22:48 5 students dead as school van plunges into Narmada river:
At lest five teenaged students died when a school van plunged into Narmada river off a bridge near Gora village in Narmada district of Gujarat today.
The bridge connects Gora village with Kevadia colony near the Sardar Sarovar dam.
Driver of Tata Magic van, with some 13 boys in the age group of 13 to 15 inside, lost control while crossing the Gora bridge and the van fell into the river, said mamlatdar (revenue official) of Garudeshwar, A B Pawiyad.
"Since water is not yet released from the dam, the water level wasn't high. We have rescued eight boys but five lost their lives. We found their bodies," said Pawiyad.
The boys were headed for Kevadia colony to attend a tuition, said Pawiyad.
"As per the daily routine, they were headed for their tuitions. They study in 8th, 9th and 10th standards. We don't yet know the exact number of students travelling in the van as the driver is still missing", Pawiyad said.
22:46 I wasn't drunken, says IOA secretary general Mehta:
Relieved after the courts dropped alleged charges of drunken driving and assualt, Indian Olympic Association secretary general Rajeev Mehta said that the entire case has been "represented in a wrong manner as he wasn't driving in a drinken state".
"The facts have been misrepresented and I have been projected in a wrong manner. I was not drunk and my test reports (alcohol intake) have all come negative. There is nothing in it to show that I was in a drunken state. I am thankful to the court that they didn't accept the evidences that were put forward," Mehta told CNN-IBN after the charges were dropped against him.
Asked about what transpired on Saturday night, mehta recollected the incident.
"I had come out of a party and was on my way to somewhere else. Then the accident happened but I was not at fault. The girls who were inside the other car were driving on the wrong side of the road. That's the reason that the case didn't even come up for hearing as it was dropped at the prosecution level. There was nothing found in any of my medical reports and that's why there were no charges framed against me," Mehta concluded.
21:22 NGO wants ex-top cop Satyapal to vacate official residence:
A Mumbai NGO today asked Maharashtra Government to ensure that former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, now an MP from Uttar Pradesh, is made to vacate his official residence without any further delay.
The NGO, Police Reforms Watch, has strongly objected to Singh seeking six more months to vacate the residence in upscale Bandra despite the fact that he owns another flat in Mumbai.
"It is very unfortunate that the former Mumbai Police Commissioner has clung to his official residence since the last 22 years and has thus deprived other officers posted in that region the use of the premises.
"He should immediately vacate his official residence so that it sets a good example for the police force," Dolphy D'Souza, Convener of PRW, said while speaking to reporters.
According to the NGO, it works for police reforms and accountability in Maharashtra. It also facilitates advocacy and interactive engagements at the level of Government, police and citizens.
The BJP MP from Baghpat, who resigned from police service in January this year and joined politics, should follow the example of former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, he said.
20:45 Charges against Indian officials in Glasgow games dropped:
Charges against Indian Olympic official Rajeev Mehta and wrestling referee Virender Malik have been dropped due to lack of evidence, reports PTI.
Mehta was charged in a drunken driving case while Malik was accused of sexual assault. Both were attending the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
19:34 Suspicious package at White House gate:
The United States Secret Service cleared Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and closed one of its gates today after a bomb-sniffing dog alerted them to a car in a nearby garage. Pedestrians were told that the area had been closed. White House staff and journalists were not allowed through the northwest gate at the White House but some personnel were allowed to use the east gate.
19:29 Lok Sabhas deputy speaker post elections scheduled for Wednesday:
M Thambidurai from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham is expected to file his nomination on Wednesday for the post of deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha. Nominations will begin at 10 am while the election will take place at noon on Wednesday. Thambidurai's election is expected to be moved by Leader of Lok Sabha Narendra Modi and seconded by Telugu Desam, Akali Dal and Shiv Sena.
