Fri, 02 December 2022
Kolkata to shut all hookah bars

Timeline  Refresh

23:56   Kolkata to shut all hookah bars
All hookah bars in Kolkata will be shut down after allegations were received that some of these places were being used for dealing in drugs, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Friday. 

Licence of any bar will also be cancelled if they are found secretly selling hookah, he said. 

"There are allegations of illegal drug use at the hookah bars. The young generation is getting addicted to drugs. And, this is why hookah bars have been ordered to close," he said. 

Welcoming the decision of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, doctors said having hookah for an hour was equivalent to consuming 100 cigarettes in terms of nicotine deposits. 

"At the hookah bars, which are located inside restaurants, a lot of passive smoking also happens. It is harmful to health as one hour of hookah is equivalent to consuming 100 cigarettes," said doctor Bikash Majumder, senior consultant interventional cardiologist at Apollo Multispeciality Hospitals. -- PTI  
23:21   Delhi liquor case: KCR's daughter gets CBI notice
The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the Delhi liquor scam case, on Friday issued notice to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter and TRS MLC K Kavitha for questioning her on December 6.
The central agency has issued the notice under Section 160 of CrPC, and asked her to intimate the place of residence as per her convenience for the examination at 11 am on that day.
Responding to the notice, Kavitha said, in a statement, that she has informed the authorities that they can meet her at her Hyderabad residence.
"During the course of investigation of the subject cited above, certain facts have emerged with which you (Kavitha) may be acquainted with. Hence, your examination on such facts is required in the interest of investigation," the CBI said in the notice.
"It is therefore requested that kindly intimate the place of residence as per your convenience  for your examination at 11.00 hours on 6-12-2022 in connection with investigation of above noted case," the agency further said.
After her name cropped up in a remand report filed by the Enforcement Directorate in a Delhi court on the alleged kickbacks in the scam, Kavitha said she is ready to face any probe.
"I've been issued a CBI Notice under Section 160 of Cr.P.C, seeking my clarification. I have informed the authorities, that I can meet them at my residence in Hyderabad on Dec 6th as per their request," she said after receiving the CBI notice. -- PTI
23:09   Forged strong ties with Islamic nations post-2014: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India developed strong relations with Islamic nations like Saudi Arabia after he assumed office in 2014.
Addressing an election rally after leading a road show in Ahmedabad on the penultimate day of campaigning for the second phase voting on December 5, he also slammed the Congress and claimed the opposition party and its governments splurged taxpayers' money on "family, relatives, and for their personal use".
"After 2014, India has developed strong relations with Islamic nations. It is a matter of pride for me as well as for every Gujarati that nations like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have conferred their top awards to me. Yoga is now part of the official syllabus in Saudi Arabia," said Modi.

Hindu temples are also coming up in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, the prime minister told the gathering.
Unlike the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which puts nation first, the Congress has always given priority to just one family, said Modi.
According to the PM, the Indian economy ranked 6th in the world  when the country got Independence in 1947 and went down to the 10th position by 2014, when the Congress was last in power at the Centre.

"After I assumed office and the BJP came to power in 2014, the economy rose from the 10th spot to the 5th position (in 2022) in eight years. The Congress could not do it because of dynastic politics, scams and appeasement politics," said Modi.
22:55   Vande Bharat: WR to spend Rs 264 cr to build fences along Mumbai-Ahmedabad route
The Western Railway on Friday said it would install fences along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route by May next year to stop animals from straying onto the tracks and getting run over by trains, a move coming in the backdrop of the prestigious Vande Bharat Express hitting cattle four times since its launch on September 30.
Addressing a press conference at the railway zone's headquarters at Churchgate in Mumbai, WR General Manager Ashok Kumar Misra said tenders have been invited for the construction of the fences on the 620-kilometre-long route, which is expected to cost Rs 264 crore.
The third semi high-speed Vande Bharat Express, flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 30 between Gandhinagar in Gujarat and the country's financial capital, has hit cattle four times so far, leading to minor damage to the aerodynamic nose of the state-of-the-art rake.
The latest incident occurred between Udvada and Vapi stations in Gujarat on Thursday evening.
According to Western Railway officials, the stainless steel fences will be a "w-beam" structure at a height of 1.5 metres from the ground.
"We are going to install it (w-beam) at a height of 1.5 meters. The advantage is that people can cross it but not animals," Misra explained.
He said Railway staffers as well as personnel from the Railway Protection Force are visiting villages along the tracks to speak to people in order to overcome the problem (of cattle straying into the way of trains).
The aerodynamic design of the nose ensures animals don't get tangled in the underbelly of the rake after such crashes, Misra said.
WR chief public relations officer Sumit Thakur said the Vande Bharat service was running with an average occupancy of 130 per cent and has become tremendously popular with passengers.
Meanwhile, Misra said WR has received two extra air-conditioned suburban trains though he did give a date when these will be introduced.
At present, 79 of the 1,383 suburban services operated by WR in Mumbai are air-conditioned ones.
WR officials said the number of daily average passengers stood at 25.68 lakh (so far) in 2022-23, while it was 15.12 lakh in 2021-22, 7.72 lakh in 2020-21 (both coronavirus-affected years), 34.87 lakh in 2019-20 and 35.44 lakh in 2018-19.
22:19   RSS, BJP don't emulate Lord Ram's way of life: Rahul
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that "BJP and RSS people" do not lead their lives the way Lord Ram led his. 
Speaking at a rally in Madhya Pradesh's Agar Malwa during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, he also said, citing an interaction with a priest on the way, that "Hey Ram", the phrase used by Mahatma Gandhi, was a "way of life".
Gandhi's cross-country foot-march which is currently passing through Madhya Pradesh halted in Agar Malwa district on Friday evening.        
"A priest who came to meet me during the Yatra in Madhya Pradesh told me the meaning of `Hey Ram', the words often used by Gandhiji.
"Hey Ram is a way of life. It taught the entire world the meaning of love, brotherhood, respect and tapasya (penance)," he said.
Similarly, 'Jai Siya Ram' means Sita and Ram are one and Lord Ram fought for Sita's honour, the Congress leader said.
"Jai Shri Ram means hailing Lord Ram, but BJP and RSS people are not leading their lives like him (Lord Ram) and not fighting for the honour of women," Rahul Gandhi alleged.

Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday had hit out at the Congress, saying those who never believed in the existence of Lord Ram had now "brought in Ravan" just to abuse him.

Modi was referring to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's remark where he said the prime minister asks people to vote "looking at his face" in all elections. "Are you 100-headed like Ravan," Kharge had asked.

Meanwhile, targeting the BJP governments at the centre as well as in Madhya Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi claimed that farmers are not getting fertilizer and are being harassed for not repaying loans of Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh, while "big loans of industrialists are  waived by the banks by rolling out red carpets." 
Parents take educational loan to make their son engineer, but after graduating, young engineers are forced to work as labourers for want of jobs, the Congress leader said. 
Small shops and establishments were the biggest source of employment but they were hit hard by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation, Gandhi said.
Another major source of employment was Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) but they too are being closed and even hospitals and schools are being privatised, thus ending all job opportunities, the Congress leader said.
21:59   Maha ministers' visit to Belagavi not good: Bommai
Amidst the border row, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday took exception to the proposed visit of two Maharashtra Ministers to Belagavi next week, saying the visit was not good.                                                                                         
The two Ministers -- Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai -- were appointed to tackle the border issue with their legal team. They were likely to meet leaders of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti which has been spearheading the movement to merge Belagavi with Maharashtra for decades. 
The planned visit was taking place when the Maharashtra government's petition regarding Belagavi was heard recently in the Supreme Court.                       
Already our Chief Secretary has written to the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra through fax. In the given situation it is not good for them to visit here and hence, they should not come here. We have already communicated to them. The Karnataka government will continue to take steps which were taken in the past, Bommai told reporters in Belagavi.                                
To a question, Bommai said the drinking water project in Jat Taluk in Maharashtra should take place.                                                                                                                            
The Kannada-speaking people in Jat Taluk of Maharashtra have been suffering for drinking water. In such a situation, the Maharashtra government has said that it has planned drinking water project. Let that project happen and people in that region get water, Bommai said.
The Chief Minister had said in the past that the Panchayats of Jat Taluk had passed a resolution requesting merger of their Taluk with Karnataka in the wake of severe water crisis.         

As Maharashtra raked up the Belagavi issue, Bommai said there would be  a review of the resolution passed by Jat Taluk Panchayats. -- PTI
21:47   Modi wraps up Gujarat campaign, addresses 31 rallies
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed over 31 rallies and led three big road shows in Gujarat wrapping up on Friday his campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the assembly polls as the party looks to maintain its uninterrupted winning streak there since 1995 in a triangular contest involving the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.
Saturday is the last day for campaign, with the second and final phase of the polls for 93 seats set for December 5. The first phase of the polls for 89 seats were held on December 1.
A key highlight of Modi's public outreach was his roadshow in Ahmedabad on Thursday which BJP sources described as the "longest and largest" in the country. 
They claimed it covered around 50 kilometres and passed through 13 assembly seats of the city and one in Gandhinagar.
"Public enthusiasm and affection was evident as it took around four hours to traverse this distance. The response was beyond our expectations and we believe over 10 lakh people turned up," a party leader claimed. -- PTI 
20:52   Pakistan's head of mission in Kabul survives as gunmen attack embassy
The head of Pakistan's mission in Kabul survived an attack on Pakistan's embassy in Kabul on Friday, drawing immediate condemnation and a demand for a probe from Islamabad.
Pakistan's Charg d'Affaires to Afghanistan Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani was targeted by unidentified gunmen while he was taking a walk in the embassy compound, but he was saved by the security guard deployed for his protection, sources told Geo News.
A security guard was "critically injured" in the attack while protecting the mission head.

The head of mission and other officials are being called back to Pakistan temporarily, the sources said.
When the incident happened, there was no activity in the Pakistani Embassy due to weekly off.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the "dastardly assassination attempt" and demanded a probe.
"I demand immediate investigation and action against the perpetrators of this heinous act," the prime minister tweeted.
He further said: "Salute to the brave security guard, who took a bullet to save his life. Prayers for the swift recovery of a security guard."
Nizamani had taken charge as head of mission in Kabul on November 4.

The attack came just days after Minister of State Hina Rabani Khar paid a visit to Kabul and held talks with the top officials. 
20:35   SpiceJet flight makes emergency landing in Kochi
A SpiceJet flight from Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) bound for Kozhikode with 197 passengers, including six crew, onboard had an emergency landing at the Cochin International Airport Limited on Friday evening following hydraulic failure, an airport spokesperson said.          

An emergency was declared in the airport at 6:29 pm after the SpiceJet-SG 036 flight, which was scheduled to land at Kozhikode airport, was diverted to Kochi, he said.        

"Full emergency was declared at Kochi airport at 18:29 hours," the spokesperson said.        

