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The Indian women lighting the way for change

In India’s desert state of Rajasthan, rural women are training as solar entrepreneurs, to bring power to those living off grid.

Viewpoint: Why the Kashmir government fall is a tragedy

The coalition government’s roadmap was the only feasible path to a better future, writes Sumantra Bose.

Elite ‘Black Cat’ commandos reach Kashmir for terror crackdown

The elite National Security Guards, popularly known as ‘Black Cats’, are likely to be deployed soon in counter-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir which was placed under governor’s rule on Wednesday, officials said.They said a team of NSG has been stationed in the Kashmir Valley for quite sometime and is undergoing rigorous training in the outskirts of the city.The state was on Wednesday placed under the Governor’s Rule for the fourth time in the last one decade after the BJP withdrew support to its alliance partner, the PDP, prompting Mehbooba Mufti to resign as the chief minister.The decision for their deployment in counter-terror operations was taken by the Home Ministry recently and they will be put to use soon after their acclimatisation programme is over, the officials said.The teams will be kept at the disposal of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, which is the nodal agency for all anti-militancy operations, they added.While the Union Home Ministry is upbeat about deploying the NSG in the valley, counter-terror experts feel that the black cats would be helpful in a situation where room-to-room intervention is required.Such situations rarely come during a counter-militancy operation as it is virtually a do-or-die battle for the forces, mainly led by the state police and ably assisted by the Army and paramilitary forces, the experts said.The move to deploy NSG commandos in Kashmir comes in the wake of increasing incidents of encounters where security forces have lost many soldiers during high-risk house intervention operations in densely populated localities.The NSG commandos, when allowed, will get opportunities to test their skills and it will be a force-multiplier for anti-militancy forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.The commandos use sophisticated Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine guns, snipper rifles, through-the-wall radar and C-4 explosives to eliminate holed up terrorists without causing much damage to the structure.The NSG was raised in 1984 in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star, which was carried out to flush out terrorists hiding in the Golden Temple in Punjab’s Amritsar city.The Black Cat commandos were deployed to tackle terrorists who carried out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the January 2016 attack at the Pathankot air base as well as the terrorists who attacked the Akshardham temple in Gujarat.There are around 7,500 personnel currently working with the NSG.
Jammu And Kashmir

National Security Guards (NSG)

Mehbooba Mufti

NSG

National Security Guards

BJP PDP alliance

Black Cats commandos

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Man kills mother-in-law, attacks pregnant wife in Delhi

A 25-year-old man on Thursday allegedly killed his mother-in-law and attacked his pregnant wife when they got into an argument over his demand for a divorce in northwest Delhi’s Keshav Puram, police said.The accused, Afroz, had been allegedly pressuring his wife for a divorce but she was not agreeing, they said.His mother-in-law was visiting them from Ghazipur when the couple on Thursday again got into an argument, they added. She scolded Afroz for trying to divorce his wife when she was pregnant, following which he attacked her. When his wife intervened, he attacked her too, they said.The woman succumbed to injuries and her daughter is undergoing treatment, they added.Afroz fled from the spot and police are looking for him.
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Delhi crime

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K M Joseph’s elevation issue hangs in balance as Justice Chelameswar demits office today

The process for possible elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph as a Supreme Court judge might only get delayed as the apex court collegium, which had agreed in principle to reiterate his name to the Centre, will undergo a change due to the superannuation of Justice Jasti Chelameswar.The apex court collegium, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, had on May 11 agreed in principle to reiterate its recommendation for elevating Justice Joseph as a judge of the apex court. However, it could not decide the date for pressing for his name to the Centre.The collegium on its next meeting on May 16 deferred the decision saying “… There should be further deliberation and broad-based consideration of the names of the chief justices as well as judges of the high courts which are at present not represented in the Supreme Court.” Now with the superannuation of Justice Chelameswar due on June 22, Justice A K Sikri, who is number six in seniority at the moment, will become part of the five-member collegium, necessitating the need of afresh reconsideration and decision to reiterate Justice Joseph’s name back to the Centre.The Centre on April 26 had returned Joseph’s file back to the collegium for it to re-consider the recommendation on grounds including that the proposal was not in accordance with the top court’s parameters and there was adequate representation of his native state Kerala in the apex court.The government had also questioned Justice Joseph’s seniority among high court judges while returning the file.Subsequently, the apex court collegium met thrice on May 2, 11 and 16 and could not send its recommendation back to the Centre despite agreeing on it in principle.Notably, Justice Chelameswar and Justice Kurian Joseph later also wrote separate letters to the CJI and other apex court judges highlighting various issues including the recommendation of the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court.In the last meeting held on May 16, the collegium was unanimously in favour of “further deliberation” and “broad-based consideration” of names of chief justices and judges of various high courts before sending its decision of reiterating the elevation of Justice Joseph.It had then adopted a resolution which also stated that there was a need for further discussion on the issue of sending the other names of judges to the Centre.According to sources, the judges of high court whose names are being considered by the collegium include Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee, who is originally from the Calcutta High Court, Gujarat High Court Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy, whose parent cadre is Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Court, and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, who is originally from Rajasthan High Court.After Justice Chelameswar, CJI Misra will be retiring on October 2, followed by Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Lokur who will retire in November and December respectively.
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Avoid posting ‘fake’ items on social media, BJP chief Amit Shah to party workers

BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday counselled social media savvy workers and supporters of his party’s Delhi unit to avoid committing “mistake” of posting fake items online to avoid losing credibility among people, sources said. In an address to “social media warriors”, including party workers and supporters, of the BJP, Shah also asked them to highlight the achievements of the four years of the Modi government.”The party president asked us to avoid committing mistake of posting fake pictures, data and messages on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. He said such action endangers our credibility before the people,” said a participant, seeking anonymity.The meeting held at the NDMC convention centre here was attended by around 300 party workers and supporters having more than 10,000 followers on social media platforms.The interactions with “social media warriors” was planned in view of growing significance of online platforms in creating perception, which is important in politics, he said.The BJP president also advised the workers to use their social media posts in analysing and comparing the works and achievements of the Modi government with those of Congress regimes, he said.The BJP chief also insisted on expanding reach on social media by encouraging the workers to increase the number of their followers and ensure “maximum” visibility of their posts and tweets, the source added.Shah also attended the SC Morcha and core group meetings of the Delhi BJP. The core group meeting started late in the evening and continued till night.Party sources said that the “road map” for the 2019 election was discussed in the meeting of the Core group that serves as the key decision making body of the Delhi BJP.
Facebook

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AirAsia pilot accused of putting AC blower on full blast to ‘hound passengers out of flight’

Some passengers on a Bagdogra-bound AirAsia India flight have complained of ill treatment by the airline staff after the flight was delayed by more than four hours on Wednesday, prompting the civil aviation ministry to assure of “appropriate follow-up action”.The incident took place on the flight from Kolkata after the passengers were allegedly asked to deplane after a delay of four-and-a-half hours as the plane had some technical snag.”DGCA is reviewing the incident and we will take appropriate follow up action,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Twitter. His tweet came in response to a tweet seeking against the airline for the incident.Indian Oil Corporation Executive Director (West Bengal) Dipankar Ray, who was onboard the same flight, said the staff behaved in a very “unprofessional and rude” manner with the passengers and asked them to deboard, leading to an altercation between both sides.”The flight was scheduled to depart at 9 am and was initially delayed by 30 minutes. After boarding, we kept sitting inside the aircraft for one-and-a-half hours with no food or water at all,” Ray told PTI.The flight captain then instructed all passengers to de-board without any explanation, he said on Wednesday.”When passengers refused to deboard due to heavy rains outside, the captain put the air-conditioning blower on full blast to hound the passengers out. It created a scary scene as heavy fog was created inside the plane and it was very suffocating,” Ray said.He also claimed that many women passengers started vomiting and children were crying.According to a video uploaded on his Facebook profile, passengers were seen arguing with on-board staff to switching off the blower”This is the way aviation industry works in India. This #AirAsiaservice was particularly scary … Avoid Air Asia,” Ray said on Facebook. In a statement on Wednesday, AirAsia India said the flight “i5583 from Kolkata to Bagdogra was delayed by 4.5 hours due to a technical requirement”.It said there was no danger to any of the occupants on-board the aircraft as the cool conditioned air being circulated was condensing.”This is a normal occurrence on-board all aircraft when the air conditioning is operated in high humidity conditions,” the statement said. The company also claimed that all the affected guests were offered refreshments and provided with alternate arrangements requested for. Ray, however, countered that and said the airline had asked them to go to the food court in the airport after deplaning them and show the boarding passes to get food. “When we reached the food court, they refused us. There was no communication from AirAsia at all. We had to pay. When we were boarding the flight second time, then they gave us one sandwich and a 250 ml water bottle. This is an unacceptable treatment,” he said. AirAsia India said it regrets the inconvenience caused to guests on account of this disruption and would like to reinstate that the airline always prioritises safety above all. Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said in a tweet today, “I suggest to the Ministry of Civil Aviation that the Ministry must suspend the licence of the Air Asia which is anyway an illegal airline. Because Rotten Tata is a 51 per cent share holder so MoCA is frozen stiff.”
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AirAsia Flight

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In Delhi, man stabbed to death after argument over Rs 1,000

A 24-year-old man was allegedly stabbed to death in Jaitpur area of southeast Delhi following an altercation over Rs 1,000, which the accused had borrowed from the victim, the police said on Thursday.The accused has been arrested, a senior police officer said.He said a PCR call was received at Jaitpur police station about the stabbing of a man near Ganda Nala in the area.Later, another call was received by police that the victim, Ranjan, has been rushed to a private hospital with stab injuries, where he was declared brought dead.A case was registered at Jaitpur police station on the basis of the account of an eye witness, the officer said, adding the accused, identified as Puneet (24), was arrested.A button-operated knife that was allegedly used in stabbing Ranjan was seized, he said.The accused had taken Rs 1,000 from the victim. The duo allegedly indulged in drug abuse together, and Ranjan was stabbed when he demanded back his money from the accused, the police said.The body of the victim was handed over to his family members after post-mortem, the police said.
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Modi govt bans new offshoots of al-Qaeda, ISIS under anti-terror law

The Centre has banned new offshoots of terror organisations al-Qaeda and ISIS under the stringent anti-terror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, according to an official order.Both al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K), an Afghanistan-based affiliate of ISIS, have been declared unlawful by the Union home ministry as they were found to be radicalising Indian youths for ‘global jihad’ and encouraging terror acts on Indian interests, it said.The ISIS-K is also known as Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP)/ISIS Wilayat Khorasan, the order said.The AQIS, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, is a terrorist organisation, which has committed acts of terrorism in the neighbouring countries and has been promoting and encouraging terror acts on Indian interests in the Indian Sub-continent, it said. It has been attempting radicalisation and recruitment of youths from India, it said, adding and the outfit has been declared as the banned organisation under the UAPA.The ISKP/ISIS Wilayat Khorasan is also promoting and encouraging terrorism in the Indian Sub-continent, according to the order.It has been committing terrorist acts to consolidate its position by recruiting youths for ?global jihad’ and to achieve the objective of establishing its own ?caliphate’ by overthrowing democratically elected governments, it said.The outfit, which has now been banned, considers India and Indian interests as its targets and is engaged in activities of radicalising and recruiting Indian youth for terror activities, the home ministry order said.Both these outfits were declared as the terrorist organisations as they were recruiting youths from India, it said, adding the radicalisation of the youths was a matter of serious concern for the national security and international peace.The UAPA has strict penal provisions to deal with banned organisations and their members.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

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anti-terror law

terror groups

Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham-Khorasan

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al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent

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Assam: Court gives 2-year jail term to SP for custodial torture in Guwahati

A district superintendent of police was sentenced to two years in jail by a Kamrup court near here for torturing an accused in custody five years ago.Kamrup Additional District and Sessions Judge sentenced Goalpara SP Amitava Sinha for subjecting one Gurmeet Singh, a murder accused, to physical torture in 2013, when Sinha was serving as the deputy commissioner of police with Guwahati Crime Branch.The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Sinha, who, however, was also granted bail by the court, to appeal against his conviction and sentencing.Victim Singh had filed a complaint with the court alleging that Sinha along with three other policemen, whose names, he said he did not know, had subjected him to torture causing a fracture in his upper arm.The police officials had also abused him, casting racial slur and had used third degree measures on him on June 17 and 18, 2013, he had alleged.
Assam

Gurmeet Singh

Guwahati

Assam Police

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Ambubachi Mela takes off in Assam

