Wednesday, May 4, 2016
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Army short of over 8,600 officers: Parrikar
NEW DELHI, May 3(Agencies): The army is facing a shortage of 8,671 officers, excluding the medical and dental corps and the military nursing service, Rajya Sabha was informed today. In a written reply, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said as against the authorised strength of 49,833 officers, the held strength is 41,162. He said some of the major reasons for shortage of officers include increase in authorised strength due to accretions in force level from time to time, stringent selection criteria coupled with perceived high degree of risk. The shortage of officers in the Indian army (approximately 17 per cent) is expected to get reduced gradually depending on a number of variable factors like future accretions, number of exits, actual intake among others, Parrikar said. ...
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‘India, US working on plan to share terror, intel info’
NEW DELHI, May 3 (Agencies): The government today said it is working towards finalising an agreement to share intelligence and terrorist activity-related information with the US. "Government of India and the USA have agreed to finalise an agreement to expand intelligence sharing and terrorist watch-list information, after several rounds of detailed discussions, between the two countries. "The details of the agreement are being worked out," Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply in Lok Sabha....
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AgustaWestland scam
Manohar Parrikar to place all details about deal before Parliament on May 4
New Delhi, May 1(Agencies): In the latest update on the probe in VVIP chooper deal bribery scam, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said that he will give all details including documents about AgustaWestland deal before Parliament on May 4. "I will place the detailed chronology, giving facts about the chopper deal before Parliament on Wednesday. I will place the detailed chronology, giving how and when necessary clauses or provisions were relaxed to suit the company," he told reporters here on the sidelines of a function. "Those who received kickbacks will not leave behind the proof for us to prosecute them, but we will have to prove it (that kickbacks were received)," he said. "It is for us to prove everything now. Since the issue would be placed in Parliament, I would not li...
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Kerala Assembly Elections
BJP president Amit Shah cancels poll visit
Thiruvananthapuram, May 1(Agencies): BJP President Amit Shah, who was to kickoff his campaign tour of Kerala for the May 16 assembly elections on Sunday, has cancelled his visit following indisposition. Shah was scheduled to arrive at the airport here this morning to attend a meeting of party workers and three public gatherings, but cancelled the trip as he took ill, party sources said. The BJP chief was to address two meetings in Thiruvananthapuram and one in Kollam district's Kottarakara. BJP, which has not yet opened its account in the state assembly, is launching a fierce battle this time to make its presence felt in the state, which has been alternately ruled by Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and CPI(M) headed Left Democratic Front (LDF) for the last 30 years. Prime M...
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PM Narendra Modi launches 'Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana' on Labour Day, calls himself no. 1 labourer of India
Ballia, May 1(Agencies): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid a visit to Uttar Pradesh's Ballia and launched the 'Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana'. Here is all what he said:- I can now say with immense satisfaction that we made a decision on budget allocation for Tarighat-Ghazipur-Mau rail line: PM Modi This is why I can completely understand the pain of mothers and their children. I've gone through that: PM Modi I was born in a very small house, there were no windows. When my mother used to cook food on firewood, sometimes there will be such thick smoke that we would not be able to see our mother: PM Modi Few days ago I visited Jharkhand, MP to launch schemes, no polls there. I chose Ballia as LPG's connections in UP lowest in Ballia: PM Modi Issues like connectivity in this re...
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Assam CM Tarun Gogoi admitted to hospital in Guwahati, details awaited
Guwahati, May 1(Agencies): Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has been hospitalised on Saturday evening following health related problems, according to ANI reports. As per the report, CM Gogoi was rushed to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital after he complained of severe stomach pain. A team of doctors examining him said his condition is stable now. For now, Gogoi will be kept for observation in the hospital. According to doctors, he will likely to be discharged on Sunday. Further details awaited....
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70% want Narendra Modi to be PM till 2024, 62% happy with his performance: Survey
New Delhi, May 1(Agencies): Notwithstanding the fact that many political pundits see Modi wave as diminishing, 70 percent still want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return to power after completing the first five years of his tenure, claims a survey. In a survey conducted by Centre for Media Studies, 70 percent people want Modi to remain as PM till 2024 and 62 percent people are satisfied with his performance. However, 50 percent of people surveyed also believe that there has been no change in the condition of the country ever since PM Modi assumed office. Also, 15 percent feel that the situation has further deteriorated in the past two years and 43 percent think that the benefits of schemes and policies for underprivileged are not reaching to the poor people in Modi's regime. The sur...