18:52 Will PMO order official inquiry into National Herald case?:
It is believed that there has been a note sent to the PMO saying there is no need for an inquiry into the National Herald case. On reading the note which also had a two-page intelligence note, PMO officials began digging out fresh evidence and reopened an earlier file. So, what we want to know is this -- Will the present government order a judicial inquiry in the National Herald case? Officials are waiting for orders from the Prime Minister.
18:47 Non IAS, IPS appointments in govt soon?:
Can a person who is not an IAS or an IPS be made secretary in the union government? Can the recruitment be made via newspapers? The Prime Minister's Office is seriously considering appointing three secretaries to key departments dealing with techncal matters and an official policy announcement is expected soon. Watch this space.
18:33 Gujarat CM : Must have toilet at home to contest polls :
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel today proposed that having a toilet facility at home should be made a prerequisite for aspirants who want to contest any election in the state in future.
Patel's suggestion comes as a bid to give an impetus to the 'toilet for each household' drive in the state and to spread awareness about the issue.
"Right from a candidate of Village Panchayat to even Member of Parliament (MP), all must first prove that they are having toilet facility in their house. If you want to contest any form of election in Gujarat, you must have toilet facility, otherwise, they should not be allowed to contest," Patel said.
18:22 Venkaiah's witty quips keep MPs in splits :
M Venkaiah Naidu, who is the Union urban development minister and also holds the portfolio of Parliamentary Affairs minister, is well known for his tart one-liners to questions in Parliament. When asked about the government's decision on the Leader of Opposition, Naidu said that LoP is in the domain of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
He said as parliamentary affairs minister he prefers to stay within the LoC or the Line of Control. His other retort was when Congress MPs raised the point of order on the Insurance Bill today, Naidu quipped, "On your statement there is no point and therefore no order is needed."
Quite naturally, there was a loud thumping of desks from the treasury benches.
18:01 How PMO babu made the best out of Modi's Nepal visit :
Dr P K Misra, Additional Principal Secretary in the PMO, is on a three-day casual leave because he needs to move house from Gandhinagar in Gujarat to New Delhi. Dr Misra has made the most of the Prime Minister's visit to Nepal and therefore absence from New Delhi, and has flown to Gandhinagar for the move. He will join work on Wednesday and still be in time to brief the prime minster on the agenda papers of the Union cabinet to be held on Wednesday.
17:58 The corridors of power are abuzz about a quiet visit by Attorney General of India, Mulkul Rohatgi, to President Pranab Mukherjee.
17:56 The inside story of the Insurance Bill :
The BJP government is all set to expose the Congress by summoning a
joint sitting of both houses over the Insurance Bill. Politically, the BJP wants that the Congress defeat the Insurance Bill in the Rajya Sabha since this will enable the BJP and the floor managers to approach the President
of India for a joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and get it passed. A notice of three working days is enough to summon a Joint Sitting of Parliament.
17:51 Serena Williams and Andre Agassi to light up Singapore:
In the latest of a series of international press and media announcements culminating in tennis' newest spectacle, the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) and the team owners of the Singapore Slammers, the Singapore based IPTL franchise, announced its participating players, team owners and event details to the local media. Hosted at the prestigious Shangri La Hotel, the Singapore Indoor Stadium was also unveiled as the venue for the prestigious event from 2-4 December 2014.
17:03 SRK takes a dig at Aamir's PK poster: Is-se talent mat bolna :
Shah Rukh Khan, who will host Got Talent World Stage Live, took a dig at Aamir Khan and his much-talked about in-the-buff poster at the event. Shah Rukh when quizzed about the poster for the film, PK and Aamir Khan's talent of
going nude, quipped, "Idhar talent bola theek hai,
but isse talent mat bolna."
Aamir Khan has posed in the buff for the poster with just a transistor covering his modesty and has now been slapped with a legal notice. Also read
: Bollywood reacts to Aamir Khan's NAKEDNESS in PK!
16:52 UPSC exam row: Centre says English marks will not be included:
In a major development to end the row over the alleged language bias in the Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Examination, the Centre on Monday clarified that marks of English language skills should not be included in merit.