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday said that Indian traditions have an universal appeal and they contributed in nurturing the human values over the ages.”People must nurture these human values and put joint efforts to make Ambubachi Mela as one of the most attractive religious congregations of the world,” Sonowal said while inaugurating the annual Ambubachi Mela in the presence of spiritual gurus and prominent personalities here this evening.He also urged the stakeholders to ensure hassle-free visit to the Kamakhya Temple by the pilgrims during the mela.Sonowal pointed out Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the youth to work with honesty and perseverance to build a strong and vibrant nation must be imbibed along with spiritual and moral values to enable India march towards excellence.Assam Minister for Finance, Health and PWD Himanta Biswa Sarma, Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharjya, Tourism Minister Chandan Brahm, among others, also addressed the gathering.The four-day festival at the Kamakhya Temple begins on Friday with the temple doors closing at 9 pm and reopening after four days on June 26.The temple will remain closed to mark the belief that the annual menstrual cycle of Goddess Kamakhya falls during the period and is associated with the fertility cult.
Narendra Modi

Guwahati

Sarbananda Sonowal

Kamakhya Temple

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President Ram Nath Kovind performs ‘asanas’ as people across the world celebrate Yoga Day

President Ram Nath Kovind performed yoga along with his Surinamese counterpart Desire Delano Boutersel while External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj joined the celebrations at the European Parliament as yoga practitioners across the world today performed ‘asanas’ to mark the fourth International Day of Yoga.President Kovind, who is in the Surinamese capital Paramaribo on the second leg of his three-nation tour, and Boutersel wearing round neck T-shirts joined dozens of yoga practitioners in this Latin American country to perform the asanas.”Extremely happy to have participated in #InternationalYogaDay celebrations 14,000 kms away from India at Paramaribo with President Bouterse of Suriname. I thank all the yogis who joined us and made this event truly memorable,” President Kovind told the gathering.This was the first time that heads of two countries together participated in the International Day of Yoga.The United Nations General Assembly in December 2014 had declared that June 21 would be observed as International Day of Yoga every year.In Brussels, Swaraj joined the yoga day celebrations at the Yehudi Menuhin Space in the European Parliament.In Pakistan, the Indian High Commission in Islamabad celebrated the yoga day as a festival of health and well-being. Over 100 members of the diplomatic community and Pakistani citizens from different walks of life joined the guided yoga and meditation sessions at the mission. The yoga day celebrations were also held in different cities of Pakistan, including Karachi and Lahore.In Nepal, a special mass yoga demonstration was held in the premises of Nepal Police Training Academy in capital Kathmandu which was attended by hundreds of people despite rain since early morning.Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwor Pokharel, along with Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri and hundreds of yoga enthusiasts, performed yoga postures in an hour-long event.A massive yoga session was held at the holy premises of Janaki temple in Janakpur where Governor Ratneshwar Lal Kayastha and Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut attended the event.In China, Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale along with other diplomats, staff of the Embassy, yoga teachers and students of a yoga centre participated in a colourful yoga event in Beijing. Over 500 yoga lovers turned up to take part in over hour-long special yoga workout at the old Indian Embassy premises.”I would say tens of thousands took part in China. But millions will be doing in their way either individually or in smaller groups,” Bambawale said.The day is celebrated in 25 to 30 cities in different parts of China with larger turnouts, he said, adding that the popularity of yoga is going to increase not only in India but also in China.In Bangladesh, around 10,000 people attended the ancient Indian discipline at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.UN ambassadors, diplomats, spiritual leaders, members of civil society and children participated in a flagship Yoga Day event organised yesterday by India’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.They enthusiastically participated in the two-hour long yoga session with the theme of ‘Yoga for peace’, performing different yoga asanas and exercises on colourful yoga mats spread across the expansive North Lawn in the UN Headquarters.”Today’s world is incredibly complex. We are challenged by an erosion of our core values and in many walks of life stress is given, delusion prevails especially amongst our youth Yoga, deriving from the Sanskrit word of unity, is so very apt for the United Nations,” Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, said in her address yesterday to mark the fourth anniversary of the International Day of Yoga.Voicing her deep appreciation to India for organising the yoga day event, Mohammed underscored the importance of yoga in the overall well-being of individuals and even in various aspects of the world body’s functioning.India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, who joined those gathered in performing yoga exercises and asanas, said yoga has become even more relevant as the world is recognising the critical importance of moving towards more sustainable lifestyles, in tune with surroundings and more in harmony with nature.An exhibition on yoga was inaugurated in the UN building on June 18 and will run through June 22. As in past years, yoga postures were projected through lasers on the North Facade of the UN Headquarters Building.In Gulf countries, yoga day celebrations were held in Manama (Bahrain), Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman in UAE.
Yoga

President of India

Yoga Day

International Yoga Day

World Yoga Day

Ram Nath Kovind

International Yoga Day 2018

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Supreme Court refuses to allow CBSE appeal in NEET case

The Supreme Court on refused to allow CBSE’s appeal against a Bombay High Court order asking it to give proportionate marks to a batch of candidates, who lost 30 minutes due to the invigilator’s fault during the NEET undergraduate exam 2018.A vacation bench of justices S Abdul Nazeer and Indu Malhotra directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to comply with the high court’s order within 10 days.The board had on Wednesday moved the apex court against the validity of the June 15 high court order regarding the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test which was held on May 6 for admission to MBBS course.The high court had directed the CBSE to apply the formula suggested by the apex court and award additional proportionate marks to 24 students who had appeared in examination at Nagpur in Maharashtra but were not allowed by the invigilator to write the exam for the stipulated three hours.Petitioner Vaishnavi Sandeep Maniyar moved the high court claiming that the invigilator allowed them to write the exams from 10.30 am only, instead of the scheduled 10 AM. The apex court had in the CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) case directed for applying normalisation formula on the basis of answering capacity of the candidates, aspiring for admission to National Law Universities, and allot additional marks in view of technical glitches faced by them.In the instant case, the high court had directed the CBSE to revise the marks of candidates, release corrected mark-sheet by June 22 and consider them for second round of counselling for admission to MBBS course.
Supreme Court

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All well in NDA home? Bihar CM Nitish Kumar skips International Yoga Day celebrations yet again

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday did not participate in an International Yoga Day event, which was inaugurated by Governor Satya Pal Malik and attended by top BJP leaders including Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, setting tongues wagging whether things were alright in the NDA.With the matter snowballing into a political controversy, both the JD(U) and the BJP tried to play down the issue.The JD(U) said Kumar had been practising yoga daily, even before June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations, adding that “it would be wrong to attach any political meaning to personal decisions”.When questioned about Kumar’s absence at the event, both Prasad and Modi insisted that the presence or absence of a public figure at an event must not be politicised.Thousands of people took part in the International Yoga Day celebrations at the Patliputra Sports Complex here.The chief minister, who himself is a regular yoga practitioner and is said to have learnt the ancient discipline from the masters at the renowned Bihar School of Yoga at Munger, has been critical of the mass-scale calisthenics organised on this date ever since the UN declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga in 2015.Speculation was, however, rife that Kumar might take part in the celebrations this year, following his return in August last year to the BJP-led NDA, which he had left in 2013. But, the JD(U) chief was conspicuous by his absence from the event at Patliputra Sports Complex.”We know Nitish Kumar is a yoga enthusiast. And that is what is important. Please do not politicise the issue,” Union Law Minister Prasad, who had arrived from New Delhi to take part in the celebrations, told reporters.Sushil Modi also played down the issue, saying many BJP leaders too could not make it to the event. “There may be many leaders, not just in the JD(U), but even in the opposition parties like the RJD, who practise yoga regularly. Would you try to derive a political meaning out of that,” he said.JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad told PTI that party leaders, including national president Nitish Kumar, started their day with yoga, adding, “We did so today also. We have been practising yoga since much before the International Yoga Day came into being. The discipline is centuries-old. There is no party stand, as such, with regard to taking part in the celebrations. Hence, it would be wrong to attach any political meaning to personal decisions.” Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) latched on to the issue of Kumar’s absence from the International Yoga Day celebrations and launched an attack on him.RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwary took a swipe at the chief minister, saying it was part of Kumar’s old strategy to appear different from his allies and then make a volte face.”He kept speaking against communalism before snapping ties with the BJP. While he was with us in the Mahagathbandhan, he had left us stunned by speaking in favour of demonetisation, something even the NDA constituents were not doing at that time.”Ultimately, he ditched us and returned to the BJP-led coalition. He might be planning something similar now. The only problem is, he is left with nowhere to go,” Tiwary, a former associate of the chief minister, said in a statement.Considering the fact that due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts, the UN had declared June 21 as the International Yoga Day, the BJP and its allies, like the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), took part in the associated events with enthusiasm across the state.Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha, who head the LJP and the RLSP respectively, took part in the celebrations at Hajipur in Vaishali district, which is the Lok Sabha constituency of the former.Union ministers Radha Mohan Singh and Giriraj Singh, both from the BJP, took part in the celebrations held in their respective parliamentary constituencies of Motihari and Nawada.
NDA

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Yoga

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Nitish Kumar

BJP

bharatiya janata party

Yoga Day

International Yoga Day

Bihar Chief Minister

International Yoga Day 2018

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Kashmir strike: Yasin Malik detained, Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz placed under house arrest

JKLF chief Yasin Malik was today detained while moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest to prevent the separatists from leading protests, police said.Malik was taken into custody from his Maisuma residence this morning, a police official said.He said Malik has been lodged in police station Kothibagh. The official said Mirwaiz was placed under house arrest at his Nigeen residence. Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani continued to remain under house detention. The separatists, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), on Tuesday called for a protest strike for today against the killing of civilians allegedly in security forces firing recently and the killing of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari.Bukhari was shot dead, along with his two personal guards, outside his office in Press Enclave here on 14 June by unknown gunmen.
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Kamal Haasan meets Sonia Gandhi to discuss Tamil Nadu political situation

Haasan met Sonia Gandhi at her residence. ”
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Updated: Jun 21, 2018, 04:32 PM IST<!–end of articllftpbx–>Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) president Kamal Haasan today met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi here and discussed the political situation in Tamil Nadu.The actor-turned-politician had yesterday met Congress president Rahul Gandhi at his residence and held similar discussions. “I have met Sonia Gandhi and we discussed the political situation in general in Tamil Nadu,” he told the reporters after the meeting. On whether he would support the Congress in its endeavour to bring opposition parties together on one platform to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabh polls, Haasan said, “It is to early to decide.” The MNM chief said he had met Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders in Bengaluru at the swearing-in of H D Kumaraswamy as Karnataka chief minister.Haasan met Sonia Gandhi at her residence.
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Yoga should be part of curriculum to create a healthy nation: VP Naidu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu stressed on the need to include Yoga in school curriculums to “create a healthy nation”.Participating in an International Yoga Day event at the Bandra Reclamation Sealink Promenade here, he said the ancient Indian discipline was an invaluable gift to the world from India.”The practice of Yoga is important for positive thoughts. If it is included in the school curriculum it is possible to create a healthy nation. Yoga also helps in relief from stress due to the changing lifestyles,” Naidu said.Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also performed asanas at the event, said Yoga, an ancient science, was important in the modern day world.Youngsters need to practice Yoga for a good and healthy life, he said.BJP MP from North Central Mumbai Poonam Mahajan, local MLA and Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar and Union minister Babul Supriyo also participated in the Yoga event held in suburban Bandra.Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao took part in a special Yoga session organised by Kaivalyadhama and The Yoga Institute on the occasion of the fourth International Day for Yoga at the Raj Bhavan here.Governor’s Secretary Venugopal Reddy, Deputy Secretary Ranjit Kumar and other officers and staff of the Raj Bhavan also took part in the session.Several government employees performed various exercises during a Yoga day event at the state secretariat here.Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar, Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta were among the prominent people present at the Bandra event.
Venkaiah Naidu

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Take a picture of Jesus and do yesu namaskar: Meet the Kerala nun who teaches yoga

