Thu, 30 November 2023
NMC comes under attack from Kerala IMA over logo

Timeline  Refresh

23:58   Prez Murmu reviews NDA passing out parade, lauds 1st batch of women cadets's participation
President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday reviewed the passing out parade of 145th course of the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla in Pune and expressed happiness over the participation of the first batch of women cadets in the marching contingent. 

Terming it as a historic day, Murmu extended good wishes to the women cadets, while noting that today daughters have to struggle to select a career of their choice. 

She said the NDA is a "cradle of leadership" and asked the cadets to move forward by learning and adopting new technologies to face challenges of the future. 

"Our forces are fully capable and ready to face any external or internal situation that tries to damage the spirit of unity and integrity of the country," she added. 

Around 15 women cadets participated in the passing out parade along with their male counterparts. 

Last year, the first batch of 19 women cadets joined the NDA, Khadakwasla, a premier tri-services institution that has given the country the finest military officers, and they are currently in the second year of the military-cum-academic training, a defence official earlier said. -- PTI
23:40   Bangladeshi duo held for illegal stay found to be wanted for murder back home
Two Bangladeshi nationals arrested in Panvel town of Maharashtra for illegal stay were found to be wanted for a murder in their home country, the police said on Thursday. 

Ali Hafiz Sheikh (27), Rabivul Mannan Sheikh (46) and Mesan Kislu Mulla (25) were arrested near the Panvel bus stand on November 18 after police got a tip-off that they were citizens of the neighbouring country who were staying illegally in India and looking for a job. 

The three were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, Passport Act and Foreign Nationals Act, said senior police inspector Nitin Thackeray. 

The police also seized some documents in Bengali from their possession. 

When they were translated, it came to light that Ali Hafiz Sheikh and Rabivul Mannan Sheikh were wanted in a murder case registered on September 29, 2023, at Kalia police station in Narail district of Bangladesh, the official said. 

The process to deport the duo to their country has been started, the official added. -- PTI
23:30   NMC comes under attack from Kerala IMA over logo
The National Medical Commission came under attack from the Indian Medical Association Kerala unit on Thursday over its logo depicting a Hindu deity, even as the central agency stated that Lord Dhanvantari had been its emblem for the past year. 

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Dhanvantari is the physician of the Gods. 

Dr Sulphi Noohu, IMA Kerala president,said that a secular message and way of thinking would have been more appropriate and acceptable in the NMC's logo. 

In a Facebook post, the doctor, known for his secular views, stated that the national leadership of the IMA would raise a strong protest against the logo change. 

Noohu in his post has included images of the current logo of the NMC and a purported earlier one which carries the National emblem (an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka). 

In response to IMA Kerala's allegations, Dr Yogendra Malik, Member of the Ethics and Medical Registration Board of NMC, said that in the earlier NMC logo, "the depiction of the image of the Hindu deity Dhanvantari was in black and white, and when taking printouts, it was not clear." 

"Now it's in colour, and that's the only difference. The National emblem was never the logo of NMC," he clarified. -- PTI
23:19   Tripura ex-BJP MLA expelled from party, likely to return to Cong
The Tripura unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday expelled its former MLA Arun Chandra Bhowmik from the party for six years for his alleged involvement in anti-party' activities.                 

The expulsion comes a day after Bhowmik visited the Congress Bhavan here and held a meeting with Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee chief Asish Kumar Saha.                 

For violating discipline and indulging in anti-party activities, our former MLA from Belonia constituency in South Tripura, Arun Chandra Bhowmik, has been expelled from the party for six years. 

This came into effect immediately," Sunit Sakar, the party's media in-charge, told reporters.                 

Bhowmik, a veteran lawyer, joined the BJP ahead of the 2018 assembly polls, deserting the Congress and won the election from Belonia seat.                 
He was denied a ticket in the 2023 assembly election and remained sidelined since then.                 

"Call it Ghar Vypasi.... I am going to join the Congress in the presence of senior party leader Priyanka Gandhi who is scheduled to visit Tripura in the middle of December," Bhowmik, who was once a leader of Trinamool Congress, told reporters after his expulsion.                 

