Tue, 16 August 2022
Azad declines appointment as J-K campaign chief

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23:39   Azad declines appointment as J-K campaign chief
Congress president Sonia Gandhi Tuesday appointed former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad as the party's campaign committee chief in the union territory, but he declined the offer.

As part of a comprehensive revamp of the organisation in Jammu and Kashmir, Gandhi also appointed Vikar Rasool Wani, considered close to Azad, as the new J-K unit chief.

Azad is a prominent member of the G23 grouping within the Congress which has been critical of the leadership and has been seeking an organisational overhaul.

Azad, retired from the Rajya Sabha and was the outgoing leader of opposition, was not renominated to the upper house.

In the revamped unit, Raman Bhalla was named as the working president of J-K Congress and Azad as champaign committee chief, with former People's Democratic Party leader Tariq Hamid Karra as vice chief of the campaign panel.

Hours after the appointments were made public, sources said Azad declined to accept the offer.

The Centre is wanting to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir soon and the process of finalisation of electoral rolls is underway after the completion of the delimitation exercise.

Wani replaces Ghulam Ahmad Mir who had tendered his resignation in July after holding the post for eight years.

The Congress president has accepted the resignation of Mir from the post of president, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee, a party statement said.

The Congress president appointed president and working president of the J-K unit and also constituted the campaign committee, political affairs committee, coordination committee, manifesto committee, publicity and publication committee, disciplinary committee and pradesh election committee of the UT unit with immediate effect, the statement said.

Wani (46), a resident of Banihal township of Jammu region's Ramban district, is a two-time former legislator who also served as a minister during the Omar Abdullah-led National Conference-Congress coalition government between 2009-14.

Tariq Hamid Karra will be the vice chairman of the campaign committee headed by Azad, while G M Saroori will be its convenor, according to the statement.

The campaign committee has named 11 leaders with Pradesh Congress Committee president and working president its permanent invitees.

Mir, Tara Chand, Thakur Balwan Singh, T S Bajwa, Shabir Khan, Neeraj Kundan, Abdul Majeed Wani and Fairoz Khan are also part of the campaign committee.

Gandhi also set up a political affairs committee with Karra as its chairman and it included the likes of Azad, Mir and Saifuddin Soz.

The political affairs committee also includes Peerzada M Syed, Taj Mohiuddin, Tara Chand, Mula Ram and Khemlata Wakhlu.

The committee comprises nine leaders with All India Congress Committee in-charge, PCC president and working president being permanent invitees in the panel.

The party also formed an 11-member coordination committee headed by Mir, 12-member manifesto committee under the chairmanship of Soz and nine-member publicity and publication panel led by Mula Ram.

A seven-member disciplinary committee has been formed with Taj Mohiyuddin as the chairman.

A Pradesh Election Committee headed by PCC chief has also been set up.

The Election Commission had recently revised to November 25 the date of final publication of voters list of Jammu and Kashmir the union territory's first voters' list after the boundaries of assembly seats were redrawn in the delimitation exercise.

After the rolls are published, the EC can technically hold assembly polls in the UT.

A timeline for the election is yet to be officially declared.  -- PTI
22:32   Delhi Covid positivity rate reaches 19.20%
Delhi on Tuesday reported 917 COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 19.20 per cent and three deaths due to the infection, according to data shared by the city health department.

With the fresh infections and fatalities, Delhi's caseload went up to 19,86,739 and the death toll to 26,392, it said.

The fresh cases came out of 4,775 tests, the health department said in its latest bulletin.

On Monday, the national capital had reported 1,227 cases with a positivity rate of 14.57 per cent, while eight more people died due to the disease.

Before this, it logged more than 2,000 cases daily for 12 consecutive days.

Delhi on Sunday reported 2,162 cases with a positivity rate of 12.64 per cent and five fatalities.

On Saturday, it logged nine deaths due to COVID-19 and 2,031 cases with a positivity rate of 12.34 per cent.

On Friday, it saw 10 deaths, the highest in six months, and 2,136 cases with a positivity rate of 15.02 per cent.

The national capital recorded 12 deaths due to COVID-19 on February 13.

Delhi on Thursday reported 2,726 fresh cases, the highest in nearly six-and-a-half months, and six fatalities due to the viral disease, while the positivity rate stood at 14.38 per cent.

On Wednesday, it saw eight fatalities and 2,146 cases with a positivity rate of 17.83 per cent.

On Tuesday, the city recorded 2,495 cases with a positivity rate of 15.41 per cent and seven fatalities.  -- PTI
22:22   Maha govt asks people to take part in mass singing of anthem at 11 am tomorrow
The Maharashtra government has appealed to the people in the state to sing the national anthem at 11 am on Wednesday as a part of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence.

The singing should be completed between 11 am and 11:01 am across the state, it said.

Participation is mandatory for all state government departments, universities and colleges while citizens are also expected to take part in the singing, said a government order issued last week.

It is part of the Union government's Swaraj Mahotsav, the order said.

Private establishments, traders and even other government departments including those who come under the Union government are also expected to participate in it.

Students are expected to gather on open grounds to sing the anthem, the order said.  -- PTI
21:42   CBI grills Rahul Gandhi's close aide Venugopal
The Central Bureau of Investigation has recorded the statement of Congress MP K C Venugopal in connection with allegations of sexual exploitation by a woman, who is the prime accused in the sensational solar scam in Kerala, officials said Tuesday.

They said the questioning took place last week.

The case against six political leaders including Venugopal, former Kerala chief minister Oomen Chandy and others were registered by the state police through six separate FIRs, the officials said.

The CBI had taken over these cases last year on a recommendation by the state government, they said.

Besides Venugopal and Chandy, Hibi Eden, Adoor Prakash, MLA A P Anil Kumar, and Bharatiya Janata Party leader A P Abdulla Kutty are the accused in the six cases.

The case against Kutty was registered in 2014 when he was a Congress MLA from Kannur. He later joined the BJP.

In a letter to the police commissioner on July 19, 2013, the woman had levelled charges of sexual misconduct and corruption against several Congress and United Democratic Front leaders, including Chandy, some of his ministers and two former Union ministers.   -- PTI

IMAGE: Congress MPs Rahul Gandhi and K C Venugopal at Parliament complex, in New Delhi. Photograph: ANI Photo
21:28   6cr Tiranaga selfies uploaded on govt website
More than six crore selfies with the Indian flag have been uploaded on the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' website so far, the government said on Tuesday as Union culture minister G Kishan Reddy asserted that the entire nation has come together to make the campaign a success.

