23:43 Probe into Sunanda's death transferred back to Delhi police:
In a surprise move, the probe into Sunanda Pushkar's mysterious death was transferred back to the South district Police from the Crime Branch, two days after it was moved to the latter.
Top sources said tonight that the case was moved to South district Police to ensure continuity in the investigation.
Senior police officials, however, did not respond to questions as to why the case was first handed over to the Crime Branch if Delhi police wanted to ensure continuity in the probe.
The probe into the high-profile case was transferred to the Crime Branch on Thursday considering its "sensitive nature" and the "complexities" involved.
23:32 Japan's PM announces $2 bn loan for Delhi Metro expansion :
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today announced a loan of $2 billion for the third phase expansion of Delhi Metro that would add another 103 km to the network.
Abe made the announcement after a summit meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The cost of the third phase expansion of Delhi Metro has been estimated at Rs 35,242 crore.
23:04 Japan is at the heart of Indias Look East Policy: PM:
In statement to the media on the occasion of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Japan as the "heart of Indias Look East Policy".
"Japan is also a key partner in our economic development and in our quest for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia and the world. Anchored in our shared values and interests, the partnership between a strong and economically resurgent Japan and a transforming and rapidly growing India can be an effective force of good for the region," said the PM.
22:49 'Kejriwal should learn how to deal with the media from Modi':
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad today said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should learn from his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi on how to deal with the media respectfully.
"The media has always criticised Modi and repeatedly held him responsible for incidents without evidence. However, Modi has treated the media with respect, taken criticism in his stride and never blacklisted or insulted the media," Prasad told reporters after a party meeting.
22:17 PM, Abe hold extensive talks on bilateral, global issues :
India and Japan today discussed ways to enhance defence, security and economic cooperation during the "comprehensive" summit meeting between Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, who also announced a loan of $2 billion for Delhi Metro.
The two leaders held extensive talks on bilateral, regional and global issues after which Abe said that Indo-Japan strategic and global partnership has the "largest potential" than any other bilateral relationship in the world.
During the visit of Abe, who is the chief guest at 65th Republic Day parade, the two countries also inked as many as eight agreements for promoting tourism, enhancing energy efficiency in telecom towers and for power generation in India.
22:13 Modi a leader of backward class, says Amit Shah :
Attempting an image makeover, BJP general secretary and in-charge of UP Amit Shah projected Narendra Modi as a leader of backward class today and said the construction of the Ram temple was never an election issue.
"Construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya was not included in the election issue of the party," he said in Deoria.
Shah said the construction of the temple was "aspiration" of the party and its workers, but they do not consider it to be an election issue.
22:02 Keshubhai Patel steps down as GPP president :
Former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel, who had formed his own Gujarat Parivartan Party before the state assembly elections held last year, today stepped down as its president.
The move by 85-year-old leader came after his son Bharatre-joined the ruling BJP last month. Bharat, who was earlier in the BJP, had quit the party to join the GPP formed by his father.
In a GPP meeting held in Gandhinagar today, Patel announced that he would like to step down from the post and continue to work only as a member of the party.
20:48 Thousands flee Pakistan's tribal belt :
Amid fears of a military offensive against militants, thousands of people have fled Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region, which has witnessed heavy bombing by the air force in retaliation for a string of terror attacks targeting security personnel.
Most of the people have headed to the adjacent district of Bannu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, said local residents and officials of North Waziristan's political administration.
The exodus was triggered in part by panic among residents following a series of targeted operations by the army against militant hideouts in Mir Ali.
20:48 Nitish slams Modi over 2002 Gujarat riots :
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today lambasted his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, saying that the country could neither forget the communal riots in the latter's state in 2002 nor forgive the genocide.
"Justice was not done with the people of Gujarat by not protecting them," Kumar said while addressing the JD-U's 'Sankalp' rally in Kaimur district.
20:47 Partial media didn't highlight perpetrators of riots: Azam Khan:
Alleging that Narendra Modi and RSS "lit the fire of communalism" in Muzaffarnagar, senior SP leader Azam Khan today accused the media of being "partial" for blaming the Uttar Pradesh government for the riots.
Talking to reporters today, the Uttar Pradesh Urban Development minister said, "You televised and publicised the unfortunate happenings (in Muzaffarnagar), but refrained from highlighting the persons, groups of persons and organisations who were responsible for burning houses and property of the innocent people, compelling them to flee."