"The flight landed safely at 19.19 hours on the runway after an emergency landing situation," he added. -- PTI 
20:04   Will support my friend Modi during India's G20 presidency: Biden
Describing India as a "strong partner" of the United States, President Joe Biden on Friday said he was looking forward to supporting his friend Prime Minister Narendra Modi during India's G20 presidency.
India formally assumed the G20 Presidency on Thursday.
"India is a strong partner of the US, and I look forward to supporting my friend Prime Minister Modi during India's G20 presidency," Biden tweeted on Friday.
Prime Minister Modi on Thursday said India will work to further promote oneness, inspired by the theme of "One Earth, One Family, One Future" and listed terror, climate change, pandemic as the greatest challenges that can be best fought together.
India's G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with not just our G20 partners, but also our fellow-travellers in the global South, whose voice often goes unheard, Modi said in an article which appeared in several newspapers and was posted on his website as well.
India's G20 agenda will be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive, he said.
The US President also underlined that both countries "will advance sustainable and inclusive growth while tackling shared challenges like the climate, energy, and food crises."
The next G20 Leaders' Summit at the level of Heads of State/Government is scheduled to be held on September 9 and 10 in New Delhi.
The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies.
It comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union.
Together, they account for over 80 per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product, 75 per cent of international trade and two-thirds of the world population. -- PTI 
19:29   I have experienced racism in my life: UK PM Sunak
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has revealed that he experienced racism growing up in the United Kingdom but the country has made incredible progress since then in confronting the issue.
The British Indian leader was speaking to reporters on Thursday night in the wake of a racism row at Buckingham Palace, which saw the resignation of Prince William's godmother after it emerged that the senior palace aide had repeatedly questioned a black British charity worker about where she was really from. 
When asked about the controversy, Sunak said it would not be right for him to comment on palace matters and pointed out that action had been taken.
"It would not be right for me to comment on matters to do with the royal palace, although as we have seen they've acknowledged what's happened and made an apology for it," he said. 
Sunak, who was born in the UK to parents of Indian heritage, was pressed further on how he felt when he heard about the incident involving Ngozi Fulani, founder of London-based charity Sistah Space, and Lady Susan Hussey -- a close confidante of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
He said: "As I have talked about in the past, I have experienced racism in my life. But what I am pleased to say is some of the things that I experienced when I was a kid and a young person, I don't think would happen today because our country has made incredible progress in tackling racism.
"But the job is never done. And that's why whenever we see it, we must confront it. And, it's right that we continually learn the lessons and move to a better future."
The racism row erupted earlier this week after Fulani revealed that Lady Hussey came up to her at a palace reception hosted by Queen Consort Camilla and moved her hair to see her name badge. She then asked her "what part of Africa" she was from after she told her several times she was British. Fulani has since described the exchange as a "violation" and said it was a form of abuse when she moved her hair.
A Kensington Palace spokesperson told reporters that William and Kate -- the Prince and Princess of Wales, who are currently on a US tour, believe the comments were "unacceptable" and "racism has no place in our society".
Buckingham Palace said it had taken the incident extremely seriously and the individual concerned has expressed her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect.
"In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made," the palace statement said. -- PTI 
19:18   Tremendous efforts underway to cut wait time for issuance of visa in India: US
The United States is undertaking "tremendous efforts" to solve the problem of long wait time in issuance of visas in India, US Charge d'Affaires Ambassador Elizabeth Jones said on Friday, acknowledging that the situation in the country is particularly "bad" because of the high demand. 
The newly-appointed diplomat also said that the issue is on the "top of the mind" of Washington and efforts being initiated to cut the wait time for grant of visas included recruitment and training of visa counsellors.
There have been growing concerns in India over the long waiting period for first time visa applicants, especially for those applying under B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) categories.
At a media interaction, Jones said the problem of long wait time for visas was triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, adding the long backlogs were reported from various parts of the globe.
"They are particularly bad in India because the demand for visas is so high. That's one of the big elements; it's one of the big differences," she said.
Jones also noted that tremendous recruiting and training efforts are underway right now in Washington to recruit and train vice counsellors for many many places. 
"Our mission in India is going to get quite a number of them... By the summer, we will be fully staffed here in Delhi and in our consulates to issue visas and do these interviews," she said.
The waiting period of first time B1/B2 visa applicants in India is close to three years.
"We know this has been very difficult. We have asked for your patience... I can guarantee you that this is a very serious issue that is on the top of the mind in Washington and there is a tremendous effort to solve the problem here in India," Jones added.
She also noted that the US issued 82,000 visas to Indian students this year.
"We are extremely pleased to have really done a juggernaut effort to issue 82,000 student visas," she said.
Jones also said that efforts are underway to "reduce and eliminate" the time for issuance of H1B visas.
Indians make up a large proportion of the recipients of H-1B and other work visas granted to skilled foreign workers, many in the tech industry.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. -- PTI 
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel
18:32   Chhattisgarh CM's deputy secretary arrested by ED
The Enforcement Directorate on Friday arrested Saumya Chaurasia, a deputy secretary rank officer posted in Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel's office, in connection with a money laundering investigation into an alleged coal levy scam in the state, official sources said.  
Chaurasia, considered a powerful bureaucrat of the state, was taken into custody under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) post her questioning by the federal agency.  
The officer was taken for a health checkup after the arrest even as the local media followed her along with the ED team, escorted by CRPF personnel, to the court.  
The agency had in October arrested Sameer Vishnoi, an IAS officer of the state, and two others, after conducting several raids in the case.  
The money laundering investigation, launched after the ED took cognisance of a Income Tax department complaint, pertains to "a massive scam in which illegal levy of Rs 25 per tonne is being extorted from every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen."
Baghel, last week while speaking to reporters, stepped up his attack on the ED, accusing the probe agency of crossing its limits and treating people inhumanely in the state. -- PTI
17:51   None of China's business: US on military drill with India
The United States on Friday echoed India's reaction in rejecting China's opposition to an India-US joint military exercise near the Line of Actual Control in Uttarakhand and asserted that it is "none of their business".
Ambassador Elizabeth Jones, the newly-appointed US Charge d'Affaires to New Delhi, also said that Washington's interest is in supporting New Delhi's efforts to become more capable and its capacities are directed in ways it believes to be important. 
In an interaction with a group of journalists, she said the US's ties with India is one of its "most consequential" relationships and that Washington sees a natural partnership between the two sides in a range of critical areas including defence technology and climate change.
When asked about China's objection to the India-US military exercise being held in Uttarakhand, Jones said, "I think I would point it to the kind of statement that we heard from our Indian colleagues to the effect that it is none of their business."
On Wednesday, the Chinese foreign ministry opposed the "Yudh Abhyas" exercise at Auli in Uttarakhand, claiming that it violates border agreements signed by China and India in 1993 and 1996.
When asked about the Chinese reaction on the exercise, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a weekly media briefing on Thursday, "Military exercise in Auli has got nothing to do with the 1993 and 1996 agreements."
He also said that "India exercises with whomsoever it chooses to and it does not give a Veto to third countries on this issue."
The 1993 agreement pertains to maintaining peace and tranquillity along the LAC with China in the India-China border areas, while the 1996 pact was about confidence building measures in the military field along the LAC with China in the India-China border areas.
On Wednesday, China said it was opposed to the joint Indo-US military exercises and claimed that it violated the spirit of the two border agreements signed between New Delhi and Beijing.
The 18th edition of the India-US joint military exercise 'Yudh Abhyas' is currently underway in Auli, about 100 km from the LAC. -- PTI
Starry Night at Van Gogh 360
Starry Night at Van Gogh 360
17:16   Van Gogh 360 coming to India
Legendary Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh's iconic paintings will be part of an immersive 360-degree multimedia exhibition from January 20 at the World Trade Centre in Mumbai. 

