22:17 Woman gives birth to boy aboard NDRF boat in flood rescue:
A woman today gave birth to a child while being rescued from flood by National Disaster Response Force personnel in Uttar Pradesh's Baharaich district. Thirty-five-year-old Minakshi Shukla gave birth to a baby boy on the NDRF motor boat, a release from 9 battalion of NDRF headquartered at Bihta in Bihar, said.
The NDRF's 9 Battalion, led by Inspector Manoj Kumar, had gone to Baharaich for the rescue operations. The child was successfully delivered with the help of trained NDRF personnel present on the motor boat, it said. The flood-hit parents of the baby child were quite happy and thanked NDRF team for providing help during the delivery.
Later on, the mother and the new born child were admitted to PHC Gaighat there for further care, the release added.
21:48 'Shah has to immerse 11 crore people to make India Cong-free':
"Amit Shah will have to immerse 11 crore people in the Indian ocean if he has to make the country Congress-free", AICC General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed said today taking a dig at the BJP chief's call of freeing India of Congress.
"As many as 11 crore people have voted for Congress even though the party has got just 44 seats. If Amit Shah wants to make the country Congress-free, he will have to immerse the 11 crore people in the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian ocean which are on the three sides of the sub-continent," Ahmed told reporters.
He claimed that day by day the number of people supporting Congress is increasing as they are getting disappointed with the Modi government.
21:05 Two Naxals arrested in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district:
Two Naxals were arrested today in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district in a joint operation by BSF and local police, officials said. Salduram Anchale, 52, and Sunil Jain, 25, were nabbed from Sikhsod and Tadoti police station area in the district police officials told PTI.
Acting on a tip-off, a joint team of BSF and district police launched a combing operation in the area as part of anti-Naxal campaign "Meghdoot". The two ultras were cornered and taken into custody, they said.
Anchale and Jain, wanted in cases related to murder, attempt to murder and arson, among others, had been on police search list for a long time, the officials said, adding their interrogation was on.
20:51 Former Congress legislator Nishith Patel joins BJP:
Hours after he was suspended from the Congress, former MLA Nishith Patel today joined the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh and accused the main Opposition party of neglecting the poor and tribals.
Patel joined the saffron outfit in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar at a by-poll rally in Barhi under Bahoriband Assembly constituency in Katni district.
"I am joining the BJP after watching the party's dedication towards people. I am impressed by its commitment for welfare of the common man," Patel said on the occasion.
Patel said he was influenced by the personality of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chouhan. Criticising Congress, he said the party had always left tribals, the poor and farmers in lurch after elections.
Earlier in the day, the Congress suspended Patel for participating in "anti-party" activities.
19:58 Rajni Razdan takes over as new UPSC chief:
Rajni Razdan today took over as new chairman of Union Public Service Commission, which conducts the prestigious civil services examination to select IAS, IFS and IPS officers among others.
Razdan was administered the oath as UPSC chief by the outgoing chairperson D P Agrawal, whose tenure ended today. Her new charge comes at a time when the Commission is facing a controversy due to the demand for change in the pattern of the examination from a section of aspirants. The civil services preliminary examination is scheduled to be held on August 24.
She had joined as UPSC member on April 19, 2010. 64-year-old Razdan, a former IAS officer of Haryana cadre, had retired as Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances. During her tenure as IAS officer, she had held several important assignments both in Haryana and at the Centre.
Her assignments at the Centre included Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Food, and Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.
19:37 TV9 CEO arrested, released on bail in case against channel:
Ravi Prakash, CEO of news channel TV9, was today arrested and released on bail in connection with a criminal case registered against the channel.
Based on the directions of Hyderabad high court, Prakash, who had last month sought anticipatory bail, was supposed to surrender before a local court, but he failed to do so and today he surrendered before L B Nagar police here, deputy commissioner of police P Viswa Prasad told PTI. L B Nagar police in June had registered a case against the news channel following a magistrate's order.
A lawyer had filed a private complaint in the court, alleging that a program telecast by the channel "belittled" Telangana MLAs.
19:31 Suspected ISI agent arrested in Meeru. More details are awaited.
19:29 Anti-govt protestors vow not to back down till Sharif resigns:
Over 25,000 supporters of Opposition leader Imran Khan and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri vowing not to back down till Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns and dissolves Parliament and provincial assemblies, poured into the streets of Pakistan's capital, posing the biggest challenge to the 15-month-old civilian government.
Unfazed by the country's apex court's order against any unconstitutional step to topple the government, the two Opposition groups held separate sit-ins, demanding Sharif's resignation and fresh polls alleging rigging during the last year's elections.
"The time has arrived when the nation should decide. I will stay here until the Prime Minister resigns. We don't accept a Prime Minister who has been appointed after rigged elections," Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) told his supporters after arriving here in a convoy, travelling over 300 km from Lahore for his 'Azadi March
18:43 Party will surely look into Varun Gandhi's calibre: BJP:
With Varun Gandhi dropped as General Secretary by BJP president Amit Shah who constituted his new team of office-bearers today, party secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said the party will surely look into his calibre and position him accordingly.