20:45 Committed to cooperative ties with India: Sharif:
Pakistan is committed to friendly and cooperative ties with India to ensure the progress and prosperity of the region, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today aid in a message on the eve of India's Republic Day.
In the message sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sharif said his government is committed to forging friendly and cooperative relations, which "we believe are in our mutual interest and essential for the progress and prosperity of the people of our region".
Sharif extended warm greetings on the occasion of the Republic Day and said, "We wish you good health and happiness and to the people of India continued progress and prosperity."
20:44 Strong Indo-Japan ties can do wonders: Japanese PM :
Japan today pitched for better ties with India in areas such as energy, agriculture and medicine, saying the two "strong" Asian nations can do "wonders" by enhancing economic cooperation.
Tremendous potential exists in both countries to enhance economic cooperation, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an address to Indian industry chambers.
"A strong India and a strong Japan can come together and I think we can do wonders...I am confident that there is tremendous potential for cooperation between the two nations,"Abe told the CII, FICCI and Assocham.
20:44 Poll outcome unlikely to hit reforms agenda: Montek:
India is committed to structural reforms to boost growth and any change in the government after the next elections is unlikely to have a major impact on the country's economic reform policy framework, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said today.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Ahluwalia said tapering in the US indeed poses a risk for the global markets, but well-managed economies would withstand the shock.
He said India was much better prepared now to deal with the impact of US Federal Reserve tapering its monetary stimulus.
20:16 RS polls: Athawale likely to be nominated as Sena-BJP candidate :
RPI leader Ramdas Athawale is likely to be nominated as the Sena-BJP candidate for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for February 7.
A resolution of recommendation to nominate Athawale to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra was unanimously adopted at a meeting of Sena-BJP leaders today, which will be sent to the BJP central leadership.
The Shiv Sena and the BJP can get one seat each elected with their strength of 45 and 47 respectively in the legislative assembly. The quota for winning candidate is 36.
So far, Shiv Sena's Rajkumar Dhoot has filed his nomination papers. BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar is among the seven retiring members.
20:14 Governments must put down kangaroo courts: Governor:
After a kangaroo court ordered the gang-rape of a tribal girl in Birbhum district,West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan today said such courts should be put down by all state governments.
"Kangaroo courts are no courts at all. Not only the state government, but all governments all over the country must put down these kangaroo courts," Narayanan told reporters when asked about the horrific incident.
20:14 DD to telecast R-Day ceremony on HD channel, Youtube:
In a first, national broadcaster Doordarshan will telecast the live proceedings of Republic Day celebrations from Rajpath in Delhi on Sunday in High Definition.
Also for the first time, hearing impaired people will be able to follow the entire live coverage with the help of sign language commentary on three channels DD News, DD Bharati and DD Urdu.
The High Definition content will also be streamed live onYou Tube.
19:58 Yuvraj Singh, Vidya Balan among Padma awardees:
Cricketer Yuvraj Singh has been awarded the Padma Shri.
Former badminton player P Gopichand and tennis player Leander Paes have been awarded the Padma Bhushan for their contribution to sports.
Late CJI Justice J S Verma has been awarded the Padma Bhushan
Actors Paresh Rawal, Vidya Balan and director Santosh Sivan have been awarded the Padma Shri for their contribution to cinema.
Actor Kamal Hassan has been awarded the Padma Bhushan
Yoga guru B KS Iyenger has been awarded the Padma Vibhushan.
19:18 2014 should be the year of India's resurgence: Pranab:
"India must find its own solutions to its problems," said Mukherjee.
He added that "whoever wins the 2014 Lok Sabha polls is less important that the fact that whosoever wins the polls should be undiluted in their commitment towards stability".
The President also lamented that "democratic institutions are being undermined".
2014, said Mukherjee, should be the year of "resurgence" for India.
The former veteran Congress leader also took the opportunity to take on the Aam Aadmi Party, saying, "Anarchy cannot be a substitute for democracy".
19:11 President Pranab: Perform or perish at 2014 LS polls:
"Every election comes with a warning: perform or perish," President Pranab Mukherjee said during his address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day.
He also talked about the "trust deficit" among those in office and the people, saying the government must work towards reducing the deficit.
The President also warned lawmakers that "Those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is possible".
"We cannot let India down. It is time for introspection and action," he said.
