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Two CBI officials booked in graft case

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a charge sheet against two of its officials for allegedly helping a Mumbai-based businessman get relief in a corruption case. One of the accused was the investigating officer.The two have been identified as CBI Additional Superintendent of Police Rohit Srivastava and the then inspector Rabindra Pradhan, who has been repatriated to his parent cadre Border Security Force. The agency has invoked various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.The private persons named in the charge sheet are Neeraj Raja Kochar, owner of Mumbai-based Viraj Profiles, and Rakesh Tiwari, a caterer at the Palika Service Officers’ Institute (PSOI) in Chanakyapuri, who earlier ran the CBI headquarters’ canteen.Criminal conspiracy“Investigation has established that Mr. Tiwari, Mr. Kochar and the two officials were allegedly part of a criminal conspiracy. The two CBI officials allegedly provided case-related information and relief to the accused person in the case,” said an agency spokesperson.It is alleged that Mr. Kochar had paid ₹85 lakh in three instalments to the caterer to get the job done. “The accused CBI officials received illegal gratification in return,” said the official.Mr. Kochar is a co-accused in a disproportionate assets case registered in July last year against Indian Revenue Service officer Vivek Batra, who was earlier posted in the Mumbai’s Income Tax Department.last_img read more

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Kejriwal flays Modi over crop insurance

first_imgDelhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship crop insurance scheme, which had entered its third year of operation, was inflicting damage on farmers by deducting premium from their bank accounts and not giving any compensation for crop loss. Far from getting any benefits, farmers were being forced to run from pillar to post for their claims, he said.“This crop insurance scheme is a sham… It should be immediately abolished. In fact, it can very well be described as the BJP’s dacoity scheme,” Mr. Kejriwal said while addressing an Aam Aadmi Party’s public meeting at the Ramlila Maidan here. The Delhi CM was in poll-bound Rajasthan to kick off the AAP’s campaign for the coming Assembly elections.Flawed policiesMr. Kejriwal, also the party’s national convenor, said the BJP should tell the people “how much bribe” it had received from the insurance companies to fleece the farmers. “In a State like Rajasthan, a large number of farmers have been forced to commit suicide because of the government’s flawed policies.”Mr. Kejriwal said the Prime Minister had gone back on his promise to give a compensation much higher than the cost of crops in the event of loss. Despite making rounds of banks, insurance companies and the government offices, farmers were not getting “even a penny,” he said.Targets Cong. too Mr. Kejriwal targeted both the BJP and the Congress for the plight of common people, whose life had become difficult because of corruption and price rise, and called upon the State’s electorate to reject both of them in the polls. “The people of Delhi did it. They kicked out the 100-year-old Congress and the 40-year-old BJP. I can see an identical atmosphere of change in Rajasthan. The key to change is in your hands,” he said.The AAP leader also targeted Mr. Modi over alleged corruption in the Rafale aircraft deal and asked why he was fearing a probe by the CBI if he was honest. He said the CBI chief was sent on leave in a midnight decision because Mr. Modi feared that he was going to register an FIR in connection with the deal the next morning.Mr. Kejriwal called upon the State’s people to vote for the AAP and dislodge both the BJP and the Congress from governance. He also released the party’s manifesto for the Assembly elections, with the locution, “Badli Hai Dilli, Ab Badlengey Rajasthan”.Earlier, Mr. Kejriwal went to Shaheed Smarak, where farmer leader Rampal Jat was sitting on an indefinite fast. He offered him a glass of juice to break the fast.last_img read more

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CBI begins probe into BSF helibase scam

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into the allegations of corruption and use of “sub-standard material” in executing a contract for the construction of a helibase at the high-security BSF campus in Srinagar.Four Central Public Works Department engineers — Umesh Chandra, Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, Prabhat Singh and Sharvan Kumar — have been booked along with the government contractor, Ghulam Mohi-u-din Bhat & Sons.The contract also pertained to the construction of chain-link fencing adjoining the airbase with a provision of helicopter hangar at the BSF campus. The contract worth ₹2.11 crore was awarded to Mr. Bhat, of Budgam in J&K.It is alleged that the engineers conspired with the contractor to cheat the CPWD by submitting fake invoices of cement and TMT steel and also used “sub-standard material” in the execution of work that had started in March 2014 and completed in September 2015. The accused contractor had submitted fake retail invoices for about 42.76 metric tons of steel worth ₹24.35 lakh and about 23,880 cement bags for ₹1.06 crore.The probe “also revealed that extra cement for ₹28 lakh approx. has been provided by the above mentioned CPWD officials in the 6th and final bill, in addition to the basic quantity of cement to the contractor agency, thus providing undue benefit to the said contractor and subsequent loss to the government exchequer has been caused”. The accused persons had also showed deployment of technical staff at the work site, as required under the contract conditions. Investigations revealed that no such officials were deployed and that the payments for the same were shown on paper.last_img read more