The culture ministry in a statement shared various milestones achieved as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

'In another stupendous achievement, more than six crore 'Tiranga' selfies have been uploaded on the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' website till date. The programme conceived in a hybrid format envisaged a physical and emotional connect with the flag itself in the personal context and also envisaged a collective celebration and amplification of patriotic fervour through the act of uploading a selfie on the special website created for this initiative,' it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a call on July 22 to join the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' movement by hoisting or displaying the national flag at homes.

The culture ministry, the nodal agency for the 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,' had also appealed to people to upload selfies or photographs with 'Tiranga' on the campaign's website.

Grand celebrations were held at the Red Fort by the government to mark the 76th Independence Day as part of the 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' with Prime Minister Modi sharing the roadmap for the next 25 years -- 'Amrit Kaal'.

More than five crore 'Tiranga' selfies had been uploaded till around 4 pm on the 76th Independence Day, the ministry had said on Monday.

Reddy thanked the citizens of the country and said, "The entire nation has come together to make the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign a success. This kind of enthusiasm from people across different walks of life is a symbol of unwavering spirit of unity and integrity of the nation."

The entire nation took part in 'Har Ghar Tiranga' and more than six crore selfies have been uploaded till date. It reflects our love and pride for this great nation, he said, adding, "I would request all those who have taken selfies with the 'Tiranga' to continue uploading pictures on the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' portal to continue the festive spirit."

As India embarks on its 76th year of Independence, wrapping up the 75 week countdown to August 15, 2022 was the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' initiative of the government driven by the nodal ministry for 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' -- the ministry of culture earlier said.

"Thank You India, for furthering the clarion call of Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji to join the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' movement. Whenever the prime minister has made a call to the citizens of the nation, be it in asking those who do not require LPG subsidies to give it up, or recognising the efforts of the COVID-19 front line warriors or in the case of Har Ghar Tiranga, people have responded with overwhelming enthusiasm," he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Several new milestones like a Guinness World Record of 'world's largest human image of a waving national flag' at a cricket stadium in Chandigarh, with the participation of 5,885 people, has been created during the campaign.

The event was organised by the NID Foundation and Chandigarh University to strengthen the campaign as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, it added.

Also, to mark the celebrations under the campaign as a part of the ongoing 'Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav', the district administration of Srinagar established a 'national record' by displaying a 1850-m national flag at Bakshi Stadium to celebrate 75 years of Independence, the ministry said.    

The government of India had taken various steps to ensure the supply of flags across India.

Post Offices in the country started selling flags from 1st August 2022.

In addition, state governments also tied up with various stakeholders for the supply and sale of flags.

The Indian National Flag was also registered on the GeM portal.The government of India had also tied up with various e-commerce websites and self-help groups to streamline the process of the supply of the Flag.  -- PTI
20:22   Threat to Ambanis: Accused remanded till Aug 20
A holiday court in Mumbai on Tuesday remanded a jeweller, arrested for allegedly threatening to kill industrialist Mukesh Ambani and his family members, to police custody till August 20.

The police had on Monday arrested the jeweller, Bishnu Vidu Bhoumik (56), for allegedly calling up the landline number of Reliance Foundation Hospital here and threatening to kill Ambani and his family members.       

Bhoumik, who runs a jewellery shop in south Mumbai, was apprehended from suburban Dahisar.

The police produced the accused before the holiday court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate S V Dindokar, and sought his custody stating that they want to probe the motive behind the calls.

The police further informed the court that the accused seemed to be a habitual offender and hence, they wanted to conduct a thorough probe to ascertain if any other person was involved in the case.

Opposing the remand plea, Bhoumik's lawyer Vijaykumar Mane argued his client was not directly related to the case as the phone calls were made to the private hospital and not to Ambani, who is the chairman & managing director of Reliance Industries.

Mane also told the court that the accused was mentally ill and undergoing psychiatric treatment.

After hearing both sides, the court remanded the accused to police custody till August 20.

According to the police, Bhoumik had allegedly made nine calls on the landline number of Reliance Foundation Hospital in Girgaum around 10.30 am on Monday and threatened to kill Ambani and his family members. He had also allegedly hurled abuses.

A case was registered against him at the D B Marg police station under section 506 (2) of the Indian Penal Code for criminal intimidation.

In February 2021, a sports utility vehicle (SUV) laden with explosives was found near Ambani's south Mumbai residence 'Antilia'. Later, some people, including the then- police officer Sachin Waze, were arrested in connection with the incident.   -- PTI
19:43   Shrikant Tyagi denied bail in cheating case
Politician Shrikant Tyagi's bail application in a cheating case was on Tuesday rejected by a local court in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar district.

However, the district court has granted bail to two of Tyagi's aides who were accused of harbouring him during the period he went absconding from Noida, a lawyer said.

Tyagi is currently in jail for assaulting and abusing a woman resident of his society in Noida on August 5.

He was arrested from Meerut on August 9 after being at large for four days since the incident.

While Tyagi claimed to be a Bharatiya Janata Party functionary, the party has denied any links with him.

His bail plea was heard in the court of Additional Civil Judge Noopur Srivastava, Assistant Prosecution Officer Premlata Yadav said.

Tyagi was booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating) and 482 (using false property mark) after he was found illegally using cars that had UP MLA's sticker and government symbol on them.

"The court has denied Shrikant Tyagi's bail application over IPC 419, 420 and 482 charges. The court has granted bail to Nakul Tyagi and Sanjay," Yadav told PTI.

Nakul and Sanjay along with their associate Rahul were arrested with Tyagi on August 9 from Meerut and were booked under Indian Penal Code Section 216 (harbouring an offender).

Earlier on August 10, the local court had rejected Tyagi's bail plea in the assault case.

He was booked under IPC Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault or use of criminal force on any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of public peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 447 (criminal trespass), according to police.  -- PTI
19:02   Clash along Assam-Arunachal border; AASU stages road blockade
A group of miscreants allegedly attacked a Village Defence Party in Assam's Lakhimpur district injuring six persons in the area bordering Arunachal Pradesh, police said on Tuesday.

The incident has sparked tension with local units of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) staging a blockade on the road leading to Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday morning.

A senior police officer said the incident took place in Rupahi Rajgarh area at around 1 am on Monday after the VDP questioned four youths from the neighbouring state on finding them moving in a vehicle in the locality.

"The VDP let the youths go after some questioning. However, they returned after some time with around 40 miscreants, who attacked the VDP personnel," he added.