18:22 India growth story looks better this year: Uday Kotak :
The Indian story is looking better this year but it is nowhere close to the exuberance seen at the World Economic Forum meet a few years ago, prominent banker Uday Kotak said today.
"This year's Davos is without any major earth-shattering crisis on hand, unlike the recent years when we had global financial crisis, euro zone crisis etc.
"My experience over the years at Davos has been that when it has been a white Davos without any dark clouds then we need to be more alert, as there may be something lurking," said financial services conglomerate Kotak Group's chief.
18:20 French President to leave partner for actress?:
French President Francois Hollande is all set to formally announce his separation from his partner Valerie Trierweiler, according to media reports.
The separation comes in the wake of reports about Hollande having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.
The French president is yet to deny the affair. Instead, he has talked about going through a "difficult moment" in his relationship with Trierweiler.
Hollande had left Segolene Royal, his partner of many years and the mother of his four children, in 2007 for Trierweiler.
18:03 Court to hear cases against Kejriwal, others on May 3:
A Delhi court today fixed May 3 for hearing five cases including three in which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and members of the Aam Aadmi Party have been charge-sheeted for alleged unlawful assembly and other offences during their protests in 2012.
Kejriwal and others were charge-sheeted for allegedly violating prohibitory orders during the protest and leading a march to the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the coal block allocation scam.
Metropolitan magistrate Dheeraj Mittal fixed the cases for May 3 after the lawyers who appeared for the accused said the main counsel, Rahul Mehra, was not available for arguments and the additional public prosecutor sought time to go through the file.
18:01 Will keep on exposing Nitin Gadkari: AAP:
Aam Aadmi Party convener of Maharashtra Anjali Damania today said she would keep the heat on former BJP president Nitin Gadkari to "expose" his double standards on corruption.
Damania is slated to contest against the BJP stalwart from Nagpur Lok Sabha seat in the forthcoming elections.
"My party has not backed out from its earlier charges against Gadkari over his remarks indicating business dealings with NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar," Damania told reporters.
17:59 China defends air defence zone:
China today defended its establishment of an air defence zone over islands disputed with Japan following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's remarks that Beijing was forcibly changing the status quo in the East China Sea.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang voiced "strong dissatisfaction" over Abe's comments made in Parliament, saying Japan was "not entitled" to criticise Beijing's actions.
17:00 LIVE! Nilekani to join Cong soon in Delhi function:
IT czar and face of UPA's flagship 'Aadhar' programme Nandan Nilekani will soon officially join the Congress in Delhi, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Chief G Parameshwara said today.
"Very soon he (Nilekani) will join the Congress party officially in Delhi in the presence of senior leaders," Parameshwara told reporters in Bangalore. He said "once he joins the party then it is almost like formalising his candidature (for the Lok Sabha polls), and that decision will be taken at the AICC level."
Clarifying that Nilekani's name has not yet been cleared for the Bangalore South parliamentary seat, he said "but it is likely to be considered and final decision will be taken by the Congress president and the central election committee."
16:52 Kiran Kumar Reddy questions validity of Telangana Bill:
Adopting an aggressive stance and seeking to push the Centre on the defencive, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today questioned the very validity of AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 saying it was violative not only of Parliamentary procedures but also the Constitution of India.
"The Bill, referred to the state Legislature by the President, is full of mistakes and lacunae. In fact, the Centre itself is not clear whether it is a draft Bill or the (actual) Bill," Reddy said in the assembly this afternoon, asserting that it could not be discussed in the present form.
"The bill does not contain the 'objects and reasons', the scope of proposals or the financial memorandum. It has not been specified in the Bill why are they (the Centre) seeking to divide the state," he pointed out.
How could we (state Legislature) express our views on the bill without the Centre stating its views, he wondered.
"Initially they said it's the Bill. When we sought clarifications, objects and reasons and financial memorandum, the Union Home Secretary replied it's only a draft Bill. How could they send a draft Bill to the President?" he questioned.
Only the Bill with full particulars should go the President and not the draft Bill, Reddy said, referring to the explanations to Article 3 of the Constitution.
16:16 Somnath's comment a sign of intellectual bankruptcy: BJP:
CNN IBN: Senior BJP leader Dr.Harsh Vardhan hit out at Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti for his comment on media.
Vardhan said, 'The comment is the sign of his intellectual bankcrupcy. Country doesn't expect anything but his resignation.' Bharti had said that the media is being paid by BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi to defame him.