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ScienceShot: What Causes Supereruptions?

first_imgSupereruptions are among the most devastating natural disasters—spewing up more than 1000 cubic kilometers of ash and lava, sufficient to drop global temperatures by 10°C for a decade. But what causes these terrifying events? Two research teams have recreated the conditions inside a supervolcano’s magma chamber—digitally and experimentally—to answer this question. Their results, published online today in Nature Geoscience, reveal two distinct trigger mechanisms, related to the evolution of magma reservoirs. Young magma chambers tend to be smaller and in cooler settings. The injection of new magma from deeper in the crust causes increasing pressure in the chamber, forcing it to expand. These stresses can lead to fracturing, allowing magma to escape to the surface in small eruptions. As magma chambers grow in volume, however, the impact of newly injected material diminishes. At the same time, the heating and accumulated damage to the surrounding rock causes the chamber walls to develop a more viscous (rather than elastic) response to stress. Together, these lower the risk of overpressurization and eruptions become less frequent as chambers head into a storage phase, wherein the buoyancy of the magma (compared with denser rock) becomes the dominant source of pressure on the surrounding crust. This alone, the researchers discovered, can actually be enough to trigger an eruption—forcing the chamber roof to crack all the way to the earth’s surface (as seen, developing, in the picture above). Still unclear, however, is whether this must always result in a catastrophic chamber collapse (releasing all the magma in one supereruption), or whether smaller, pressure-relieving releases could occur. It is hoped that greater understanding of these volcanic triggers may lead to an improved ability to predict dangerous eruptions in the future.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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ScienceShot: Pupils Predict the Future

first_imgWant to read someone’s mind? Look at their pupils. A person about to answer “yes” to a question, especially if they are more used to answering “no,” will have more enlarged pupils than someone about to answer “no,” according to a new study. Normally, pupils dilate when a person is in a darkened environment to let more light into the eye and allow better vision. But pupil size can also be altered by levels of signaling chemicals naturally produced by the brain. In the study, published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists observed the pupils of 29 people as they pressed a “yes” or “no” button to indicate whether they’d seen a difficult-to-detect visual cue on a screen in front of them. When a person was deciding how to answer—in the seconds before pressing a button—their pupils grew larger. And if a person was normally biased toward answering “no” when they weren’t sure on the visual cue, then the pupil change was even more profound in the decision-making seconds before a “yes” answer. The finding could lead to new ways to detect people’s intrinsic biases and how confident they are in an answer given, important variables in many sociological and psychological studies.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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Long-lost satellite data reveal new insights to climate change

first_imgOnce stashed in warehouses in Maryland and North Carolina, images and video captured from orbit by some of NASA’s first environmental satellites in the mid-1960s are now yielding a trove of scientific data. The Nimbus satellites, originally intended to monitor Earth’s clouds in visible and infrared wavelengths, also would have captured images of sea ice, researchers at the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center realized when they heard about the long-lost film canisters in 2009. After acquiring the film—and then tracking down the proper equipment to read and digitize its 16-shades-of-gray images, which had been taken once every 90 seconds or so—the team set about scanning and then stitching the images together using sophisticated software. So far, more than 250,000 images have been made public, including the first image taken by Nimbus-1 (left) on 31 August 1964, of an area near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, the researchers reported on 29 August. (The image at right depicts the same region as seen on 31 August, 50 years later.) Using the Nimbus-1 data gathered during its 1 month in orbit, the researchers have previously estimated that sea ice surrounding Antarctica in September 1964 covered about 19.7 million square kilometers—an area slightly larger than the United States and Canada together, and larger than that seen in satellite data from any year between 1972 and 2012. Similar data from another Nimbus satellite reveal a record low coverage of sea ice just 2 years later, the team notes. Besides yielding a wealth of sea ice data, the data recovery project, which will end early next year, could also be used to extend satellite records of deforestation and sea surface temperatures.last_img read more

