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Modi's pep-talk to Guj board exam candidates

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March 06, 2013


22:53  Modi's pep-talk to Guj board exam candidates:  

In a pep-talk for students on the eve of board exams, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said they should rise above negativity or self-doubts and take on the exams as an opportunity for self growth.        

 

"Take it as an opportunity of self-growth and that is when the stress will instantly disappear!" he wrote on his blog, wishing the youngsters luck.The exams, conducted by Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB), start from tomorrow.        

 

According to GSHSEB, over nine lakh students appear for class X (SSC) exams whereas over 4.5 lakh students appear for class XII (HSC) exams every year.   

 

"I would like to wish all my young friends the very best for the examinations! Months of preparation, hardwork, and occasional apprehension will boil down to the few hours in the exam hall," Modi's blog message said. The best way to tackle anxiety was to treat the board exams as a game, he said. 

21:57  TRS flays Azad, Vayalar Ravi over Telangana comments:  

Objecting to some of the recent comments of Union Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad and Vayalar Ravi on the Telangana issue, TRS today alleged that the two Congress leaders have hurt the sentiments of people of the region.        

 

Telangana Rashtra Samithi President K Chandrasekhar Rao, who spoke at a gathering of women in Hyderabad, referred to the comments of Azad, who had said a month may not exactly mean 30 days for taking a decision on a sensitive issue like Telangana.        

 

He also criticised Ravi for saying recently that taking a decision on a contentious issue like Telangana is not as easy as preparing a 'dosa'. "The Telangana women would grind Congress like 'dosa' batter and throw it out," the TRS chief said.

21:56  Fresh complaint filed in girl's thrashing incident in Punjab:  

A fresh criminal complaint was today filed by the girl who was allegedly thrashed by policemen in full public view at Goindwal Road in the district.         The girl has filed a fresh complaint, alleging that she and her father were being thrashed by two cops on last Sunday when she complained to them after being eve-teased by a truck driver and his accomplices, Inspector General Police (IG) of Border Range Amritsar R P Mittal said.        

 

The complaint would be probed by ADGP (Crime) Jasminder Singh who would be assisted by the IG border Range, Mittal said, adding that the probe in the case is now progressing on fast pace.        

 

He said the ADGP (Crime) during the probe would also verify the facts of the complaint. The probe will be completed by tomorrow, the IG added.

21:54  Rahul calls for streamlining communication, coordination:  

Continuing with his interaction exercise with AICC office bearers, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today called for streamlining communication and coordination in the party and underlined the need to end factionalism and put up a united fight in coming elections.        

 

"Go to the grass roots," was his message to the partymen at the second interaction with the AICC members here during which he also made it clear that "organisation was his priority".        

 

Calling for regular meetings of the party at all levels and the need to coordinate the "talent in abundance" in the party, Rahul underlined the need to put up a united fight in the elections in the backdrop of reports of factionalism in a number of states like Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.       

 

"Rahul Gandhi said that organisation was his priority. What is most urgent is how to strengthen the party first. For this the meetings of different units of the party should happen regularly from the AICC to the district level and the AICC general secretaries, secretaries and the in-charges of states should take care of it," AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters after the meeting.

21:53  Rape Law bill to come up before Cabinet tomorrow:  

A person in authority convicted of rape will have to spend rest of his natural life in jail, according to a proposal in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill which is likely to be taken up by the Union Cabinet tomorrow.        

 

The fresh Bill will replace the ordinance on crimes against women promulgated last month. The proposal will replace the provision in the ordinance which has subscribed life imprisonment as the maximum punishment for those in authority committing rape.        

 

The person in authority has been described as a police officer, a doctor or a staffer of a hospital, a jailer or a warden of a remand home. The fresh bill, which will also replace the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012 introduced in the Lok Sabha in December last.        

 

The bill retains the provision that if rape leads to death of the victim or leaves her in a vegetative state, it can attract death penalty. While the ordinance said the statement of the victim may be videographed, the bill makes the provision mandatory. It also makes the presence of a woman officer -- whether police or civil -- to be present when the statement of the victim is being recorded.

20:55  India to raise 30,000 more troops for China border:  

Working towards upgrading its military infrastructure along border with China, India will raise another 30,000 troops for the infantry battalions of its army, Rajya Sabha was told today.       

 

"30 infantry battalions are proposed to be raised in the 13th Five year Plan towards enhancing combat capacity," Defence Minister A K Antony said in reply to a written query.        

 

The Indian Army is planning to raise a Strike Corps for deployment along the China border which would mean raising of additional 90,000 troops for the force.        

 

The Army has plans of raising the additional troops in the 12th and the 13th five-year defence plan periods. The Corps is proposed to be headquartered at Panagarh in West Bengal with its formations spread around north-eastern states sharing boundaries with China.        

 

The Defence Minister further said the mobility of infantry battalions is proposed to be enhanced through introduction of superior vehicles with better cross-country mobility.        

 

The budgetary allocation for capital acquisition for modernisation of Army during Financial Year 2012-2013 is Rs 13,724.14 crore, he said.