She prays with folded hands and bent knees every day reciting verses from the Holy Bible.With the same devotion and dedication, she practises ‘surya namaskar’ (sun salutation), ‘pranayama’ (breathing exercise) and ‘asanas’ (yoga postures) daily and imparts training to hundreds of people, cutting across religion.Differences among Church groups and objections raised by some denominations against Yoga has not deterred this Catholic nun, from Central Kerala, frompractising and popularising the ancient form of exercise.Because, 67-year-old Infant Tresa, a member of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC), one of the largest women’s religiousgatherings in the country, feels that ‘Yoga is secular’ and ‘it does not belong to any particular religion.’This confidence has given her strength to practise yoga for the last 30 years and impart training to over 5000 people so far, irrespective of their religion, gender and age.After retiring as a nurse from the government sector in 2006, Sister Tresa has dedicated her life completely to promote yoga and meditation and started two centres for it at Muvattupuzha and Thodupuzha in central Kerala.As the country celebrates yet another International Yoga Day today, the nun says her strong faith in Yoga came from her own personal experience.She also admitted that many Church groups still have ‘misconceptions’ about Yoga and it’s practice.But, her own Congregation is extending complete support for her new role as ‘yoga trainer,’ she said.”I learnt Yoga in 1985 and have been practising it since then. I was suffering from severe back pain and wheezing at that time. I tried many medicines but got no relief,” Sister Tresa told PTI.”It was Yoga which brought me relief. After knowing about this ancient form of exercise through a newspaper, I tried to learn and practise it regularly.. and the result was amazing,” she said.The nun claimed that her health issues-both back pain and wheezing-reduced step-by-step and she got cured completely within months.Since then, yoga has been a constant companion of Sister Tresa, along with the Bible.As her love for Yoga grew, she tried to gather as much information as possible from books and underwent a training programme in Bengaluru after availing three months leave from her nursing profession during the 1980-90 period.After retirement, she has been travelling extensively in and outside the state to take classes on yoga and attending seminars and conferences.Even at this age, the sexagenarian spends at least three hours for yoga practice and takes at least one of the three daily sessions at her yoga centres.As a regular practitioner of yoga and meditation for over three decades, the nun said she found it difficult to fathom why people were making unnecessary hue and cry over it.”Those who call yoga a part of Hinduism and raise objections against it, do not know what it actually is.. Yoga does not belong to Hinduism or any other religion.. It is completely secular,” she said.It is a physical, mental and spiritual practice, which originated in ancient India and there was no need to mix religion with it, the nun said.Sister Tresa’s words assume significance in the wake of the recent stand taken by Syro Malabar Church, a prominent church denomination in Kerala, that ‘yoga and Catholic faith cannot go together.’A report by the doctrinal commission of the Syro-Malabar Church had underlined the views expressed by its Synod last year that yoga is not a medium to attain divine experience.However, Sister Tresa said the number of Christians and Muslims learning Yoga was on the rise, besides Hindus.When asked whether she had faced any objections when she started training yoga, she said it was natural to face some resistance in the initial phase but her Congregation, bishop and colleagues have extended her all support.”I am not defying any rules of the Church. I do not use any particular mantra or pictures of any God or goddesses, while practicing or training yoga and meditation,” she said.She alleged that there were some hardcore Christians who think that doing ‘Sun salutation’ was a sin.Sister Tresa does not mind advising them to use pictures of Jesus Christ and do ‘yesu namaskar’ (saluting Jesus Christ) instead of ‘soorya namaskar’ (sun salutation).Performing yoga to the accompaniment of any particular mantra or practicing ‘secular yoga’ (sans any mantra or prayer) are also not wrong.”Doing yoga is more important.. mantra,prayer or pictures are just tools that can be used according to individual choices,” she said.Seeing people experience physical and mental relief through yoga is the happiest part of the stint as yoga trainer, said Tresa who had joined the Congregation embracing nunhood at the age of 19.”Yoga and meditation purify the body and mind. It makes people more healthy and spiritual and turn them as better human beings. For me, teaching yoga is also serving God.Because it brings solace to the worries of human beings,” she added.
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Country, jawans and people of Kashmir had to pay a heavy price for BJP’s ‘greed’: Shiv Sena

In a vitriolic attack on the BJP, the Shiv Sena today charged that the saffron party opted out of power in Jammu and Kashmir after spreading anarchy, and said history will never forgive the party for its “greed”.When the BJP failed to check terrorism and violence in the northern state it pinned blame on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Sena said comparing the move to the way Britishers “decamped” from India. It also lashed out at Pime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “running a nation is not a child’s play.” Jammu and Kashmir was yesterday placed under Governor’s rule for the fourth time in the last one decade after the BJP withdrew support to its alliance partner PDP, prompting Mehbooba Mufti to resign as the chief minister.”The BJP opted out of power in Kashmir after spreading anarchy in the valley,” the Sena alleged in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. “The situation had never deteriorated to this extent there, rivers of blood had never flown so extensively and never had so many jawans lost their lives before,” said the BJP’s ally at the Centre and in Maharashtra. All this happened during the BJP’s rule in the valley. However, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti was blamed and the saffron party opted out of power like a gentleman, it quipped. “The government in Kashmir was formed due to greed (of the BJP). The country, jawans and people of Kashmir had to pay a heavy price for this greediness. Thus, history will never forgive the BJP for this,” the Marathi publication said.Also readShujaat Bukhari’s son’s heartfelt tribute shows late Rising Kashmir editor’s real love for the ValleyIt said Prime Minister Modi and his party were voted to power at the Centre after he promised a solution to end terrorism in Kashmir. “But people today feel the (previous) Congress-National Conference (coalition) government in Kashmir was better. Today Kashmiris are attacking the Army, terrorists are attacking Army posts. Jawans are being martyred everyday and innocent people are losing their lives,” the Sena rued. The defence minister offers condolences to families of martyrs on tweets, it said in remarks laced with sarcasm.Ruling a nation is not a child’s play, it added. Taking a dig at the prime minister’s frequent foreign tours, it said while Modi travels around the world, the United Nations in its report on Kashmir blamed the government for violation of human rights on people. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party also sought to know what happened to assurances of ‘ghar wapsi’ (homecoming) of Kashmiri Pandits and striking down Article 370 of the Constitution.”Terrorism has increased by a thousand times after demonetisation. Intrusions by Pakistanis have increased.Also readJammu and Kashmir: Strike protesting death of Shujaat Bukhari throws life off gear Deaths of soldiers have increased despite there being no war. When you failed to stop all this, you pinned the blame on the PDP. Britishers too decamped in the same manner,” it charged. The PDP-BJP government in the northern state collapsed on Tuesday ending the saffron outfit’s three-year- old alliance with the regional party.
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Narendra Modi

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United Nations

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President Ram Nath Kovind to perform yoga asanas with Suriname counterpart

President Ram Nath Kovind will perform yoga asanas along with his Suriname counterpart Desire Delano Bouterse here on Thursday to observe the International Day of Yoga in this Latin American country.This will be the first time that heads of two countries will together participate in the International Day of Yoga “I look forward to participating in the Yoga Day celebrations with President Bouterse in Paramaribo, Suriname. This is the first time two heads of state will be celebrating International Yoga Day together,” President Kovind tweeted on Thursday.Extending his greetings on the occasion, the president said, “On International Yoga Day greetings to all those practising yoga across the globe. Yoga is an ancient Indian tradition, but it doesn’t belong to India alone. It is part of humanity’s intangible heritage. I invite you to explore and celebrate yoga wherever you are.”The United Nations General Assembly in December 2014 had declared that June 21 would be observed as International Day of Yoga every year.The president arrived in the Suriname capital Paramaribo yesterday on the second leg of his three-nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba.
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NDA alliance partner SBSP says legislator targeted for being Dalit after UP BJP chief calls him ‘thief’

Days after Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey called an alliance MLA a ‘thief’, the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) today alleged that legislator Kailash Sonkar was being targeted for being a ‘Dalit’.Pandey had made the remarks on Tuesday in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma while laying the foundation stone for development projects in Varanasi and Chandauli districts here at the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Rajkiya Mahavidyalaya. Sonkar, an MLA from the Ajgara Assembly seat, which falls in the Chandauli Lok Sabha constituency from where Pandey is an MP, told mediapersons that he was being targeted for being a Dalit. SBSP state vice-president Nityanand Pandey was also present on the occasion.He demanded that the state BJP chief tender an apology for insulting not only him but also the whole of Ajgara. On Tuesday, when Pandey was asked why the name of the MLA of Ajgara was not mentioned on the foundation stone, the Pandey replied saying, “Isme yaha ke vidhyak ka naam nahi likhwaya kyonki woh chor nikal gaya (The name of local MLA is not mentioned as he turned out to be a thief ).” In response, Sonkar said he was hurt by the remark and added, “This was not expected from a highly learned person like Pandey”. He threatened to file a defamation suit if an apology was not tendered.The SBSP MLA who was allegedly involved in a fraud case said all charges levelled against him were wrong and it was a conspiracy by his rivals to defame him
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Dinesh Sharma

Mahendra Nath Pandey

Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP)

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Yoga should be part of people’s lives: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said that he wanted to make yoga a people’s movement.Speaking on the occasion of the 4th International Yoga Day, Vice President Naidu told reporters, “This is a good beginning. Four years ago, our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) initiated this programme. I want yoga to become a people’s movement because it is not something political or religious, it is for the betterment of our lives. It (Yoga) shouldn’t be just for one day, it should be a part of our daily lives.”He stressed that he plays badminton for an hour and does physical exercises every day, which he added, was helping him to keep fit and do his official work seamlessly.Also readIn Pic: Prenatal yoga is my way of keeping fit during pregnancy, Sania Mirza shares her yoga tipsCiting the example of a lady called Nanammal, a 99-year-old yoga instructor from Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore, Vice President Naidu urged others to take inspiration and practice yoga.He went on to say that if people started doing yoga, then it would help to create a healthy world and healthy country.Also readOver 2 lakh yogis practiced yoga in Kota, more than 100 world records broken today: RamdevMeanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while observing the day said, “We are very proud that International Yoga Day was started by us and is being celebrated across the world. All the credits go to our Prime Minister. After doing yoga, I feel very enthusiastic and fresh.”Union Minister Babul Supriyo, who was also present in the function stressed that practicing yoga is important for attaining a peace of mind and staying physically fit.The singer-turned-politician lauded Prime Minister Modi for launching such an initiative on a global scale and described it as a matter of great pride and honour for the country.Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that yoga has become one of the unifying forces of the world.Addressing the gathering on the occasion in Dehradun, Prime Minister Modi said, “In today’s fast-changing time, Yoga binds together a person’s body, brain and soul, hence making one experience a feeling of peace. Dehradun se Dublin tak, Shanghai se Chicago tak, Jakarta se Johannesburg tak, Yoga hi Yoga hai (From Dehradun to Dublin, Shanghai to Chicago, Jakarta to Johannesburg, there is Yoga all around). Yoga has become one of the unifying forces of the world.”The first International Day of Yoga was observed all over the world on June 21, 2015, where more than 30,000 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, performed yoga asanas at Rajpath in New Delhi.The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by Prime Minister Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 27 September 2014.
Narendra Modi

M Venkaiah Naidu

Babul Supriyo

Devendra Fadnavis

International Day of Yoga (IDY)

Yoga Day 2018

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Jammu and Kashmir: Strike protesting death of Shujaat Bukhari throws life off gear

Normal life was affected in Kashmir Valley today due to a strike called by separatists against the killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari.Most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments in Srinagar the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir were shut, a police official said. He said public transport was minimal in the city, but private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying. The official said similar reports were received from other district headquarters of the valley.The separatists, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), on Tuesday called for a strike for today against the killing of Bukhari and also civilians allegedly in security forces firing. The spokesman said the JRL demands an international probe into Bukhari’s gruesome murder. Bukhari was shot dead, along with his two personal guards, outside his office in Press Enclave here on 14 June by unknown gunmen.Authorities have suspended train services in Kashmir as a precautionary measure, the police official said.
Jammu And Kashmir

Srinagar

Jammu

Kashmir Valley

Shujaat Bukhari

Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL)

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India officer transferred over harassment of Hindu-Muslim couple

The woman said the passport officer asked her husband, who is Muslim, to convert to Hinduism.

Over 2 lakh yogis practiced yoga in Kota, more than 100 world records broken today: Ramdev

On the occasion of International Yoga Day, Yog Guru Ramdev led the yoga celebrations in Rajasthan’s Kota, with an aim to create a Guinness World Record.While addressing the media, Ramdev said, “A certificate has already been issued to us for making record of more than 1.05 lakh people performing yoga together. More people are joining and the counting is still underway. More than 100 world records were recorded today in different section based on surya namaskars, push-ups, etc. It’s a proud moment for us.”He later tweetedAlong with Ramdev, Managing Director of Patanjali Ayurved Limited and co-founder of Patanjali Yogpeeth, Acharya Balkrishna and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia performed yoga at the venue.Ramdev earlier in the day took to Twitter and said, “Yoga is the best way for the students to de-stress themselves. Thousands of students have joined Yoga in Kota, the education capital of Rajasthan.”Meanwhile, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, and Suresh Prabhu also performed yoga at different locations across the nation.The first International Day of Yoga was observed all over the world on June 21, 2015, where more than 30,000 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, performed yoga asanas (postures) at Rajpath in New Delhi.The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by Prime Minister Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 27 September 2014.
Narendra Modi

Ramdev

Venkaiah Naidu

Rajnath Singh

NEW DELHI

Smriti Irani

Prakash Javadekar

Piyush Goyal

Suresh Prabhu

International Yoga Day

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Mad Max-like dystopia? 40% of India including Delhi and Bengaluru could run out of ground water by 2020