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Britain’s Exit From EU a Positive For India

first_imgritain’s exit from the European Union will have a “positive” spin-off for India as the UK looks for strategic tie-ups in large markets. Related Itemslast_img

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Queen to Host Reception For UK-India Year of Culture

first_imgQueen Elizabeth II will host a special reception at Buckingham Palace to kick start the UK-India Year of Culture celebrations in Britain, the Indian high commissioner here has said, noting that the bilateral ties have merged “truly exciting”. Related Itemslast_img

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The Ivanka Moment

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Mehul Choksi Extradition Case May Also End up in a UK Court

first_imgIndia’s request to Antigua and Barbuda for the extradition of fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi may finally be decided in the United Kingdom, where India is already fighting a case for the extradition of Vijay Mallya. The UK’s extradition laws are stringent and its extradition process lengthy, with a special emphasis on the possible treatment of persons sought to be extradited in the country seeking their extradition.Read it at Hindustan Times Related Itemslast_img

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Pawns and Queens

first_imgWere you planning on visiting my grandmother in Mumbai on Monday afternoon?”“Sorry, you won’t be able to. She is working these days, thrice a week, manning the cash counters at Sahakari Bhandar. If you notice an animated, podgy lady there with a warm smile and a head full of proud sindoor, that would be my grandma.”I am afraid the words have a tinge of wistfulness and muse. I’ve wondered often if I could express them to anyone, ever. The idea of my grandmother working in public, greeting customers, asking them about their shopping experience, seems so unworldly, almost ludicrous. She would much rather spend three hours sitting alone in her balcony, entertaining herself by observing life on the hustling streets.And so it is for tens of millions of Indian seniors.“They are happy sitting in their balconies,” counters my virologist friend at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. “Maybe they don’t want to work outside. Why do we feel that they are forced to stay at home?”His is a pertinent question that prompts another: Why do they not want to work? Some of them are probably apprehensive about dealing with strangers. Sluggish in their veins, they are quite willing to pull through the dull moments of the day. Waiting for the kids to return home to rejuvenate them, resisting the air of freedom that might help them reclaim their passion if they dared venture out of the confines of the house.The inertia stems from decades of living without options, sadly even in larger cities. They are not supposed to be selling necklaces at a jewelry shop. Or asking people if it was eat-in or take-out. Or helping them load apples and milk in plastic bags.Bored? There’s TV. Inactive? There’s cooking, and today my boss and his family is coming over, remember? Alone? There’s Mrs. Khote who is equipped with the latest and juiciest neighborhood tales. Need a walk? The temple is just the right distance for a great exercise.Working for a few hours, even if it means merely standing in a hotel lobby, nodding amiably at arriving guests, outside of the four walls of the house, can be energizing. Dilip Joshi (Name changed), after groaning and growling in New Delhi at his inability to do part-time work, is jubilant in the U.S. where he gets to massage his gregarious side. He greets new faces all the time as he oversees the restaurant kitchen, where he works, making sure every dosa is crisp and every naan soft. He is thankful to his son’s friend who helped him realize what he had sorely missed, post-retirement, in India.“Most of the older Americans who work here feel independent,” says Joshi. “They get to drive their cars, manage people and earn their own pizza money.”Admittedly, money was not Joshi’s driving force to find employment, as his son is financially well situated, but the chance to assume responsibilities and feel important keeps his mind sharp and unfettered. The few hours of liberating experience rejuvenate him every day when he spends quality time with his grandson, unlike previous periods in India of lethargy and disinterest.Access to transportation in India makes it especially easy for Indian seniors to remain active. Public transport is often more efficient, a cab or rickshaw ride is just a finger-snap away, and most shops are almost within earshot. In the U.S., seniors, many with failing backs, eroding reflexes and fading eyesight, have to drive themselves if they want to eat pancakes instead of oats. So the problem in India lies not in the dynamics of the city, but in the lack of dynamism in the mindset.The tone and words of a friend’s father who was visiting in Atlanta reflected the ebbing state of his mind. “At this age?” he scoffed at me. He’s 57, and took voluntary retirement half a decade ago.“This is your time – the younger generation. I have passed that phase of my life,” he shrugged. “Now, when it’s time to go Rama Shiva Govinda, how can I be standing in the aisles ushering people to their seats?”It is the decaying outlook, the twilight-of-my-life disposition, in so many Indian elders that bothers me. I am struck that the very boy who trembled in his boots while seeking permission to watch a movie has to be consulted on the tiniest purchase or decision. The elders feel weaker as their kids grow until they begin considering themselves exhausted and over the hill.Consider Janakiraman Krishnan, my elderly neighbor in Mumbai and favorite chess combatant. His aggressive style of play brings out the best in me. He loves action and detests the limitations that age has imposed on his life presently.“I would love to take up paid assignments for a few hours every day,” he says wistfully.What restraints him are the reactions he anticipates from meddling neighbors. Doesn’t he like to spend time with his daughter-in-law? Are they in financial crisis? How can a son allow his dad to work at this age?Janakiraman, whose liberal outlook has always impressed me, chooses to be confined to the home and not jostle with these discomforting questions. He might be winning his little battles in chess, but he fails to resist the social norms and fears the words and glances of the very people he routs in the acutest of mental games.One of my younger colleagues is critical of the urge many U.S. seniors have to keep working as they age. “Some of them have to work,” she contends, “because their retirement benefits weren’t great. They probably didn’t save up enough and are now working to lead a normal life.” Janakiraman Krishnan, whose liberal outlook always impressed me, chooses to be confined to the home and not jostle with the discomforting questions of neighbors he trounces at chess. Her animated arguments are almost convincing: “Most of them have unconcerned kids who have left them alone to fend for themselves, whereas in India they could have lived a carefree life at home. These working seniors are doing so because of a weak social support structure.”The family support system in India is indeed impressive and admittedly more powerful than in the U.S. But that system doesn’t have to weaken individuals with their receding authority at home. Our elders, many of whom might well enjoy long afternoon naps in leather couches and detest working for anybody any more, should at least be given a choice. After a few years of sitting in their balconies watching Mrs. Gomes walk her dog, they might feel the urge to take something up again.When I was a kid, my mother would have frowned at me if I had asked her for permission to work at Baskin-Robbins. Today, that mindset has transformed with so many youngsters in India flipping burgers or pouring coffee. We need a similar transformation in attitude toward our parents and grandparents – giving them a choice between watching the third rerun of Koffee with Karan and helping Veer Naik reorganize his messy Udipi account books.The options would allow our enthusiastic and agile elders, like Janakiraman, to pursue their interests and passions. Other than terrorizing my pawns and queens. Related Itemslast_img read more