The move is a slight climbdown by the Centre following the massive protests by Civil Services aspirants and Parliamentarians who have accused the UPSC of bias against those from rural, Hindi and regional language background.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said in the Lok Sabha that all the aspirants who appeared for the Civil Services Examination from 2011 would get one more more attempt in 2015.
The UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination is scheduled for August 24. But it is still to be seen if the move is acceptable to the UPSC as well as protesting aspirants. Read more
16:13 India awaits report on tainted CWG officials:
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said a decision on any action against IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta and wrestling referee Virender Malik will be taken only after going through a report on the charges against them.
15:55 Update on the hearing on the two Indian officials held for drunk driving and molestation at CWG Glasgow.
Glasgow Police Spokesperson says the alleged assault in the Rajeev Mehta case has nothing has with drunk driving. Mehta, secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association and a
senior member of the Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games, and
wrestling referee Virender Singh Malik, were arrested in Glasgow on
Saturday evening. Mehta was addressed for drink driving.
15:52 Candidates who appeared in Civil Services exams 2011 may be given 1 more attempt in 2015: Centre on row over Civil Services Aptitude Test.
15:51 Jogen Chowdhury to be first artist-in-residence at Rashtrapati Bhavan:
Rajya Sabha MP Jogen Chowdhary has been invited to be the inaugural artist to stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan under the 'In-Residence Scheme for Writers and Artists'. Several paintings of Chowdhary already form part of the Rashtrapati Bhavan art collection.
Chowdhary is Prof. Emeritus of Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan and former Keeper (Art) at Rashtrapati Bhavan (1972-87).
The 'In-Residence Scheme for Writers and Artists' was launched by the President of India on December 11, 2013 with the aim of providing writers and artists an opportunity to stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan and be a part of the life there.
15:47 UP wouldve benefited with BJP govt, Varun at helm: Maneka :
Pitching for her son and Sultanpur MP, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has said that Uttar Pradesh would have benefited had there been a BJP led government in the state with Varun Gandhi as its chief minister.
"It would have been better had there been our government in the state then we would have got work done authoritatively. It would have been even better if the government would have been run by Varun, in that case Pilibhit should have benefited most," the Women and Child Development Minister said while addressing a meeting in Takia village yesterday.
On projecting Varun as the state's chief ministerial candidate, Maneka said, "it is a matter of future."
15:29 CWG: Hearing of molestation case today :
JUST IN: Hearing on Indian officials for separate cases of alleged assault at 1 pm Glasgow time at Sheriff's court Room 4. Rajeev Mehta, secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association and a senior member of the Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games, and wrestling referee Virender Singh Malik, were arrested in Glasgow on Saturday evening.
While Mehta was arrested for allegedly driving above the legal alcohol limit, Malik was held for allegedly being involved in sexual assault in a hotel.
The NYT series on religion.... What Would Krishna Do? Or Shiva? Or Vishnu? Read
15:04 Advani, a pariah in Parliament :
Central Hall on Monday was packed to the rafters with seniors. Stalwarts like LK Advani was seen with his daughter Pratibha talking to senior Congress leader ML Fotedar and Cong spokesperson Digvijaya Singh. It wasn't just who Advani was talking to, but the fact that that none of the senior BJP leaders present in Central hall greeted him. In fact, many crossed over to the other side of the room to avoid talking to Advani who will always be seen as the man who opposed Narendra Modi's candidature.
14:50 A new club for India:
If there is anything recent years should have taught us, it is this: be wary of investment bankers bearing gifts. One of the most durable of such offerings -- thanks to Goldman Sachs -- is a seemingly harmless acronym: BRIC.
This was shorthand for grouping the four largest (in GDP terms) emerging market countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, when grouping countries as "rich' and "poor' was beginning to appear vaguely antediluvian.