In the post-apocalyptic cult-classic Mad Max: Fury Road, director George Miller envisions a world where petrol and water are scarce commodities, horded by the rich. That one day might live in a world without drinking or ground water is a scary thought and a reality that stares us in the face in the not-so-distant future.India is suffering from ‘the worst water crisis’ in its history with about 60 crore people facing high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people dying every year due to inadequate access to safe water, Niti Aayog said in a report today.The report, titled ‘Composite Water Management Index’ released by Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari, further said the crisis is only going to get worse.Also readRelease additional budget for safe drinking water: CM Vasundhara Raje”By 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual 6 per cent loss in the country’s GDP,” the report noted.Citing data by independent agencies, the report pointed out that with nearly 70 per cent of water being contaminated, India is placed at 120th amongst 122 countries in the water quality index.Also read’New India 2022′ document will be ready in a month, says NITI Aayog”Currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water,” Niti Aayog said in the report.Citing data by agencies like Dalburg Analysis, FAO and UNICEF, the report said 40 per cent of population will have no access to drinking water by 2030 and 21 cities, including New Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.Also readIndia suffering worst water crisis in history, says Niti Aayog reportNiti Aayog has ranked the states through first of its kind index on the composite water management, comprising 9 broad sectors with 28 different indicators covering various aspects of ground water, restoration of water bodies, irrigation, farm practices, drinking water, policy and governance.Meanwhile, Gujarat has topped the Niti Aayog’s composite water management index (CWMI), while tribal state Jharkhand was adjudged as the worst performer.Gujarat is followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra on the index.In the northeastern and Himalayan states, Tripura has been adjudged as the top state in 2016-17 followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam.According to the report, 52 per cent of India’s agricultural area remains dependent on rainfall, so the future expansion of irrigation needs to be focused on last-mile efficiency.Noting that water index scores vary widely across states, it said most states have achieved a score below 50 per cent and could significantly improve their water resource management practices.According to an official statement, the CWMI is an important tool to assess and improve the performance of states/ Union Territories in efficient management of water resources.It also said the index will provide useful information for the states and also for the concerned Central ministries /departments, enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources. With inputs from PTI
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From Surya Namaskar in Ladakh to Pranayam in the Bay of Bengal, Indian defence forces celebrate International Yoga Day

As the fourth edition of the International Yoga Day kicked off on Thursday, armed forces did their bit by organising yoga sessions across the country.In Ladakh, Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel defied the biting cold weather and performed Surya Namaskar asana (posture), at an altitude of 18,000 feet. The jawans were seen doing yoga wrapped up with thick jackets and woollen caps to beat the chill.In Arunachal Pradesh’s Lohitpur, the ITBP jawans went a step ahead and performed ‘River Yoga’, where the personnel were seen doing Surya Namaskar asana in the Digaru river.In Mumbai, Indian Navy personnel were performing various yoga asanas on board the INS (Indian Navy Service) Virat. Girish Luthra, Vice Admiral, Western Command was also seen flexing his muscles.Down south, on board the INS Jyothi in the Bay of Bengal off Visakhapatnam, the Eastern Naval Command Staff and Eastern Naval Command’s submarine staff participated in the International Yoga Day celebrations.In Visakhapatnam, Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command and Navy personnel were seen flexing their muscles to mark the occasion.Navy personnel performed various yoga asanas onboard INS Jamuna off Kochi in Kerala.Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that Yoga has become one of the unifying forces of the world.Addressing the gathering on the occasion here, Prime Minister Modi said, “In today’s fast-changing time, Yoga binds together a person’s body, brain and soul, hence making one experience a feeling of peace. Dehradun se Dublin tak, Shanghai se Chicago tak, Jakarta se Johannesburg tak, Yoga hi Yoga hai (From Dehradun to Dublin, Shanghai to Chicago, Jakarta to Johannesburg, there is Yoga all around). Yoga has become one of the unifying forces of the world.”Emphasising the power of yoga and its global reach, Prime Minister Modi said, “Yoga is India’s gift to the world. It is a passport for wellness. The world has embraced Yoga and glimpses of this can be seen in the manner in which International Day of Yoga has been marked every year. In fact, Yoga Day has become one of the biggest mass movements in the quest for good health and well-being.”Along with the Prime Minister, around 50,000 yoga enthusiasts kick-started India’s International Yoga Day celebrations at Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute.The first International Day of Yoga was observed all over the world on June 21, 2015, where more than 30,000 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, performed yoga asanas at Rajpath in New Delhi.The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by Prime Minister Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014.
Narendra Modi

Indian Navy

Indian Army

Indian Air Force (IAF)

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)

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International Yoga Day 2018

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MP Minister Swami Akhileshwaranand wants CM Chouhan to form Cow Ministry

Following his elevation to the rank of a cabinet minister in the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government, Swami Akhileshwaranand on Wednesday appealed to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to form a cow ministry in the state.He was of the opinion that if there could be a cow secretariat in Rajasthan, a ministry for happiness in MP, then a cow ministry should be constituted in the state for the welfare of the state. He said that the formation of the ministry will attract even more budget into the state and that he wanted the cow to be removed from the category of animal.Speaking to ANI, he said that he had previously spoken to Chief Minister Chouhan regarding this matter.”He (the chief minister) told me that he will restore all the cow-houses, and there will be no shortage of funds, there just needs to be the willpower and commitment towards the cause. Now I am even more hopeful as he was made the chairman of National Agriculture and MGNREGA committee,” Akhileshwaranand told ANI.”The state gets 15000 Cr under the scheme. I asked them how much they spend, they told me they could hardly spend half of it. So I asked them why was there this lapse, you are a part of the Cow Protection Board, provide me with a budget of 1000 Cr, I have a strong willpower for my cause, they told me I was not making any unconstitutional demand, they will back me,” he added. On June 13, the MP government had elevated Akhileshwaranand, formerly the state?s Cow Protection Board chairperson, to the rank of a Cabinet minister. He was earlier given Minister of State (MoS) rank.
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Yoga is the most powerful unifying force in a strife-torn world: PM Modi on International Yoga Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today performed Yoga with over 50,000 enthusiasts at the Forest Research Institute campus here, saying the ancient Indian discipline has emerged as the most powerful unifying force in a strife-torn world.Addressing the large gathering in the backdrop of the iconic British-era building of FRI, Modi said yoga has shown the world the way from “illness to wellness” and enriching lives across the globe.He said in fact yoga has become the biggest mass movement across the globe in the quest for good health and wellbeing, which is crucial to the creation of a peaceful world.”Dehradun to Dublin, Shanghai to Chicago, Jakarta to Johannesburg, Himalayan highlands or sunburnt deserts, Yoga is enriching millions of lives all over the world.Also readWatch: Indian embassy in Islamabad follows PM Modi’s lead from Dehradun, participates in International Yoga Day”Yoga fosters amity in societies which can form the basis of national unity,” the prime minister said.He said the proposal for the Yoga Day at the UN was accepted in record time with a majority of nations supporting it.Today people all over the world have come to look upon yoga as something which belongs to them, Modi said.He also asked people to learn to honour their own legacy and heritage if they wanted the rest of the world to respect them.”If we don’t take pride in our own legacy and heritage no one else will. We should not hesitate in honouring the gems of our own heritage.Also readHere’s why the ancient spiritual practice of Yoga is a must in today’s social media ageHe said the way to lead a calm, creative and content life was Yoga.”In Yoga, we have the perfect solution to the problems we face, either as individuals or in our society,” the prime minister said.Also readDehradun se Dublin tak, Jakarta se Johannesburg tak, Yoga hi Yoga hai: PM Modi on International Yoga Day”Instead of dividing, yoga unites. Instead of further animosity, yoga assimilates. Instead of increasing suffering, yoga heals,” he said. Modi said yoga presents a ray of hope for future of the world.”Yoga is beautiful because it is ancient yet modern, it is constant yet evolving,” he said.”India’s legacy of which yoga is a significant part is unique and rich. We must take pride in it,” the prime minister said, adding that it has the power to promote universal bortherhood as it unites and assimilates instead of dividing.”From Tokyo to Toronto from Stockholm to Sao Paulo yoga has become a positive influence in the lives of millions,” Modi said.He asked people to embrace yoga not just for a healthy but happy and peaceful life.The growing popularity of yoga across the globe has brought India closer to the world and this position is going to get strengthened in times to come, he said.The prime minister had arrived here last night to participate in the main event on the International Yoga Day.Elaborate security arrangements were made and nearly 3,000 security personnel deployed in and around the venue.Read: Why yoga is a must in this day and ageModi arrived at the FRI at around 6.30 am and addressed the people before performing asanas with them.The prime minister had earlier participated in yoga celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in 2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016, and the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017.Yesterday, while greeting yoga enthusiasts across the world, the prime minister had said that this exercise is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind.Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. It is a passport to health assurance, a key to fitness and wellness. Nor is Yoga only what you practice in the morning. Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of Yoga as well,” a statement quoting Modi had said.
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AirAsia flight delayed by 4 hours, passenger slams ‘unprofessional and rude’ behaviour

Some passengers on an AirAsia India flight from Kolkata to Bagdogra got into an altercation with airline staff over deplaning them after the flight was delayed by over four hours, a passenger claimed.Indian Oil Corporation Executive Director (West Bengal) Dipankar Ray, who was also travelling in the same flight, complained of very “unprofessional and rude” behaviour from the airline staff. “The flight was scheduled to depart at 9 am and was initially delayed by 30 minutes. After boarding, we kept sitting inside the aircraft for one-and-a-half hours with no food or water at all,” Ray told PTI. The flight captain then instructed all passengers to de- board without any explanation, he added.”When passengers refused to deboard due to heavy rains outside, the captain put the air-conditioning blower on full blast to hound the passengers out. It created a scary scene as heavy fog was created inside the plane and it was very suffocating,” Ray said. He further said that many women passengers started vomiting and children were crying. In a video that he uploaded on his Facebook profile, it was seen that passengers were arguing with on-board staff for switching off the blower. “This is the way Aviation industry works in India. This #AirAsiaservice was particularly scary … Avoid Air Asia,” Ray said in the video post on Facebook.When contacted, An AirAsia India issued a statement and accepted that the flight was delayed and expressed regrets. “AirAsia India would like to confirm that flight i5583 from Kolkata to Bagdogra was delayed by 4.5 hours due to a technical requirement. AirAsia regrets the inconvenience caused to guests on account of this disruption and would like to reinstate that the airline always prioritises safety above all,” the company said. It further said that there was no danger to any of the occupants on-board the aircraft as the cool conditioned air being circulated was condensing. “This is a normal occurrence on-board all aircraft when the air conditioning is operated in high humidity conditions,” the statement said.The company also claimed that all the affected guests were offered refreshments and provided with alternate arrangements requested for. Ray, however, countered that and said the airline had asked them to go to the food court in the airport after deplaning them and show the boarding passes to get food. “When we reached the food court, they refused us. There was no communication from AirAsia at all. We had to pay. When we were boarding the flight second time, then they gave us one sandwich and a 250 ml water bottle. This is an unacceptable treatment,” he said.
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The man who cycled to Russia to meet Messi

Clifin Francis took a bike to meet his hero and is now just days away from Moscow.

Police confirms Meghalaya CM claim that Shillong violent protests was ‘sponsored’

The Meghalaya police on Wednesday confirmed Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma’s claim that recent violent protests in Shillong was “sponsored,” saying that they have also identified some instigators behind the protests.The picturesque town of Shillong, also called “Scotland of the East” was rattled by violent protests for five days in early June after an assault of a bus handyman and two others at local Punjabi Lane on May 31, leading to imposition of indefinite curfew and shutdown of internet.The clashes between local Khasis and Sikhs were fuelled by fake news of the bus handyman’s death over social media.The Army and para-military forces had to be deployed to control the violence which had badly affected tourism in Meghalaya.”We have been able to identify some of the instigators behind the June first week agitation,” East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police Davis Marak said.The instigators have been identified on basis of probe and also on statements of the people arrested for being involved in clashes in the hill town, the SP said.He said further investigation was on and show-cause notices would be issued to the identified instigators.Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma earlier had claimed that the protests were “sponsored” through cash-funding and alcohol supply to the agitators after the May 31 incident.Over 70 stone-pelters were arrested, 20 of whom were released later on bail with strict direction to cooperate with the police in investigation, the SP said.The SP said more protesters are likely to be arrested in due course of time based on video evidences of their participation in the attack on the police.The protesters have been booked under various sections of the Meghalaya Maintenance of Public Order (MMPO) Act among others for which they will have to compensate for the losses of both public and private properties.At least seven police vehicles and three CCTV units installed at Motphran area were damaged during the protest besides arson attacks on private vehicles, he said.The PWD, the municipal board and other departments are also assessing the damages suffered by footpaths and railings at Motphran area, he said, adding that the total losses incurred will run into several crores.Though there have been reports of fresh clashes, night curfew is still in force in the entire city as precautionary measure, senior district officials said.Mobile internet services were restored on Monday last in seven districts of Khasi-Jaintia Hills region, that includes capital Shillong, in view of the improved law and order situation.The state Home department had re-imposed suspension of mobile internet services on June 16 in the region on a police report, fearing serious law and order problem having potential threats to the public safety.
Meghalaya

Shillong

Conrad K Sangma

Shilling violence

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Ahmedabad-Muscat Air India plane makes emergency landing in Mumbai due to technical snag