20:32  Move Bhopal court for bail: Court to Sadhvi Pragya:  

The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court today disposed of the application for temporary bail filed by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a key accused in the 2008 Malegoan blast case, saying she should approach a court in Bhopal instead.     

 

"The court said Sadhvi is presently in the custody of the Bhopal court, so she has to apply there," said her lawyer, advocate Ganesh Sovani. Thakur had sought temporary release for performing the post-death rites of her father Chandra Pal Singh, who died in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.      

 

Twelve persons including Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit were arrested for carrying out a blast at Malegaon in Maharashtra on September 29, 2008, killing six persons and injuring 100. The trial is yet to commence as some of the accused have challenged the invocation of MCOCA before the Supreme Court.

20:08  Maha got Rs 574-cr Central aid for drought relief:  

Maharashtra has so far received Rs 574 crore from the Centre towards drought relief work in the state, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said today.         Chavan, who chaired a meeting of the cabinet, said that the state government has provided Rs 414 crore for supplying water in the scarcity-hit areas.        

 

As many as 1,663 villages and 4,490 "wadis" (hamlets) were facing acute water scarcity. Water was being supplied there through 2,136 tankers, he said.         Officials and activists have warned that the current drought, which has affected 14 districts, will be severe than the one in 1972, the worst Maharashtra has ever faced.        

 

With no means of livelihood left in many drought-hit rural areas, families of farm labourers and workers at brick kilns and construction sites have started migrating to cities in large numbers.

19:05  Sushma sniffs: PM betrayed nation, we're not with him:  The PM also said that India remains concerned over ongoing developments in Maldives. (Incidentally, Nasheed goes home today. His hearing has been postponed by four weeks.)

Recalling the "barbaric incident of the beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistani troops", the PM said the incident has cast a shadow on bilateral ties. "We are yet to see tangible progress on dismantling the terror infrastructure by Pakistan or bringing to book those behind the Mumbai attacks," says the PM.

BJP senior leader Sushma Swaraj dismisses the allegations saying, the PM is betraying the nation so we cannot stand with him
18:54  BJP: PM's unusual aggression shows party will lose:  Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh comments on the unusually aggressive speech saying it is a sure sign of the UPA defeat since it is well known that a lamp always burns brighter before it dies out. Much bench slapping from the Opposition benches.  
18:51  PM: We are committed to ensuring the safety of women:   Prime minister says that more efforts are needed to boost growth. "We promise to work for promotion of investments, agriculture growth is expected to be higher than 1.8 per cent projected during the current fiscal, says PM.

The PM admits to problems on account of water management and says the government will bring the National Water Framework Law for this.

On India's position on Sri Lanka at UN, the PM says, it will depend on the final text of resolution to be moved by the US. We remain engaged with the Sri Lanka government over the safety and security of Indian fishermen.
18:32  Nasheed's trial has been postponed by four weeks on request of the defence.
18:28  PM: BJP hurled choicest abuses at us, we won't respond:  Back to the PM's speech in the Lok Sabha: Dr Singh criticises the BJP for using "choicest abuses" against the Congress leadership at its National Council meet. "Bu we will not reply in the same language. The NDA will be defeated again thanks to their arrogance," says the PM.

Taking a dig at LK Advani, the PM said, "The BJP had fielded the Iron Man in 2004 and lost." Advani is called Loh Purush.

It may be recalled that Narendra Modi had compared the PM to a 'nightwatchman'.
18:22  Former Maldives prez walks out of court as a 'free man':  Just in: Former Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed produced in a court in a power abuse case in Male, walks out of the Maldivian Court as a "free man" after hearing ends. Details awaited.
18:19  PM attacks BJP: India Shining campaign a disaster:  Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is delivering the vote of thanks on President Pranab Mukherjee's speech. Dr Singh says the current account deficit is substantially higher than we would like it to be, but said India's economic slowdown will not persist. "We are determined to bring the country back to the growth path of 8 per cent," says PM

Taking on the BJP he said, the party uses abusive language against the UPA, but "we cannot reply in the same language." He also said the BJP's India Shining campaign was a disaster and growth has always been higher under the UPA than the NDA,
18:11  Delhi gang rape: Testimonies begin at Juvenile Board:  The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), who had recorded the statement of the December 16 Delhi gang-rape victim, today testified before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in New Delhi today.

However, the male friend of the victim, who was the sole eyewitness to the incident, did not turn up for recording of his statement before the JJB citing personal reasons. In a related development, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Yogesh Khanna, trying the case of five adult accused, recorded the statement of four police officials who had collected the evidence in the case, including seizing of the bus in which the crime was committed, and the belongings of the victim and her friend.

The four policemen had also collected the clothes of the five accused bus driver Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh and the juvenile. The case against the five accused is being heard on a daily basis in the fast-track court from which the media and public have been barred.
17:39  Bhandara case accused to be brought to book soon, says Patil:  Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil today said that the accused in the alleged rape and murder of three minor sisters in Bhandara district will be brought to book soon.

"The culprits in the case will be arrested soon," Patil said when asked by reporters about the efforts being made by the government in the case. Patil said the probe in the case was going on in the right direction.