14:44 Purple tomatoes heading for shops!:
The prospect of genetically modified purple tomatoes reaching the shelves has come a step closer. Their dark pigment is intended to give tomatoes the same potential health benefits as fruit such as blueberries. Developed in Britain, large-scale production is now under way in Canada with the first 1,200 litres of purple tomato juice ready for shipping. The pigment, known as anthocyanin, is an antioxidant which studies on animals show could help fight cancer.
Scientists say the new tomatoes could improve the nutritional value of everything from ketchup to pizza topping. The tomatoes were developed at the John Innes Centre in Norwich where Prof Cathie Martin hopes the first delivery of large quantities of juice will allow researchers to investigate its potential.
Read more on BBC
13:12 Muzaffarnagar riots: Another baby dies due to cold:
A four-month-old girl, whose family was displaced during the Muzaffarnagar riots, has died due to cold at Kandhla town in Shamli district, police said today. Ahsan, the infant's mother had been displaced from her native Bahawdi village during Muzaffarnagar riots and was living in a relief camp till last month when she along with her family vacated the relief camp, police said.
After vacating the relief camp recently, Ahsan was living with her family in a cottage in Kandhal, where her infant daughter, Surrya died of cold on Friday, said police.
An enquiry has been ordered into the death of the child, Superintendent of Government Health Centre, Kandhla, Ramesh Chandra said. A five-month-old baby girl had yesterday succumbed to pneumonia in a relief camp at Malakpur village in Shamli district in Muzafarnagar.
12:19 6.1-magnitude quake strikes off Indonesia's Java: USGS:
AFP: A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's main island of Java today, the US Geological Survey reported, sending panicked residents running from their homes.
People in the town of Adipala near the epicentre said they felt the ground shaking hard for up to 20 seconds, as the quake struck in the sea off the coast of southern Java.
"We all just ran onto the street, there were so many people," Astri, a florist who goes by one name, told AFP by phone from her flower shop. "But it doesn't seem to have damaged anything around here, and we're getting back to work," she said.
The quake struck at 12:14 pm (0514 GMT) 39 kilometres south-southeast of Adipala at a depth of 83 kilometres, the USGS said.Indonesian officials said there was no risk of a tsunami and no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
11:24 Suchitra Sen's closed door opened her life:
Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi recounts her meeting with Suchitra Sen: Asking for my respects and my best wishes to be conveyed to her, I proceeded with my appointment. As I finished and was about to leave, a young woman I recognised as Moon Moon Sen came up to me and said 'Ma has learnt you are here and would like to see you'. I said I did not wish to disturb her. 'Not at all'She wants to meet you'. Paro had not changed.
The doe eyes were as molten, the smile as plangent. Required by doctors not to rise from her bed, she apologised for not getting up to say 'Namaskar'. I said to her that I, like millions, will remember her roles in many films but, very specially, for that in one film. 'Oh', she said and then turning her eyes towards a blank wall with a sigh intoned '" that is the word, intoned '" one word with the merest hint of an interrogation in it ''Devdas'?'.
Read more on The Hindustan Times
11:20 Now Somnath Bharti accuses media of taking money from Modi:
Under fire Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti has now attacked journalists, asking them 'how much money have they received from Narendra Modi?'
Meanwhile, sources tell NDTV that AAP is not happy with Somnath Bharti's comments on media and 'may initiate action' against him.
10:31 Racism alive in India: Story of Kim Barrington Narisetti, an African-American professional:
My 12-year-old daughter gets exasperated easily. Maybe it's because she's 12. She gets even more exasperated because she says I seem to have a saying for everything: Patience is a virtue.
You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar. Never judge a book by its cover. When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me. The last two seem to be the most relevant as they apply to racism and racist acts in India. It saddened me to hear about the recent attacks on Ugandan women in Delhi.
As a darkskinned African-American woman who lived in New Delhi for nearly four years, the stories quickly brought back memories of my daily experiences and the assumptions that were made about me and how I was treated. I constantly felt I was on display.