 The "Starry Night", "Sunflowers", and a self-portrait will be among more than 300 artworks on show in the "first such exhibition" to debut in India.

 Van Gogh, who is considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of Western art, painted over 2,100 artworks that mostly acquired global fame after the artist's death in 1890 at the young age of 37. 

 The 'Van Gogh 360 India', by Festival House Inc, will use "cutting-edge projection technology crafted by world-renowned audio-visual designers" to create an engaging journey into the world of the legendary post-Impressionist painter. 

The floor-to-ceiling projections of the master artist's oeuvre will create a three-dimensional world of iconic paintings, highlighting brushstrokes, details and colours. 

 "Vincent van Gogh's paintings are some of the most recognisable in the world and his art deserves to be seen and experienced by Indian audiences - especially our children and younger generation," Nikhil Chinapa, spokesperson Van Gogh 360 India, said in a statement.

Van Gogh 360 will show for a fortnight, from 20 January to 17 February 2023, in Mumbai at the World Trade Centre's The Arcade Shopping Centre.
17:15   Scindia is a 24 carat gaddar: Jairam Ramesh
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday said people like Kapil Sibal who maintained a "dignified silence" after leaving the party could be allowed to return, but not the ones like Jyotiraditya Scindia or Himanta Biswa Sarma. 
Ramesh, who is the Congress's media head, also termed Union minister Scindia as a "24 carat traitor. 
Asked what would be the party's stand if any of the renegade leaders wished to return, Ramesh told PTI, "I think the people who have left the Congress should not be welcome back.
"There are people who left and abused the party, so they should not be taken back. But there are people who left the party with dignity and have been maintaining a dignified silence on the Congress party and its leadership," he said.
Ramesh was speaking on the sidelines of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra which reached Agar Malwa in MP on Friday.
"I can think of my former colleague and a very good friend Kapil Sibal who left the party for some reason, but he has maintained a very dignified silence on the Congress party, unlike Mr Scindia and Mr Himanta Biswa Sarma," Ramesh said.
"So I think such leaders who have maintained a dignity could be welcome back, but those people who have left the party and kicked the party and its leadership should not be welcome back," he added.
When asked would Scindia have left the Congress if he had been offered the post of party president, Madhya Pradesh chief minister or a Rajya Sabha berth,  Ramesh said, "Scindia is a 'gaddar' (traitor), true gaddar, real gaddar and 24 carat gaddar."
Reacting to Ramesh's comments, Madhya Pradesh BJP secretary Rajneesh Agrawal said Scindia was a "24 carat patriot with strong cultural roots." 
Both Scindia and Sarma have "24 carat" commitment to their work and Ramesh's remarks were "uncultured" and "totally undemocratic," Agrawal added.
Sarma left the Congress in 2015 blaming Rahul Gandhi's 'mismanagement' for the party's electoral debacle and joined the BJP. 

He went on to become chief minister of Assam.       
Scindia quit the Grand Old Party in 2020 which resulted in the fall of the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. 

He was later inducted in the Union cabinet and made civil aviation minister.  
The graffiti on the walls of a building in the campus
The graffiti on the walls of a building in the campus
16:57   Who defaced JNU walls? Teachers want probe
A day after several walls in the Jawaharlal Nehru University were defaced with anti-Brahmin slogans, the teacher and student bodies on Friday urged the varsity administration to conduct a "free and fair enquiry" to ensure peace in the campus. 

 Students had earlier claimed that the walls in the School of International Studies- II building were vandalised with slogans against Brahmin and Baniya communities. 

 The graffiti asked members of the Brahmin and the Baniya communities to leave the campus and the country.

In a statement, the JNU teachers association said it is distressing to hear about such acts of vandalism.

 "The JNUTA condemns in the strongest possible terms this extremely reprehensible act, which is not only traumatic for the faculty concerned but it violates the spirit of diversity and tolerance of all views that is the core ethos of JNU," the statement read. 

 The JNUTA asked the university administration to immediately launch an probe into the incident, identify the culprits, and proceed against them by university rules. 