He, however, said the Murmadi villagers in Bhandara were not giving proper information regarding the case. The three sisters, aged six, nine and eleven, who were studying in a local school, had gone missing on February 14 and their bodies were recovered from a well in the village on February 16. Police sources at Bhandara said the mother of the victims and one person involved in borewell drilling business were being questioned in connection with the case.

The initial post-mortem of the girls had confirmed that they were raped and murdered. However, the forensic findings contradicted the report. The report did not show any traces of semen. The findings are also inconclusive on whether the girls were murdered.
17:15  Former Maldives president produced in court:   Just in: Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed produced in a court in a power abuse case.

Nasheed has been arrested, to face charges of abuse of power during his tenure, after he failed to appear for a hearing and evaded two arrest warrants, Police spokesman Hassan Hanif said.

The spokesman added, Nasheed was arrested on Tuesday at his home in Male, and will be produced in court on Wednesday.

Nasheed was the first democratically elected President of this Indian Ocean archipelago. He is charged with illegally ordering the arrest of a senior judge, a move that led to his fall from power last year. He claims charges against him are politically motivated. He avoided two arrest warrants last month by taking refuge at the Indian Embassy for 10 days.


17:02  Sam Mendes Is Off Bond 24:  In other news: Bond may be back, but Sam Mendes won't be joining him.

At the BAFTAs recently, basking in the glow of Skyfall's triumph for Outstanding British Film, it seemed that Mendes, who had previously claimed he would make only a single Bond entry, could be tempted back for another go. More

16:55  Postmortem says Kunda DSP was beaten, then shot :   Update on the murder of DSP Zia-ul-Haque. The postmortem report accessed by CNN IBN says the Deputy superintendent of police was first beaten then shot.

The report also said Haque had received grievous injuries. Posted as Circle Officer at Pratapgarhs Kunda, Haque reached the crime scene to investigate the violence, but he was attacked by the angry mob. During the clash between the police force and the mob, Haque was beaten badly and reportedly hit on the head. He was then shot on the leg and chest.

The DSP was reportedly dragged through the village by four men, who are allegedly associates of Raja Bhaiya. The officer succumbed to injuries on Saturday night.

16:23  Old prejudices about skin colour persist in India:  Many years ago, when Wesley, a black American classmate of mine, was on a visit to India he dropped by for lunch at my grandmother's home. We sat around a long table with my grandmother at the head, and ate.

Throughout the meal there was an uncomfortable silence. Even though Wesley tried to engage my grandmother in interesting talk about Diwali celebrations in his native California, she stood her ideological ground and refused to be swayed by social considerations. Read more
16:15  Now, CBI questions ex-air chief in chopper deal:  After questioning his cousins, the CBI questions former IAF chief S P Tyagi in connection with alleged payoffs in the chopper deal.

The CBI today started questioning cousins of former Air Chief S.P. Tyagi in connection with its ongoing probe into alleged kickbacks in the Rs. 3600 crore VVIP helicopter deal.

CBI sources said Julie and Docsa Tyagi have been quizzed on their alleged association with European middlemen Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschkhe who have been accused by the Italian investigators for payment of illegal gratification to swing the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.

The sources said agency has already questioned executives of Indian arms of Aeromatrix and IDS Infotech -- companies through which alleged bribe was routed from Mauritius and Tunisia in the garb of payments for engineering contracts.
16:11  Miffed Amarinder: I was NOT consulted :  Amarinder Singh, who was removed as Congress Punjab unit chief, today said he would have suggested a different name to replace him had he been consulted. Singh, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, was replaced late last night by Gurdaspur MP Pratap Singh Bajwa as the new President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.

"I was not consulted on the decision. Had I been consulted, I would have suggested a different name who could lead the party at this crucial time," Singh said.

He said there has been a talk of his replacement for quite some time as the party was finding an able leader to replace him and steer the party. 70-year-old Singh, however, stood behind the party despite his removal and reposed complete faith in the Congress party under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi.

"I am a faithful Congress leader and have complete faith in the party under the leadershiop of Sonia Gandhi. I will abide by all decisions of the party," he said.
16:06  The one lie you really shouldn't tell your kids. Lovely read on the Huffington Post. 
15:56  Modi shifts US venue after Wharton snub:   Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi may have been dumped by the Wharton India Economic Forum. But he'll be speaking instead on Sunday via video to a group of Indians living in the US.

The live speech to people in New Jersey and Chicago has been organized by US-based members of Overseas Friends of BJP, a group linked to the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party of which Modi is a member.  Read
15:51  Kudankulam likely to be commissioned by April:   The much-delayed Kudankulam nuclear power project is expected to be commissioned by April, government told the Lok Sabha today. "All efforts are being made to commission units 1&2 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project by April 2013 and October 2013 respectively," Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy said in a written reply. Of the 2,000 MW electricity to be generated by the two units, Tamil Nadu has been allocated 925 MW, Kerala (266 MW), Karnataka (442 MW) and Pondicherry (67 MW), he said.
15:42  Training, modern weapons must for police in anti-Naxal ops:  Police personnel should be trained properly and armed with modern weapons and gadgets before they are sent for duties in Naxal-affected areas, a Parliamentary panel has said.