At least six VDP members were injured in the incident, the official said.

At present, there are over 22,000 registered VDPs in Assam.

Protesting against the attack and demanding immediate arrest of the culprits, the local units of the AASU blocked the road leading to the neighbouring state on Tuesday.

When senior government officials from Arunachal Pradesh reached the spot and gave an assurance of stern action against the culprits, the AASU withdrew the road blockade.

Assam and Arunachal Pradesh share an 804.1-km border in Udalguri, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, and Charaideo districts.

Assam has boundary dispute with Arunachal Pradesh at 1,200 places, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told the state assembly last year.

After Independence, Arunachal Pradesh was a centrally-administered region.

Later it became a Union Territory before attaining full statehood in 1987. -- PTI
18:02   Gujarat polls: Kejriwal promises free education if AAP elected to power
In another pre-poll guarantee for Gujarat, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced free and quality education to the people of the poll-bound state and auditing of private schools if the Aam Aadmi Party was elected to power in the year-end assembly elections.

The AAP convener also promised to improve infrastructure of the existing government schools and open new ones in large numbers across the state if his party comes to power in the state currently ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"All those born in Gujarat will get free and quality education. We will not force anybody. If parents have money, they can send their kids to private schools. But if they do not have money, we will not let the lack of money come in the way of good education for their kids. We will provide them best education for free," he said at a town hall meeting in Bhuj.

Kejriwal said if the AAP forms the next government in Gujarat, all private schools will be audited and made to return 'extra money' collected from parents like what has been done in Delhi, where his party is in power.

The Delhi CM said an AAP government will ensure that the practice of private schools selling textbooks and uniforms to students is stopped forthwith.

When the AAP forms a government in Gujarat, service of teachers working on a contract basis will be regularised and they will be offered job security, he said. It will also be ensured that government schoolteachers are not given non-teaching jobs, the AAP leader said.

Kejriwal guaranteed creation of teaching jobs in new schools.

"The government will also make sure that facilities of higher education for women are created across the state and issues faced by 'Vidya Sahayaks' (education assistants) are sorted out," he added.

Kejriwal, during his earlier visits to Gujarat, had announced a host of pre-poll guarantees related to electricity, jobs, unemployment allowance, women and tribals, among others.   -- PTI
17:18   KPSS urges Kashmiri Pandits to vacate the valley
Kashmiri Pandit Sangharash Samiti (KPSS) on Tuesday asked the community members to leave the valley in the wake of increased attacks on them by the militants.

"With another deadly attack on Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir, the terrorists have made it clear that they are going to kill all the Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir valley," KPSS chief Sanjay Tickoo said.

Tickoo said he has urged all Kashmiri Pandits to leave the valley and move to safer places like Jammu and Delhi.

"We have seen this for the last 32 years now. The government has failed in providing security to the minorities, especially Kashmiri Pandits. How long are we going to die like this? Enough is enough," he told PTI.

The KPSS chief said the victims of Tuesday's attack had approached senior officials of the administration to move them to safer places in view of the intelligence inputs that suggested that terrorists might target more minority community members.

"It is ironic that the officials told them that they have to live in their villages. What is the deal here? They have inputs about possible attacks and yet they do not secure us," he said.

Tickoo wondered about the intent of the militants in targeting the Kashmiri Pandits.

"Why did they not strike during the Independence Day parade? Why was there no attack on Amarnath yatra? How come tourists are safe in Kashmir but Kashmiri Pandits are being targeted?" he asked.

Asked about the impact of his call for the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits, Tickoo said he was ready to face it.

"The government can book me under the Public Safety Act (PSA)," he added.  -- PTI
16:29   Rebel Sena MLA slaps catering manager over food
Shiv Sena MLA Santosh Bangar slapped an employee of a kitchen preparing mid-day meal in Maharashtra's Hingoli district, alleging poor quality food was being served to labourers.
A video of the incident, which took place on Monday, went viral on social media, showing Bangar slapping the employee twice while questioning him about the food. 
Bangar later told reporters that the food for the mid-day meal scheme was prepared at the kitchen with inferior quality material. 
"This is loot of government (funds). They are playing with the lives of poor people. The state government should act against the culprits," claimed the Sena legislator, who is part of the faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. -- PTI 
16:19   India 'badly needed' Bharat Jodo Yatra: Congress
Emphasising the significance of its forthcoming "Bharat Jodo Yatra', the Congress on Tuesday said the country "badly needed" such a programme as destructive forces were very active now-a-days and were "patronised" by the BJP-led government at the Centre.
As India is passing through a crucial time when divisive and communal forces are active with a mission to divide it on religious basis, the party, which had fought against the British and was responsible for the independence of the nation, cannot sit idle or remain a mute spectator.   

Addressing the party workers and leaders at Indira Bhavan, the party headquarters here,  Tariq Anwar,  the AICC general secretary in-charge of Kerala, said it had been decided during the recent Udaypur 'Chintan Shivir' that the party should organise a big programme to connect with the people and strongly oppose the ideology of divisive forces, floated by the ruling BJP and RSS.

As India is a peculiar nation with people of different castes, religions and communities living together, this type of "divisive politics" or "conspiracy" would weaken the country, he said.

"So, we think, Bharat Jodo is the need of the hour.. it is badly needed. Because destructive forces are very much active now-a-days. And, we are sorry to say that these forces are actually patronised by our union government," Anwar said. 

So, the Congress has decided to come forward and convince the entire country by conducting a padayatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

He was speaking after inaugurating the coordination committee office under the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee  (KPCC) in connection with the Yatra in the state.

"Rahul Gandhi will  lead the yatra.. He decided  to walk across the entire country and reach out to the people and convince them that this is not the right path of the country," the leader said. 

The Congress, earlier this month, had announced that it would launch from September 7 Kanyakumari to Kashmir 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in which party workers and leaders including Rahul Gandhi will participate. 
The padayatra (foot march) covering 12 states and two Union Territories will be about 3,500-km long and will be completed in about 150 days.