A Muscat-bound Air India flight from Ahmedabad via Mumbai carrying 176 passengers made an emergency landing at the airport in Mumbai due to hydraulic leakage, an airline spokesperson said.All the passengers are safe and will be flying to their destination in another aircraft, he added.”Full emergency was declared at 20:15 hrs for AI 985 arriving from Ahmadabad due to hydraulic failure,” a Mumbai airport official said.The flight landed safely at 20:36 hrs, the official added.The Air India spokesperson said the pilot of the Airbus A321 sought emergency landing due to the mid-air hydraulic leakage.There were 176 passengers onboard apart from the crew, he said, adding the aircraft is being changed for the onward journey.
Air India

Mumbai

AHMEDABAD

technical snag

emergency landing

Ahmedabad-Muscat

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Dalit ‘atrocities’: Gujarat DGP asks officers to visit ‘sensitive’ villages

Against the backdrop of recent incidents of alleged atrocities on Dalits in various parts of Gujarat, state DGP Shivanand Jha today directed police officers to visit ‘sensitive’ villages to understand the ground situation and resolve the problems of the community.In a communication sent to all the senior officers including district superintendents of police and police commissioners of various cities, Jha asked them to plan ‘village visits’ during the next three months to understand the problems of Dalits and resolve them on the spot.Jha said such visits are needed in the present time as several incidents of Dalit atrocities have surfaced in different districts of the state.All those villages where such conflicts between communities were reported in the past or (where) there exists a possibility of conflicts in future, should be considered as ‘sensitive villages’, as per the communication.Villages or areas in cities that had witnessed communal conflicts in the past should also be considered as ‘sensitive’ and visits should be planned accordingly, according to the DGP.During this drive, to be started immediately, designated police officers of each district should visit areas having concentrated Dalit population and try to understand their problems and solve them immediately, the DGP ordered.Apart from solving problems, police officers should also try to build a cohesive atmosphere by holding joint meetings. Officers are also required to sensitise other communities about dalits and their issues, it said.Police officers are required to prepare a comprehensive report about their visits and send it to the concerned district SP or police commissioner who in turn are required to send it to the DGP after three months.The DGP’s order came a week after a 13-year-old Dalit boy was allegedly beaten up by Rajput youths in Bahucharaji town of Mehsana district for wearing a pair of ‘Mojdi’, a type of leather shoes.Last month, a group of Rajputs had clashed with Dalits in Dholka town in Ahmedabad district over a Dalit man’s decision to add ‘Sinh’ suffix to his name.
Shivanand Jha

Dalits

Gujarat DGP

Dalit atrocities

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After 9-day dharna, Arvind Kejriwal faces health issues; may join naturopathy course in Bengaluru

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to fly to Bengaluru today to join a 10-day naturopathy course, officials said.According to officials at the Chief Minister’s office, Kejriwal has not been keeping well after ending the nine-day long sit-in at Lt Governor’s office. During the protest, his blood sugar levels had increased and even insulin injections were not working on him.”He is likely to leave for Bengaluru to join a 10-day naturopathy course to control his sugar levels,” the officials said.The chief minister had attended the naturopathy treatment in Bengaluru in the past for chronic cough problem. He was due to attend the course there last month itself, the officials said.Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the sugar levels were “troubling” Kejriwal and he had a prior programme to join the naturopathy course.However, Kejriwal’s visit to Bengaluru will delay his meeting with IAS officers.The LG had written to Kejriwal asking him to meet the IAS officers “urgently” to address their concerns.The IAS Association had yesterday said that they were awaiting a formal communication for a meeting with Kejriwal.”In the context of CM’s assurance, we await formal communication for a meeting with him in the Delhi Secretariat. We reiterate that we continue to be at work,” IAS AGUMUT Association had tweeted.During the sit-in at the LG office, Kejriwal had assured IAS officers of their “safety”, calling them as part of a family.The IAS officers had been boycotting meeting with ministers since the alleged attack on chief secretary Anshu Prakash at Kejriwal’s residence in February. They had gone public to express their apprehensions about safety.After which, Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues had started the sit-in June 11, demanding a direction by the L-G to IAS officers to end their “strike”.
Arvind Kejriwal

Naturopathy

Raj Niwas

Anil Baijal

LG House

Delhi IAS Officers

Lt Governor Anil Baijal

IAS officers strike

Arvind Kejriwal naturopathy

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Jewar airport: UP govt likely to complete land acquisition process in 2 months

The civil aviation ministry on Wednesday said the process of land acquisition for the proposed international airport at Jewar, Uttar Pradesh is expected to be completed in two months.”The Uttar Pradesh government has assured that the process of getting land will be completed in two months time and that the bids for PPP (Public Private Partnership) will be invited in October.”We expect that the award will be given in December, followed by a foundation stone laying ceremony in December,” Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey told reporters here.The state government would spend Rs 4,000 crore on land acquisition. While the state’s Civil Aviation Department would spend Rs 1,500 crore, the Noida Development Authority would provide a matching amount, officials had said earlier this month.The Greater Noida Authority and the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) would be extending another Rs 500 crore each.About 1,441 hectares have been identified for the first phase of the airport project. The airport is expected to start operations in 2022-23, with an initial capacity for 60 lakh passengers.According to the Technical Economic Feasibility Report (TEFR), the airport project is expected to generate about one lakh employment opportunities.
Land Acquisition

UP government

Yogi Adityanath

Jewar

Jewar airport

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BJP can’t run away from owning responsibility for mess in J&K: Congress

The Congress today asked the central government when it would ensure a congenial atmosphere for elections to take place in Jammu and Kashmir and elect a government of the people in the state.The Congress also accused the BJP of radicalisation and said it cannot shun and run away from owning the responsibility of creating this mess and back-stabbing the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”The directionless, agenda-less and clueless policy of the Modi government has left the people of Jammu and Kashmir in complete despair and this is a grave national concern.”How does Prime Minister Modi propose to ensure peace and normalcy in the state? When will the ceasefire violations by Pakistan and terror attacks on our soil stop? What is the economic roadmap for inclusion and progress for the people of J&K?” asked Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.The Congress said both the BJP and the PDP should take the responsibility for the present situation in the state.”We have asked that by when the security scenario will be able to change and by when an atmosphere will be created by the Government of India and the Governor in Jammu and Kashmir so that elections can be held.”So both Governor and Government of India will have to ensure that the security scenario be changed and law and order is maintained so that we can have elections, so that we do not have elections like we had in Parliament when there was seven per cent voting. We would like definitely a government of the people representing the state,” he said.He said the Congress is extremely concerned and pained by the developments in Jammu and Kashmir.”We caution the Modi government to correct its flawed approach and work for rebuilding the trust and restoration of normalcy in the state,” he said.Asked about the Congress’s stand on elections in the state, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said, “Who wins or loses elections in Jammu and Kashmir, we do not care. We want peace and stability to be restored in the state.” Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir Study Group formed by the Congress to monitor the situation in the trouble-torn state, held its meeting at the instance of the Congress president and reviewed the situation in the state after the imposition of Governor’s rule after the BJP withdrew support to the PDP.Former prime minister Manmohan Singh chairs the group. Former home minister P Chidamabaram, Azad, Ambika Soni and state party chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir are its members.Congress general secretary in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir, Ambika Soni, said that without trying to win over the minds and hearts of all sections of people in the state, elections cannot be held there.”For the simple reason of satisfying their lust for power to form government in Jammu and Kashmir, they have made the people of Jammu and Kashmir go through so much misery and torture,” she told reporters.”How does the Modi government propose to engage with various sections of the state in order to win their hearts and minds?” she asked, adding that how it plans to ensure peace and development in all the three regions of the state.Azad said the people of India and Congress party shall be watching very closely BJP’s actions and the forthcoming developments in the state and shall never forgive nor forget how the BJP government is responsible for pushing Jammu and Kashmir into “complete darkness”.”Our only interest is that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir improves and terrorism ends there and peace prevails. We want that the youth who are taking to guns should shun them and take pen in their hands instead and tourism and employment opportunities are created and a peaceful atmosphere is created,” he said.Azad also accused the BJP of killing the economy of Kashmir and said they cannot escape from this accountability. He alleged the BJP won elections mainly based on ending the Kashmir issue, but they ended the lives of Kashmiris, after BJP and PDP formed an “unethical” alliance.Soni said the PDP-BJP government survived for this long only due to their hunger for power. Within a couple of months all their development promises were thrown into backburner and even basic needs have remained unfulfilled, she said.”Being a national party, it was the BJP’s responsibility to engage and build a trust with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and establish a roadmap for societal inclusion and development of all its three regions,” according to a statement.Ghulam Ahmed Mir said mainstream opposition parties in the state offered complete support to both the parties to solve the Kashmir issue, but that was another lie by BJP and PDP.The erosion of stability in J&K was expected ever since PDP and BJP formed the government, he said, adding that they “betrayed” their own respective voters by allying with each other.
Congress

Jammu And Kashmir

Narendra Modi

PDP

Ghulam Nabi Azad

Ambika Soni

Jammu

BJP

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Terrorists attack police vehicle in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore, 1 cop killed, 2 injured

A policeman was killed and two others were injured as terrorists fired upon a police vehicle near Gallandar on Srinagar-Jammu national highway on Wednesday, police said.The gunmen fired upon the police vehicle near Gallandar in Pampore area of the city, a police official said.He said in the firing, three policemen suffered injuries.The injured cops were taken to a hospital where one of them – Constable Tanveer Ahmad – died, the official said.He said the other two policemen are being treated upon.A case has been registered and a hunt has been launched to nab the attackers, the official said.The attack comes on day when Army Chief General Bipin Rawat spoke extensively about the military operations in the Valley.The Governor’s rule in the state is unlikely to have any impact on ongoing military operations, the Army chief had said. Operations in the Valley would continue as earlier, Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of an event.”Operations were being carried out earlier as well. Then we saw a phase of suspension of operations because we wanted people to get a chance to offer their prayers during Ramzan without any kind of problem. Despite that, terrorists continued with their activity, which is why the suspension of operations was cancelled,” he said.Action that was being taken earlier would continue, Rawat asserted.Referring to the imposition of Governor’s rule in the state after the BJP pulled out of its alliance with the PDP, he said, “We don’t think there will be any impact. We don’t have an kind of political interference.” There has, he said, never been any kind of restriction on the force on how it should conduct its work. The security forces have very strict rules of engagement and “take action” in accordance with them, Rawat said. The ceasefire announced by the Centre for the month of Ramzan was revoked on Sunday. Aurangzeb, an Army jawan, was killed by terrorists and journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead two days ahead of Eid. Today, Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor’s rule for the fourth time in the last one decade after the BJP withdrew support to its alliance partner, prompting Mehbooba Mufti to resign as chief minister.
Jammu And Kashmir

Tanveer Ahmad

Pampore attack

Terror attack in J&K

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Governor’s Rule in J&K: Subrahmanyam appointed Chief Secretary; K Vijay Kumar, BB Vyas named advisers to Vohra

Chhattisgarh-cadre IAS officer BVR Subrahmanyam was on Wednesday appointed as the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir in place of BB Vyas, who along with super cop and anti-Naxal expert K Vijay Kumar were named advisers to Governor NN Vohra, according to an official communique.The names of advisers were cleared by the Union Home Ministry after the state was put under the Governor’s rule, following withdrawal of support by the BJP to the PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti’s three-year old-coalition government on Tuesday. The state Assembly has been put under suspended animation.The 60-year-old Vyas, who is considered as a trusted lieutenant of the Governor, was last month given a one-year extension in service, beyond May 31, 2018, as the chief secretary of the state.The Personnel Ministry has also amended the service rules to provide extension to Vyas beyond 60 years of age of superannuation. Till the new rule came into force, the state chief secretary retired on attaining the age of 60 years.Vyas, who was due to superannuate in November last year, was given two extensions of three months each till May-end, to remain the chief secretary.Another adviser appointed was K Vijay Kumar, a 1975-batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre. He had earlier served in the Kashmir Valley as Inspector General of BSF 1998-2001 when the border guarding force was actively involved in the counter-militancy operations.Sixty-five-year-old Vijay Kumar had shot to fame when he headed the Special Task Force (STF) for a long time and strategised operations that culminated in the elimination of the dreaded sandalwood smuggler Veerappan in October 2004.He was appointed as Director General of the world’s largest paramilitary force — CRPF– after naxals killed 75 personnel in Dantewada in 2010.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last night approved that the services of Subrahmanyam, a 1987-batch IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre, are placed at the disposal of the Jammu and Kashmir government, an order issued by Union Personnel Ministry has said.Subrahmanyam is at present the additional chief secretary (Home) in Chhattisgarh.Subrahmanyam, considered an expert in internal security matters, has served as private secretary to former prime minister Manmohan Singh during 2004-2008. He worked with the World Bank during June 2008 and September 2011 before joining again the Manmohan Singh-led PMO in March 2012.Subrahmanyam was in the PMO after Narendra Modi became the prime minister in May 2014. He stayed in the PMO till March 2015 and then moved to his cadre state Chhattisgarh.
Jammu And Kashmir