 Some of the slogans on the walls read "Brahmins Leave The Campus", "There Will Be Blood", "Brahmin Bharat Chhodo" and "Brahmino-Baniyas" The JNU administration had said such incidents will not be tolerated.
16:45   Bumper Rs 1 crore pay for IIT students this year
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) have recorded an increase in international offers for its students with several of them bagging packages exceeding Rs 1 crore per annum during the 2022 placement drive. 

 At IIT Madras, at least 25 students have bagged offers with pay packages over Rs 1 crore per annum. 

The institute has also recorded the highest-ever pre-placement offers this year, which is nearly 10 per cent higher than last year's figure of 407. 

 "The return to an in-person mode of placements was well received by both students as well as recruiters. We hope the new hybrid arrangement will enhance the quality of student-employer interaction and result in higher placements," said TB Ramkamal, Student Academic Affairs Secretary at IIT Madras. 

 The top companies that offered the majority of the offers to IIT-Madras students include Texas Instruments (14 offers), Bajaj Auto Ltd and Chetak Tech Ltd (10 offers), Qualcomm (8 offers), J P Morgan Chase and Co (9 offers), Proctor and Gamble (7 offers), Morgan Stanley (6 offers), Graviton (6 offers), McKinsey & Company (5 offers) and Cohesity (5 offers).

 IIT Guwahati, too, started its placement on Friday in which a total of 290 offers were made by 84 companies during day one at IIT Guwahati across Software Development Engineering, Data Science, Quant, Core Engineer, UX Designer, VLSI, Vehicle Engineering, Analyst, Product Designer job profiles, among others. 

 At least five students at IIT Guwahati have bagged offers of Rs 1 crore package and two international offers so far. 

 The main recruiters at IIT Guwahati include Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Google, Uber, Qualcomm, C-DOT, Enphase Energy, Oracle, Nutanix, Thoughtspot MTS-2, Squarepoint SDE/Quant, American Express, JP Morgan Chase, Bajaj, Rippling, Tibra, Cohesity, and Sprinklr Platform + Product, among others.
The legend, Ameen Sayani
The legend, Ameen Sayani
16:43   Geet gaata chal
December 3 will be the 70th anniversary of the most beloved radio entertainment show. Happy birthday Binaca Geetmala!

Read the column here. 
16:27   At 8:30 pm park yourself before the TV
Netherlands plays USA...
16:26   Australia meets titans Argentina today
Tune in at 00:30 for what promises to be a zinger of a match.
16:17   It's Priyanka, Nick's 4th wedding anniversary
Actor Priyanka Chopra, on Thursday, sent warm wishes to her husband Nick Jonas with a sweet message on the occasion of their 4th wedding anniversary. 

 The 'Mary Kom' took to her Instagram handle and posted a throwback picture from her wedding ceremony where she can be seen dancing with her 'Babe' Nick.

 In the picture, Priyanka wore a red gown with a plunging neckline and red-white bangles. On the other hand, Nick sported a grey suit. Along with the post, she wrote, "Find yourself a guy that reminds you everyday that you're loved. Happy anniversary babe."

Nick Jonas also tweeted saying, "And just like that its been 4 years. (Heart emoji) happy anniversary my love. @priyankachopra."
16:08   Dogs with bouquets welcome Rahul in Malwa
A pair of dogs welcomed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with bouquets when he stopped for tea during the party's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in Madhya Pradesh's Agar Malwa district on Friday. 

 Sarvamitra Nachan, the owner of the six-year-old labradors, reached Tanodiya town with his pets to welcome the Congress leader. 

The dogs, Lizho and Rexy, held a basket of bouquets with the messages "Chale Kadam, Jude Vatan" and "Nafrat Chhodo, Bharat Jodo," and handed it over to Gandhi. 

 "We wished to do something different for the Yatra. We are following it since the beginning and we trained the dogs to hand over the bouquets to Gandhi," Indore-based Nachan told PTI. 

Gandhi not only took the bouquets from Lizho and Rexy, but also got himself photographed with them on the occasion, it was stated.
16:00   The Mumbai men who rescued S Korean YouTuber
Mhyochi, the South Korean YouTuber, who made news when she was molested in Mumbai, while she was shooting a video, shares this image with the men who helped her. 
"Lunch with two Indian gentlemen who help me to post the video and save me on the street Aditya & Atharva," she tweeted.

Mhyochi was live-streaming a video on busy SV Road, Khar, when two men harassed her.

 In a video shared online, one of the accused was seen dragging the YouTuber by her hand as she shouts "no, no", in Khar, on Wednesday night. The accused is also seen kissing her. 

A city-based blogger, Aditya, who captured the incident on camera, rescued her and later tweeted the video tagging Mumbai police. 

The police suo motu registered an FIR after a Aditya tweeted a video with a message: "A streamer from Korea was harassed by these boys in Khar last night while she was live streaming in front of 1000+ people. This is disgusting and some action needs to be taken against them. This cannot go unpunished." 

Taking cognizance of Aditya's tweet-complaint, police on Thursday arrested the duo -- Mubin Shaikh and Mohammed Ansari. 
15:38   Why is there curfew in Mumbai till Jan 2?
With the 30th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and 65th death anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar falling on December 6, the Mumbai police as a precautionary measure has announced prohibitory orders in Mumbai as part of its standard procedure from December 2 till January 2, 2023.

15:29   NCW seeks strict action against judge seen in 'explicit' video
The NCW on Friday sought strict action against the Rouse Avenue court judge who was allegedly seen engaging in a "sexually explicit" act with a woman inside his office, a video of which surfaced online earlier this week.

 The Delhi High Court has restrained the sharing of the video, which showed up on social media on Tuesday, contending that doing so may cause "irreparable harm" to the privacy rights of the plaintiff. 

