” said a senior leader close to Mr. Prasad. No word exchangedBJP State president Nityanand Rai said earlier this week that his party could consider extending outside support to Mr. Nitish Kumar.On Wednesday, Mr. Tejaswi Yadav and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar did not speak to each other at the Cabinet meeting, though they were seated next to each other. Mr. Nitish Kumar, coming out of the meeting, continued to maintain a stoic silence. He later held a meeting with key leaders and officials at his 1 Anne Marg residence. Earlier, on Tuesday, the JD(U) had put the ball in the court of RJD, asking it to make its stand clear on the corruption charges while stressing that “Nitish Kumar never compromises on the issue of corruption.”last_img read more

Crop residue-coal mix to nix stubble burning

first_imgThe government has directed the state-run power producer NTPC to mix crop residue pellets with coal for power generation in its thermal power plants in a bid to curb crop burning in Punjab and Haryana, one of the reasons behind the pollution crisis in Delhi and its neighbourhood. Power Minister R.K. Singh said this step would earn farmers ₹5,500 per tonne of crop residue. The statement comes a day after the Ministry of Petroleum brought forward the deadline for the rollout of the cleaner BS-VI grade fuel in Delhi to reduce emissions.Curbing pollution“The Ministry has directed the NTPC to mix straw/crop residue pellets with coal, up to 10%, for power generation in all of its thermal power plants,” Mr. Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function organised by the Power Ministry. “This step would reduce crop residue burning in agriculture dominated States like Punjab, Haryana, etc. and hence reduce air pollution that is currently being experienced.” “This step would give the farmers a monetary return of ₹5,500 per tonne of crop residue and hence create a market for it,” the Minister added. “The infrastructure for sourcing the crop residue from farmers is being set up and the NTPC would soon be issuing tenders in this regard.” Mr. Singh said his Ministry was in talks with State governments to make it mandatory to source 10% of their fuel from straw or crop residue for all power plants in their respective jurisdictions.Portal launchedThe Minister on Thursday launched the portal for the Saubhagya Scheme, which seeks to implement last-mile connectivity to electrify rural households. “Achieving electrification of four crore households is a big challenge, but nevertheless the government is committed to achieving this target by December 2018, with the cooperation of all States,” Mr. Singh said during the event. “This would, in turn, bring about a huge improvement in the quality of life of the citizens.”The online Saubhagya portal ( is meant to enable every State to enter the current status of progress of electrification.last_img read more

Bodies of woman, infant found in train

first_imgA day after the bodies of a woman and an infant were recovered in Sangrur’s Dhuri from a suitcase in the Dadar-Amritsar Express, the railway police on Sunday said an initial probe has revealed that two men, who boarded the train in Mathura with the suitcase, are key suspects in the case.“Passengers have revealed that two men boarded the train in Mathura with the suitcase. They later deboard the train, but no one paid attention until foul stench started emitting near Nabha in Patiala,” Jagjit Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Government Railway Police, Dhuri, told The Hindu.Mr. Singh said some passengers of S-4 coach complained about foul smell from an abandoned suitcase lying under a seat.“We are investigating the matter from all possible angles. Apart from examining the witnesses, we are also collecting the CCTV footage to zero in on the suspects,” he said.The police had on Saturday recovered bodies of a woman, in mid-20s, and an infant girl, between 5-6 month, from a suitcase lying under seat 41 of the S-4 coach of the train.Mr. Singh said the woman had an injury at the back of her head while the baby girl seemed to be strangled.“We are waiting for the autopsy report, which we expect in a day or two. Both bodies have been sent to the Dhuri civil hospital,” he added. A case has been registered under Sections 302, 201 and 34 of the IPC.last_img read more

Asaram case: Big relief for the victim, says police

first_imgThe teenager looked traumatised as she followed her father into the Kamla Market police station in central Delhi on August 20, 2013, to lodge a complaint of sexual assault against Asaram and several others, recalled a police official.“The girl was taken to the office of a senior police official where she broke down while narrating the ordeal that she and her family had gone through at the hands of Asaram and his accomplices. After verifying details, I immediately informed my seniors and they ordered that a zero FIR be registered. It was a big relief for the victim and her family,” said another senior police official.The family members had tried to raise the issue with senior office-bearers of the foundation but they were not allowed to enter the camp. It was then that they decided to go to the police. “To ensure strict action in the case, we got a medical examination of the girl done and her statement was recorded,” said the official.last_img read more

