23:04 IIM-A opposes umbrella body for IIMs:
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad has opposed the proposed legislation to bring all the IIMs under one umbrella body, saying it would curtail its autonomy.
"We have as a society opposed it, the faculty has opposed it and the Board of Governors has opposed it," Chairman of IIM-A Board of Governor A M Naik told newsmen.
23:02 Maharashtra ATS officer commits suicide :
A senior police office attached with Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in front of his family members in a hotel at neighbouring Thane today.
Though the motive behind Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Banerjee taking the extreme step is being ascertained, police suspect that he was facing some domestic issues in recent months.
Banerjee, who had joined the police force through the Maharashtra Public Service Commission, is survived by his wife and two sons.
22:58 GPP slams Modi govt over new Lokayukta bill :
Criticising the Gujarat government's move to bring Lokayukta Aayog bill in the ongoing session of the assembly, the Gujarat Parivartan Party today alleged that it was an attempt to delay the appointment of the ombudsman in the state.
"The proposal to bring new Lokayukta Aayog bill by the Modi government aims at suppressing scams in the state, and is a tactic to delay the Lokayukta's appointment," GPP Vice President Suresh Mehta told reporters.
22:57 Jagan's DA case: CBI quizzes RS member:
The CBI, which is investigating the disproportionate assets case of Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, today quizzed Rajya Sabha member K V P Ramachandra Rao,once a close aide of former state chief minister late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
KVP, who appeared before the investigating agency in the morning, was asked about some of the government orders issued during Rajasekhara Reddy's regime and also about investments made by some companies in Jagan Reddy's firms, CBI sources said.
21:30 Home ministry backs special courts to try terror cases :
Amid a row over the arrest of some Muslim youths on terror charges, the Union home ministry has backed a proposal to set up special courts for the expeditious trial of terror cases and promised action against officers responsible for 'knowingly' holding innocent persons in custody.
"The ministry of home affairs strongly supports the proposal of special courts so that expeditious trial is possible. I am also of the view that arresting and keeping innocent persons in custody knowingly is indeed a serious offence and the government is committed to ensuring strong action against the officers responsible in all such cases. You have my assurance that this will happen," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Friday in a letter to Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan.
21:27 Trying to expedite Muslim subquota: Govt:
The government is committed to providing 4.5 per cent job reservation to backward Muslims and trying to expedite the matter pending before the Supreme Court, Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan said today.
Addressing the National Editors's Conference, Khan said the reservation for backward Muslims was a promise made by the Congress in its election manifesto.
21:26 BJP will decide its PM nominee: VHP :
Vishwa Hindu Parishad National president Praveen Togadia today said that the BJP will choose its prime ministerial candidate after the next elections and the VHP has no role in the procedure.
"The BJP will decide who will be its candidate for the prime ministerial post. The VHP will not make public comments on the subject," Togadia told reporters.
21:24 Fate of Lankan players in IPL still uncertain :
With just ten days to go for the high-profile Indian Premier League, the governing council of the T20 tournament is yet to take a decision on the participation of Sri Lankan players in Chennai, in view of the prevailing anti-Sinhalese sentiments in Tamil Nadu.
The BCCI is monitoring the situation and is also in touch with the state government. A final decision is expected to be taken soon.
21:23 India needs to create 15 million jobs annually: Pitroda:
India needs to create 15 million jobs every year, National Innovation Council Chairman Sam Pitroda said today.
"We have about 550 million youths under 25 years of age and considering this, we also need to create 15 million jobs annually," Pitroda said at a FICCI event on next generation entrepreneurs.
20:16 Mirwaiz slams National Conference, PDP :
Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today said the ruling National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir should learn a lesson from the DMK, which had quit the UPA government at the Centre on the issue of rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
"If the NC is serious about its opposition to Afzal Guru's execution, what stopped it from withdrawing support to the UPA," asked the chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference.
"What stopped Omar from recalling Farooq Abdullah from the (Union) Cabinet," asked Mirwaiz.
20:14 Anti-Sikh riots case: CBI concludes arguments against Sajjan:
The CBI today concluded its arguments in the trial of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and five others in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, rebutting the defence.
The agency said the nature and extent of the crime shows the vast network and larger conspiracy behind it.
"The nature and extent of crime, protection to the perpetrators, disappearance of evidence and non-registration of cases show that there was a vast network and a larger conspiracy behind it," CBI Special Prosecutor B S Cheema said while wrapping up arguments in the case.