A report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has said that extensive training should be provided to the troopers of the central forces who undergo regular causalities while rendering these duties in the Maoist- affected states.

"The Committee views that although the multi-pronged development strategy is required to check spread of Left Wing Extremism (LWE), the government should also provide required training to the central police forces as well as state police forces and modernise them," the report tabled in Parliament said.
15:28  Pakistani al Qaeda 'company' commander praises Mumbai attacker :  Asmatullah Muawiya, a Pakistani terrorist who serves as one of several al Qaeda "company" commanders, praised two terrorists who were behind some of the largest attacks in India and who were recently executed. Muawiya also said that India will become a major target of terrorist attacks once the US withdraws from the region. Read more
15:20  A Ghost Hospital in Delhi:  When it was conceived in 2000, the Guru Harkrishan Institute of Medical Sciences and Research was billed as a high-tech, super-specialty hospital with trauma center and transplant facilities, with 25% of patients receiving free care, all funded by Sikhs. Today it's an empty five-story shell of a building on Delhi's southern ring road, overtaken by weeds and barricaded by a perimeter fence made of rusting corrugated iron. Read
15:17  A jungle get-away for controversial godman:  Ram Rahim, the controversial godman of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, fighting rape and murder charges, will soon have a jungle retreat in the Western Ghats. Eight workers, probably from Rajasthan, clearing wild foliage and constructing a building at a 40-acre plot within a British-era plantation estate at Vythiri in Wayanad do not know what is coming up. Read more
15:12  Chopper scam: Ex-air chief questioned tomorrow, cousins today:   Three cousins of the former air force chief SP Tyagi, accused of accepting bribes, partly on his behalf,  are being questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today about their alleged role in the VVIP chopper scam.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Tyagi will be interrogated tomorrow, said sources.  He has denied charges of any wrongdoing.Julie, Rajiv and Dosca Tyagi are being investigated by the CBI for taking kickbacks from middlemen allegedly on the payroll of Italian defence giant Finmeccanica.  In 2010, India greed to buy 12 helicopters for nearly 4,000 crores from AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica.
14:58  Police use water canons on protesting lawyers in Chandigarh:  In another instance of police brutality, water cannons were used against lawyers of Punjab and Haryana High Court today as the advocates tried to break barricades while protesting the registration of case against some of their fellow members for allegedly manhandling a cop recently.

The members of Punjab and Haryana high court bar association assembled in Chandigarh at the court premises and marched toward UT administrator and Punjab governor Shivraj V Patil's official residence, police said.

They were stopped near Rock garden by police, but after convincing the police that they will peacefully submit a memorandum to the Governor, they were allowed to move ahead.

As they reached the residence of the Governor, some of the advocates broke the barricades and demanded to go inside, when police resorted to the use of water cannons against them, following which the advocates dispersed from the spot.
14:56  Sigmund Freud Speaks: The Only Known Recording of His Voice, 1938. Listen in
14:50  'I'll take a teddy for my d...' said Kate :  She's usually so good at keeping secrets. But the famously discreet Duchess of Cambridge may have dropped her guard a little on a walkabout yesterday. According to one member of the crowd, Kate, who is five months pregnant, appeared to hint she might be having a baby girl. Read more
14:47  Tharoor: Wharton should have let students challenge Modi:  Union Minister Shashi Tharoor today said Wharton India Economic Forum should not have cancelled the invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and instead students could have used the opportunity to "challenge" his decisions after hearing him out.

"I disagree profoundly with Mr Modi...Students should have gone through his various decisions and record. Once invited, they should have actually heard him out and they should have actually challenged (Modi's various decisions)," he told reporters outside Parliament House.

He said the "process" should have been to listen to him and then grill him on various issues. "University is a place where you can answer questions and ask questions...Once you invite somebody, then disinviting is unnecessary," he said.
14:38  Italian magazine snaps first pics of retired Benedict:  Italian gossip magazine Chi today published paparazzi pictures of retired "pope emeritus" Benedict XVI as he strolled in the grounds of the papal summer palace of Castel Gandolfo near Rome.

In the first glimpse of the 85-year old since he retired last week, Benedict is seen wearing what appears to be a white baseball cap and a white jacket over his cassock, walking with the aid of a black cane, accompanied by his faithful secretary Georg Gaenswein.

Snapped from behind trees and bushes within the grounds of the vast villa, a second photograph shows Benedict being joined on his walk by a group of women identified by the magazine as the housekeepers who ran his household while he was pope, and have accompanied him into retirement.

Benedict is wearing dark shoes, having had to give up his famous red papal ones.
14:21  BJP ridicules Rahul over comment on marriage and children:  The BJP today poked fun at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his comment on marriage and children, saying does that mean those married are not capable of serving the nation.

"As far as he has said that marriage will disrupt the work. We are married and are still serving the nation. So, I don''t think it appropriate to point fingers on all the married people," said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.

The Congress vice-president, who interacted with his party MPs yesterday, said he was not interested in marriage.