Chhattisgarh

Narendra Modi

NN Vohra

Governor’s rule

K Vijay Kumar

BB Vyas

BVR Subrahmanyam

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Will stand by DK Shivakumar if he has not done anything illegal, says Kumaraswamy on IT action against minister

The Karnataka government would stand by Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, against whom a fourth summons has been issued by a court in connection with alleged tax evasion, if he has not done anything illegal, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said on Wednesday.”If things are legal, we will stand by(Shivakumar). …let there be no doubts on that,” Kumaraswamy said in response to a question whether the government would stand by Shivakumar.Asked whether the Centre was indulging in”hate politics”, he said “..it is going on for long now, in such matters the departments concerned should not budge to any pressure from politics of hate. They have to work in accordance with law. This is my opinion.”According to sources, a fourth summons was issued against Shivakumar by a special court dealing with economic offences in Bengaluru on Tuesday.Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress chief G Parameshwara alleged that central agencies were being misused by the Centre against Congress leaders.Speaking to reporters in Chitradurga, he alleged that Congress workers were being targeted and ED action and IT raids have been taking place “since a year before the (state assembly)elections.””If it is still happening, it can be said that central government is misusing those agencies,” he said.A senior Income Tax (I.T) official confirmed that the fourth summons was issued against Shivakumar by the special court dealing with economic offences.”Court has issued the summons. One more complaint has been filed. Last time there were three. The case is same.The only thing is different years are involved. The case pertains to tax evasion,” said the official speaking on condition of anonymity.Sources in the Income Tax department said along with Shivakumar, case has been registered against his associates Sachin Narayan, Sunil Kumar Sharma, Anjaneya, Hanumanthaiah and Rajendra.These summons pertains to the raids carried out last year.When raids were carried out at the residences of Sunil Kumar and Anjaneya, some cash and documents were allegedly seized. In this connection, the I-T department had issued notices to them seeking explanation.However, their explanation was unsatisfactory, I-T sources said.Shivakumar told PTI that he has not yet received the summons.Asked about the reasons behind the raids and summons, Shivakumar said, “What can be said? Already three cases were registered. After the (assembly) election, this one has also been done…”Shivakumar said the I-T department officials were “not letting him breathe.”To a question whether it was politics of vendetta, he said it was left to the media to present it the way they like.”You write whichever way you like. Assess it. They are not letting me breathe. I don’t know why only me,” he said.Later, speaking to the media, he warned those trying to “fix” him, saying he too has enough “evidence and documents” against his rivals.”Don’t be under the impression that I don’t have any documents. I too have similar diaries with me. I will wait till the end and finally I will release them at an appropriate time,” he said but did not elaborate.Reacting to BJP’s demand for his resignation in the wake of raids, Shivakumar questioned their “moral right” when many of their leaders were allegedly involved in multiple cases.Shivakumar was instrumental in ensuring the safe stay of Gujarat Congress MLAs in a Karnataka resort during the Rajya Sabha elections last year amid allegations that the BJP was trying to poach them.He was also the key man who oversaw the operation to keep the Congress MLAs together against alleged poaching attempts by the BJP after the recent assembly polls.BJP had emerged as the single largest party and was trying to shore up numbers but lost the game with B S Yeddyurappa quitting without taking the floor test.I Last month, the CBI had raided residences and an office of some persons linked to Shivakumar at five places in Bengaluru, Kanakapura and Ramanagara on charges of illegally exchanging demonetised currency notes.
Congress

HD Kumaraswamy

DK Shivakumar

IT Notice

Karnataka Minister

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Indian Air Force personnel perform yoga asanas at 15,000 feet

In an impressive display of yoga, Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel on Thursday performed asanas in the sky at a height of about 15,000 feet.”Yoga at 15000 Feet : #YogaDay2018 – A unique message of good health, happiness, harmony & peace from the Airwarriors of IAF. The Instructors of Paratroopers Training School of the India Air Force practicing Yoga in the Blue Sky. (Wg Cdr KBS Samyal & Wg Cdr Gajanand Yadav) (sic),” the IAF tweeted.The daredevils performed asanas like Vayu Namaskar and Vayu Padmasana on the eve of the fourth International Yoga Day.The country is all geared up to roll out yoga mats on Thursday to mark the fourth International Day of Yoga (IDY), with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to lead 55,000 enthusiasts in performing asanas in Dehradun.Yoga sessions will be held across the world to mark the day, picked by the United Nations to celebrate the ancient Indian practice that has spread across the globe.Indian missions abroad are also coordinating activities, officials said, to mark the UN day for which the country had lobbied hard.Five thousand yoga events will be held in India, an AYUSH ministry official said.Eight events are planned in New Delhi alone with the main one at Rajpath, where Modi showcased a series of asanas on the first Yoga Day in 2015.The biggest show in the country this time will be on the lawns of the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in the lap of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand’s capital Dehradun.“Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. It is a passport to health assurance, a key to fitness and wellness. Nor is yoga only what you practise in the morning,” a statement quoting Modi said.“Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of yoga as well,” it saidUnion ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Uma Bharti, Ram Vilas Paswan, Ravi Shankar Prasad will be in Lucknow, Nagpur, Chennai, Rudraprayag, Hajipur and Patna respectively for Yoga Day, a BJP functionary said.Among other ministers, Ananth Kumar will be in Bengaluru, J P Nadda in Shimla, Narendra Singh Tomar in Gwalior, Piyush Goyal in Noida and Prakash Javadekar in Mumbai.Around 50,000 yoga enthusiasts including women personnel from paramilitary forces like BSF, CRPF and CISF will participate in an event at Delhi’s Red Fort organised by the Brahma Kumaris.The AYUSH Ministry has launched mobile app ‘Yoga Locator’ to help people find a yoga session. The Women and Child Development Ministry is promoting #YogaFor9to5, a contest to generate awareness on the benefits of yoga for women at workplace.In Dehradun, there is a massive deployment of security personnel in and around the Forest Research Institute, building up over the last few days.Nashik-based yoga promoter Vishwas Mandalik and the Yoga Institute in Mumbai have been selected for this year’s prime minister’s award for outstanding contribution in the field.The selection was done from among 186 nominations received under different categories.In Lucknow, All India Muslim Personal Law Board said yoga should not be used as a political tool or linked to a particular community.”Islam lays special emphasis on physical fitness and considers things related to fitness as good. Yoga as an exercise is good, but it should not be made compulsory which may not be acceptable to people of other religions,” spokesman told PTI.”The most important thing is that yoga should not be used as a political tool. But sadly this practice is going on,” Sajjad Nomani said.Last year, the main Yoga Day function was in Lucknow.
Narendra Modi

IAF

Indian Air Force

Yoga Day

International Yoga Day

Yoga Day 2018

International Yoga Day 2018

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Railways sets target of achieving 90% punctuality by November 1

The railways has set a target of achieving at least 90% punctuality of trains by November 1, with minister Piyush Goyal making it clear that no laxity will be tolerated by the zones in achieving the goal, senior officials said today.Besides setting the punctuality target, the railway minister, in a review meeting with some railway zones earlier this week, has also set a deadline of December 1 for resolving all catering issues and October 2 for achieving the cleanliness target in trains and stations.The punctuality of trains slipped to around 65% in the past three months.”In the meeting, the minister made it clear that no laxity will be tolerated by the zones in achieving the punctuality target. He also said that reasonable cleanliness should be seen on station premises by October 2.”The zones said that addressing catering issues would take time as base kitchens need to be set up, so they have been given a longer time,” a railway official said.Goyal who has reviewed 11 railway zones and via video conferencing, interacted with young officers who have completed around five to six years of service asked them to suggest modern ways to run the national transporter.By next week, the minister is expected to finish his review of all the 17 zones, after which he will meet the zonal General Managers.”The railway network is such that the lines criss-cross across zones. Each zone has to work in tandem with another so that they maintain the standards. If a train gets delayed in one zone, automatically trains in the next zone will be affected,” an official said.The minister also assured all the zonal officials that there is no dearth of funds for safety and maintenance work.
Railways

Indian Railways

Piyush Goyal

punctuality

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PM Modi’s security beefed up after reports of Maoists’ plan to target him: Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the security of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been beefed up following reports of Maoists planning an attack on him.”We do not know who is planning what, and at what stage the plans are. We need to take all precautions. I have already set up a committee to review the prime minister’s security and it is going to be a continuous process. After we received certain inputs, we tightened his security further,” he said.In an interview to ‘The Week’ magazine, Singh said Modi had not said anything about any threat to him. “… but, as home minister, I have taken the initiative to beef up his security. He is the prime minister of the country and it is our responsibility to take care of his security.” A letter allegedly found in the house of one of the five people arrested for “links” with the banned CPI (Maoist) talked about the ultras mulling “another Rajiv Gandhi incident”.Responding to a question about the internal security situation in India, the minister said as far as the northeast insurgency was concerned, the security problem was normalised and there was a 95 per cent improvement. As far as left wing extremism (LWE) was concerned, there was a 55-60 per cent improvement, he said, adding that 75 per cent of the problem was concentrated in only ten districts.To a question on the alleged growing sense of alienation among minorities, Singh said no one could be allowed to discriminate on the basis of caste, sect or religion.”The kind of tolerance India has shown when it comes to religion, I don’t think exists anywhere else in the world… Our policy is justice to all, and appeasement of none. The BJP also has the support of the minorities,” he said.Responding to a question on the alleged rise in intolerance and assertion of majoritarianism, Singh said though there had been a few incidents of lynching, “it is not as if too many incidents have happened in such a big country. These have happened in the past as well”.He said law and order was a state subject and the Centre issued advisories to states from time to time to act very strictly in such cases. “We have asked state governments to take such incidents very seriously.” On the issue of the long-delayed Naga Accord, the home minister said he was confident that it would see the light of the day. “Our effort is to reach a final solution and we cannot rule out the possibility of a final accord before the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.He also rejected suggestions that the government was trying to impose Hindi, saying India was a multilingual country and “we cannot impose anything”.
Maoists

Narendra Modi

Rajiv Gandhi

Rajnath Singh

Home Minister

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Arvind Subramanian to step down: Next CEA should be one who believes in Indian ethos and values, says RSS affiliate

On a day Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian announced to step down, RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch said the next economic consultant should be one who believes in Indian ethos and values, and is not obsessed with FDI or is on sabbatical.The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) alleged that Subramanian lacked an understanding of the country and “ignored” farmers.”Subramanian lacked knowledge about India, he was obsessed with only Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and ignored the most important aspect of our economy — agriculture and farmers,” SJM co-convener Ashwani Mahajan told PTI.”Like former vice-chairman of Niti Aayog Arvind Panagariya, he was also speaking the language of ‘Washington Consensus’. His agenda and purpose was not clear,” said Mahajan, who has been critical of Subramanian on various policies.The Washington Consensus is a set of economic policy reform package promoted for crisis-wrecked developing countries, by Washington-based institutions — the IMF, World Bank and the United States Department of the Treasury.”We need someone who believes in Indian ethos, our values… our people. The government should appoint such a person,” the SJM co-convener said.Mahajan, in a tweet, requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to see to it that the next CEA is one who has “faith in farmers, workers and entrepreneurs of Bharat and is not on sabbatical.” Earlier in the day, Union Minister Arun Jaitley, in a Facebook post, announced that Subramanian will quit his job.Jaitley, who had requested Subramanian to continue for some more time after his term expired in October last year, also thanked him for his contributions.The minister also said that he will miss Subramanian’s dynamism, energy, intellectual ability and ideas and credited the economist for various policy initiatives.Subramanian was appointed as the CEA to the finance ministry on October 16, 2014 for a period of three years. In 2017, his term was extended for a year.
Narendra Modi

Arun Jaitley

Arvind Subramanian

Chief Economic Advisor

Swadeshi Jagaran Manch

CEA

Ashwani Mahajan

RSS affiliate

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Manohar Lal Khattar to be chief guest at International Yoga Day function in Jhajjar

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will be the chief guest at a state-level programme to be held at Jhajjar on the occasion of 4th International Yoga Day on Thursday.The occasion will be presided over by Haryana Agriculture Minister O P Dhankar, an official spokesman said.It will witness thousands of participants from across the state. It will start at 6.30 am.A yoga marathon was organised in Jhajjar today to make people aware about Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao and Swachhta and Health reforms campaign.The spokesperson said that a large number of people, especially women and children are keen to participate in the state-level yoga event.The space in the stadium to perform yoga will be allocated on first come first serve basis. After this, a yoga seminar will be organised at 8.30 am at Nehru Government Postgraduate College located on Bahadurgarh Road. It will be attended by the chief minister, the spokesman said.Meanwhile, in Chandigarh, the International Yoga Day function will be held at Plaza, Sector 17 on Thursday.Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator V P Singh Badnore will be the chief guest while Union Minister Smriti Irani will be the guest of honour, an official release said.A state-level yoga function of Punjab is being organised at Mohali.
Yoga