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DMK chief Karuna's sole aim to woo youth to see family rule continues'
Coimbatore, Apr 29(Agencies): Mocking DMK Chief M Karunanidhi for wooing the youth to make him Chief Minister again at the age of 92, CPI leader D Pandian today alleged that his sole aim was to see that the "dynastic rule" continues. The DMK supremo was calling upon the youths as the hope of the future, to come and vote out AIADMK so that he can become Chief Minister at the age of 92 years, Pandian told reporters. Pandian alleged that Karunanidhi had failed in his democratic duty as an elected representative to attend assembly sessions in the last five years and sought to know what was the guarantee that he would attend the house if his party was not voted to power. "Though he (Karunanidhi) has every right to contest elections, people want to know whether he will attend the assembly pr...
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China may reconsider stand on Pakistani terrorists Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar?
New Delhi, May 1(Agencies): After blocking India's bid at the UN to ban chiefs of terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, Chinese may be willing to reconsider their stand on dreadful terrorists Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Pathankot attack conspirator Masood Azhar, believes senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. Swamy, who strongly advocates cordial relations between China and India, took to Twitter on Saturday evening and wrote, “Chinese may be willing to reconsider stand on Hafiz and Azhar. I was informed today. They need 'additional evidence' which is easy to give.” Chinese may be willing to reconsider stand on Hafiz and Azhar, I was informed today. They need "additional evidence" which is easy to give Defending its decision to once again block India...
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Delhi HC allows CM Kejriwal to file reply on Jaitley's documents
New Delhi, May 1(Agencies): The Delhi High Court on Friday gave an opportunity to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders to submit their reply on two documents furnished by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in a civil defamation suit filed against them. Justice Vipin Sanghi passed the order on the applications by Kejriwal and others, against whom Jaitley has filed the civil defamation suit, in which they had sought a direction to the union minister to strike off new allegations levelled by him in his replication (a plaintiff's reply to the defendant's plea). "You (Kejriwal and others) will confine yourself only to the two documents which as per you have been added in the replication (of Jaitley)," the court said and fixed the matter for July 12. These applications ...
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Ex-BSF jawan among 2 held for procuring arms licenses with forged documents
NEW DELHI, Apr 30 (Agencies): With the arrest of two persons, including a retired BSF constable, Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a module which used to procure arms licenses from Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir for their clients by allegedly submitting forged documents. The accused have been identified as Ram Kishan (55), a sepoy with the Border Security Force who opted for retirement in 2011, and Yoginder Singh (50), who is in the business of oil tankers, police said. On the basis of inputs, Delhi Polices Crime Branch took up the matter and a list was sent to the Licensing Authority Nagaland for verification and report. The authorities report disclosed that 65 people, whose names were on the list, had procured arms licenses by forged documents, showing that they were resident...
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Ex-envoys pitch for continuing Indo-Pak dialogue process
NEW DELHI, Apr 29 (Agencies): Pakistan is at a "loss" to understand whether the Narendra Modi government has any Pakistan policy at all, former foreign secretary of the country Salman Bashir said today, noting that a lot of work was done during the UPA regime which needs to be revived. Bashir made the remarks during a discussion on India-Pakistan Relations here which was attended by six former High Commissioners of both India and Pakistan who have served in the two countries since independence. On a question of whether Pakistan faces the threat of another coup, the retired diplomats replied in the negative saying their army just provides "inputs" to the civilian government in matters of foreign affairs and national security issues. "One issue that strikes me is that we need to pick up ...
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Rollback Sarkar
Five decisions that Modi govt went back on
NEW DELHI, Apr 29 (Agencies): The Centre rolled back on Friday a decision to lower the interest to 8.7% on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and said deposits will earn 8.8% interest for 2015-16 as originally recommended by the Central Board of Trustees, EPFO’s apex decision-making body. The decision is the newest in a series of multiple rollbacks made by the NDA government. On April 25, the government informed Parliament that the finance ministry had approved an interest rate of 8.7% as against the Central board of trustees (CBT)’s recommendation of 8.8%. The decision was rolled back on Friday following nationwide protests called by trade unions. In a notification issued last February, the labour ministry restricted 100% withdrawal by members unemployed for two months or more. Instea...