BJP renominates Vasundhara Raje as CM candidate in Rajasthan

first_imgRajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje will be the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming Assembly elections in the State, party president Amit Shah said on July 21.The Assembly election will be contested under her leadership and she will again become the Chief Minister with a thumping majority, he said at the concluding session in Jaipur of the BJP’s State working committee meeting.The party will once again form governments in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also, Mr. Shah added. He asked party workers to remain dedicated and work hard to ensure that the BJP retains power in Rajasthan and also wins the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, according to a press statement.Mr. Shah said the welfare schemes launched by the Raje government have been appreciated across the country and suggested that party workers should base the election campaign on them.Ms. Raje exuded confidence that the party will get more seats this year than in the last Assembly elections, and will also win all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, the statement said. The working committee meeting began on July 20 and Mr. Shah addressed the concluding session.Suman Sharma, chairperson of the State commission for women, told reporters that Mr. Shah gave a clear message that Ms. Raje will be the party’s chief ministerial face.Addressing a separate meeting of the Rajasthan BJP’s social media cell, Mr. Shah said the party’s cyber warriors would set the agenda of the elections. He asked them to take the work done by the central and state governments among the masses through social media. During his meetings, Mr. Shah accused the Congress of playing “negative politics”.last_img read more

Modi launches 81 investment projects worth over ₹60k crore for UP

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched 81 investment projects worth over ₹60,000 crore for Uttar Pradesh at a mega ground-breaking event. The projects are expected to give a big boost to industrialisation in the state.Around 80 leading industrialists, including Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla group, Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani group, Subhash Chandra, chairman of Essel group and Sanjeev Puri, MD, ITC, besides top magnates of other major business houses participated in the event, which comes close on the heels of ‘Investors Summit’ in February this year. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who led the state in holding the successful investors summit earlier this year, said climate was very favourable for them to set up their projects in the state. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who represents the Lucknow seat in the Lok Sabha, assured on behalf of the Centre additional security for the ambitious projects in case of any requirement.“I can give you this assurance as the country’s home minister,” he said.last_img read more

TMC worker killed in Bengal, BJP blamed

first_imgA Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker was shot dead and another sustained bullet injury in the Canning area of South 24 Paraganas district on Sunday. While the local TMC leadership alleged that cadres of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS) were behind the incident, the BJP district leadership denied the allegation. They claimed that it was an outcome of TMC’s faction feud.The incident took place in the Golabari area under the Canning police station limits in the afternoon. A local TMC worker, Mizanoor Rehman, was shot dead and another ruling party leader, Sheikh Musa, a local panchayat member, was injured. “Mr. Rehman was killed in broad daylight by BJP and RSS cadres at a market place at Golabari. The miscreants are from the Basanti police station area,” Shyamal Mondal, TMC MLA from Canning Paschim seat, told The Hindu. He also said that Mr. Musa, who was injured during the incident, was undergoing treatment at a local hospital. He further alleged that BJP and RSS cadres were terrorising the area for the past three months, forcing nearly 300 TMC workers to flee.‘Faction feud’ Denying the allegation Tridib Mondal, BJP district president of South 24 Paraganas [East] (Organisational District), said “the incident was a result of TMC’s faction feud…the BJP has nothing to do with it”.Meanwhile, a TMC leader was allegedly murdered by BJP workers in Cooch Behar district. While the TMC leadership alleged that the party worker was shot dead by BJP cadres for opposing the recent Bangla bandh called by the party, the BJP district leaders said the incident was an outcome of TMC’s faction feud. Four persons have been arrested in the case so far. The incident took place late on Friday night at the Dhang Dhinguri village when local TMC leader Kuddus Ahmed was returning home. He was allegedly shot dead by BJP cadres.“Mr. Ahmed was an able organiser and actively opposed the BJP’s bandh in the area. He was brutally murdered by BJP goons for this,” said Rabindra Nath Ghosh, TMC district president of Cooch Behar.last_img read more