 The National Commission for Women in its statement on Friday said it has come across a media post reporting an "objectionable video" of a Rouse Avenue court judge. 

 "The Commission has taken cognizance of the matter. Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to the Registrar General, Delhi High Court seeking an action taken report and to take strict action against the judge if allegations are found to be true," the NCW said. 

 The commission has also asked to be informed whether the Rouse Avenue Court has an Internal Committee in place as per rules laid down in the POSH Act, 2013. 

 The commission has sought an action taken report within seven days. In an order issued late Wednesday night, Justice Yashwant Varma had said that the high court had taken cognisance of the incident and its registrar general has conveyed to authorities the need to block the video across social media platforms. 

 "Bearing in mind the sexually explicit nature of the contents of that video and taking into consideration the imminent, grave and irreparable harm that is likely to be caused to the privacy rights of the plaintiff an ad interim ex parte injunction is clearly warranted," the court had said in its order.
15:13   BJP's national spokesperson is Jaiveer Shergill
Three months after walking out of the Congress with scathing remarks against the Gandhis, Jaiveer Shergill was appointed a spokesperson by the BJP on Friday, as it announced new roles for several prominent leaders who have switched over from the grand old party. 

Shergill used to be the national spokesperson of the Congress party.

 In a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, Shergill resigned from the post of its national spokesperson, saying the primary reason was that "the ideology and the vision of the current decision makers of the Congress is no longer in sync with the aspirations of the youth and modern India".

"Furthermore, it pains me to say that decision making is no longer for the interest of the public and the country, rather it is influenced by the self-serving interests of individuals indulging in sycophancy and consistently ignoring ground reality. This is something I cannot morally accept or continue to work with," he wrote.

"However, I shall forever remain indebted for all the opportunities the party has granted me during my association with it," Shergill said.
15:07   BJP promotes ex-Cong leaders Amarinder, Jakhar
The BJP Friday appointed ex-Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and Sunil Jakhar as well as its former Uttar Pradesh president Swatantra Dev Singh as members of its national executive. 

 It also appointed former Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill its national spokesperson, the party said in a statement. 

 Madan Kaushik, Vishnu Deo Sai, its former presidents of Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh respectively, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Manoranjan Kalia and Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia, all three from Punjab, have been made special invitees to the national executive, it added. PTI
15:04   Grand Master Praggnanandhaa has reason to be proud
Chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa believes becoming a world champion is a realistic possibility and has given himself three to four years to achieve the feat. One of the country's youngest grandmasters, the 17-year-old defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen thrice in just six months, something that will go down as one of the highlights of his career.

Yesterday, he was given the Arjuna Award. 

Praggnanandhaa shared this image with his parents, writing, "With my proud parents!!"
14:43   Over 10 lakh join Modi's 'largest' roadshow
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mega roadshow in Gujarat's Ahmedabad on Thursday was attended by more than 10 lakh people, as per sources.

With attendees of over 10 lakh, it was prime minister's largest and longest roadshow in the country, as it spanned around 50 kilometres and passed through as many as 14 Vidhan Sabha seats-- 13 from Ahmedabad and one in Gandhinagar.

The mega roadshow of Modi started from the Naroda Gam and ended at Gandhinagar South constituency.

PM Modi made at least 35 stops at memorials of prominent personalities, including Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, on the way.

Thakkarbapanagar, Bapunagar, Nikol, Amraiwadi, Maninagar, Danilimbda, Jamalpur Khadia, Elisbridge, Vejalpur, Ghatlodia, Naranpur, Sabarmati were some of the constituencies the PM covered during his roadshow.

Ahmedabad saw great enthusiasm among the people as Modi on Thursday held a massive roadshow in the city.

People lined both sides of the streets through which the prime minister's convoy passed.

Showering petals on his convoy, the crowd chanted 'Modi...Modi' as they held up his posters.

The prime minister was also seen greeting people and waving at them.

Be it roads, balconies or rooftops of buildings, the locals crammed every available space to catch a glimpse of the prime minister.

The public's enthusiasm and affection were evident in the fact that it took around 4 hours for the prime minister's convoy to traverse this distance.

According to the party sources, the response of the public was way beyond their expectations with more than 10 lakh people turning up.

As the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections is scheduled to be held on December 5, the top leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has intensified its campaigning across 93 constituencies.

Modi will address four public rallies in Gujarat today starting with Kanakraj, then Patan and Sojitra, and finally Ahmedabad, where he will hold a roadshow as well.

Union Minister Amit Shah will also hold rallies in Bechraji, Vijapur, and Gandhinagar South and a roadshow in Vadodara.  -- ANI
Mallikarjun Kharge in Parliament. File pic
Mallikarjun Kharge in Parliament. File pic
13:27   Kharge may continue as Leader of Oppn but...
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge may continue as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, say reports. 

If Kharge holds two posts, it will be a complete reversal of the "One Person, One Post" policy that Rahul Gandhi had decided upon while addressing the Ashok Gehlot rumblings in Rajasthan. 

Gehlot wanted to run for the Congress president polls, while remaining Rajasthan CM.

Sonia Gandhi has now called for a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party's "strategy group" tomorrow. 

Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and KC Venugopal have been called for the meet from Rajya Sabha, reports NDTV.  

Digvijaya Singh and P Chidambaram, who are seen as frontrunners to replace Kharge in Rajya Sabha, have not been invited to the meeting, reports NDTV.
13:04   Top Cong leaders to meet tomorrow for strategy of Winter session of Parl
Top Congress leaders will hold deliberations on Saturday on the party's strategy to corner the government during the Winter session of Parliament starting December 7. 

 Sources said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, chief whip of the party in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh and party's chief whip in Lok Sabha K Suresh will meet at the residence of former party chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday evening to evolve the strategy.