The party also appealed to all those wanting to be part of a gigantic national endeavour to provide an alternative to the 'politics of fear, bigotry and prejudice' and to the economics of livelihood destruction, increasing unemployment and growing inequalities, to participate in the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra.' -- PTI
16:18   BCG vaccine for tuberculosis protects diabetics from COVID-19: Study
A widely used tuberculosis vaccine protected people with Type 1 diabetes from COVID-19, according to a study that demonstrates the potential of multiple doses of the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) preventive against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses.
The study, published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine on Monday, was conducted on 144 patients with type 1 diabetes at the start of the pandemic, much before COVID-specific vaccines were available.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the US found that 12.5 per cent of placebo-treated individuals and 1 per cent of BCG-treated individuals had confirmed COVID-19, yielding a vaccine effectiveness of 92 per cent.
The BCG-vaccinated group also displayed protective effects against other infectious diseases, including fewer symptoms, lesser severity and fewer infectious disease events per patient.
No BCG-related systemic adverse events occurred, according to the researchers.

BCG's broad-based infection protection suggests that, in addition to COVID-19, the vaccine may potentially provide protection against new SARS-CoV-2 variants and other pathogens, they said.
The researchers are hoping the results will pave the way for a large scale study of the effects of the BCG vaccine in patients with type 1 diabetes, considered among the most vulnerable groups to COVID-19.
The BCG vaccine is an avirulent tuberculosis strain Mycobacterium bovis historically given to protect against tuberculosis and, since its introduction in 1921, has been the most widely administered vaccine in the history of medicine.
Considered to be extremely safe, BCG is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines and is given to roughly 100 million children per year globally, the researchers said.
BCG is also one of the most affordable medicines, costing less than a dollar a dose in many parts of the world, they said.
"Multiple studies have shown that adults with type 1 diabetes who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are at increased risk of severe illness," said Denise Faustman, director of the Immunobiology Laboratory at MGH.
"We found that three doses of BCG administered prior to the start of the pandemic prevented infection and limited severe symptoms from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases," Faustman said.
The researchers noted that unlike the antigen-specific vaccines currently in use to prevent COVID-19, BCG's mechanism of action is not limited to a specific virus or infection.
The participants in the COVID trial had previously enrolled in a clinical trial testing the effectiveness of the BCG vaccine for type 1 diabetes.
16:12   Flags worth over Rs 60cr procured via govt portal during July 1-Aug 15