"If I get married and have children, then I will become a status quoist and will be concerned about bequeathing my position to my children," he said. Gandhi also made it clear that he has no plans of becoming the next Prime Minister of the country.
14:16  Wife of murdered DSP to take up her husband's job :  The Uttar Pradesh government has reportedly decided to appoint the widow of slain Kunda deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Zia-ul-Haq to the same post in the police department. The younger brother of the DSP, Sohrab, would be appointed sub-inspector. Read more
14:03  Hugo Chavez obit on the New York Times today. Read
13:54  DSP had 1 bullet wound, say cops; wife says three:  The UP Police had yesterday virtually ruled out immediate arrest of SP leader Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya booked in the murder of DSP Zia-ul-Haq on Saturday and said it needs to be established first who committed the crime before the conspiracy angle can be probed.

The police also said that the post-mortem report of the DSP, Circle Officer of Kunda in Pratapgarh district from where Raja Bhaiya is a five-time Independent MLA, has shown only one bullet injury and the bullet is untraceable. The DSP's wife had however said there were three bullet injuries.

To a question whether Raja Bhaiya would be arrested, UP Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan, who accompanied the Chief Minister, said, "Wait for a while".

Khan also said, "I am not the one to decide. I am not the court. I had stated in the state Assembly that it was for the court of law to decide about who is guilty." Asked about protests by local people, the Chief Minister said, "Those who want to do politics about the incident and want to take it in another direction and give it a different colour will indulge in sloganeering. No one should indulge in politics over the incident."
13:43  60ft-deep crater that claimed man's life :  The first images have been released of a large sinkhole that claimed a man's life by sucking him out of his Florida home into the ground.The sinkhole was revealed after demolition teams removed the remaining walls of the late Jeff Bush's house, exposing the 60ft deep crater to the open air. Read
13:18  Shortcut to bond formula:  He has brought about what may be legitimately termed as a "mini-revolution' in the study of chemistry for students at the higher secondary level and beyond. The new formulae devised by Arijit Das, a PhD in chemistry from Tripura Central University and currently head of the department of chemistry in North Tripura's government-run Dharmanagar College, will help students determine the bond order of matter within three to five seconds. More
13:17  Delhis high-table hope springs back to life:  Eight weeks after India completed its two-year tenure as a member of the UN Security Council, New Delhi has leapfrogged to the next and most critical phase in its quest for a permanent seat in the Council. In a dramatic development, a resolution has emerged and is being circulated among permanent missions at the UN headquarters here that mandates an expansion of the Security Council's membership to 27 from its present strength of 15. More on the Telegraph.
13:09  Iran using India for clandestine activities: US:   Describing Iran as the 'most significant threat' to regional stability, a top American commander has accused Tehran of carrying out clandestine activities in more than a dozen countries including India. An Iranian miscalculation raises the risk of sparking disastrous conflict, General James Mattis Commander of the United States Central Command, told members of the powerful senate armed services committee during a Congressional hearing. Read
13:00  Nicolas Maduro to succeed Hugo Chavez, calls for unity:  President Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer, ending 14 years of tumultuous, divisive rule that won him passionate support from the poor but the hatred of business leaders and wealthier Venezuelans. Read
12:55  Farm loan waiver: Stringent action against defaulters, says PM:  With the opposition targeting the government on alleged irregularities in the farm loan waiver scheme, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today promised "stringent possible action" against defaulters, if any.

The Prime Minister's assurance came in the Rajya Sabha as BJP created uproar over the alleged "siphoning off" of farmers' money and a "scam" in the scheme in the wake of the CAG report.

"The reference is to the CAG report on loan waiver scheme. This is a matter which should be entrusted to the Public Accounts Committee as per normal practice. If there are any irregularities, which have been shown, I assure the House that we will take stringent possible action against the defaulters," Singh said in impromptu comments.
12:52  SC to Bihar, Punjab govts: Explain brutality to women:  Taking strong exception to recent incidents of police beating protesting contractual teachers in Bihar and a girl in Tarn Taran in Punjab, the Supreme Court today sought explanation from the two states on the conduct of police personnel.

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, a bench of justices G S Singhvi and Ranjana Prakash Desai directed the two state governments to respond on Monday on the allegations of police brutality.

The bench asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati and senior advocate Harish Salve to assist the court in dealing with the issue. It posted the matter for further hearing on March 11. On March 4, a woman was thrashed by Punjab police constables when she had approached them along with her father for lodging a complaint against harassment by a truck driver and his accomplices in Tarn Taran district.
12:45  Interracial sex still taboo for many porn stars:  When it comes to things they won't do on camera, a surprising number of adult-film stars draw the line at interracial sex. Read
12:32  Lets not rush to call the HIV baby findings a cure:  Researchers are calling the apparent disappearance of HIV in a baby born with the infection a 'functional cure', and the media is hailing the news. Dr. Kent Sepkowitz on why they should tread more softly. Read
12:30  Hugo Chavez dead at 58: Good riddance! :  The controversial leader of Venezuela died today. The Daily Beast's Michael Moynihan does not mourn the passing of this autocratic showman -- and says his mad dreams will likely die with him. Read
12:19  Hyderabad blasts: Death toll rises to 17 :  The death toll in last month's twin blasts in Hyderabad rose to 17 today with an injured person succumbing while undergoing treatment at a private hospital, sources said.