20:13 Karnataka homestay attack: Reporter released on bail :
After spending about eight months in jail in connection with the attack on some youngsters suspected of indulging in undesirable activities at a homestay in Mangalore last year, a regional TV channel reporter was released today, following the bail granted to him.
On March 18,the Karnataka high court had granted bail to Naveen Sooringe on a surety bond of Rs five lakh, but imposed no other conditions.
Sooringe's arrest after the attack, carried out in an act of moral policing, had triggered a controversy, with journalist and rights bodies condemning it, claiming he had been falsely implicated when he had actually tried to help the attack victims. They had been demanding his release.
20:11 Guj's progress maximum in fighting malnutrition: Modi:
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said that a report by the Comptroller and General has stated that the state has made maximum progress in fighting malnutrition in the last five years.
"According to a CAG report, Gujarat has made maximum progress in fighting malnutrition in the last five years," Modi said.
20:10 Omar seeks NIA probe in Hizbul militant case:
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today spoke to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and demanded that the case of arrest of an alleged Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist by the Delhi police be transferred to the NIA for a 'time bound speedy probe'.
The chief minister took up the matter with Shinde over the phone as the latter was away in Maharashtra with President Pranab Mukherjee.
19:50 'Sanjay has been judged by all for 20 years':
Sanjay Dutt's sister and Congress MP Priya Dutt on Saturday issued an emotional statement in the wake of the Supreme Court upholding the TADA Court's verdict against the actor in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
"A 20 year ordeal has finally come to an end. 20 years is a lifetime for most people. In Sanjay's case this has been a lifetime of tension and anxiety, a lifetime of repentance and reform, a lifetime of punishment and trial.
For Sanjay, versions of verdicts have been passed on him throughout these years. He has been judged by all during these 20 years and sometimes in the most harsh ways. Yet he has stood strong and firm, normalised his life, served society, helped and stood by his colleagues, friends and family and is today one of the most dependable people in the film fraternity.
As a sister, as a family...we will always stand by him. That is what any loving family will do. It is only logical that as a family we will explore every option," the statement said.
19:08 JD-S to release candidates' list by March end :
Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda-led JD-S today said it would announce the list of its candidates for the May 5 assembly elections by March-end.
"We will announce the list of at least 220 candidates within March 31," senior JD-S leader Basavaraj Horatti told reporters.
The JD-S Parliamentary Board would soon finalise the list and send it for approval to Gowda and state JD-S president and his son H D Kumaraswamy, Horatti said.
19:06 Pope Francis meets his predecessor:
Pope Francis on Saturday held a historic meeting with his predecessor, 'Pope emeritus' Benedict, at a papal residence at Castel
Gandolfo in Italy.
This is the first time a Pope has met his predecessor.
Pope Benedict is the first pontiff to resign from his post in the last 700 years.
18:44 Cobrapost slams clean chit to banks by RBI:
Whistle-blowing website Cobrapost.com on Saturday differed with the clean chit given by the RBI to the money-laundering practices exposed by it in ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.
A press statement issued by the website stated, "The manner in which the RBI deputy governor has rushed to issue the statement, even before the Central Bank could complete the inquest it has initiated into money laundering practices by the three banks, even before these banks could complete their own investigations into the alleged misdemeanour of their officials, and even before the Income Tax Department could come up with its own finding, is tantamount to be self-serving and is a brazen attempt on the part of the Deputy Governor to not only give these banks a clean chit but also mask the miserable failure of the banking regulatory mechanism of the RBI. One gets the impression that the RBI deputy governor has taken upon himself to become the spokesperson of the three banks concerned".
It added, "For the RBI to say that there is no offence as there was 'no transaction' is a very novice reading of the law and a willful ignorance of rules and regulations supposed to be crafted and implemented by the RBI itself".
18:34 Mohanlal seeks leniency for Sanjay Dutt :
Malayalam superstar Mohanlal today extended his support to Sanjay Dutt following the Supreme Court's verdict against the Bollywood actor in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
Expressing his support for Dutt on his Facebook post, Mohanlal wrote that his colleague and friend Sanjay had been a reformed citizen over the last 20 years.
"Dutt is a good citizen, a loving family man and a person who has braved adversities to come out stronger and better," Mohanlal said.
16:39 Congress has always misused CBI: Hazare:
Social activist Anna Hazare today said it was wrong to presume that the CBI acts of its own volition and alleged that Congress had always 'misused' the central investigating agency.
Asked about the CBI raid on DMK leader M K Stalin's residence immediately after the party withdrew its support to the UPA government, Hazare told reporters, "Everybody knows that the CBI is under government's control. If it is brought under the Lokpal's control, it would help in curbing corruption."