"There are many opportunites in the party, in the government and I am sure the party will look into his calibre and adjust him accordinly," Singh told reporters here. Asked why there was no representation from West Bengal in Shah's newly-constituted team, Singh said "let me put it this way, you must have seen Narendra Modi by now, he doesn't want representation of states to be the hallmark. He believes in India as one. He looks at India as 125 crore".
"This is a problem in political thinking, that someone has to come from Bengal, some from UP. Modiji looks at India as one. The best talent which is in Bengal should be retained here to fight Mamata Banerjee. If I take the leadership away, then who will fight her here"? said Singh.
17:31 Six Maoists arrested in Jharkhand:
Six wanted 'Maoists' were arrested from near Jharkhand-Odisha border in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, a top police official said today. The ultras including a 'platoon commander' and a 'section commander' were arrested last night, DIG (Kolhan) Md Nehal said, adding that they were wanted in connection with over a dozen offences including murder.
Based on the confession of the arrested ultras, security personnel seized several uniform, mobile phones and SIM cards, Nehal said. "We have also gathered vital clues regarding the activities of the ultra group and are working out strategy accordingly," he said.
17:10 Recently, BJP veteran L K Advani's office rang up party headquarters seeking a chartered aircraft. This has been a usual practice for decades. But the office secretary politely informed that hiring of private chartered aircraft has been stopped except in cases of emergency.
A deeply disturbed Advani called up Union Minister Arun Jaitley who is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah. Jaitley talked to Shah who made it clear that regular flights for leaders have been advised for all future travel. Even he would travel by a regular flight.
Sources say that an adamant Advani refused to take the ticket issued by the party.
17:07 The Centre has summoned Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana ESL Narasimhan on August 20, to New Delhi to discuss the issues related to Telangana survey, and also the build up of tension in Hyderabad.
17:06 Our source in New Delhi says that by not taking Varun Gandhi in any of the top slots of in the party, the BJP has sent out a strong signal. Last week, Varun and Priyanka Gandhi are believed to have had a quiet dinner.
Was this the key reason his name being struck off? Many in BJP speculate that Varun might slowly get closer to the Congress fold by 2015.
17:00 Rear tyre of AI flight bursts while landing in Thiruvananthapuram, passengers safe:
The rear tyre of an Air India flight from Male today burst while landing at the Trivandrum International Airport but the passengers and crew escaped unhurt.
Airport Acting Director Shibu Rebort said the tyre in the right side of the Airbus-320 burst while landing but it did not cause spark or any damage to the aircraft. "We had our contingency plan activated immediately. But there was no damage to the aircraft and all the 152 passengers were safe," Robert said.
He said the tyre burst could be caused either by landing problems or variation of pressure in the tyres, which would be known after a technical examination. The incident had been reported to the director general of civil aviation, he said.
16:21 Assam flood situation turns grim:
The flood situation in Assam today turned grim claiming the life of a child as the Brahmaputra and its tributaries inundated vast tracts of land in Upper Assam and in the Kaziranga National Park following incessant rainfall in the catchment areas.
The flood situation turned critical in Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Sonitpur districts with a minor boy being washed away by the flood water in Naoboicha area of Lakhimpur. In Kaziranga National Park, famed for its one- horned rhino, the rising water of the Brahmaputra has inundated low-lying areas in almost all the ranges with the animals moving to the highlands in neighbouring Karbi Anglong district, KNP DFO S K Seal Sarmah said.
"Water has entered 50 camps across the Park with three camps evacuated in the Northern range," he said. The animals have migrated to the highland across NH-37 and to check speeding vehicles barricades have been set up and time-cards introduced to control the speed of the vehicles, Seal Sarmah added.Image for representation only
15:20 Militant firing kills 2 BSF troopers, injures 4 others:
Two Border Security Force personnel were killed and four others were injured when militants ambushed a passing BSF vehicle near Koil in south Kashmir's Pulwama district this afternoon. A senior police officer said militants opened heavy fire at a passing vehicle of the BSF critically injuring six BSF troopers. "All the injured were evacuated to army base hospital in Srinagar. However, an assistant sub-inspector and a head constable succumbed en route," an officer said. This is the third militant attack in Pulwama in the past one week.
14:45 EC announces date for bypoll election:
The Election Commission had announced that the bypoll to Lok Sabha seats vacated by Narendra Modi and Mulayam Singh Yadav will be held on September 13.
14:17 Varun Gandhi's fate to be decided in 6 months:
Following reports that new party president Amit Shah dropped Varun Gandhi as secretary and replaced him with former RSS senior leader Ram Madhav, sources have said that a decision on Varun's future would be decided six months from now after the Uttar Pradesh bypolls.
Shah is yet to add 2 more general secretaries to his team and sources added that depending on his performance, Varun could be one of the 2 names.
13:49 Several shops damaged in Srinagar fire:
A fire broke out in Koker Bazaar area of Srinagar causing damage to three building and several shops, police said today. "A fire broke out in Koker Bazaar area of the city this morning resulting in damage to three buildings," a Fire and Emergency Services official said. He said fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the blaze was brought under control. No one was hurt in the incident, he added.