Thus far, as boring economic memes go, the acronym has been rather sticky but harmless. Read
14:47 Sena defends 'Saamana' edit on IPS officer accused of rape:
The Shiv Sena today defended the controversial editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana' about rape accused IPS officer Sunil Paraskar, saying the party was being defamed without understanding its stance on the issue.
"We agree that rape is heinous but it is also equally reprehensible to make (baseless) allegations of rape," an editorial in 'Saamana' said. "What we have said is clear, the rape victim should lodge the complaint immediately. If complaint is lodged after six months or a year, the medical evidence in such cases is invalid and the case assumes a different colour," the editorial said.
Claiming that the controversial Marathi editorial was distorted in translation, 'Saamana' said, "now, it is just a one-sided attack by those who don't want to understand what someone said or wrote."
14:17 India's tough stand on WTO gets support from UN body:
Supporting India's tough stand at WTO on the food security issue, UN body for development of agriculture IFAD today said ensuring food for its people is more important than creating jobs in certain other nations.
"Creating jobs for some other country, while people are still hungry, doesn't make sense... If I was in the position of feeding my own family or creating jobs for someone else, what would I do? What would you do?," International Fund for Agriculture Development President Kanayo Nwanze said.
"The bottom line is that every government has the responsibility to ensure that it can feed its own people," he said while replying to a question whether he supports India's tough stand in the World Trade Organization.
14:08 Taslima Nasreen 'impolitely' refuses to be part of Bigg Boss :
Controversial writer Taslima Nasreen, who was recently granted a residential visa by the central government, was invited to be a part of the eighth season of hit reality show Bigg Boss which is aired on entertainment channel Colors TV, reports Indian Express.
The author, however refused the offer and shared bits of the conversation between her and Colors on Twitter.
The channel had apparently, said that Tasleema would get a chance to show herself to the world and will also be paid for it.
Tasleema tweeted, "Colors tv called.Wants me in Bigg Boss.I politely refused.Said,'u'll get chance2 show urslf 2world&u'll get money'.Then I impolitely refused.''
Bigg Boss' is likely to go on air in September this year and the show's pattern is such that it aims to get celebs with a controversial past.
14:03 Nithari killings: Accused Pandher granted bail in 4 cases, but not in 8 others :
Just in: The Allahabad High Court, Monday, granted bail to businessman Moninder
Singh Pandher, an accused in the infamous Nithari serial killings of
Noida, a case that outraged the nation.
Pandher was granted bail in four cases, but will remain in jail for eight other cases of murder, kidnapping.
Pandher was acquitted in the Rimpa Haldhar case but he remains an
accused in some of the other cases relating to the Nithari killings.
However, his domestic help and prime accused, Surinder Koli, was
convicted for multiple cases of rape and murder.
13:59 Bangalore child rape case: Police go on overdrive, book suspects in hundreds :
A moment of reassurance for Bangalore. The city's police chief tweets: "Investigation in the Vibgyor rape case is progressing on right lines. Police will do a professional job. there is no need for any doubt."
Bangalore's new Police Commissioner MN Reddi has opened a twitter account (@cpblr) for ease of communication with people, and to step up information gathering. Most of his tweets these days are about his team's action to ensure women's safety. In the last two days, according to his tweets, police have booked 350 men for eve-teasing, and detained two alleged rapists under the powerful Goonda Act.
13:56 Modi's 'Ich bin ein Berliner' moment in Nepal:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Nepal visit was an eye-opener for most Indians, as it appears as though the hard feelings of 17 years of neglect by Indian PMs has been overcome by this single, sincere visit, says Rajeev Srinivasan on Rediff.com. Read
13:54 A new template for India-Nepal ties:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will likely indicate that India stands ready to substantially augment its development partnership with Nepal without dictating its destination or determining its degree. His visit will set the tone for a significantly upgraded relationship. Read
13:44 Modi scales Himalayan barrier:
On a day he may have reformatted India-Nepal ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi nudged the Himalayan nation to a giant leap in the baby steps it has been taking towards republican democracy.