More than 2.36 crore national flags worth over Rs 60 crore were procured by different government departments and states from public buying portal GeM from July 1 to August 15, according to an official data.
These procurements were carried out for the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign.
The Government e-Marketplace (GeM) was launched on August 9, 2016 by the commerce ministry to create an open and transparent procurement platform for government buyers.
The platform is open for procurement by all government buyers -- central and state ministries, departments, public sector enterprises, autonomous institutions and local bodies.
"By virtue of being an online platform it was possible for GeM to rapidly onboard sellers and meet very large requirements for an item that has had no history of procurement at such a scale. The team at GeM regularly interacted with buyer entities to ensure that the procurement process was smooth, and delivery was made in time," GeM CEO P K Singh said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had said that public response to his government's 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign is an indication of the revival of the country's collective conscience and its strength, which even "big socialists and experts of social science" cannot imagine.
The prime minister had given a call on July 22 to strengthen the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' movement by hoisting or displaying the national flag at homes.
As many as 4,159 sellers have registered at the GeM platform to supply the flags. -- PTI
16:09   What about past promises: TRS on Modi's I-Day speech
Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi setting the 'Panch Pran' (five resolves) target during his Independence Day speech, the ruling TRS in Telangana on Tuesday asked as to what happens to his past promises.
"New goals for 2047 is great. But what about your past promises for 15th August, 2022 Hon'ble PM @narendramodi Ji? Nation wants to Know...Where is the accountability if you don't even acknowledge your own targets & subsequent failures in accomplishing the same?," TRS Working President K T Rama Rao tweeted.
Rama Rao, son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, cited media reports of Modi talking about doubling farmers income by 2022, the country's economy doubling in size to USD five trillion by 2022 and the 2022 deadline for water, electricity and toilet in every house. 
Modi on Monday said the time has come to cleanse the country of corruption and nepotism and asked people to have 'nafrat' (hatred) for these twin evils that go beyond politics, as he set a 'Panch Pran' (five resolves) target to make India a developed nation in 25 years. -- PTI
15:54   We're managing govt, not running it: K'taka Min
With a Karnataka minister's alleged remarks that the "government is not functioning, we are somehow managing", causing an embarrassment to his administration, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday tried to do damage control by stating that the comments were made in a "different context".
He also said that he will talk to other ministers, who are upset about the remarks made by the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy, and have openly expressed their displeasure against him.
Madhuswamy's comments have drawn criticism from some ministers, with Horticulture Minister Munirathna even advising him to quit the ministry.
"He (Madhuswamy) had said in a different context. I will talk to him. The context was different, so there is no need to take it in a wrong sense. He had spoken specifically with respect to some cooperative related issue. Things are fine, there is no problem," Bommai told reporters here.
When told that several of his cabinet colleagues are upset and are criticising Madhuswamy, he said, "I will talk to all of them....."
A purported phone conversation between Madhuswamy and Bhaskar, a Channapatna-based social worker, had gone viral on Saturday.
"We are not running a government here, we are just managing, pulling through for the next 7-8 months," Madhuswamy can be heard telling Bhaskar in response to his complaints against a cooperative bank, with respect to some farmers' issues.
In the purported phone conversation, while responding to the social worker's complaint, the Minister can be heard even expressing "helplessness" over Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar's "inaction".
"I know these issues. I've brought this to the notice of Somashekhar. He is not taking action. What to do?" Madhuswamy can be heard saying.
Somashekar has hit out at Madhuswamy over his comments, saying, "He (Madhuswamy) feels that he is the only intelligent person, he has to remove it from his head first."
Minister Munirathna has said, Madhuswamy should resign from the Ministry immediately, before making such a statement.
"He is part of the government and is participating in every matter at the cabinet, so he also has a share in it... being in a responsible position and making such statements is not right, it is not befitting to his seniority," he said. -- PTI 
15:42   Raju Srivastava still on ventilator, condition 'slowly' getting better
There is a slight improvement in the condition of popular comedian-actor Raju Srivastava, who continues to remain in the ICU on life support, his business manager said Tuesday.
Srivastava was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here after he suffered a heart attack on August 10. The 58-year-old stand-up comic underwent an angioplasty the same day. 
"Raju's condition is slowly getting better. He is responding to the treatment. There is an improvement in his health and he can now move his body parts a bit. 
"He continues to remain in the ICU and on ventilator. Doctors have informed that it will take about a week for him to regain consciousness," the artist's manager Nayan Soni told PTI. 
Last week, Srivastava's family released a statement on his official Instagram page, saying his condition was "stable" and requested people to "ignore any rumour/fake news being circulated". 
A familiar face in the entertainment industry since the 1980s, Srivastava catapulted to fame after participating in the first season of the reality stand-up comedy show "The Great Indian Laughter Challenge" in 2005. 
Srivastava has featured in Hindi films such as "Maine Pyar Kiya", "Baazigar", the remake of "Bombay to Goa" and "Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya". He is also the chairman of the Film Development Council Uttar Pradesh. -- PTI 
15:34   China sanctions 7 top Taiwanese officials after 2nd US delegation's visit
China on Tuesday announced sanctions on seven alleged independence "die-hard" Taiwanese politicians and officials, including Taipei's representative to Washington, amid concerns over the increasing visits by foreign dignitaries to the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.
The sanctions were announced by Beijing following trips to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August and a US Congressional delegation led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey on Monday.
Also Last week, Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Agne Vaiciukeviciute visited Taiwan. Lithuania is part of the European Union.
China has already imposed sanctions against Pelosi and Agne and held high-intensity military drills in Taiwan Strait, sparking fears of an armed conflict with Taiwan, which China claims as part of its mainland.
After Pelosi's visit, China is concerned that there will be a flurry of visits by top officials from the US and allied countries to the self-ruled Island.
China announced sanctions against seven Taiwanese government officials and politicians, saying they pushed a pro-independence agenda for the breakaway island.
The Taiwan Affairs Office of the ruling Communist Party of China said on Tuesday those sanctioned and their family members would not be allowed to enter mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau. They will not be permitted to do business with the Chinese mainland.
"Their affiliated companies and financial sponsors would not be allowed to gain profits from the mainland," a spokesman of the office was quoted by state-run Xinhua as saying.
The Taiwan office would take other necessary measures and those sanctioned would be held accountable for life," the spokesman said.
"For a period of time, a small number of Taiwan independence die-hards have tried their best to collude with external forces to carry out independence' provocations, deliberately inciting cross-strait confrontation, and wantonly undermining the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. They performed extremely poorly during Pelosi's trip to Taiwan," China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman said. 
"The names of diehard separatists announced Tuesday are only a part of the list," the spokesperson said. -- PTI 
14:51   Talaq-e-Hasan not akin to triple talaq: SC
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the practice of divorce in Muslims through 'Talaq-e-Hasan' --which is pronounced once a month over a period of three months -- is not akin to triple talaq and the women also have an option of 'khula'.
In Islam, a man can take "talaq", while a woman can part ways with her husband through "khula".
A bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh said if husband and wife cannot live together, it can also grant divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown under Article 142 of the Constitution.
The top court was hearing a plea seeking to declare 'Talaq-e-Hasan' and all other forms of "unilateral extra-judicial talaq as void and unconstitutional", claiming they were "arbitrary, irrational, and violated fundamental rights".
"This is not triple talaq in that sense. Marriage being contractual in nature, you also have an option of khula. If two people cannot live together, we are also granting divorce on ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage. Are you open to divorce by mutual consent if 'mehar' (gift given in cash or kind by groom to bride) is taken care of?
"Prima facie, I don't agree with petitioners. I don't want this to become an agenda for any other reason," the bench observed.
Senior advocate Pinky Anand, appearing for the petitioner Benazeer Heena, submitted that though the apex court has declared triple talaq unconstitutional, it left the issue of Talaq-E-Hasan undecided.
The top court asked Anand to seek instructions whether in view of allegation of the irrevocable breakdown of marriage, would the petitioner be willing for settlement by process of divorce on amount being paid over and above 'mehar'. 
It also told the petitioner that dissolution of marriage is also possible without the intervention of this court through 'mubarat' and asked her counsel to seek instructions.
The apex court will now hear the matter on August 29. 
The petition, filed by Ghaziabad resident Heena, who claimed to be a victim of Talaq-E-Hasan, also sought a direction to the Centre to frame guidelines for neutral and uniform grounds of divorce and procedure for all citizens.
In Talaq-e-Hasan, divorce gets formalised after the third utterance in the third month if cohabitation is not resumed during this period. However, if cohabitation resumes after the first or second utterance of talaq, the parties are assumed to have reconciled and the first or second utterances of talaq are deemed invalid. -- PTI 
14:45   Amul, Mother Dairy hike milk prices by Rs 2 per ltr
The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which markets its dairy products under the Amul brand, on Tuesday increased the prices of its Gold, Taaza and Shakti milk brands by Rs 2 per litre.
The new prices will be effective from Wednesday, the GCMMF said in a statement.
"The GCMMF has decided to increase the milk prices by Rs 2 per litre in the markets of Ahmedabad and Saurashtra region in Gujarat, Delhi NCR,West Bengal, Mumbai and all other markets where Amul milk is sold," the Anand-headquartered federation said.
In Ahmedabad and Saurashtra markets, now the price of 500 ml of Amul Gold will be Rs 31, Amul Taaza - Rs 25 and Amul Shakti- Rs 28, the statement said. 
Mother Dairy has decided to increase milk prices by Rs 2 per litre in the Delhi-NCR with effect from Wednesday due to rise in its procurement and other input costs.
In March, Mother Dairy increased milk prices by Rs 2 per litre in the Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region).
Mother Dairy is one of the leading milk suppliers in the Delhi-NCR market and sells more than 30 lakh litres per day in poly packs and through vending machines.
A company official on Tuesday said it is "compelled" to raise its liquid milk prices by Rs 2 per litre with effect from August 17, 2022.  The new prices will be applicable for all milk variants.
Full cream milk will cost Rs 61 per litre from Wednesday, up from Rs 59 per litre.
Prices of toned milk will increase to Rs 51 while double toned milk will rise to Rs 45 per litre. Cow milk price have been hiked to Rs 53 per litre.
Bulk vended milk (token milk) price has been raised to Rs 48 from Rs 46 per litre.
The company has witnessed an increase in input costs in the last five months, the official said.
14:26   Nitish keeps home, Tejashwi gets health, roads
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar retained the all-important home department, giving him direct control over the state police, as portfolios were on Tuesday allocated in the new cabinet. 
Kumar has also kept with himself general administration, cabinet secretariat, election and any other departments not assigned to others, said an official communication.
Deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav has got key portfolios like health, road construction, urban housing and development and rural works.
Yadav's elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav has been given environment, forestry and climate change.
Besides the CM and the deputy CM, only Vijay Kumar Chaudhary (finance, commercial tax and parliamentary affairs) and Bijendra Yadav (power and planning and development) have got more than one portfolios. -- PTI
14:15   WPI inflation eases to 13.93% in Jul
The wholesale price-based inflation eased to 13.93 per cent in July on easing prices of food articles and manufactured products.
The Wholesale Price Index-based inflation was 15.18 per cent last month and at a record high of 15.88 per cent in May. 
It was 11.57 per cent in July last year.
The WPI inflation continued its declining trend for the second month in July but remained in double-digits for the 16th consecutive month beginning April last year.
Inflation in food articles in July eased to 10.77 per cent from 14.39 per cent in June. 
The rate of price rise in vegetables declined substantially to 18.25 per cent in July against 56.75 per cent in the previous month.
In the fuel and power basket, inflation was 43.75 per cent in July compared to 40.38 per cent in the last month.
Inflation in manufactured products and oil seeds was 8.16 per cent and (-)4.06  per cent, respectively.
The Reserve Bank of India mainly looks at retail inflation to frame monetary policy. 
Retail inflation remained above the Reserve Bank's comfort level for the seventh month in a row and was at 6.71 per cent in July. 
To tame stubbornly high inflation, the RBI has hiked the key interest rate three times this year to 5.40 per cent.
The central bank had projected retail inflation to average 6.7 per cent in 2022-23. -- PTI
13:21   Bihar cabinet expands, 31 ministers inducted
The newly formed cabinet in Bihar expanded on Tuesday when 31 ministers took oath, with the Rashtriya Janata Dal getting a lion's share, and care having been taken to represent all sections of the society, including the minorities.
Among the ministers who took oath, 16 were from RJD, 11 from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD-U, two from Congress, one from ex-CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha and one Independent.
The number of Muslims in the new cabinet is five, up from only one in the previous NDA government that fell last week after the chief minister severed ties with the BJP.
The RJD has, predictably, given a significant number of seven berths to Yadavs, including Tej Pratap Yadav, the elder son of party president Lalu Prasad.
It, however, also gave representation to the upper castes in keeping with the wider social outreach by deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. 
Among those from the RJD quota were Kartikeya Singh, a Bhumihar MLC, and Sudhakar Singh, a Rajput, whose father Jagadanand Singh is currently the state president.
The JD-U has retained its ministers from the previous dispensation.
The Congress is represented by a Dalit and a Muslim. -- PTI 
13:12   Heavy rain in Mumbai, IMD predicts more in next 24 hrs
Mumbai witnessed heavy showers on Tuesday as the rain intensity increased in the city after a gap of a few days.
The weather department has predicted occasional intense rain spells in the city in the next 24 hours.
According to civic officials, there was no report so far of any major water-logging in low-lying areas. Trains and bus services of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport were running normally, they said.
Early in the morning, there was either no rain or light showers in most parts of the city.The heavy downpour started around 10 am, they said.
Between 10 am and 11 am, Parel and Dadar received 14 mm rainfall, while Malabar Hill and Nair Hospital areas received 19 mm rain, a civic official said. 
In the eastern suburbs, 12 mm rainfall was recorded at the Vikhroli fire station and 11 mm at Chembur fire station during the same period, while the Malvani fire station and Chincholi fire station in western suburbs recorded 22 mm and 20 mm rain.
The Meteorological department has predicted a generally cloudy sky with moderate rain in the city and suburbs with a possibility of occasional intense spells for the next 24 hours.
The city recorded 7.91 mm rainfall in the 24 hour-period till 8 am on Wednesday, while the eastern and western suburbs recorded 12.94 mm and 12.33 mm rainfall, respectively, another civic official said.
There will be a high tide of 4.39 metres in the Arabian Sea here at 2.57 pm, the official said.
The rain intensity had reduced in Mumbai over the last few days when most parts of the city received light showers.  -- PTI
12:56   2 KP brothers shot at by terrorist, 1 killed
A Kashmiri Pandit died and his brother was injured after they were shot by terrorists in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, police said.
A police official identified the deceased as Sunil Kumar and the injured as Pintu Kumar.
"Terrorists fired upon civilians in an apple orchard in Chotipora area of #Shopian. One person died and one injured. Both belong to minority community. Injured person has been shifted to hospital. Area #cordoned off. Further details shall follow," a police spokesperson said.
Terrorists have stepped up attacks in the Kashmir valley over the past week. A policeman was killed in Nowhatta on Sunday and a migrant labourer in Bandipora last week.
Two grenade attacks took place in Budgam and Srinagar districts on Monday.
12:30   Bus carrying 39 soldiers falls into riverbed in JK
A bus carrying 39 security forces personnel fell into a riverbed in Jammu and Kashmir today.