I was stared at in restaurants, elevators and even in my car on the street. Random people would come up to me when I was shopping at Khan Market (usually men) to let me know that they knew someone from Uganda, Nigeria, or the Congo. My response would be: That's nice. I'm American. The most disturbing incident happened when my husband, Raju, and I were walking back home from a restaurant down the block from our house in New Friends Colony. A young boy of about 8 was riding on the back of his bike with his father. As they passed us, he hurled a huge rock the size of a fist at me. It landed with a thud on my sunglasses and my head snapped back. If I weren't wearing huge aviator sunglasses, I likely would have lost my eye. My chivalrous husband chased down the bike, pulled the boy off and gave him and his father a tongue lashing in Hindi and made him apologise.
Read the full story on The Economic Times
10:19 Delhi Commission for Women chief a Cong member: Bharti:
Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti, against whom Delhi Commission for Women is supposed to meet Lt Governor today to file a FIR against the minister, has alleged that DCW chairman Barkha Dutt is a Congress member. "DCW is a political outfit. They are trying to defame me,' Bharti has said.
10:02 Justin Bieber compares himself to Michael Jackson:
Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber has compared himself with 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson post arrest. The 19-year-old star, who was charged with DUI, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license on January 23, posted a picture of him sitting on top of a car, reported Contactmusic.
The photo is split with a picture of Jackson, in a similar pose, standing on top of a car holding up a peace sign, taken outside a court after he had pleaded not guilty to seven counts of child molestation at a trial in 2004.
"What more can they say," Bieber captioned the picture.
The 'Beauty and a Beat' hitmaker was bailed for USD 2,500 hours after being jailed and as he left the courthouse jumped on top of a car to wave to fans and show he was alright.
Stars including Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga have leant their support to Bieber and his longtime manager, Scooter Braun, is also sticking by him.
Image: The photo posted by Beiber on Instagram
09:47 Somnath Bharti raid: Women's panel to meet Lt Guv to demand FIR:
Members of the Delhi Commission for Women are likely to meet Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today to demand that an FIR or a First Information Report be registered against Law Minister Somnath Bharti, who is at the centre of a controversy over his "midnight raid" last week when, surrounded by supporters, he ordered police officers to raid homes rented by Ugandan women in his constituency, claiming they were being used to traffic drugs and sex.
Read more on NDTV
01:12 'Bayer's drug was for 'western patients who can afford it': Dailymail
reports: The CEO of phamaceutical giant Bayer has sparked fury after announcing one of the firm's drugs was for 'western patients who can afford it'
Marijn Dekkers made the inflammatory comments after the Indian company Natco Pharma Ltd. were granted a government licence to produce a copy of Bayers cancer drug Nexavar which they will sell for 97 per cent less than the original product.
Read the full story here
00:55 The disastrous consequences of PM's decade in power:
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been in office since 2004, recently held what was only the second press conference of his current five-year term, which is rapidly approaching an inglorious end.
Betraying his yearning for approval, Singh told the assembled journalists that he hoped that history would judge his tenure more kindly than his political adversaries do.
Read the article here
00:41 MP minister shot at by unidentified persons, escapes unhurt:
A Madhya Pradesh minister was today shot at by unidentified assailants at Aroli village, about 35km from the district headquarters, police said. Lal Singh Arya, the minister of state for general administration, Narmada Valley Development and Aviation, was shot at during a function to inaugurate a government school here.
He escaped unhurt in the incident, police said. "The incident took place at around 5-5.30 pm when the minister was at the inauguration of a government school in Aroli village," Bhind SP Dr Ashish told media persons.
The assailants fled the spot after firing at Arya, who represents the Gohad Assembly seat in the district, police said. Police have launched a manhunt to nab those behind the attack, the SP added.
00:28 Labour court judge booked for molesting female colleague:
Three FIRs have been lodged against a judge of labour court here for allegedly molesting his female colleague and for consumption and possession of liquor, police said today.
While one of the FIRs was lodged under the Indian Penal Code, the remaining two were lodged under the Gujarat Prohibition Act, police said. According to police, labour court judge D S Chaudhary had been harassing his female typist for the last three months.
The girl, a resident of Malanpada village in Valsad district, had told her parents about it.
00:08 HC revokes stay order on Sita Soren:
The Jharkhand high court today revoked its stay order on JMM MLA Sita Soren in connection with the 2012 horse trading case lodged following cash seizure on the polling day of Rajya Sabha elections.
The bench of Justice R R Prasad revoked the stay order it had given after Soren petitioned against a lower court's order for her arrest and property attachment last year. The CBI is investigating the case.
Sita is one of the accused in the case. CBI has raided the premises of at least 23 MLAs of different political parties in connection with the case.