INLD will help make Mayawati next PM: Chautala

first_imgFormer Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala on Sunday said the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) will put in all efforts to ensure that Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party becomes the country’s next Prime Minister.Mr. Chautala, who is out on two-week parole, was addressing a rally held at Gohana in Panipat to mark the 105th birth anniversary of senior INLD leader Devi Lal. Mr. Chautala is serving a 10-year jail term in a teachers’ recruitment scam.Mr. Chautala said during his parole period, he would meet people and ensure that a third front was formed. “Once the INLD-BSP alliance is voted to power, the old age pension will be increased to ₹3,000 per month,” he said.Leader of the Opposition in Haryana Assembly Abhay Singh Chautala requested people of Haryana to help and support the INLD-BSP alliance to come to power.last_img read more

In Gwalior, winds of change unsettle erstwhile BJP bastion

first_imgFrom a polling station in the upscale part of town in the vicinity of the Jai Vilas Palace to one in a Dalit neighbourhood that saw violence during last year’s Bharat Bandh, voters in Gwalior Lok Sabha constituency said they had development and a strong government in mind when they cast their votes on Sunday. Among the eight Lok Sabha constituencies of Madhya Pradesh that went to polls on Sunday in the sixth phase of voting, Gwalior saw a tentative turnout of 59.60% — an increase from 52.80% in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls — according to figures from the Election Commission of India’s voter turnout app late in the evening. However, the number was subject to revision. “We are still compiling the figures but the turnout is expected to be around 60%. Polling went off peacefully,” said Gwalior District Collector and Returning Officer Anurag Chaudhary. Sadhna Gandhi, a housewife who voted at the AMI Shishu Mandir polling station, where Congress candidate from nearby Guna constituency and scion of the Scindia family, Jyotiraditya Scindia, also voted, said: “The country should get a strong government and one that takes us forward.”Assembly poll indicatorA seat held by the BJP since 1999, Gwalior saw a swing towards the Congress in the 2018 Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, with seven of the eight Assembly segments in the constituency going to the party. The BJP’s Vivek Shejwalkar faces the Congress’ Ashok Singh for the seat with incumbent BJP MP Narendra Singh Tomar shifted to neighbouring Morena constituency this time. Another Gwalior voter, R.S. Sharma, a retired political science teacher, said, “The candidate is only a means; the goal is Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”His friend, businessman Jai Kumar Kothari, interrupted him: “Traders will not vote for Modi — they are fed up with his policies. Last time, Mr. Tomar won because of the Modi wave. This was no longer a safe seat for him so he went to Morena.”Outside a polling station near the Mela Ground in Gwalior, kirana shop owner Balram Singh Kushwaha, disagreed with the argument that traders were unhappy with the Modi government. “We went to vote for national security. GST and demonetisation were not real issues for me. I want Modi to focus more on providing jobs for the youth. He needs to work more on this,” he said. Amidst exclusionIn the Bhim Nagar area of Gwalior constituency, where protests by Dalit groups against the dilution of the SC/ST Act during a Bharat Bandh on April 2, 2018 had turned violent, voting carried on with police presence outside. “Things have been calm since the April 2 incident. None of the parties have ever come here. No one does anything for the poor. We vote because that is our right,” said Vitoli, a senior citizen from Bhim Nagar.last_img read more

Angling group assails study calling for end to some world records

first_imgA prominent angling group is complaining that there’s something fishy about a recent study calling for an end to awarding world records for endangered fish. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) of Dania Beach, Florida, the leading record-keeper for recreational anglers, says that the numbers don’t support a claim that record-keeping is encouraging people to kill the largest fish in threatened populations.IGFA maintains records, which are typically based on weight, for some 1200 species. Last month, researchers reported online in Marine Policy that 85 of those species are rated as either vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. They called for IGFA to stop awarding weight-based records for those species, arguing the awards were creating an incentive to kill the largest fish, particularly egg-bearing females.IGFA disputes that claim and is rejecting the call to stop awarding records. Most (88%) of the species identified as threatened by the study were listed only within the past 20 years, according to a response written by IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser. And since those listings, he adds, IGFA reports anglers have submitted only 15 All-Tackle record applications for the threatened species. That small number of applications, Schratwieser writes, “does not support the hypothesis that IGFA All-Tackle records have a disproportionately negative impact on imperiled species as the authors suggest, but rather a disproportionately low impact.” (IGFA has submitted its response to Marine Policy for publication.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Not surprisingly, the original study’s lead author disagrees. Anglers will still “try to catch fish with the goal of getting a record, even if they don’t always succeed,” says David Shiffman, a marine biologist studying shark biology and conservation at the University of Miami in Florida. Many more large fish are likely caught and killed than show up in the records, he says, because they weren’t large enough to trigger an application. But Schratwieser concedes that there’s no way to quantify the number of trophy fish that fall short.IGFA also notes that their practices don’t preclude catch-and-release fishing, because fishermen are not always required to transport fish to an official land-based weigh station. IGFA applicants reported releasing alive about one-third of their candidate record fish over the past 5 years, the group notes. (IGFA’s rules do not allow anglers to weigh their catches aboard a vessel, however, posing a potential problem for anglers who catch large ocean-going fish and want to release them after weighing.)Shiffman says he’s asked the group to engage in greater discussion of the issue and is disappointed by their response. It “suggests they are not interested in having this discussion—that they are interested in instead cherry-picking data to claim that what they do has no negative impact.”“My feeling is that policy should be predicated on science and sound data,” Schratwieser says. “If there were data that indicated that we were a significant problem or contributing factor in the decline of these species, I can guarantee you that we would make immediate adjustments.”last_img read more