Expressing his disappointment over the state BJP's activities, Bhowmik said he had tried to meet Chief Minister Manik Saha twice but failed. -- PTI
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22:40   Eight soldiers among 14 hurt in attacks on anti-polio teams in Pak: Police
At least 14 people, including eight Pakistan Army soldiers and two police personnel, were injured in three different terror attacks on anti-polio teams in the country's restive northwest region, police said on Thursday.                 
In the first incident, unknown militants fired at the polio vaccination team in the restive Bannu district injuring two policemen on duty. 

One of the critically injured cops has been shifted to Peshawar Hospital.                 
The militants attacked the anti-polio team during an oral polio drive, which was later postponed due to the incident.                 

In another incident, armed men attacked security forces in Tirah Valley of Khyber tribal district injuring six soldiers.                 

During the exchange of fire, four people travelling in a van also sustained wounds.                 

In another incident some unknown militants opened fire at a security forces check post in Touda Cheena in Bannu district, injuring two soldiers. -- PTI
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22:10   BJP got Rs 720cr in contributions in FY 2022-23: EC
The Bharatiya Janata Party received nearly Rs 720 crore in contributions from entities, electoral trusts, individuals and its lawmakers during the financial year 2022-23. 

According to its contribution report filed with the Election Commission in October this year and made public by the poll panel on Thursday, the ruling party got Rs 719.83 crore in contributions. 

The Bharti Enterprises-backed Prudent Electoral Trust contributed Rs 254.75 crore. 

The contributions by the Trust were made in multiple tranches, the report said. 

Political parties are required to submit details of donors who have made donations above Rs 20,000 in a financial year to the Election Commission every year. -- PTI
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21:45   Intense cold wave grips Himachal as high altitude areas receive fresh snowfall
Intense cold wave gripped most parts of Himachal Pradesh as high altitude tribal areas and other higher hills received fresh snowfall while mid and lower hills were lashed by high velocity icy winds accompanied by scattered rains.                 

Una was the wettest in the state with 28 mm of rainfall, followed by Dalhousie 19 mm, Bangana 15 mm, Bhuntar 10 mm, Kangra and Chamba 9.5 mm each, Ghamroor 9 mm, Kangra 7.3 mm, Dharamsala and Bharmaur 5 mm, Dehra Gopipur, Jogindernagar and Nadaun 3 mm each.                 

Maximum day temperatures dropped by a few notches and stayed five to 12 degrees below normal, and Chamba, Dalhousie, Kangra and Una recorded a high of and 12.9 degrees, 5.4 degrees, 14.0 degrees and 16 degrees which were 12.2 degrees, 10.1 degrees, 9.0 degrees and 8.9 degrees below normal and Dhaulakuan was the hottest with a high of 22.7 degrees Celsius.                 
People reeled under severe cold wave conditions in Shimla as dark convective clouds overcast the sky and icy winds accompanied by light rains lashed the town. 

Visibility was reduced to a few meters, disrupting vehicular traffic.                 
The high altitude areas in tribal Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi and high mountain passes received fresh snowfall and the police have issued snowfall alerts in Lahaul and Spiti and advised the people to check the weather conditions before entering into these areas. -- PTI
21:18   Prithviraj Sukumaran-starrer 'The Goat Life' to release in April
The Goat Life, starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, is set to release in theatres worldwide on April 10, 2024.                 

The upcoming Malayalam movie is based on the 2008 bestselling novel Aadujeevitham by Benyamin.                 

Produced by Visual Romance and directed by Blessy, The Goat Life also features Amala Paul, KR Gokul, as well as Hollywood actor Jimmy Jean-Louis and Arab actors Talib al Balushi and RikAby in pivotal roles.                 
According to the makers, the film follows the true story of a young man called Najeeb, who in the early '90s migrated from the lush green shores of Kerala in search of the fortunes in a land abroad.                 