Ravi (25), who sustained serious injuries in the blast, breathed his last late last night after battling for life for 15 days, hospital sources said.

About 35 people, who suffered injuries of various nature, are undergoing treatment in different hospitals in the city. As many as 16 people were killed and over 100 others injured in the blasts that were triggered by powerful IEDs planted near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in Dilsukhnagar on February 21.

Also read: Hyderabad blasts: Terror definitely not on the wane
12:02  Soviet war veteran found in Afghanistan after 33 years:  A Soviet soldier who went missing in Afghanistan nearly 33 years ago has been found living with Afghans in the western province of Herat. The soldier is semi-nomadic, has the adopted Afghan name Sheikh Abdullah and practises herbal medicine, Russia's RIA news agency reports.An ethnic Uzbek, he was found by ex-Soviet veterans of the war. Read the amazing story here.
11:58  What Rahul Gandhi really meant:  Congress party's Vice President Rahul Gandhi told a group of Congress parliamentarians in New Delhi Tuesday that becoming the country's next prime minister wasn't his priority. "The Prime Minister's post is not my priority. I believe in long-term politics,' he told the lawmakers. But that's not what he meant, P.C. Chacko, a spokesman for the Congress party, told the WSJ. Read
11:53  Akhilesh: Have done everything DSP's family wants:  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav met the family members of two people killed in Kunda on Sunday. The Gram Pradhan and his brother were killed along with Deputy SP Zia Ul Haque. The CM said he has done everything  the families have asked for. The CM was met by protestors demanding the arrest of Raja Bhaiiya, the prime accused in the murders. The CM said that anyone found guilty of conspiracy will not be spared.

Additional DGP of the area, Arun Kumar, has ruled out arrest of former minister Raja Bhaiya.

So far the police have failed to record the statement of key eyewitnesses. A constable, who was accompanying the Deputy SP, has not been questioned so far. The family members of the killed Gram Pradhan Nanhe Yadav and his brother have been sitting on dharna since Tuesday demanding that Akhilesh Yadav must visit them and listen to the grievances. They have alleged that the local police are trying to give a completely new direction to the entire investigation.
11:48  Millionaire tailor admits to tax evasion:  Whether cutting suits or paying taxes, Mohanbhai Ramchandani, of Mohan's Custom Tailors, displayed a knack for making all sorts of figures fit. His finely woven works hung just as beautifully on towering basketball stars, among them Patrick Ewing and Wilt Chamberlain, as on Knickerbockers better known for political prowess, like former Mayors Rudolph W. Giuliani and Edward I. Koch. Read
11:39  Only 42,800? Thats rich!:  The budget papers contain facts that prove the Finance Minister wrong on the number of people whose taxable income exceeds a crore a year. Read the column by S Gurumurthy. 
11:33  Much ado about the absence of trust:  The purpose of diplomacy is to explore a congruence of diverse interests and to work through the acceptance of the other side's realities. Read the opinion piece on the Hindu.
11:29  Bangladesh slams Zia for Pranab snub:  The Bangladesh government has severely criticised Opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia for refusing to meet India's President, Pranab Mukherjee, who left for Delhi this evening after a three-day visit."It is a departure from democratic norms and courtesy. It should not have happened. She had sought an appointment to meet the President and it was given. It was expected that she would meet and discuss bilateral issues. It's very unfortunate for her party and for her that the meeting was called off,' Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni said. More
11:23  Punjab, Haryana, Delhi & Himachal rank top in Well Being Index:  Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have been ranked at the top of the Well Being Index (WBI), while southern states, Gujarat and most of the north-eastern states emerged as the most secure ones for women in the Female Security Index (FSI). This was found by Tata Strategic Management Group which analysed multiple government sources and surveys to publish its 2013 edition of Well Being Index (WBI) and Female Security Index (FSI) for India.
11:19  Hugo Chvez: Death of a socialist:  Hugo Rafael Chvez Frias, President of Venezuela, who died on March 5, 2013 at the age of 58, was a defining figure in Latin American politics for fifteen years, becoming almost synonymous with the popular tide that has elected and reelected left and centre-left governments across the continent in that time. Read more
11:15  At the peak of his career, Surya was accused of several cases of murder, rape and arson, though no formal complaint was lodged. He was made an accused, legally, by one of the women of Shamsetti in Chhattisgarh who now has withdrawn her statement. The villagers claim that he used to visit Shamsetti often, carrying firearms, and threaten the residents quite openly. Read
11:14  World condoles Chavez:  British Foreign Secretary William Hague sent condolences to Venezuela and the family of Chavez, who he said "left a lasting impression on the country and more widely" during his 14 years as president. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered condolences to Venezuela's people and said he hopes Chavez's death brings hope of a better future.

"At this key juncture, I hope the people of Venezuela can now build for themselves a better, brighter future based on the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights," Harper said in a statement.