The bus was on its way from Chandanwari to Pahalgam. 

The bus was carrying 37 Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel and two Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel.
12:24   Centre seeks urgent hearing of AIFF case after FIFA suspends India, SC to hear on Aug 17
The Centre on Tuesday sought urgent hearing in the Supreme Court on the All India Football Federation matter in the wake of FIFA suspending India for "undue influence from third parties" and stripping the country of the right to host the Under-17 Women's World Cup. 
The country is scheduled to host the FIFA tournament from October 11-30.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, that "important development" has taken place and FIFA has sent a letter suspending India which is in public domain and needs to be brought on record. 
The bench told Mehta that the matter is listed for Wednesday and it would try to take it up as a first matter.
Mehta said FIFA was in Geneva and it has taken certain decisions which are important developments for the country and need to be brought before the court. 
"I request that the AIFF matter pending before the court be urgently heard", he said.
India was on Tuesday suspended by world governing body FIFA for "undue influence from third parties" and stripped the country of the right to host the Under-17 Women's World Cup, scheduled for October. 
This is the first time that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been banned by FIFA in its 85-year-old history. 
A ban on India was on the cards after the Supreme Court removed Praful Patel as AIFF president on May 18 for not holding elections due in December 2020.
The court had appointed a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by former apex court judge AR Dave, to manage the affairs of the national federation.
11:37   TMC to observe 'Khela Hobe Dibas' today
The Trinamool Congress will observe 'Khela Hobe Dibas' on Tuesday, with party leaders organising football matches across West Bengal  to promote sports.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she is looking forward to greater participation by the youth to mark the occasion.