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Indian-Origin Man Gets Stuck at Delhi Airport After Another Passenger Takes His Handbag

first_imgAn American citizen of Indian origin who works in Bahrain was stuck at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport for the last three days after his handbag, which carried his passport, was taken away by another passenger by mistake. The other passenger was heading to Canada.Satyendra Singh arrived in Delhi from Lucknow, where his parents live, on Jan. 13, and he was in transit for Bahrain. Little did he know that he would be spending three days at the airport before being able to head back.“The queue was long so I put my handbag in the scanner. By the time I reached for check and crossed it, I could not find my bag. I informed the security, who checked the CCTV footage and found that another passenger took the bag and boarded the Air Canada flight. The flight had already departed by then,” Singh told the Hindustan Times.The passenger on Air Canada took Singh’s bag and left his behind by mistake. Singh was left with no money or clothes and spent the night sleeping at the terminal. He was not allowed to leave the terminal since his immigration check had taken place in Lucknow. Neither could he return. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said he could not be allowed to return unless he had a passport, according to protocol.“I informed my family and they said they will send some money so that I could buy food. But there was no way they could have contacted me. Finally, on Sunday, Air India shifted me to the lounge and I am currently here. Besides the passport, my handbag had my medicines,” he added.He received his bag on Jan. 15 evening after Air India contacted Air Canada. He was given accommodation and food at the Air India lounge at the Delhi International Airport and “we helped him getting the passport back,” a spokesperson for Air India said, the publication reported. Related ItemsAviationIndian AmericanNew Delhilast_img read more

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Facebook Launches Mobile Messaging App