13:29 Agra Municipal Corporation cracks whip on cleanliness:
The Agra Municipal Corporation has announced better sanitation management and tougher enforcement measures to ensure a cleaner Taj city. Property owners would be prosecuted if domestic waste or garbage is found accumulated outside their premises, environment officer Rajeev Rathi said. The stricter norms follow the grim tragedy of a school boy being swept away in an open drain earlier this week. His body was recovered after 18 hours.
12:49 Ram Madhav made general secretary in Amit Shah's new team:
Varun Gandhi has been dropped as BJP's general secretary in the reshuffle of the party. In his place, party president Amit Shah has appointed one of BJP's newest entrants Ram Madhav, formerly of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. In addition, Shah has retained J P Nadda, Rajiv Paratap Rudy, Murlidhar Rao and Ramlal as general secretaries.
12:20 Shah's new office bearers under the age of 50:
In a reshuffle of the party, new BJP president Amit Shah has appointed B Dattatray, BS Yeddyurappa, Satpal Malik, MA Naqvi, P Ruppala, Prabhat Jha, Raghuvar Das, Kiran Maheswari, Renu Devi, Dinesh Sharma as the new vice presidents. Sources say that all the new office bearers are below the age of 50 and have expereince. Furthermore, Anurag Thakur will continue as Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha chief while the Mahila Morcha chief will be Vijaya Rahatkar.
12:06 Amit Shah's new team launched:
Launching his new team after taking over the reins as the BJP president, Amit Shah announced his new team. The team will include 11 vice presidents and eight general secretaries.
11:33 Cong's Birendra Singh to attend BJP rally:
The already beleaguered Congress party may face another jolt after senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Birender Singh, who openly revolted against Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, will be joining the BJP. Sources said that Singh will be joining Amit Shah at a rally in Jind, this afternoon.
11:21 Somnath Bharti slams Congress MLA for returning salary:
A day after Congress MLA Devendra Yadav returned his five-month salary to the chief secretary, Aam Aadmi Party leader Somnath Bharti said that it was simply a publicity stunt.
On Thursday, Yadav, MLA from Badli constituency, returned an amount of Rs 2,67,495 through Lt Governor Najeeb Jung a few days after Supreme Court's observation that Delhi's MLAs were getting salaries without working since the suspension of the assembly.
10:48 Goa leader suggests separate bikini beach:
A month after Sudin Dhavalikar said 'off with bikinis' at Goa beaches, another MLA Lavoo Mamledar, who is a former police officer, said that if tourism had to be promoted and is necessary, then there could be a bikini beach with entry fees. "A beach labelled as bikini beach could be created, if we really feel that bikinis will promote tourism in Goa. There can be an enclosure and an entry fee of Rs 1000 to 2,000 could be levied. This will not only increase tourism prospects but also generate revenue," Mamledar said.
10:26 Prime Minister Modi commissions INS Kolkata:
Addressing the crowds at the commissioning, Prime Modi says, "Yesterday we celebrated Independence Day but it is our Armed Forces that are protecting the free India." He added, "This is the biggest indigenous 'Nirman Karya'."
He further added that the INS Kolkata reflected the progress the Navy has made and congratulated those in the making of the ship.
10:10 Proud day for Indian Navy: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley:
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley who is with PM Modi for the commissioning of INS Kolkata said, "Today is a historic day for the Nation and the Navy. I feel the commissioning of INS Kolkata gives an impetus to our Navy. "
09:59 PM Modi given guard of honour at Naval Dockyard:
Prime Minister Modi, who made his way to Mumbai today, was given the guard of honour at the Naval Dockyard. The PM is in the city to induct INS Kolkata into the Naval fleet. The INS Kolkata is the biggest destroyer ship. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan and Governor K Sankaranarayanan were also present for the function.
09:47 PM Modi lands in Mumbai:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches Mumbai. The PM is in the city and will make his way to Mazgaon Docks where he will commission INS Kolkata.
Read about the INS Kolkata HERE
09:25 Kerala CM to order an inquiry into school that dropped Vande Mataram:
A private school in south Kerala removed Vande Mataram from their Independence Day programme after a religious outfit allegedly threatened its management saying some of the words in the song were against the religious belief of a section of the community. Following the incident, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that he will order a probe into the incident. Chandy said, "You have brought this to my notice. I will investigate and find out the truth."
09:08 BJP Parliamentary Board to be announced:
Amit Shah, the new president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, will be announcing a new team today. According to sources, the National executive will be trimmed. Shah will also appoint new party spokespersons and his new team will have a lot of young faces as well as women. The changes are being made ahead of the assembly elections in the states of Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir.
08:40 Germans listened in on Hillary Clinton's call:
The German secret service listened in on at least one of Hillary Clinton's telephone calls when she was US secretary of state. Documents passed to the CIA by one of its moles inside German intelligence show it eavesdropped on Clinton while she was on a US government plane.