CHANDIGARH

Manohar Lal Khattar

O P Dhankar

Yoga International Day

Yoga International Day 2018

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Barmer police accused of shielding culprits in rape-murder case

The family members and relatives of a minor girl whose body was found in a water tank after alleged rape on Wednesday accused the Rajasthan police of shielding other accused involved in the case and demanded action against them.The girl aged around 16 years was allegedly raped on the evening of June 9 and her body was found inside a water tank near her house in Chava village the next day. Her parents have alleged that she was murdered after being raped.The family members and other people today handed over a representation to the Barmer Superintendent of Police Gagandeep Singla demanding action the policemen for allegedly not carrying out investigation in the case properly and have also demanded to include three names in the FIR.Initially, they named one person in the FIR and he was detained. Now they are alleging that three more persons were involved in the rape and murder case. They have also demanded action against the investigating officer accusing him of not conducting proper investigation, the Barmer SP said.Members of the girl’s caste and locals gathered today in her village and then handed over the representation. SHO Baytoo police station Arun Kumar said that the FIR was lodged for rape and murder and the accused name in the FIR, who is minor, has already been detained.They want three more names to be included in the FIR as accused. The matter is under investigation, he said.
Jaipur

Barmer

Rajasthan Police

Rape-murder case

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Sohrabuddin case: Number of hostile witnesses crosses 70

Yet another prosecution witness in the case of alleged fake encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati turned hostile today, taking the total number of such witnesses to 71.Rakesh Adhikari, a ‘panch witness’ (a witness testifying to the search and seizures made by the police at crime scenes) was declared hostile by CBI judge S J Sharma after he retracted a part of his statement, given to the CBI in 2010.In his statement to the CBI, he had said the police, which had probed the case initially, had shown him the site along the Dhavdi river in Gujarat where the body of Kausar Bi, Shaikh’s wife, was allegedly burnt.He had further purportedly told the CBI that the police had measured the place and videographed the entire crime scene inspection process.Adhikari, while deposing before the CBI court today denied seeing any video shooting of the crime scene, and said he had only signed a statement handed to him by the CBI officers without reading it.At this, Adhikari was declared hostile by the CBI counsel.Sheikh, a suspected gangster, was killed in an alleged fake encounter by Gujarat Police in November 2005. His wife Kausar Bi was also allegedly killed.Prajapati, an aide of Shaikh who was said to be a witness to the encounter, was allegedly killed by police at Chapri village in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district later in December 2006.Of the 38 people charged by the CBI for the alleged fake encounters, 15 have been discharged by the trial court in Mumbai.
Sohrabuddin Sheikh

Gujarat Police

Fake encounter case

Sohrabuddin encounter case

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Man arrested for killing IB officer in Rajasthan

A 25-year-old man was arrested for allegedly killing an Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer in February after being hired by an ACB constable who was the paramour of the officer’s wife, police said on Wednesday.The accused, Shaharukh, was arrested by the Jhalawar Police from his house yesterday and today he was produced before the court that sent him to police remand for five days, SHO Sanjay Prasad Meena said.The body of Chetan Prakesh Galav (32), who was posted in Delhi, was found near Ralayeta railway overbridge on February 14.Jhalawar Superintendent of Police Anand Sharma said the plan to Galav was hatched by ACB constable Praveen Chand Rathore (30), who allegedly had an illicit relationship with the officer’s wife, Anita.The police had initially lodged a case under section 174 of the CrPC but the Galav’s father filed a petition in the court, pleading ordering the police to lodge a case of murder.A case of murder was then filed against unidentified persons at Jhalawar Sadar Police Station and the SP formed a special team to look into the case.The key accused in the case, Rathore, used to frequently visit Galav’s house. The officer and his father objected to his visits but he was not deterred, SHO at Sadar police station Sanjay Prasad Meena said.The accused then hired Shaharukh, an RTO agent in Jhalawar, to kill the officer for Rs 3 lakh. Shaharukh involved Prince and Farahan in the plot to kill him, the SHO said.The four accused had earlier made four attempts to kill the IB officer in New Delhi but they did not succeed.Finally on February 15, they abducted the officer from Housing Board colony area, where he lived. They took him by van into a forest where they injected Galav with Ketamine and choked him to death. They dumped the body near Ralayeta railway overbridge, the police officer said.Efforts were underway to nab the remaining accused, the SHO said, adding that Anita was also under suspicion, the SHO added.
Rajasthan

IB

Intelligence Bureau

ACB

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Elaborate security arrangements made for Yoga Day at Rajpath

Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for the International Yoga Day celebration at Rajpath on Thursday, a senior Delhi Police officer said.More than 500 police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed to keep an eye on suspicious elements. There will be 78 door frame metal detectors (DFMD) points for entry where visitors will be scanned, he added.The country is all geared up to roll out yoga mats to mark the fourth International Day of Yoga, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to lead about 55,000 enthusiasts in performing asanas in Dehradun on Thursday.The yoga event at Rajpath will be attended by Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, Delhi L-G Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi.The Delhi Traffic Police has issued an advisory asking motorists to avoid Rafi Marg, Janpath, Man Singh Road, Maulana Azad Road, Rajpath (between Vijay Cheok and Man Singh crossing), Krishna Menon Marg, K Kam Raj Marg and Rajender Prasad Road till 10 am on Thursday.The advisory asked motorists to take alternate routes — Ring Road, Mathura Road, Bhairon Marg, Subarmaniyam Bharti Marg, Rajesh Pilot Marg, Dr Abdul Kalam Road, Tuglak Road, Mother Teresa Crescent Marg to travel from south to north and vice-versa, and from east to west and vice-versa.In Delhi, eight events have been planned in the national capital with the main celebration being held in the Connaught Place.The centrepiece of the first yoga day celebration in 2015 was New Delhi’s Rajpath, with the event making it to the Guinness World Records with 35,985 participants performing asanas at one venue and 84 nationalities being part of it.The United Nations General Assembly in December 2014 had declared that June 21 would be observed as International Day of Yoga every year, a move for which India had lobbied hard.
Yoga

Narendra Modi

Yoga Day

International Yoga Day

World Yoga Day

International Yoga Day 2018

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International Yoga Day preparations keeps officials busy in Dehradun

Officials were busy on ensuring everything was in place on the Forest Research Institute campus here which is hosting the country’s main International Yoga Day event.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go through the asanas on the FRI campus on Thursday, leading an estimated 50,000 enthusiasts, against the backdrop of a British-era building.He likely to stay there from 6.45 am to 7.45 am, performing yoga and addressing people.Security was tightened all over the city ahead of his visit beginning on Wednesday night. Modi will spend the night in Raj Bhawan’s presidential suite, officials here said.There was massive deployment of security personnel in and around the FRI, and along the route of the prime minister’s convoy, Dehradun District Magistrate S A Murugesan said.The FRI campus spread over 500 hectares was kept closed for visitors for two days, he said. The entire place was spruced up.He said 50,100 mats have been spread at the venue for the participants.ADG (Law and Order) Ashok Kumar said nearly 3,000 security personnel have been deployed and there are 63 CCTV cameras at the venue to keep an eye on 60 gates.The traffic in the city will be diverted to ensure that there are no snarls.Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat wrote a blog today to welcome the prime minister and thank him for selecting the city to host the main Yoga Day event.He said this will boost tourism in Uttarakhand and give the state an identity as the land of yoga.”Uttarakhand is the place in whose caves and caverns the ancient sages meditated and invented yoga, a holistic science of physical and spiritual well-being, he wrote.There has been a flurry of activity in Dehradun over the past few days.Roads have been repaired with their potholes filled up, a fresh coat of asphalt laid on them and the dividers painted afresh.Yoga walks’ were held in the city, including one led by the chief minister in which his cabinet colleagues participated. Director General of Police Anil Raturi led another such yoga promotion drive to draw people to Thursday’s event.Leading a ‘Walk for Yoga’ in the city, the chief minister appealed to people to make yoga an integral part of their lives.He said a healthy India cannot be imagined without yoga becoming part of every Indian’s daily routine.
Yoga

Narendra Modi

Yoga Day

International Yoga Day

Yoga Day 2018

International Yoga Day 2018

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Remember Geeta? Girl who returned from Pakistan to undergo fresh DNA test

Geeta, the deaf and mute woman who returned from Pakistan in 2015 after accidentally landing in that country when she was a child, would be undergoing a fresh DNA test at the behest of the Ministry of External Affairs, an official said today.Her DNA test had been conducted earlier after she arrived in India.Geeta was found by Pakistan Rangers onboard the Samjhauta Express in Lahore when she was seven or eight years old. She lived in Pakistan till she was brought back to India in October 2015.”Her blood sample has been sent to the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad for DNA test following a directive of MEA,” a Madhya Pradesh government official said on the condition of anonymity.He did not reveal why she was undergoing the DNA test again.More than ten families have so far claimed that Geeta is their long-lost daughter, but failed to establish the claim. Geeta didn’t recognise any of them as her parents.The officer said that blood samples of these couples had been sent to Delhi for DNA profile matching with Geeta, and the results in all cases were negative. Geeta’s DNA sample has been preserved at a laboratory in Delhi.Geeta is living in an institution run an NGO in Indore. The Madhya Pradesh government’s Social Justice Department is her caretaker.Earlier, twenty men, including a priest and a `writer’, had responded to a Facebook advert seeking a match for Geeta.
Samjhauta Express

Geeta

Geeta pakistan

Geeta DNA test

Geeta Sushma Swaraj

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PM Modi to lead 55,000 yoga enthusiasts in Dehradun tomorrow as world marks International Yoga Day

The country is all geared up to roll out yoga mats tomorrow to mark the fourth International Day of Yoga (IDY), with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to lead 55,000 enthusiasts in performing asanas in Dehradun.Yoga sessions will be held across the world to mark the day, picked by the United Nations to celebrate the ancient Indian practice that has spread across the globe.Indian missions abroad are also coordinating activities, officials said, to mark the UN day for which the country had lobbied hard.Five thousand yoga events will be held in India, an AYUSH ministry official said.Eight events are planned in New Delhi alone with the main one at Rajpath, where Modi showcased a series of asanas on the first Yoga Day in 2015.The biggest show in the country this time will be on the lawns of the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in the lap of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand’s capital Dehradun.“Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. It is a passport to health assurance, a key to fitness and wellness. Nor is yoga only what you practise in the morning,” a statement quoting Modi said.“Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of yoga as well,” it saidUnion ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Uma Bharti, Ram Vilas Paswan, Ravi Shankar Prasad will be in Lucknow, Nagpur, Chennai, Rudraprayag, Hajipur and Patna respectively for Yoga Day, a BJP functionary said.Among other ministers, Ananth Kumar will be in Bengaluru, J P Nadda in Shimla, Narendra Singh Tomar in Gwalior, Piyush Goyal in Noida and Prakash Javadekar in Mumbai.Around 50,000 yoga enthusiasts including women personnel from paramilitary forces like BSF, CRPF and CISF will participate in an event at Delhi’s Red Fort organised by the Brahma Kumaris.The AYUSH Ministry has launched mobile app ‘Yoga Locator’ to help people find a yoga session. The Women and Child Development Ministry is promoting #YogaFor9to5, a contest to generate awareness on the benefits of yoga for women at workplace.In Dehradun, there is a massive deployment of security personnel in and around the Forest Research Institute, building up over the last few days.Nashik-based yoga promoter Vishwas Mandalik and the Yoga Institute in Mumbai have been selected for this year’s prime minister’s award for outstanding contribution in the field.The selection was done from among 186 nominations received under different categories.In Lucknow, All India Muslim Personal Law Board said yoga should not be used as a political tool or linked to a particular community.”Islam lays special emphasis on physical fitness and considers things related to fitness as good. Yoga as an exercise is good, but it should not be made compulsory which may not be acceptable to people of other religions,” spokesman told PTI.”The most important thing is that yoga should not be used as a political tool. But sadly this practice is going on,” Sajjad Nomani said.Last year, the main Yoga Day function was in Lucknow.In 2015, the yoga event on New Delhi’s Rajpath made it to the Guinness World Records with 35,985 participants performing asanas at one venue and 84 nationalities being part of it.The United Nations General Assembly in December 2014 had declared that June 21 would be observed as International Day of Yoga every year.
Yoga

Narendra Modi

AIMPLB

Dehradun

Yoga Day

International Yoga Day

All India Muslim Personal Law Board

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Day after end of dharna, Delhi’s AAP govt resumes work