'Khela Hobe' (game is on) had been the battle cry of the TMC during the high-octane assembly polls last year, when the party defeated the BJP to storm back to power for the third consecutive term.
Banerjee had last year announced that August 16 would be observed as 'Khela Hobe Dibas'.
"I want to extend my heartfelt wishes on #KhelaHobeDibas. After the exemplary success of the event last year, we look forward to greater participation by the youth today. Let this day uphold the zeal of our young citizens, who are the most credible harbingers of progress!" Banerjee tweeted on Tuesday.
Football matches will be organised to promote sports and as a mark of respect to 16 people who died in a stampede during a football match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 1980.
"All the party leaders have been instructed to organise programmes at every block of the state," senior TMC leader Tapas Ray said. 
11:06   FIFA move extremely harsh: Bhaichung Bhutia
Former captain Bhaichung Bhutia on Tuesday termed the FIFA's decision to ban Indian football "very harsh" but in it also saw an opportunity to get the country's sport in order. 
India was suspended by world governing body FIFA for "undue influence from third parties", the development jeopardising the country's prospects of hosting the Under-17 Women's World Cup, scheduled from October 11-30.
"Very unfortunate that FIFA has banned Indian football and at the same time I feel it's a very harsh decision of FIFA to ban Indian football," Bhutia, one of the sport's icons in the country, said. 
"But at the same time time I feel it's a great opportunity for us to get our system right. It's very important that all the stakeholders -- the federation, the state associations, to come together and get the system right and everybody work for the betterment of Indian football," the Sikkimese sniper added.
FIFA said the suspension was effective immediately and that the transgression -- constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.
This is the first time the All India Football Federation has been banned by FIFA in its 85 year history.
The AIFF ran into trouble after former president Praful Patel stayed in office beyond his term with the Supreme Court ruling it invalid and ousting him from the post. The SC had placed the AIFF under a Committee of Administrators (CoA).
A team of FIFA-AFC had visited the country from June 21 to 23 after which the world body had set strict deadlines to approve the new constitution by July 31 and hold elections by Sept 15.
Former India star Shabbir Ali called it extremely unfortunate and a massive setback for Indian football. 
"Whatever has happened is extremely unfortunate and it is a setback for Indian football. That said, I am hopeful that the suspension will be lifted sooner than later once the elections are held, which FIFA has categorically mentioned as well," he said.
"The U-17 Women's World Cup should be held in India and I am optimistic that things will fall in place and India won't be robbed off the showpiece event," added the Dhyan Chand Awardee, who was one of India's best players in the 1970s and 80s.
11:02   Shivamogga clashes: Police shoot accused in leg
A man, who was suspected to be involved in clashes Karnataka's Shivamogga and stabbed a person, was shot in the leg when he allegedly tried to attack the policemen who went to detain him, police said on Tuesday.

Mohammed Zabi alias Charbi (30), a resident of Marnami Bailu in this district headquarters town, is recovering in a hospital after the incident today.

According to police, Prem Singh (aged 20) was stabbed after clashes broke out between two communities in the town over putting up banners of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and 18th century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan on Monday.

Soon after the clash, prohibitory orders under section 144 of the IPC were imposed in the town. 

A case of attempt to murder was registered under section 307 of IPC against Nadeem, Tanveer, Charbi and Abdul Rehman and they were arrested. 

The district administration also declared holiday to schools and colleges in Bhadravati and Shivamogga towns today.

On Tuesday morning when a police team had gone to detain Zabi, he allegedly tried to attack the personnel. In self defence, sub-inspector Manjunath S Kuki of Vinoba Nagar police station shot in his right leg, they said.

He was rushed to a government hospital, where he is recovering. 

Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Alok Kumar told reporters that the stab victim hails from Rajasthan and was an employee of a garment shop where the clashes broke out.

Singh was not involved in the clashes but was stabbed by four people who have been arrested.
10:27   20 people died in bus-oil tanker crash in Pakistan's Punjab province
At least 20 people were burnt alive in a collision between a passenger bus and an oil tanker in the Punjab province of Pakistan on Tuesday.
The accident occurred on a motorway in Multan, some 350kms from Lahore reportedly because of overspeeding.
Traffic remained suspended on the motorway for several hours after the accident.  
"Twenty people have perished in a collision between a bus which was going to Karachi from Lahore and an oil tanker. After the collision, both the bus and tanker caught fire and the passengers were burnt alive," a Rescue 1122 spokesperson added that six passengers who suffered burn injuries were shifted to Nishtar Hospital in Multan where their condition is stated to be critical.
"Most bodies of the perished passengers are burnt completely and beyond recognition. These bodies will be handed over to the families after a DNA test," he said.
He further said after the accident the fire engulfed both vehicles and the rescue operation was very difficult for the rescue and firefighter teams.
Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi has expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the accident and directed the health authorities concerned to provide better treatment to the injured. He also directed the administration to cooperate with the families of the deceased to identify them.
On Saturday, at least 13 people were killed after a loaded truck collided with a passenger bus in Pakistan's Punjab province.
Road accidents have become all too frequent in Pakistan, pointing to the fact that shoddy infrastructure, dilapidated vehicles and lack of compliance with traffic rules add to the overall situation. -- PTI 
Representative image
Representative image
10:25   India's investment in knowledge since 1947 is paying off today: US Drug Czar
India's investment in education and knowledge in the 75 years of its independence is now paying off, America's top drug policy official Dr. Rahul Gupta has said, recalling his own upbringing in India when his parents gave high priority to studies.
India-born Gupta, the first medical doctor to ever lead the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), also said that both India and the US have a bright future together and it cannot be reversed.
"We have a really bright future together as two nations that are going forward and cannot be reversed. The India way is proving every single day, to be the way to move forward along with your friends and your colleagues, finding common interests, leading people where they are and moving forward," Gupta, who is also known as America's Drug Czar, said.
"When I was growing up (in India), I was also always thinking, why would my parents focus so much on studies? Why is it study study study? What we found was, as I grew up, that knowledge is the lever that moves mountains and that's where India invested its power, its mind, its youth, all the way from 1947," he said.
"It is what is paying off today," Dr Gupta said in his remarks at a reception hosted by India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, at the India House to celebrate 76th Independence Day.
"And that is the really important reason why working right now in the White House, I feel not only comfortable but also enthusiastic that we're looking at a future of two countries, the largest and the oldest democracy, working together to solve some of the most complex, difficult, often turbulent problems," he said.
"Even just last month, my team was in India to execute the first ever Counter Narcotics agreement. The United States and India see eye to eye on that. We know how important it is to address drug policy, counter narcotics, as well as the aspects that lead to it," Dr Gupta said. -- PTI 
10:22   India logs 8,813 Covid infections in a day; active cases decline
India's COVID-19 case tally increased by 8,813 in a day to reach 4,42,77,194, while active infections have declined to 1,11,252, according to the Union health ministry data on Tuesday.
The death toll has climbed to  5,27,098 with 29 more fatalities, including one death reconciled by Kerala, the data updated at 8 am stated.
Active cases declined by 6,256 in a day and now comprise 0.25 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was at 98.56 per cent, the health ministry said.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,36,38,844, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.19 per cent. 
The daily positivity rate was 4.15 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 4.79 per cent, according to the health ministry.
09:56   BJP tops brass to meet to discuss Bihar developments
The Bharatiya Janata Party's central leadership will hold a meeting with the party's Bihar unit leaders in Delhi on Tuesday, days after the Janata Dal-United parted ways with it and formed a new government in the state.
They are likely to deliberate upon the BJP's future course of action, and the strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, sources said, adding organisational changes may also come up for discussion.
The meeting will be chaired by BJP national president J P Nadda and the general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh will also be present.
According to the sources, Union Ministers Ashwini Choubey, Giriraj Singh and Nityanand Rai, and the party's senior leaders Ravi Shankar Prasad and Sushil Modi -- all of whom are from Bihar -- are expected to attend the meeting
BJP Bihar unit president Sanjay Jaiswal, former deputy chief ministers Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi, and former minister in the state government Shahnawaz Hussain are also likely to attend the meeting, they said.
This will be the first meeting of the BJP after JD-U leader Nitish Kumar snapped ties with the saffron party on August 9 and joined hands with the RJD-led alliance.
The two-member Bihar Cabinet comprising Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Prasad Yadav is set to be expanded Tuesday with the induction of close to 30 members from different constituents of the 'Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance).
The swearing-in will take place at 11.30 am at the Raj Bhavan, sources said. -- PTI 
09:26   Modi greets Kejriwal on birthday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday greeted Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on his birthday. 