"We do not wish to tell you what to do or to interfere in your work,' he told a packed Nepali Constituent Assembly (CA) this afternoon. "But we wish to applaud your imagination of an inclusive, federal, democratic and republican (FDR) Nepal of which all sections of Nepalis can feel a part, a vibrant bouquet with all the divergent aromas of this great country of yours.' Read more
13:34 LIVE! Angry Sushma promises to summon Lanka envoy over Jaya-Modi pic:
There was high drama inside and outside Parliament today over the controversial pictures of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which appeared on a Sri Lankan Defence Ministry website last week. Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned following an uproar by AIADMK MPs.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu was forced to make a statement on the issue saying that India will raise the issue with the Sri Lankan government. While, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she condemned the incident and would summon the Lankan envoy.
13:25 Forty trawlers missing in the Bay of Bengal:
Forty trawlers, carrying 640 fishermen, have gone missing in the Bay of Bengal near Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district, an official of the Fishermen Association said today.
The trawlers, each carrying 16 fishermen, had gone to the sea for fishing a few days ago, but contact between the liaison unit of the Association at Kakdwip and them was snapped during a storm last night, the state government aided Association's Secretary Jaykrishna Halder said.
Efforts are on to locate them and the Coast Guard has been alerted, Sunderban Development Minister Manturam Pakhira said.
Meanwhile, two other trawlers- 'Suryanarayan' and 'Maharudra'- capsized near Jambu Dwip in the Bay of Bengal during the storm last evening. Of the 32 fishermen on board, 25 were rescued and seven others are missing, Halder said.
The rescued fishermen are being treated at a local hospital. Five other trawlers set off from Raidighi in the same district managed to reach Dhamra Port in Odisha. All the fishermen were safe, he said.
12:58 Reactions to reports of Priyanka's Cong role :
Murli Manohar Joshi, BJP: I don't want to comment on the Congress, they are no challenge to the BJP anywhere
Subramanian Swamy, BJP: Congress is bankrupt of leadership, they are dependent on one family, best is to wind up the Cong party.
12:49 Priyanka set to formally assume big role in Congress:
The Congress rank and file demands for "Priyanka lao desh bachoa" or "Priyanka lao, Congress bachao" may finally be granted. Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra is likely to be formally inducted in the Congress party leadership by the end of this year, which is when the assembly elections will end. Priyanka may be inducted as general secretary (organisation) of the party or the chief of the Uttar Pradesh Congress unit.
11:59 Bangladesh ferry capsizes with 200 people on board:
Just in: Bangladesh ferry sinks with 200 people on board. Reuters reports that a ferry with about 200 passengers aboard
capsized on Monday in the river Padma, near Munshiganj district, about
30 km southwest of Dhaka.
Mohammad Saiful Hasan Badal, the Deputy Commissioner of the
district, said 44 passengers had been rescued from the vessel,
identified as the Pinak-6. No deaths had yet been reported.
Teams from the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority and the army were engaged in the rescue operation.
11:49 Modi at Pashupatinath:
The PM tweets: Felt extremely blessed on offering prayers at the Pashupatinath Temple this morning.
11:46 RS adjourned twice over derogatory article on Jaya, Modi:
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice during Question Hour after uproar by AIADMK over a "derogatory" article on Sri Lankan defence ministry website.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday accused Sri Lanka of trying to create fissures in India's federal polity as she demanded an unconditional apology from Colombo for the insinuations against her.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi hours after the controversy broke out, leading to a furore in Tamil Nadu's political circles, she said that it also depicted him in a 'disrespectful manner.'
She said it was brought to her notice that the article, titled 'How meaningful are Jayalalithaa's love letters to Narendra Modi' had been published in the website of the ministry of defence and urban development of Sri Lanka.
11:36 The all-party meeting on the Insurance Bill was inconclusive, says NCP leader Praful Patel.