Hazare alleged that Congress had always "misused" the agency, even though it has some good officers in its fold. "It is not that all people with the CBI are bad. But they are subjected to pressure as they have their jobs to protect. Congress has always misused it," he alleged.
14:43 Five held for suspected SIMI links:
Five persons, suspected to have SIMI links, were arrested by Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad from Seoni district with a cache of crude bombs and firearms.
Giving this information, police officials said here today that links of the arrested youths with leaders of the banned Student Islamic Movement of India were being probed.
Those arrested were Azharuddin, Naeem, Kaleem, Afroz and Kaleemuddin, all aged between 20 and 25.
A total of 126 crude bombs, two country-made revolvers, 10 rounds of cartridges and one sword was seized from their possession along with some literature, police said.
The youths were held on the basis of intelligence inputs that they were manufacturing and testing bombs at a barren field in Seoni.
13:08 Chidambaram promises more reforms:
Announcing further liberalisation of FII investment norms, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the government is "steadily and surely" working on next generation of reforms to put the economy back on high growth path.
Addressing the National Editors Conference here, he said with liberalisation of FDI and other measures, the government has travelled considerable distance on the road to fiscal consolidation and reforms.
In further liberalisation of norms for investment by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) in government securities and corporate bonds, he said norms have been rationalised.
12:39 Zardari quits post of PPP co-chairman:
Faced with a challenge from the assertive judiciary, President Asif Ali Zardari has quit the political office of co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party and made his son Bilawal its 'patron-in-chief'.
"President Zardari is no more the co-chairman of the PPP. The main body of the PPP has been dissolved and his son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has been elected the party's patron-in-chief," a close aide to 57-year-old Zardari told PTI.
Earlier, Bilawal, 24, was the chairman of the PPP. The decision was made to off-set pressure from the Lahore High Court, which had asked Zardari to act on its suggestion that he should quit his post in th
Former Telecom Minister A Raja, SMK leaders TKS Elangovan and Selvaganapthy are now drafting a strongly-worded resolution in Tamil to be moved in the emergency meeting of the DMK executive convened on Monday in Chennai.
Raja's bungalow in New Delhi has become the central location for the DMK MPs to gather, and the outcome is six resolutions, which will be read out to Karunanidhi on Saturday in Chennai, and will be kept ready for Monday's meeting.
This shows how Raja has gone much closer to the DMK leadership. It is claimed that Raja gave points to Karunanidhi to prepare a press statement about the DMK's withdrawal from the UPA.
DMK leader M K Alagiri on Friday drove to Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Union Minister of Shipping GK Vasan's residences with flowers -- as a courtesy after the DMK severed its ties with the UPA.
This gesture was aimed at to remove ill feelings. Alagiri was accompanied by party colleagues Napolean and KV Ramalingam.
The insider buzz in the DMK is that the party is certain to support any government other than the Congress including the NDA -- after the Lok Sabha elections A political sense is now being felt in Delhi, with the frequent meetings former Telecom Minister A Raja -- with Yashwant Sinha, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.
Raja is openly meeting BJP leaders in the central hall, and does not seem to be bothered about the voting pattern.
A source said that Raja assured the BJP that it is his mission to bring the DMK closer to the NDA after LS polls. Raja is confident that DMK will win 20 seats in Tamil Nadu
Union Minister of Shipping G K Vasan is under pressure from the Tamil Nadu Congress cadre to revive the Tamil Maanila Congress which his father G K Moopanar founded.
The trigger point is the Sri Lankan Tamil genocide and that Congress President Sonia Gandhi or Vice President Rahul Gandhi did not speak a word about Tamil Nadu in Parliament.
Vasan had a two rounds of meetings with the district secretaries of TNCC on whether to launch the Tamil Maanila Congress in 2013 or 2015. The ADMK is eager to pave way for Vasan to float TMC a new political force in Tamil Nadu.
He is confident to get eight Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha seat for the TMC.
10:59 Blackbuck case: New charges against Saif, 3 others:
reports: A court in Jodhpur read out fresh charges against Salman Khan and four other actors in a case of alleged poaching of blackbucks 14 years ago.
A case was filed against Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre in 1998 for having allegedly shot blackbucks in a village near Jodhpur during the shooting of their film Hum Saath Saath Hain.
Tabu, Saif, Neelam and Sonali Bendre appeared in the court, but Salman was not.