Kejriwal turned 54 on Tuesday. 

"Birthday greetings to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Ji. I pray for his long life and good health," Modi tweeted. 
09:17   Chinese ship arrives at Lanka port amid concerns
A high-tech Chinese research ship docked at Sri Lanka's Hambantota port this morning amidst India's concern over the vessel's presence in its neighbourhood.

The Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship, 'Yuan Wang 5', was earlier scheduled to arrive on August 11 and remain at the port until August 17 for replenishment.

India's concerns have been focused on Hambantota port in particular. In 2017, Colombo leased the southern port to China Merchant Port Holdings for 99 years, after Sri Lanka was unable to keep its loan repayment commitments, fanning fears over the potential use of the port for military purposes.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Sri Lanka, as a sovereign country, makes its own independent decisions and noted that India would make its judgment on its security concerns based on the prevailing situation in the region, especially in the border areas.
09:01   FIFA suspends India's football federation
India was on Tuesday suspended by world governing body FIFA for "undue influence from third parties" and stripped the country of the right to host the Under-17 Women's World Cup, scheduled for October.
This is the first time the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been banned by FIFA in its 85 year history.
"The Bureau of the FIFA Council has unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with immediate effect due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes," the FIFA said in a statement.
"The suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF's daily affairs."
On May 18, the Supreme Court had ousted Praful Patel as AIFF president for not holding elections due in December 2020 and appointed a three- member Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by former top court judge AR Dave, to manage the affairs of the AIFF.
The CoA also had to frame its constitution in line with the National Sports Code and model guidelines.
The FIFA though is not closing all options for India as it said it is in talks with the spots ministry and hopeful of a positive outcome regarding the women's age group showpiece event.
"The suspension means that the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place in India on 11-30 October 2022, cannot currently be held in India as planned. FIFA is assessing the next steps with regard to the tournament and will refer the matter to the Bureau of the Council if and when necessary.
"FIFA is in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved."
On August 5, FIFA had threatened to suspend the AIFF and strip of its right to host the women's U-17 World Cup, days after the Supreme Court's directive to hold elections of the national federation.
The Supreme Court on August 3 Wednesday directed the executive committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to expeditiously hold elections as per the schedule proposed by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), which is currently running the affairs of the national federation.
The elections are to be held on August 28 and the poll process began on August 13, as the top court approved the time-line prepared by the CoA. -- PTI
08:37   30 ministers to be inducted in Nitish cabinet today
The two-member Bihar Cabinet comprising Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Prasad Yadav is set to be expanded on Tuesday, when close to 30 members will be inducted from different constituents of the 'Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance).
The swearing in will take place at 11.30 am inside the Raj Bhavan, highly placed sources said. 
Among the invitees could be RJD supremo Lalu Prasad who was expected to arrive here on Monday night, though party sources now claim he will be arriving on Tuesday by a morning flight.
The state cabinet can have up to 36 ministers, including the chief minister. The induction of ministers on Tuesday is expected to keep a few berths vacant for future expansion.
An in-principle agreement has been reached that the RJD, which is the largest party in the state assembly, will have a lion's share of ministerial berths, followed by Kumar's Janata Dal-United.
Congress state in-charge Bhakt Charan Das has said that the party is tipped to get three ministerial berths, two of which will be filled on Tuesday.
According to Congress sources who did not wish to be named, Afaque Alam and Murari Gautam have been handpicked as part of the party's strategy to back a Muslim and a Dalit.
Earlier, the names of Shakil Ahmed Khan, an AICC secretary and one of the most vocal MLAs, besides Rajesh Ram, were doing the rounds.

From the RJD camp, there seems to be little doubt over the induction of Tej Pratap Yadav, the maverick elder son of Lalu Prasad. Along expected lines, the party is likely to allot a number of berths to those from the Yadav caste, who form its core base.
Others in contention include national general secretary Alok Mehta and young MLA Sudhakar Singh, whose father Jagadanand Singh is currently the state president and enjoys the respect of Tejashwi Yadav.
The JD-U is likely to retain most of its ministers in the previous NDA government including Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Ashok Choudhary, Bijendra Yadav, Shravan Kumar and Leshi Singh.
It may drop a few who may have been deemed to be close to the BJP and former JD-U president RCP Singh, accused of trying to split the party at the ex-ally's behest.
In addition, Hindustani Awam Morcha's Santosh Suman is also likely to return as a minister. The party, founded by his father and former CM Jitan Ram Manhi, has four MLAs and it had quit the NDA expressing solidarity with Nitish Kumar.
The lone Independent Sumit Kumar Singh, whose late father Narendra Singh was an old associate of the chief minister, had been made a minister in the previous government and he is also likely to be sworn in on Tuesday. -- PTI