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Scanning 2.4 Billion Eyes

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Rajasthan education to get a boost after ₹1,581 cr. allocation in budget

first_imgThe 2019-20 budgetary provision of ₹1,581 crore and the announcement of a new policy are set to make a turnaround in the infrastructure of education in Rajasthan. The Congress government has claimed that its new initiatives, including the holding of ‘Baal Sabha’ (Children’s Assembly) at public places, have helped reduce dropout rate in the schools.Minister of State for Education Govind Singh Dotasara has announced the establishment of English medium schools in 167 blocks and an increase in the annual income ceiling from ₹1 lakh to ₹2.50 lakh for admission under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. He said this while replying to the demands of grants for his department in the State Assembly during the ongoing Budget session.The ₹1,581 crore sanctioned under the Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan School Infrastructure Scheme would be utilised for construction of over 14,000 classrooms, laboratories and libraries and 23 new school buildings as well as renovation of 83 buildings. Besides, the new education policy would incorporate fresh initiatives, experiments and research.Mr. Dotasara also announced the widening of purview of the student police cadet scheme to cover 930 government schools and a new “exposure to vocational education” programme for the students of VI to VIII classes. The existing agriculture subject would be replaced with the full-fledged agriculture faculty, which would include agricultural chemistry and agricultural biology.The demands were passed by voice vote in the Assembly after the Minister’s reply. Mr. Dotasara informed the House that the schools closed by the previous BJP government, despite their fulfilment of all parameters, would be reopened. A committee had received proposals from 1,511 secondary schools and 1,324 primary schools for reopening on the basis of fulfilment of the RTE norms.An initiative taken by the Rajasthan Council of School Education for organising ‘Baal Sabhas’ of government schools at public places in the villages has raised academic standards and reduced dropout rate of students. The participation of parents and village elders had especially made these events interactive.Council’s Deputy Director Manaram Jakhar said here that ‘Baal Sabhas’ had led to an effective participation of local communities in the management of schools and helped bring qualitative improvement to school education, besides enhancing creativity of students. He said the Education Department was making efforts for increasing enrolment of students and ensuring their stay at various levels in the schools.In another significant decision, the Education Department has allowed the students enrolled with the open schools to write their examination in Rajasthani language, which has also been included as a subject. The State government will also prepare a draft report to provide maximum benefits to the students studying in open schools.last_img read more

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Three murders in 24 hours in Cuttack

first_imgThree suspected murders over the past 24 hours in the city have sent residents into a tizzy. The police have been unable to identify the victims or ascertain the motives behind the killings.The first body was recovered from Ranihat Bridge on Tuesday. Two bodies, one from near SCB Medical College and another from OMP Market, were recovered on Wednesday. All the victims have deep cuts in their necks. Lack of information regarding the killings has sparked rumours of a serial killer on the loose. “In order to divert our attention from deteriorating law and order situation and inefficient police, some people are adding colour to the cases and alleging that a psycho-killer is behind the murders… they appear to be cold-blooded murders,” said a shop owner in Malgodown.The police have stepped up night patrolling and the homeless are being told to sleep at shelter homes. “People are being asked not to sleep alone in isolated places,” said city DCP Akhileshwar Sing.last_img read more

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HC dismisses former CMs’ plea

first_imgThe Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday dismissed the pleas of former Chief Ministers Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Vijay Bahuguna seeking review of its order to the State government to recover market-rate rents from them for overstaying in their official bungalows. ‘Devoid of merit’A Bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice R.C. Khulbe turned down their pleas, saying they are devoid of merit and not legally sustainable. “The time taken in the review proceedings will not affect the duration of six months from the date of the order (May 3, 2019) within which the respondents were directed to pay rent dues as per market rate,” said Kartikeya Hari Gupta, the counsel for a Dehradun-based NGO, which had moved the court for recovery of rents from the former CMs. Both former Chief Ministers had argued before the court that before computing the rent dues, they should have been heard by the State. Countering their argument, Mr. Gupta told the court that this ground was completely false and baseless as their counsel were not only heard but specifically asked during the arguments if they wanted to reply on the computation of rent.last_img read more