 Former union ministers P Chidambaram and Manish Tewari are also likely to attend the meeting at Sonia Gandhi's 10, Janpath residence, as she is the chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party. This will be the first session of Parliament after Kharge took over as the Congress president. PTI
12:58   Musk's only good move since Twitter takeover is...
American Rapper Ye , formerly known as Kanye West has been suspended from Twitter for violating the microblogging site's rules against incitement to violence. The rapper's Twitter account had an "account suspended" notice posted on it on Friday. 

Twitter CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to confirm the suspension of the 22-time Grammy Awardee from the platform. "I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended." Musk tweeted in response to a user who asked for Kanye to be "fixed".

US-based entertainment outlet, 'The Hollywood Reporter' reported that the "Praise God" rapper took to the microblogging platform to post a number of controversial tweets, which included some texts between himself and Musk. 

 In the tweet, which has been deleted by Twitter, the "Runaway" singer posted an image which appeared to be a Swastika merged with the Star of David. 

 Elon Musk in his twitter post said: "Just clarifying that his account is being suspended for incitement to violence, not an unflattering pic of me being hosed by Ari. Frankly, I found those pics to be helpful motivation to lose weight!" 

 Previously this October too the rapper's Twitter account was restricted due to his anti-Semitic comments. According to Deadline, the rapper was locked out of his Twitter handle in response to a tweet shared by him on October 8. The ban followed a similar exile from Instagram too.
12:22   Aaftab keeps to himself in jail, security increased
Tihar jail administration has increased the security outside Aaftab Amin Poonawalla's barrack, as the four-member Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) team reached Tihar for the 'Post-Narco Test Interview', as per the Jail authorities. 

 Reportedly, after the narco analysis test of Aaftab Poonawalla, a four-member team is visiting the Central jail for conducting a 'Post-Narco Test Interview'. 

 As per information, the Jail Authorities have deployed an additional guard outside Aaftab's barrack, after the attack on the Jail Van ferrying Aaftab outside the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Delhi's Rohini. Aftab has been kept at Cell no 15 of Jail No 4 inside the Tihar Jail after a Delhi Court sentenced him to 13 days of judicial custody.

The jail authority further informed that in view of the danger to Aftab inside the jail, "special vigil is being kept around his cell". 

 Along with Aaftab, two under-trial accused in a theft case have been kept inside the same cell and have been asked to keep watch on Aftab, the Jail Authority informed. 

Sources say, "Aftab isn't talking too much with them". According to the prison officials, the arrangement was made keeping in view the security of the accused who was attacked outside the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) office in Delhi. 

 Notably, two men with swords, identified as Kuldeep Thakur and Nigam Gurjar, attacked the police van carrying Aaftab Amin Poonawalla, the accused in the Shraddha Walkar murder case, outside the FSL office on Monday. An FIR was registered against the attackers under Sections 186, 353, 147, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Prashant Vihar Police Station in this regard.
11:56   That's a hexacopter and it was carrying heroin
Tarn Taran Police in a joint search operation with BSF have recovered a Hexacopter drone equipped with modern technology & packets containing heroin weighing 5Kgs from fields near the India-Pakistan border, the DGP Punjab Police said.
11:49   Curfew orders in Mumbai from today till January 2
The Mumbai police has announced a curfew in the city from today, December 2, till January 2. The measures are being taken to ensure peace and avoid disruptions in public order, says the Mumbai police.

Gatherings of five or more people will be prohibited across the city during this period.

Any kind of demonstrations, sloganeering and performances in public places are also prohibited during this time. An arms ban has also been implemented in the maximum city from December 4 to January 2.

What is prohibited?
-- Social gatherings at mass level around places of public entertainment
-- Bursting crackers, playing loudspeakers, instruments and bands
-- Sloganeering, demonstrations, and the performance of songs in public places
-- Processions of all kinds including marriage ceremonies, funerals, large scale meetings of companies, clubs, cooperative societies and other such associations
-- Gatherings of 5 or more people around government offices, courts and local bodies performing government or semi-government functions
-- Large gatherings for schools, colleges and other institutions for educational activities or general business
-- Firearms, swords, and other such weapons are not permitted. From December 4 to January 2, these orders will be in effect.
--The Mumbai Police added that strict action will be taken against those found violating the orders.

11:25   ISRO spy case: SC cancels pre-arrest bail for four
The Supreme Court Friday quashed the Kerala High Court order granting anticipatory bail to four people, including a former Director General of Police (DGP), in a case of alleged frame-up of scientist Nambi Narayanan in the 1994 ISRO espionage matter. 

 A bench of Justices M R Shah and C T Ravikumar remanded the matter back to the high court and directed it to decide the issue within four weeks.

 "All these appeals allowed. Impugned orders granting anticipatory bail passed by HC are quashed and set aside. All matters are remitted back to the HC to be decided afresh on it own merits. This court had not observed anything on merits for either of the parties. 

 "It is ultimately for the HC to pass orders. We request the HC to decide the anticipatory bail applications at the earliest preferably within four weeks from date of this order," the bench said. 

 The top court directed the registry of the high court to notify bail applications before the bench concerned within one week from today. 

 "Till then by way of an interim arrangement, and without prejudice to rights, it is directed that for a period of five weeks and till the bail applications are finally decided by HC on remand, the respondents may not be arrested subject to cooperation in the investigation," the apex court said.

 The judgement came on the CBI's appeal against the high court order granting bail to former Gujarat DGP R B Sreekumar, two former police officers of Kerala S Vijayan and Thampi S Durga Dutt, and a retired intelligence official P S Jayaprakash. PTI
11:19   Tharoors at Taj
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor drops this image on Twitter: "Wonderful to take our mother to a special holiday for her birthday. Most of us hadn't visited the Taj in a quarter-century. Rare for us all to be together -- & in a wonderful place on a day that means so much to all of us."