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Court orders framing of charges against Naveen Jindal, others
New Delhi, Apr 29(Agencies): A special court on Friday ordered framing of charges against industrialist Naveen Jindal, former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and 13 others for criminal conspiracy, cheating and other offences in a coal block allocation scam case. The court, however, said charges would be formally framed against the accused later on. Apart from Jindal and Rao, the court also ordered to put on trial ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, former Coal Secretary H C Gupta and 11 others, who were chargesheeted by CBI in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Ltd (GSIPL) in 2008. Besides them, the other accused are -- Rajeev Jain, D...
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Gujarat govt relents, announces 10% quota for EBCs including Patidars; Congress calls it 'mere tokenism'
Gandhinagar, Apr 29(Agencies): In a major change of stand, the Gujarat government on Friday announced 10% reservation for the economically backward class in general category, including the agitating Patidar community. As per reports, the Gujarat government's notification for reservation will be issued on May 1. Under the new reservation rule, families with income below Rs 6 lakh per annum will be eligible for quota benefit. Families with income below Rs 6 lakh per annum will be eligible for this reservation, Gujarat Minister Vijay Rupani said confirming the development. The decision was taken following a meeting between Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, BJP chief Amit Shah and party's state unit chief Vijay Rupani. Announcing the decision, Rupani said, "After meeting with party chief A...
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Dissolve CBI, ACB for ‘Inaction' against Sonia Gandhi: Kejriwal
New Delhi, Apr 29(Agencies): Accusing the government of not taking action against Sonia Gandhi in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper deal, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today demanded dissolution of CBI and ACB. He said Modi "would have arrested" him by now had his "name" figured in the Italian court's order in connection with the deal, but has not taken action against the Gandhi family as he finds them "honest". The AAP leader also hit out at BJP President Amit Shah for asking Gandhi "with folded hands" to name those who took alleged bribe in the deal and questioned whether "this is how probe is conducted". "Modiji conducted CBI raid on me, but not on Soniaji and Vadraji. Modiji finds Gandhi family as honest. "Modiji would have arrested me by now had my name figured in...
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Bombay High Court orders demolition of Adarsh Housing Society
Mumbai, Apr 29(Agencies): In a major development, the Bombay High Court on Friday ordered the demolition of scam-tainted Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society building located in south Mumbai. The High Court also ordered an inquiry against politicians, ministers and officers who were involved in the Adarsh Housing Society scam. The high court also gave 12-week time to Maharashtra government to appeal in Supreme Court against the order. Though the BJP welcomed the high court ruling, Ashok Chavan, the former Maharashtra chief minister, refused to react on the court judgement in the Adarsh Housing Society case. The Bombay High Court had in December last year reserved its order on a bunch of petitions in connection with the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society case. A division bench of justic...
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Swamy drops another bomb, says major revelation on AgustaWestland scam will change politics by 2017
New Delhi, Apr 29(Agencies): Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has dropped a silent bomb on the ongoing controversy around AgustaWestland scam. Without giving out much details, the newly appointed Rajya Sabha MP took to Twitter and wrote, “a major revelation on AgustaWestland scam will be out soon which will change politics by 2017.” Swamy, who triggered huge protests from Congress yesterday over his attempts to drag Sonia Gandhi in the AgustaWestland helicopter row, today again made some controversial remarks in Rajya Sabha which the Chair immediately expunged and warned him of action for "unnecessarily provoking" members on the other side. Expunging Swamy's reference to the Constitution of another country that triggered vociferous protests from Congress members, Deputy Chairman P J...
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60 percent voting in 2nd phase of panchayat polls in Bihar
Patna, Apr 29(Agencies): About 60 per cent voting was recorded in the second phase of panchayat elections in Bihar on Thursday amid reports of irregularities and clashes at some places. State Election Officer A K Chouhan said except for some skirmishes at some places voting was held peacefully. The second phase of panchayat polls was held to fill up 27,514 posts in the three-tier local bodies. It included 891 posts of mukhiya and as many gram sarpanch. Accompanied by State Election Commission Secretary Durgesh Nandan, Chouhan said in the last election in 2011 the voting percentage in panchayat elections for these posts was 58.8 per cent. He said reports of looting of ballot boxes by anti-socials came from two booths in Pakridayal block of East Champaran district. Reports of other irre...