Complex social lives gave parrots big brains

first_imgLiving in a complex social world—one with shifting alliances and competitors—is often cited as the key reason humans, dolphins, and spotted hyenas evolved large brains. Now, researchers say that social complexity also underlies the braininess of parrots, which have big brains relative to their body size. To understand the social lives of these birds, the scientists observed wild populations of monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus), a small parrot, in Argentina and captive ones in Florida. They recorded how often the birds (pictured) were seen with other individuals and how they interacted—and then analyzed the parakeets’ social networks. The birds, the researchers report online today in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, prefer to spend time with one specific individual, usually their mate. In the captive populations, the birds also had strong associations with one or two other individuals, numerous more moderate relationships, and only a few that were weak. The scientists also recorded aggressive interactions among the captive birds, revealing that monk parakeets have a dominance hierarchy based on which birds won or lost confrontations. Thus, the parakeets’ society has layers of relationships, similar to those documented in other big-brained animals. Living in such a society requires that the birds recognize and remember others, and whether they are friend or foe—mental tasks that are thought to be linked to the evolution of significant cognitive skills.last_img read more

Four Indian-Americans Elected Lawmakers For White House

first_imgFour Indian-Americans, including two women, elected to House of Representatives and the Senate in the historic US general elections are here for their first official Congressional orientation meeting to find out how they can work collectively to achieve their common goals. Related Itemslast_img

Indian Expatriates Join Mourning

first_imgAs India grieves over the death of a popular south Indian leader, the expatriates in the Kingdom, particularly from southern India, joined the mourning. Related Itemslast_img

While India Protests Against Ghoomar, Americans Dance To The Track In An NBA Game

first_imgIf there is one thing that has rivaled the number of controversies that Padmaavat has generated, it is the song from the movie, ‘Ghoomar’.With a group pretending to be Karni Sena attacking a school when the song was performed by children (and Karni Sena attacking a school bus for no reason), to Deepika earning a sanskari midriff, Ghoomar has definitely traveled rocky waves.Read it at Scoop Whoop Related Itemslast_img

American Dreamers: Why immigrants start so many businesses

first_imgFrom AT&T’s Alexander Graham Bell to Google’s Sergey Brin, immigrants have long been more likely than native-born Americans to realize the dream of owning their own company.“Immigrants are about twice as likely as natives to start new businesses,” says Arnobio Morelix, an analyst at the Kauffman Foundation, which promotes entrepreneurship.Read it at Fox News Related Itemslast_img

US Gives India Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 Status

first_imgThe United States eased export controls for high technology product sales to India, granting it the same access as NATO allies — Australia, Japan and South Korea.US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday said that the move to grant Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA-1) status to India reflects its efforts to improve its own export-control regime, its adherence to multilateral export rules and its growing status as a US defence partner.Read it at First Post Related Itemslast_img

India Backs Mauritius’ Claim Over UK-ruled Chagos Islands

first_imgIndia weighed in on behalf of Mauritius at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Hague, saying the Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean – which is currently ruled by the UK and operates US’ Diego Garcia military base – “has been and continues to be with Mauritius.”   Read it at Times of India Related Itemslast_img