That's the MP with his sisters, Shobha and Smita and his mother. 

Yesterday, the Delhi Police has moved the Delhi High Court seeking revision of an order passed by a trial court last year discharging Tharoor of all charges in the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
10:53   Moosewala murder mastermind detained in US
Gangster Goldy Brar, one of the main conspirators in the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, has been detained in the US, say reports.

A member of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, Goldy Brar had recently moved to the US from Canada, where he was based since 2017.The gangster was detained in California around November 20, the sources said, adding that the Indian government is yet to receive any official statement from California regarding the development.

Sidhu Moosewala's father has demanded that the Centre announce a reward of Rs 2 crore for any information on Goldy Brar.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with Bear Grylls
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with Bear Grylls
10:23   Ukraine president meets Bear as country freezes
British adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls recently met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the war-torn country.

Taking to Instagram, Grylls penned a note sharing he wanted to know how Zelenskyy was coping for an upcoming programme, "but got so much more."

"This week I had the privilege to travel to Ukraines capital, Kyiv, and spend time with President Zelensky. It has been an experience for me like no other. As the country goes into winter, and with their infrastructure under attack, survival for millions of people is a very real daily struggle.

"Through this special programme the world will see a side of President Zelensky that has never been shown before. What I wanted to ask was how he was really coping I got so much more. The programme is coming soon. Thank you @zelenskiy_official for your hospitality in such a difficult time. Stay Strong, Grylls wrote.

He also shared a few pictures from his meeting with Zelenskyy.

Reacting to the post, a social media user commented, Wow.cant wait for the programme.

"Stay strong Ukraine. Thank you Grylls for paying a visit to Ukraine, another social media user wrote.

Russian attacks in Ukraine have damaged about 32,000 civilian targets and more than 700 critical infrastructure facilities since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, according to CNN.
Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj
Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj
09:46   Don't need to be told about democracy: India@UN
India does not need to be told what to do on democracy, the country's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, who assumed Presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of December, said here on Thursday.

India on Thursday assumed Presidency of the 15-nation UN Security Council for the month of December, during which it will host signature events on countering terrorism and reformed multilateralism. 

The Presidency will bring the curtains down on India's two-year tenure as elected non-permanent member of the powerful UN organ.

Kamboj, India's first woman Permanent Representative to the UN, will sit in the President's seat at the horse-shoe table. 

On the first day of India's presidency, she addressed reporters in the UN headquarters on the monthly programme of work.

"Everyone is free to say as they wish in India," Indian envoy Ruchira Kamboj said at UN. 

Responding to a question on democracy and freedom of press in India, she said "to that I would like to say that, we don't need to be told what to do on democracy.

"India is perhaps the most ancient civilization in the world as all of you know. In India, democracy had roots going back to 2500 years, we were always a democracy. Coming down to very recent times, we have all the pillars of democracy that are intact - legislature, executive, judiciary and the fourth estate, the press. And a very vibrant social media. So the country is the world's largest democracy," Kamboj said.
08:56   Russia refuses oil discount to Pakistan
Russia refused to provide Pakistan a 30-40 per cent discount on Russian crude oil after the Pakistani delegation asked for a reduction in price during talks in Moscow, The News International reported on Thursday.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the Pakistani delegation comprises of State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik, joint secretary and officials of the Pakistan Embassy in Moscow, asked for a discount during talks in Moscow.

The talks ended with Russia saying that it could not offer anything right now as all volumes were committed.

Russia also promised to consider Pakistan's demand and to share its mind later on through diplomatic channels, The News International reported.

According to Geo News, Pakistan's official delegation left for Moscow on November 29 on a three-day visit to talk with the Russian authorities to discuss the possibility of import of crude oil at a discounted price, mode of payment and shipment cost.

Citing industrial ministry sources, Geo News said Russian crude oil can be processed in Pakistan's refineries, and in the past one private refinery had used Russian crude oil to deliver finished products.

However, sources said that Russia can offer crude at the rates it is providing to its large client countries, which are reliable and sound economies, at a suitable time.

Right now all volumes are committed with big buyers, they said.

The Russian side asked Pakistan to first honour its commitment to the flagship project of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline to be laid down from Karachi to Lahore, Punjab.

Earlier, on November 13, Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that the United States cannot stop Pakistan from purchasing Russian oil and it will be possible to do so soon.

He made these remarks while addressing the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) workers in Dubai, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Dar, during his visit to the US last month, had a meeting with the officials of the US State Department in which the matter of oil purchase from Russia was discussed.

The Pakistani minister said that the ministry will try to purchase oil from Russia on similar terms.

"In the next few months, you will see that the government will take important steps in favour of Pakistan in this regard," he said.   -- ANI
Representative image
Representative image
00:07   Punjab to rechristen govt schools named after caste
Punjab School Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains on Thursday issued an order to rename the state's all government schools which have been named on the basis of caste and fraternity. 
In a statement, Bains said, "Several cases have come to the notice regarding the names of many government schools in the state being associated with a caste, which makes them feel uncivilised in the present era and at the same time promote caste segregation in the society."
He said all the students were being given equal education on the basis of equality in the government schools of Punjab under which the names of government schools could not be related to class or caste.
The education minister said Punjab is the land of gurus, saints and great prophets who have taught humanity to stay away from casteism and all kinds of discrimination.
"In today's era, these names have a profound effect on the tender minds of the students and sometimes many parents also refrain from enrolling their children in government schools because of these names," he said.
In this regard, a report has been sought from all the district education officers and elementary education department about the schools of different caste-based names running in their jurisdiction. -- PTI