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No nexus between Naxals, ISIS: MHA
NEW DELHI, Apr 27 (Agencies): No nexus between Naxals and Islamic State has come to the notice of the government so far, Rajya Sabha was informed today. Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary replied in the negative when asked "if it is a fact that a nexus between Islamic State and various Naxal groups of the country has come to notice, as supporters in country have been caught trying to carry out a big attack in the country by taking training and weapons from the naxalites." He said among the agencies probing cases related to ISIS, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested 25 persons, Telangana Police six, Madhya Pradesh Police five, Maharashtra and Delhi Police four each, Tamil Nadu Police three, Karnataka Police and Rajasthan Police one each. "....
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Pakistan JIT's visit was on a reciprocal basis: MHA
NEW DELHI, Apr 27 (Agencies): The visit of Pakistan's Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in Pathankot terror attack probe case was on the basis of reciprocity and government is in touch with the authorities of that country on the matter, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. "The interaction with JIT was held in accordance with terms of reference mutually agreed on the basis of reciprocity. The Pakistan JIT assured of their full cooperation and promised to execute the LR, which has been received by them. "The case is under investigation in both the countries. The government is in touch with the relevant Pakistani authorities in the matter," Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply. He said the five-member JIT comprising an additional IGP, a...
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Uttarakhand crisis
We have faith in the judiciary: Harish Rawat on SC ruling
DEHRADUN, Apr 27 (Agencies): With the Supreme Court maintaining a status quo on President's rule in Uttarakhand, deposed chief minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday said he has full faith in the judiciary and will accept the apex court's decision. "I have total faith in the judiciary. We will embrace whatever the apex court finally rules in case of Uttarakhand," he told reporters in his brief reaction to the Supreme Court order directing maintenance of status quo on the presidential promulgation in the state. Echoing Rawat, senior party leader and former minister Indira Hridayesh also said her party respects the courts of law. "We respect the judgement of courts. We believe in guarding the Constitution," she said. Similar reactions came from opposition BJP too with the party's state preside...
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Illegal foreign funds being pumped into J&K: Govt
NEW DELHI, Apr 26 (Agencies): Intelligence inputs suggest that illegal foreign funds are being pumped into Jammu and Kashmir through various channels, Lok Sabha was informed today. Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said as per inputs, there are reports of illegal inflow of foreign funds through hawala and inward remittances. "There are also inputs that fake Indian currency notes predominantly produced in Pakistan are being smuggled into India through various international routes via Dubai, Nepal and Bangladesh," he said replying to a written question. Chaudhary said the matter was raised with Pakistani authorities on several occasions under the bilateral composite and resumed dialogues....
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LeT recruiting Pak youths, training them in camps in PoK
NEW DELHI, Apr 26 (Agencies): Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is recruiting Pakistani youths for carrying out terrorist acts in India and training them in terror camps in Pakistan- occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Lok Sabha was informed today. Terrorist training camps continue to function in Pakistan -occupied Jammu and Kashmir. As per reports, there are several terrorist training camps of LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen in PoK, Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in response to a query. "There are inputs that LeT is recruiting vulnerable Pakistani youths for carrying out terrorist acts in India and pushing such trained youths into Indian territory," the Minister said. Chaudhary said the government has consistently emphasised the need for Pakistan to pu...
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Uttarakhand stalls RS, but Lok Sabha functions
NEW DELHI, Apr 26 (Agencies): The dismissal of the Congress government and imposition of President's Rule in Uttarakhand continued to stall the Rajya Sabha for a second day on Tuesday. But the Lok Sabha, where the government has a majority, saw normal business. The lower house also took up the demand for grants for railways for 2016-17. Members cutting across party lines enthusiastically took part in the proceedings up to 7 p.m. Opposition members also took part in debates and question hour. But the show was different in the upper house, where the opposition has more members than the treasury benches. It witnessed repeated disruptions over Uttarakhand. The chair finally adjourned the house for the day around 3 p.m. after repeated requests for peace went unheeded. Soon after newly nomi...
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