A wistful Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador and another of Chavez's closest allies, predicted Chavez would have a lasting influence. "We have lost a revolutionary, but millions of us remain inspired."
10:56  Obama seeks constructive future relations with Venezuela :  US President Barack Obama has said America was interested in a 'constructive' future relationship with Venezuela after the death of President Hugo Chavez.   Obama said at 'this challenging time of Chavez's passing, the US reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the country'.  

He added that 'as Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the US remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights,' Fox News reports.  

Chavez died on Tuesday in a military hospital in Caracas, Vice President Nicols Maduro announced on the national radio and television.
10:52  Left governments worldwide condole Chavez death:  Reactions to the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez were as mixed, polemical and outsized as the leader was in life, with some saying his passing was a tragic loss and others calling it an opportunity for Venezuela to escape his long shadow.

Seen as a hero by some for his anti-US rhetoric and gifts of cut-rate oil, others considered him a bully.

A teary-eyed Bolivian President Evo Morales, one of Chavez's closest allies and most loyal disciples, declared that "Chavez is more alive than ever."

"Chavez will continue to be an inspiration for all peoples who fight for their liberation," Morales said in a televised speech. "Chavez will always be present in all the regions of the world and all social sectors. Hugo Chavez will always be with us, accompanying us."

In Cuba, President Raul Castro's government declared two days of national mourning and ordered the flag to fly at half-staff. "It is with deep and excruciating sorrow that our people and the revolutionary government have learned of President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias' decease," it said in a statement read on the nightly state TV newscast. "The Cuban people view him as one of their most outstanding sons."
10:49  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez succumbs to cancer:  Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez lost his battle with cancer, according to a national televised address by his vice-president Nicolas Maduro. He was 58. Chavez, who had been battling cancer for the past two years, was seen and heard less and less in public since undergoing surgery in Cuba in December last year. That was his fourth operation since the disease was detected in mid-2011. Read more
10:35  Gang rape: JJB to hear inquiry against minor today:  CNN-IBN reports: The Juvenile Justice Board will start an inquiry on Wednesday against the 17-year-old minor accused in Delhi gang rape case.

In its last hearing on February 28, the board framed charges of murder, gangrape, kidnapping and robbery.

Meanwhile, the minor has claimed innocence and is contesting the charges in the brutal gang rape case of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus in the outskirts of the capital on December 16, 2012.

read the full story here
10:21  Norah Jones charms Delhi with mix of old and new hits:  Opening with her current popular number 'Happy Pills' and signing off with the global hit 'Come away with me', Norah Jones fulfilled the Delhi audience's every wish belting out a mix of old and new songs at her maiden performance in the city.

"I'm very excited to be here. This is only my second performance in India. Thanks for having us," she said to the audience at the Siri Fort auditorium last night. The 33-year-old daughter of sitar legend Ravi Shankar is on her first three-city tour in India and has performed in Mumbai already.

The nine-time Grammy winner deftly moved from keyboards to guitar and to the piano, playing each with elan as she presented a variety of songs from her kitty.
09:35  Relationship with Pak on improving trajectory: US:  America's military relationship with Pakistan in the last eight months have been on an "improving trajectory", a top US general has said.

"We're on an improving trajectory. It's been improving for probably the last year, maybe eight months. We have some valid reasons to see it continue to improve into the near future as we try to get our two countries to find common ground wherever possible," General James Mattis, Commander, Central Command, said yesterday.

He was speaking at the members of the powerful senate armed services committee during a Congressional hearing.
08:55  Govt to bring back the word 'rape' in new Bill?:   CNN-IBN reports: The Cabinet is likely to finalise tough new laws on crimes against women with a new Criminal Law Amendment Bill this Thursday.

Sources have told CNN-IBN that the age of consent for sex is likely to be reduced from 18 to 16 as suggested by the Justice Verma panel.

The new anti-rape law note also brings back the word rape with its wider definition, instead of sexual assault in keeping with the panel's recommendations.

But despite the Justice Verma panel's recommendation, it will not include marital rape and will not include under its ambit those in the armed forces accused of rape and so, it doesn't deal with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

Read the full story here
08:23  Iran using India for clandestine activities: US:  Describing Iran as the 'most significant threat' to regional stability, a top American commander has accused Tehran of carrying out clandestine activities in more than a dozen countries including India.

An Iranian miscalculation raises the risk of sparking disastrous conflict, General James Mattis Commander of the US Central Command, told members of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing. 

"Iran remains the single most significant, regional threat to stability and prosperity. It's reckless behaviour and bellicose rhetoric, characterise a leadership that cannot win the affection of its own people or respect of any responsible nation in the region," he said yesterday.
07:34  'US for constructive relationship with Venezuela':  Amidst flaring of tension between the United States and Venezuela following the death of its President Hugo Chavez, US President Barack Obama has said that America is interested in developing a 'constructive' relationship with the Venezuelan people.

"At this challenging time of President Hugo Chavez's passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government," Obama said in his statement.