A day after ending their dharna at the LG’s office, the AAP government ministers on Wednesday held a series of meetings with IAS officers, who continued their “silent” protest over the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, however, did not go to his office at the Delhi Secretariat due to health issues. He is likely to leave for Bengaluru on Thursday to join a ten-day naturopathy course to control his blood sugar level, officials at the CM’s office said.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters that the government had started work. “The work is going on a fast pace. All the IAS officers attended meetings called by the ministers,” he said.Sisodia, who is incharge of the Education Department, announced the introduction of “happiness curriculum” for students of Delhi government schools from July, after a review meeting with officials.The ministers tweeted pictures of meetings held by them and claimed that all the officials concerned were present there.Jain, incharge of Urban Development, Health and PWD departments, held meetings with officials. Environment Minister Imran Hussain also held meetings with senior officers on status of air pollution, review of landfill sites and other matters.Flood Control Department Minister Gopal Rai also reviewed desilting of drains prior to the monsoon, along with officials of his department.The officials of Delhi government continued with their silent protest that had started after the alleged assault on the chief secretary by AAP legislators at Kejriwal’s residence on February 19.The IAS AGMUT Association tweeted pictures of the protest by officers, saying, “#DelhiChiefSecretary 5 minute silent protests continue on.”Kejriwal along with his Cabinet colleagues Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai sat on dharna at the office of Lt Governor Anil Baijal on June 11, demanding his intervention to end IAS officers “strike”.The impasse involving AAP government on one hand and Lt Governor Anil Baijal and bureaucrats on the other, was broken after Kejriwal assured the officers of “safety”, calling them as family.The IAS officers who denied on being “strike” responded by attending meetings called by ministers.Baijal had yesterday written to Kejriwal asking him to meet the IAS officers “urgently” to address their concerns.
Arvind Kejriwal

Manish Sisodia

Raj Niwas

Anil Baijal

LG House

Delhi IAS Officers

Lt Governor Anil Baijal

IAS officers strike

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First batch of Kailash Mansarovar yatris cross over to China from Nathu-La

The first batch of the Kailash Mansarovar yatris comprising 31 pilgrims and two liaison officers successfully crossed over to China from the Nathu-La border route in Sikkim on Wednesday, officials said.This is also the first batch of yatris through the Nathu-La route after the pilgrimage was stopped following the Dokalam standoff last year. India and China had agreed in April to resume the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through the route.Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh had in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha had said the yatra for 2018 though Nathu-La would take place between June and September.The special secretary to tourism and civil aviation department, Namrata Thapa and some other officials were present at Nathu-La during the crossing over of the yatris to China, an information and public relations department release said.Earlier, the yatris had spent two days at 15th mile at Sherathang in Sikkim for acclimatization.They will return here on July 1 after paying obeisance to Lord Shiva at Mount Kailash. They will disperse for their respective destinations from the next day, the release added.The route via Nathu-La is in addition to the older route via Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand, the only route earlier that was badly damaged in the 2013 floods. Both the routes are operational but the new route via Nathu-La is shorter, safer and more comfortable.The yatra via Nathu-La began in 2015.
Kailash Mansarovar

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

Kailash Mansarovar yatra 2018

Kailash Mansarovar Nathu-la pass

Kailash Mansarovar yatra sikkim

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CEA Arvind Subramanian resigns: Brightest fleeing ‘sinking ship’, tweets Congress chief Rahul Gandhi

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday hit out at the central government, claiming that the brightest were fleeing the ‘sinking ship’ as the ‘invisible hand’ of the RSS was steering it into rocks.In a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party president alleged that he was ‘fast asleep’ and described the situation as crazy.He hit out at the government after Union Minister Arun Jaitley announced that Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian was leaving the Finance Ministry.Gandhi took a dig at the Union minister for breaking the news on Facebook and questioned whether Jaitley, who held the finance portfolio before undergoing a kidney transplant surgery in mid-May, continued to be the finance minister.”Ex? FM is locked in his room, breaking news on Facebook. BJP treasurer has the keys to the Indian economy,” he tweeted.”The brightest flee the sinking ship, as the invisible hand of the RSS steers it onto the rocks. Meanwhile, Captain DeMo is fast asleep. It’s crazy out there!,” he claimed.Earlier in the day, talking about his decision, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian said that he would leave the office within the next two months even though his contractual term was co-terminus with the government.Subramanian was appointed as CEA, finance ministry, on October 16, 2014 for a 3-year term and was given an extension last year. “My departure from this job for entirely personal reasons. It is no secret that we are expecting our first grandchild in the early September. That’s a very compelling reason that takes us back to old life of that used to lead of researching, writing, teaching and reflecting above all,” he said .Subramanian’s official contract was till May 2019.”The first person I mentioned this to was the Prime Minister after consulting Mr (Arun) Jaitley,” he said, while expressing that this was the best job he ever had and probably ever will.Earlier in the day Union Minister Arun Jaitley announced that Subramanian will be leaving the finance ministry after nearly 4 years because of “pressing family commitments” and return to the US.Asked about his last date in the office, he said, “in terms of date, the hard deadline is early September, when the baby is going to arrive. We haven’t exactly finalised. It would be over the next month or two. No firm date as yet has been fixed.” To a question on his future plans, he said, it will be revealed in the next few days.”You will get to know what I am exactly, I will be going do, in the next few days. I can not reveal that right now for obvious reasons. Whatever has to be done has to done through formal channel but in few days you will get to know what I will doing in the next year at least,” he said.”I am profoundly grateful and humbled by these extraordinarily generous words by Minister Arun Jaitley announcing my decision to return-for personal reasons-to researching and writing. CEA job most rewarding, fulfilling, exciting I have ever had,” he said Subramanian is the second key economic policy adviser to quit the job mid-way to return to the US. Previously, the then NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya had quit in August 2017, nearly two-year before his term was to end. Incidently, both were handpicked after BJP government came to power in May 2014 and cited personal reasons for quitting the job ahead of tenure.When asked about his successor, he said the process would start soon and Competence, competence, competence, that’s what the government believes in and that’s what the government should follow while choosing his successor.On the unfinished agenda, he said, he would like to see office of CEA in every state.”One thing which I wish we could have done… there was a lot of demand for creating the office of CEA in a number of states, a number of chief ministers were keen to have something like this and I wish I had more bandwidth, time and energy to kind of do this in the states as well. I hope it will happen going forward,” he said.On the recent talks of India aiming at touching double digit growth rate, he said it should certainly aspire for this.Subramanian said: “It helps on so many fronts. To achieve double digit growth, you need two things, you need favourable external environment, which is not the case and you need to do a lot of domestic policy hard work at home.”I think government has begun to do the later but I think economic environment has deteriorated. So may be task become that more challenging. I would never say double digit growth is beyond the reach of India. We can but you would need both need external environment and ongoing sustained policy reform at home.” On global trade wars and growing protectionism, the CEA said: “I do think we need to think about what measures we need to take to cushion any adverse fallout. I think trade war will not happen internationally but if does we have to find appropriate responses in terms of domestic polices as well.” When asked if he would be willing to take up assignment in the future in India, he said, he always committed to serving the country.On the Goods and Services Tax, he said many of the exempted sectors should come under this as broader the base of GST better it is.It is for the GST Council to take a call, he added.On his proposal of setting up a bad bank two-and- a-half years ago to deal with bad loans, he said: “I was very passionate about that but the NCLT process offers a legal framework for resolving this bad bank might not have been able to do. I am very happy in this instance that an alternative idea gained traction and resolution process is moving well.” With regard to the Universal Basic Income proposed by him in the Economic Survey of 2016-17, he said, it didn’t happen but it became a part of the policy discussion.”The idea has been around. We just brought it in the more prominence. All policies will have to navigate through challenging times,” he said.
RSS

Arun Jaitley

Rahul Gandhi

Prime Minister

Finance Minister

Arvind Subramanian

United States

outgoing CEA Arvind Subramanian

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After Maharashtra govt hospital hands over ‘body’ to kin, patient found alive

When a government hospital in Maharashtra informed family members of a 50-year-old patient of his death and handed them his body, they were crestfallen.It was only after the body was brought to the home of the “deceased” Avinash Dadasaheb Bagwade that family members realised it wasn’t his.Enquiries with the Sangli civil hospital authorities revealed that it was indeed not the body of Bagwade, who in fact, was alive and responding to treatment in the hospital.A hospital official said the reason for this mix-up would be probed. “We will submit a probe report in the next 48 hours and action will be taken against those involved,” the hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Subodh Ugane said.The hospital also failed to identify the person whose body was handed over to the Bagwade family after conducting the post-mortem.The incident took place at the government hospital, where Bagwade was admitted for liver ailment.On Tuesday, his relatives received a call from the hospital informing that he was dead. Some relatives arrived at the hospital and accepted the body, a hospital official said.”However, one relative was not convinced that it was Bagwade’s body. He spoke to the hospital authorities who asked the family to collect the body and leave the premises,” he said.As the body was being taken into Bagwade’s house at Tasgaon, about 25 km from Sangli, many relatives felt that it was not his body. Some family members then removed the cloth covering it and realised that some other person’s body was given to them.They rushed back to Sangli to find that Bagwade was very much in the hospital and responding to treatment.Meanwhile, nobody has come forward to claim the body, the official said.
Maharashtra

Devendra Fadnavis

Avinash Dadasaheb Bagwade

Maharashtra government hospital

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From Delhi to Bengaluru, people to do asanas wearing masks on World Yoga Day

On the occasion of International Day of Yoga, an initiative is being made wherein people will be performing asanas wearing air pollution masks across five cities in the country to bring to focus the need for clean air.The initiative will be launched by Clean Air Collective in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Varanasi. Noting that yoga is an important exercise which can help expand the size of lungs, Arvind Kumar, Chairman at the Centre for Chest Surgery, said that yoga cannot, however, clean the air that goes inside.The Clean Air Collective is mobilising a movement in five cities across the country – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Varanasi – on Thursday when people will be doing their asanas wearing air pollution masks to focus on the need for clean air, according to the NGO.”So, therefore, even if we are practising yoga and we are in a poor air quality city, the damage to the lungs will happen nonetheless. So while I strongly recommend people to practise yoga and yogic lung exercises, this should by no means decrease the intensity of our efforts to clean the air we breathe,” Kumar said.New Delhi’s air quality plunged to an alarming level last week at ‘severe plus’ due to dust storms that prolonged for nearly a week.
Delhi

Yoga

Mumbai

International Yoga Day

World Yoga Day

World Yoga Day 2018

International Yoga Day 2018

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Kamal Haasan meets Rahul Gandhi, discusses Tamil Nadu politics

Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan met Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday in the national capital.Speaking to media after the meeting, Haasan said, “It was a formal courtesy meeting. We spoke about Tamil Nadu politics.”Earlier in the day, Hassan visited Election Commission office in Delhi for the registration of his party Makkal Needhi Maiam.”The EC had sought certain queries regarding our party. We have furnished all those details today. The EC has said that very soon, the recognition to the party will be given,” Haasan said after meeting with Election Commission.Later in the evening, Hassan is also likely to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.Haasan founded the party this year on February 21 to contest in Tamil Nadu’s next assembly elections.
Congress

Tamil Nadu

Rahul Gandhi

Election Commission

Arvind Kejriwal

Kamal Haasan

Makkal Needhi Maiam

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‘Why do you take Hindus for granted Rahul Gandhi,’ BJP demands Digvijay Singh’s resignation

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday demanded resignation of Congress leader Digvijay Singh from the party over his ‘Hindu terrorism’ statement.”We demand Congress leader Digvijay Singh should be sacked from the Party. You (Digvijay Singh) pointed finger at millions of Hindus, denigrated them and called them terrorists,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said while addressing a press conference in Delhi.Further hitting out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Patra questioned, “Why do you take Hindus for granted Rahul Gandhi.”Earlier this week, Singh raked up a controversy by saying that all Hindu-religion terrorists who had been caught in the past were connected to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in some way.Later, Singh clarified that he has always used the term “Sanghi terrorism” and never “Hindu terrorism.” “You have wrong information that Digvijaya Singh used the term ‘Hindu terrorism.’ I have always used the term ‘Sanghi terrorism,” the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister told the media here. “No terror activity can be defined on the basis of religion. No religion can be a supporter of terrorism,” Singh said.Further, reinforcing his stand on “Sanghi terror,” Singh noted, “Bomb blasts were executed by people influenced by Sangh ideology, be it Malegaon blast, Mecca Masjid blast, blast in Samjhauta express or Dargah Sharif.” Accusing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of propagating violence, Singh said, “This outfit which propagates violence and hatred, further propagates terrorism.”However, the use of “Sanghi terror” by Singh rubbed the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) the wrong way as according to them, the comments might hurt the sentiments of the ones involved with the Sangh.BJP MP Sanjay Pathak told ANI, “Whatever be one’s religion if they abide by it, they will never do anything wrong. No religion preaches extremism. When people bring extremism and project their religion wrongly, it causes confusion, leading Hindus, every Indian citizen, to go astray,””People who live in India will be called ‘Hindus’, first of all. People hold different views as far as the definition of ‘Hindu’ is concerned but for me, everyone in India is a Hindu, irrespective of their religion or caste,” he added.
Congress

RSS

Rahul Gandhi

Digvijay Singh

Hindu

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

BJP

bharatiya janata party

Sambit Patra

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