Staying truthful to the narrative style of the source material with a universal appeal like with universal appeal was the greatest challenge for him, said Blessy.                 

"The novel is based on some real incidents and I want to captivate the viewers with each moment that something as unbelievable happened to someone.                 

"Truth has never been so much stranger than fiction. The scale of the movie demands to be felt within the confines of a theatre and we are excited to bring this magnum opus to audiences around the world," the director said. -- PTI
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21:03   MNS workers blacken English signboards of shops in Maha's Nashik
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists on Thursday blackened the English signboards of a few shops in Nashik city, alleging that the business establishments had not displayed their names in the Marathi (Devanagari) script in bold letters.                   

A group of MNS workers, including women members, targeted shops with English signboards in the College Road area and asked their owners to have signboards in Marathi in two days. 

They also blackened some of the English signboards.                 

The Supreme Court earlier gave shops and other commercial establishments in the state a two-month deadline (which ended on November 25) to install Marathi signboards. -- PTI
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20:48   NIT in J-K declares early winter break amid protests
The National Institute of Technology Srinagar closed for winter vacation on Thursday -- 10 days ahead of schedule -- as a precautionary measure, a day after protests against a student's social media post spread to other institutes. 

The Islamia College of Science and Commerce suspended all classwork and internal examinations scheduled for the day. 

While NIT Srinagar declared a holiday for Thursday, the dean of students welfare issued a circular announcing winter vacation in the engineering institute from Thursday. 

The circular also directed all students living in the hostels to vacate the boarding facility with immediate effect. 

Non-local students left the institute in the afternoon in a convoy of 15 vehicles under security escort to Jammu for onward journey to their respective home states, officials said. 

The registrar of the institute said the winter vacations "have been preponed only by 10 days" and there will be no academic loss for the students. 

"We have winter vacations every year and the same is the case this year also. The vacations were scheduled from December 9 but have been preponed," registrar Ateekur Rehman said. -- PTI
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20:41   Encounter breaks out between security forces, terrorists in J-K's Pulwama
An encounter broke out between security forces and terrorists in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, officials said in Srinagar. 

The gunfight started at New Colony in the Arihal area of the district after security forces launched an anti-militancy operation in the orchards there, the officials said. 

Intermittent exchange of firing was going on between the two sides till last reports came in, they said, adding there were no casualties reported so far. -- PTI
Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul/File image
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20:30   SKY, KL Rahul to lead India in T20s, ODIs in SA
Suryakumar Yadav, who is captaining the Indian team in the ongoing five-match T20I series against Australia, will continue in the role in the shortest format during the three-match series against South Africa beginning on December 10 in Durban, while KL Rahul will be the skipper for the three-match ODI series against the Proteas. 

The BCCI selection committee, which met here on Thursday, also decided to make pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as Rohit Sharma's deputy in the two-Test series beginning on December 26 in Centurion. Rahul will keep wickets in the Test series. 

Both Rohit and Virat Kohli requested the Indian cricket board for a break from the white-ball leg of the tour. 

B Sai Sudharshan and Rinku Singh have received maiden call-ups in the Indian ODI squad. 

The selection committee meeting was held in the presence of head coach Rahul Dravid. -- PTI
19:56   Rupee falls 7 paise to settle at 83.39 against US dollar
The rupee on Thursday snapped a two-day rising streak to settle 6 paise lower at 83.39 (provisional) against the US dollar amid strengthening American currency overseas and rising crude oil prices. 

Forex analysts said the rupee remained under pressure as crude prices were close to $84 per barrel ahead of the announcement of the annual production target by oil producer grouping OPEC+. 

Investors were also awaiting domestic GDP data to be released later in the day, while the recovery in the dollar attributed to rising expectations that the US Federal Reserve will not raise interest rate, they added. 

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 83.31 against the dollar and traded between the peak of 83.29 and the lowest level of 83.41 intra-day. 

It finally settled at 83.39 (provisional) against the greenback, registering a loss of 7 paise over its previous close. 