11:32 PM offers puja at Pashupatinath temple in Nepal:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today offered puja at the famous 5th century Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on the second and last day of his maiden visit to Nepal.
Modi was at the temple of Lord Shiva for about 45 minutes on a day which is considered pious as it was a Monday that falls in the month of 'Shravan'. He donated 2500 kgs of chandan (sandalwood) to the Pashupatinath Temple trust.
The Hindu temple is located on the banks of the Bagmati River in Deopatan, a village 3 km northwest of Kathmandu. It is dedicated to a manifestation of Shiva called Pashupati (Lord of Animals).
It attracts thousands of pilgrims each year, mostly from India. There are a lot of Indian pujaris at the temple. There is a tradition of keeping four priests and one chief priest at the temple from among the Bramhins of south India for centuries. According to legend, the temple was constructed by Pashupreksha of the Somadeva Dynasty in the 3rd century BC, but the first historical records date from the 13th century. The ascetic Pashupata sect was likely related to its foundation.
10:56 Govt to hold talks with parties on insurance bill today:
The government is planning to move the insurance bill in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday after holding discussions with Congress and other parties on Monday even as employees of state-run Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and General Insurance Corporation (GIC) have decided to go on a day-long strike across the country to protest against the decision to allow 49% FDI in the sector. Read more
10:32 The deportation comes close on the heels of a derogatory article against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on a Sri Lankan official website which also had a graphic image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The article triggered widespread public and political outrage in the state prompting Sri Lanka to remove it and issue an unqualified apology to the two leaders.
10:29 UN chief says Israeli attack on Gaza school a 'criminal act':
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned an Israeli attack on a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip that killed 10 Palestinians, terming it as a "moral outrage and a criminal act" and demanding that those responsible for the act should be held accountable.
"It is a moral outrage and a criminal act. United Nationsshelters must be safe zones not combat zones," a statement issued by Ban's spokesman said.
10:28 Sri Lankan cricketers deported due to security reasons :
Sri Lanka's U-15 cricket team told to leave Chennai for security reasons. The police have urged the players to return to Colombo.
The team was in the Tamil Nadu capital to participate in the J M Haroon cricket tournament to promote the sport.
More details are awaited.
Here is the latest visual from Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu where Prime Minister Modi will offer prayers. Photograph: ANI/Twitter
09:21 Modi to offer 2,500 kg of white Indian sandalwood at Pashupatinath temple:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. The PM will offer special prayers and 2,500 kg of white Indian sandalwood to the temple. Hundred and two special priests will offer prayers with Modi.
Only royalty are allowed to sit inside the temple other than priests.
On the second day of his visit to Nepal, Modi will also meet Nepal's President Ram Baran Yadav and leaders of various political parties before leaving for India.
09:06 Insurance Bill: Govt calls for all-party meet:
The government has called for an all-party meet over the Insurance Laws Amendment Bill. The government called a meet of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal, Janata Dal United, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party among others.
08:50 Insurance Bill not coming in RS today, govt seeks oppn support:
With the opposition demanding that the Insurance (amendment) bill be referred to a select committee, the government deferred its plan to move the NDA's first major economic reforms legislation for the consideration of Rajya Sabha tomorrow.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said he and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will talk to leaders of the Congress and opposition parties tomorrow on various aspects of the bill that seeks to raise the FDI cap in the Insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.
Naidu told PTI that the government does not want to move the Insurance Law Amendment Bill 2008 bill for consideration in the Upper House today. "The government would like to move the bill for consideration thereafter, preferably day after tomorrow (Tuesday)," Naidu had said yesterday.
08:46 Sikh man hit by truck, battles for life :
A 29-year old Sikh man is in critical condition after he was hit by a
pickup truck in New York and dragged nearly 30 feet following an
argument with the driver who allegedly hurled a racist slur at his
friend and him.
Sandeep Singh, a father of two, was with his friend Baldey Singh when he was hit by a pickup truck late on Tuesday night.
Sandeep was rushed to the hospital where he is in a critical condition.