10:22 China, Pak conclude secret deal on nuclear reactor:
China has secretly entered into an agreement with Pakistan to construct a third nuclear reactor at Chashma in Punjab province that the Obama administration says will violate Beijing's promises under an international anti-nuclear weapons accord, a media report said.
"According to US intelligence and diplomatic officials, the secret agreement for the Chashma 3 reactor was signed in Beijing during the visit by a delegation from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission from February 15 to 18," The Washington Free Beacon reported.
The agreement calls for the state-run China National Nuclear Corporation to construct a 1,000-megawatt power plant at Chashma, where two earlier Chinese reactors were built, the American website said.
03:46 Norway confirms abduction of Norwegian woman in Egypt:
The Norwegian foreign ministry confirmed on Friday that a Norwegian national has been kidnapped in the Sinai desert in Egypt.
"We can confirm that a Norwegian citizen has been abducted in Egypt," Svein Michelsen, a spokesman for the Norwegian foreign ministry, said in a statement.
The ministry has mobilized the necessary resources to handle the situation, said Michelsen.When they were travelling in a car between the two tourist destinations -- Nuweiba and Dahab, the Norwegian woman and an Israeli Arab man was stopped by a group of gunmen suspected to armed Bedouin tribesmen, said the Norwegian-language newspaper Aftenposten, quoting newspapers reports from Egypt and Isarel.
02:32 Italy's Bersani tapped to form new government:
Italy's center-left leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, was chosen today to form a new and viable government, which is badly needed to steer the country out of recession and get more Italians back to work.
The national elections last month produced no clear winner, but President Giorgio Napolitano said the 61-year-old Bersani was best positioned to create a government given "the most difficult circumstances" -- a reference that the political leader has a comfortable majority in the lower house, but that the Senate is split.
The vote made plain voters' disenchantment with mainstream parties and largely divided over which forces should lead Italy at this delicate moment.
02:31 Bangladesh tornado kills 20, injures 100: officials:
A powerful tornado ripped through more than a dozen rural villages in eastern Bangladesh today, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 100, officials said.
The tornado wrecked havoc in Brahmanbaria district over a 15-minute period, authorities said, uprooting thousands of trees and flattened hundreds of tin and mud-built houses in the area, and snapping road and rail communication with affected villages.
01:30 Lebanese leader resigns amid sectarian tensions:
Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned on Friday effectively dissolving the government and thrusting the country into political uncertainty at a time when the conflict in Syria is sparking sectarian tensions here.
Mr. Mikati's resignation came as a result of a disagreement with the cabinet over extending the mandate of the Internal Security Forces Chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi.
01:20 DR Congo warlord Ntaganda to face judges Tuesday: ICC:
Congolese war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda will face International Criminal Court judges for the first time on Tuesday following his transfer from Rwanda to The Hague, the court announced today.
"The initial appearance of Bosco Ntaganda before Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC is scheduled for Tuesday, 26 March 2013 at 11:00 am (1000 GMT)," it said in a statement. Wanted since 2006 by the ICC, Ntaganda today flew out of Kigali bound for the Netherlands, where the ICC, the world's first permanent court to try the world's worst crimes, is based.
00:52 European Commission welcomes end of India-Italy row:
The European Commission today expressed relief over the end of a diplomatic stand-off between India and Italy over marines issue.
The commission took note of the decision of the Italian authorities to send back to India the two marines, Massimilian Latorre and Salvatore Girone, but "we have no details of the arrangement", a spokesman said.
The commission hopes that the "dispute over the substance of the issue will be resolved soon," he told reporters.
00:47 UN Council makes rare condemnation of Syria attack:
The UN Security Council on Friday overcame differences on the Syria conflict to agree on a rare statement condemning a suicide bomb attack on a Damascus mosque.
UN leader Ban Ki-Moon also condemned the new "atrocity" in Syria."The Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in a mosque in Damascus," the statement said. At least 49 people, including a senior pro-government cleric, were killed in Thursday's blast.
The council expressed "deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this heinous act and to the people of Syria."The 15-member council has been bitterly divided over the two-year conflict. Russia has sought to shield President Bashar al-Assad, while the United States, Britain and France have given increasing support to opposition rebels.
00:37 Obama warns of extremist threat in Syria:
Anxious to keep Syria's civil war from spiraling into even worse problems, President Barack Obama said Friday he worries about the country becoming a haven for extremists when '" not if '" President Bashar Assad is ousted from power.
Obama, standing side by side with Jordan's King Abdullah II, said the international community must work together to ensure there is a credible opposition ready to step into the breach.