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Death toll in Bihar floods soars to 73

first_imgThe death toll in rain-related incidents in Bihar soared to 73 on Thursday, even as forces involved in relief and rescue operations fished out rotting corpses from waterlogged areas in several places. The torrential rain that took place between September 27 and September 30 has created a flood-like situation in 15 districts of the State, including the capital.The State Disaster Management Force (SDRF) said that the death toll takes into account loss of lives caused by drowning, wall collapses, trees crushing people to death, and the electrocution of people trapped in waterlogged areas. It could not provide a district-wise break-up.Worst affectedBhagalpur, where the district administration has confirmed as many as 12 casualties, may be the worst affected.In Patna, normal life has come to a grinding halt in many parts of the city, notwithstanding efforts being made by the district administration, along with the National Disaster Response Force and the SDRF, to replenish stocks of food, medicines and drinking water for stranded citizens.Banks, shops, private hospitals and coaching institutes, which abound in Kankar Bagh, Rajendra Nagar and Pataliputra Colony, the worst-affected sections, have been closed for a week. The last time they could conduct normal business was on Friday, when the downpour began late in the evening and continued over the next couple of days.Heavy duty pumps have been brought in from Chhattisgarh to flush out the water with greater speed. Many localities have been rid of inundation.Complaints are flooding helplines set up by the district administration, and its WhatsApp group, with assurances from District Magistrate Kumar Ravi that remedial measures will be taken.‘Beyond Patna’Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ram Kripal Yadav, who on Wednesday night fell into a shallow river while trying to reach a waterlogged area in rural Patna, alleged, “It seems the Patna administration cannot look beyond Kankarbagh and Rajendra Nagar. Waterlogging has been there in Danapur but nobody seems to notice.”Many have pitched in to help. In one instance, 13-year-old girl Siddhi Shreya came all the way from Samastipur to donate ₹11,000 she had collected over the years, for flood relief. The money was received by former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who has earned plaudits for his flood relief efforts in the past few days.last_img read more

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Governor seeks separate service cadre for Arunachal Pradesh

first_imgArunachal Pradesh Governor Brig. (Retd.) B.D. Mishra on Sunday called on Union Minister Jitendra Singh and discussed with him a wide range of issues pertaining to the State, particularly a separate cadre for all India service officers. During the meeting, the Governor requested the Minister to accede to the demand of the State government to have a separate IAS cadre for Arunachal, presently a part of the AGMUT cadre, shared by the Union Territories and the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Goa. According to an official statement, Brig. Mishra said that this demand is inspired by the increasing requirement of IAS officers for Arunachal Pradesh as well as by the consideration of having officers exclusively designated to serve in the State.last_img read more

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Alaska survives skidding Blackwater for 4th straight win

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next The closest Blackwater got to Alaska was in the 2:09 mark of the fourth after Mac Belo and Michael Digregorio made two straight three-pointers to cut the deficit to one, 81-80.And as if fate strummed its strings, Chris Banchero converted twice from the line to gave Alaska an 83-80 buffer with 1:49 left in the game.Banchero finished the game with a conference-high 16 points with seven rebounds and five steals while Vic Manuel also had 16 points for Alaska.Kevin Racal and Teng also finished in double digits for the Aces with 14 and 10 points, respectively.JP Erram led the Elite with 14 points, 21 rebounds, and five blocks while Digregorio and Belo paced Blackwater with 15 points apiece.ADVERTISEMENT RELATED VIDEO LATEST STORIES Jeron Teng. PBA IMAGESAlaska continued its upward trajectory in the PBA Philippine Cup after holding off Blackwater, 88-84, Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.After starting the conference at 0-2, the Aces have now strung together four straight wins for a 4-2 record while Elite slipped to their third straight loss for 2-4.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises With the two teams trading blows in the final six minutes of the game, Alaska rookie Jeron Teng dealt the haymaker with 1:04 left in the game with a triple from the top of the key that gave the Aces an 86-80 lead.“I am very relieved,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton. “Obviously it helped us that they missed a bunch of free throws, it seemed like in the second half they really missed a bunch and in a close game that matters.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBlackwater mounted a 21-8 run across the third and fourth quarters that cut Alaska’s lead to two, 70-68, early in the final period.And although the Elite kept it close, they never tied nor took the lead as they missed seven free throws in the first 11 minutes of the fourth quarter allowing the Aces to keep them at bay. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Abueva leaves Alaska-Blackwater game due to ‘personal emergency’ MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Continue Reading... Alaska survives skidding Blackwater for 4th straight win