"As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights," Obama said in his statement issued after the death of Chavez yesterday.
03:13  Kenyatta leads in early Kenya vote count:  

Al Jazeera: Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya's deputy prime minister, is in the lead in the country's presidential poll, taking 54 per cent of the approximately one third of votes so far tallied by the election commission.

 

The early count on Tuesday put Raila Odinga, outgoing prime minister, at 41 per cent of the vote and Musalia Mudavadi at eight per cent. Kenyans voted on Monday for a president, senators, members of parliament, county governors and representatives to the newly formed county assembly.

 

Counting began on Monday evening after a turnout of more than 12 million kept some polling stations open beyond the official time. Kenyatta, son of the nation's first president, is facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his alleged role in inciting post-election violence that led to the deaths of more than 1,200 people in 2007.

03:11  Dow Jones and FTSE climb to new highs:  

BBC: New York's Dow Jones share index set a new all-time high on Tuesday, while London's FTSE 100 closed at it highest level in five years. The rallies mean the stock markets are returning to levels not seen since before the global financial crisis.

 

The Dow reached 14,273 by lunchtime in New York, exceeding the previous record intra-day high of 14,198, set in October 2007. The FTSE closed at 6,432, its highest close since January 2008. The recovery suggests investors are regaining confidence in the US and world economies following the financial crisis and global recessions of recent years.

03:11  Soviet war veteran found in Afghanistan after 33 years:  

BBC: A Soviet soldier who went missing in Afghanistan nearly 33 years ago has been found living with Afghans in the western province of Herat. The soldier is semi-nomadic, has the adopted Afghan name Sheikh Abdullah and practises herbal medicine, Russia's RIA news agency reports.

 

An ethnic Uzbek, he was found by ex-Soviet veterans of the war. He was wounded in battle in 1980, only months after the Soviet invasion, and was rescued by local Afghans.

02:07  US seeks 'tough' N Korea sanctions:  

BBC: The US has tabled a UN resolution - agreed with China - for sanctions that would target North Korea's diplomats and cash transfers. Washington's UN ambassador Susan Rice said they would be "some of the toughest sanctions" the UN had imposed.

 

Li Baodong, China's UN envoy, said a "strong signal" had to be sent following North Korea's third and most powerful nuclear test last month. Earlier, Pyongyang warned it would scrap a 60-year Korean ceasefire.

02:07  Venezuelas Chavez in 'most difficult hours':  

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is undergoing his "most difficult hours", his deputy has said. Nicolas Maduro spoke at length in a speech apparently designed to reassure citizens despite the failing health of Venezuela's leader.

 

He accused the US of plotting against the Venezuelan government and said a US military attache had been expelled. On Monday, officials said the 58-year-old Venezuelan leader had a new, severe respiratory infection. Dozens of people gathered to pray for his health at the hospital where Chavez is being treated.

 

Read more on BBC

02:05  Shivpuri simmers with tension, Sec 144 imposed:  

Violence over the alleged murder of an abducted local boy continued on second day today in Shivpuri town in Madhya Pradesh as a mob set on fire the official vehicle of a senior police officer, prompting the administration to impose prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPc.        

 

Trouble began this evening when mob pelted stones at the official car of Sub-Divisional Officer of Police S N Mukherjee with stones before torching it, police said.        

 

Mukherjee, along with other officials, had gone to the residence of Utsav Goyal, a Class VI student, who was allegedly abducted and murdered by his captors, to hand over his body.        

 

Utsav, son of a property dealer, was kidnapped on March 2 from Vivekanad Colony in Shivpuri when he was going for a tuition class. His body was found lying in nearby Amola forest yesterday, triggering violent protests last evening.         Meanwhile, police today arrested the bus driver of Happydays School, identified as Aqueel Khan, and his associate Firoz Khan while their two other associates are absconding.        

00:09  Curfew imposed in 10 areas in Kashmir Valley:  

Curfew was imposed tonight in 10 police station areas of Kashmir Valley as a precautionary measure with the authorities apprehending law and order problem following the killing of a youth in firing allegedly by security forces in Baramulla district.        

 

Curfew has been imposed in Rainawari, Khanyar, Navhatta, Safar Kadal and Maharajganj police station areas of old city in Srinagar and Zadibal, Maisuma and Kalan Khaud in the new city, a police spokesperson said.        

 

He said curfew has also been imposed in Baramulla and Sopore. The decision to impose curfew was taken at a high level meeting of police officers following the death of Tahir Latief Sofi allegedly in an army firing in Baramulla district this afternoon.

00:07  Top headlines at this hour:  Baramulla youth not killed in our firing: Army

Terror suspect DRDO scientist released on bail

Fisherman alleges being threatened by Salman, bodyguards

Wharton should've heard Modi after inviting him: Tharoor

Democratic Bangladesh in India's interest, says Pranab

Jundal 'hallucinates about Kasab'; court asks for report

'Rahul cautious on PM's post unlike impatient Modi'

Chopper deal: ED to register case after criminal evidence

Govt proposes to lower age for consensual sex

After Modi, Kejriwal wins hearts of college students

Boy killed in Baramulla; Omar raises AFSPA issue in House

Raja Bhaiya case: UP police want to establish crime first

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