The rupee rose 2 paise to close at 83.32 against the US dollar on Wednesday, following a gain of 6 paise on Tuesday. -- PTI
NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar
19:42   No unification of NCP factions: Praful Patel
Praful Patel, working president of the Ajit Pawar-led NCP, on Thursday said it was a misconception that the two rival factions of the party would soon come together. 

Speaking at a news conference at the Nationalist Congress Party's two-day conclave here, he also claimed that the majority of public representatives, functionaries and workers of the party supported Ajit Pawar's decision to join hands with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. 

"There should be no confusion'because some people in the (Sharad Pawar-led) NCP mislead people into believing that we are again coming together. I want to state it very specifically that we are working in the NCP under Ajit Pawar's leadership for Maharashtra's benefit," Patel said. 

On the meetings between Ajit Pawar and his uncle Sharad Pawar, he said they do not meet often. 

The Pawar family had come together earlier this month for their annual Diwali get-together (where Ajit and Sharad Pawar were present), Patel said. 

Ajit Pawar joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra in July this year, splitting the party founded by his uncle. -- PTI
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19:22   Delhi's air quality slips to 'very poor' category
Delhi's air quality slipped into the 'very poor' category on Thursday, a day after it was recorded in the 'poor' category. 

The national capital recorded a maximum temperature of 25.1 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season's average, while the minimum temperature settled two notches above normal at 12.6 degrees Celsius. 

Delhi's 24-hour average Air Quality Index was recorded in the 'very poor' category with a reading of 398. 

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'. 

Delhi's 24-hour average AQI was recorded in the 'poor' category with a reading of 290 on Wednesday. 

The air quality is likely to remain 'very poor' over the next six days. 

The 24-hour average AQI -- recorded at 4 pm every day -- was at 395 on Monday and Sunday, 389 on Saturday, 415 on Friday and 390 on Thursday (November 23). 

The humidity levels oscillated between 66 per cent and 100 per cent. 

The India Meteorological Department has forecast partly cloudy skies for Friday with the possibility of shallow fog in the morning. -- PTI
SP chief Ahilesh Yadav
SP chief Ahilesh Yadav
18:58   SP walks out of UP assembly over withdrawal of education scheme meant for SC/ST
Samajwadi Party members on Thursday walked out from the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly accusing the government of harming the interest of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students by doing away with the 'zero fee admission system' for higher education. 

The issue came up through an adjournment notice in the 'zero hour.' In his reply, minister of state (independent charge), social welfare & welfare of SCs and STs, Asim Arun said that a new system involving freeship cards has been brought in its place. 

"Under this system, students will have to identify the institute where they want to take admission and apply through the portal submitting their details and also that of the institute and they will get a freeship card with which they can go to the institute and take admission," the minister said. 

The scheme has for now been implemented for the government and government-aided institutes and may be extended to private ones from next year, he said. 

The minister said that the main concern of the government is to see that all desirous students get admissions and no irregularity takes place. -- PTI
18:35   Exit polls: BJP in Rajasthan, Cong in Telangana; close race in MP, Chhattisgarh
Here are all the numbers of exit polls that have come so far:

Madhya Pradesh

Jan Ki Baat
BJP: 100-123
Cong: 102-125
Others: 5

Republic TV- Matrize
BJP: 118-130
Cong: 97-107
Others: 0-2

TV 9 Bharatvarsh-Polstrat
BJP: 106-116
Cong: 111-121
Others: 0-6


Jan Ki Baat
BJP: 100-122
Cong: 62-85
Others: 14-15

Times Now-ETG
BJP: 108-128
Cong: 56-72
Others: 13-21

TV 9 Bharatvarsh-Polstrat
BJP: 100-110
Cong: 90-100
Others: 05-15


ABP News-C Voter
BJP: 36-48
Cong: 41-53
Others: 0-4

India Today-Axis My India
BJP: 36-46
Cong: 40-50
Others: 1-5

India TV-CNX
BJP: 30-40
Cong: 46-56
Others: 3-5

Jan Ki Baat
BJP: 34-45
Cong: 42-53
Others: 3

News 24-Today's Chanakya
BJP: 33
Cong: 57
Others: 0

Republic TV- Matrize
BJP: 34-42
Cong: 44-52
Others: 00-02

TV 9 Bharatvarsh- Polstrat
BJP: 35-45
Cong: 40-50
Others: 0-3


India TV- CNX
BRS: 31-47
Cong: 63-79
BJP: 2-4
MIM: 5-7

Jan Ki Baat
BRS: 40-55
Cong: 48-64
BJP: 7-13
MIM: 4-7


India TV- CNX
MNF: 14-18
ZPM: 12-16
Cong: 8-10
BJP: 0-2

Jan Ki Baat
MNF: 10-14
ZPM: 15-25
Cong: 5-9
BJP: 0-2
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18:06   JNU to patent logo, add 'Tamso ma Jyotirgamaya' motto
The Jawaharlal Nehru University logo will now include its Tamso ma Jyotirgamaya motto and be registered for patenting, an official said on Thursday. 

A decision to modify the university's old, unregistered logo to include the Tamso ma Jyotirgamaya motto was unanimously passed in a meeting of the Executive Council, Vice-Chancellor Santishree Pandit told PTI. 

"We are not making any changes. The old logo was not registered. We are registering the same logo with our motto, (it was) passed unanimously by the executive council," she said. 

The meeting was held on November 24. -- PTI
17:59   Exit polls: BJP in Raj, close race in MP, C'garh
More exit poll number are in:

No. of seats: 199

Jan Ki Baat
BJP: 100-122
Congress: 62-85
Others: 14-15

TV9 Bharatvarsh-Polstart
BJP: 100-110
Congress: 90-100
Others: 05-15

More details awaited.
17:51   Exit polls: BJP-Cong neck and neck in MP, C'garh
Exit polls for the five states have started coming in. Here are some of the initial numbers.

Madhya Pradesh
Total seats: 230

Republic TV-Martize
BJP: 118-130
Cong: 97-107
Others: 0-2

TV9 Bharatvarsh-Polstart
BJP: 106-116
Cong: 111-121
Others: 0-6

Total seats: 90

India Today-Axis My India
BJP: 36-46
Congress: 40-50
Others: 1-5

TV5 News
BJP: 29-39
Congress: 54-64
Others: 0-2

More details awaited.
Antony Blinken with Benjamin Netanyahu in October
Antony Blinken with Benjamin Netanyahu in October
17:31   Blinken visits Israel for 3rd time since October 7
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv today -- as he makes another visit to the region since the Israel-Hamas war began on 7 October.

"We have seen over the last week the very positive development of hostages coming home, being reunited with their families," Blinken said during the meeting, says the BBC.

"It's also enabled an increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza who need it desperately. So this process is producing results. It's important, and we hope that it can continue."

Blinken is now holding talks with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and will meet Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah later.
17:15   India's mega fighter jet deal will cost Rs 2.23L cr
India on Thursday accorded an initial approval to defence acquisition projects worth Rs 2.23 lakh crore that included procurement of 97 Tejas light combat aircraft and 156 Prachand combat helicopters, in a major move to significantly enhance the combat capabilities of the armed forces. 

 The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, cleared the projects, at a time India is locked in a bitter military standoff with China at a number of friction points in eastern Ladakh for over three years. 

 The defence ministry said 98 per cent of the total procurement worth Rs 2.23 lakh crore will be sourced from the domestic industries and that the move will give a substantial boost to the Indian defence industry in achieving the goal of 'Aatmanirbharta' (self-reliance) in defence industry.

The DAC also approved a proposal of the Indian Air Force to upgrade its Su-30 fighter fleet by state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
16:40   ASI gets 10 more days for Gyanvapi survey
Varanasi court grants 10 more days to ASI to complete Gyanvapi survey and submit report: Hindu side counsel Madan Mohan Yadav. The Varanasi district court yesterday had asked the Archaeological Survey of India to explain the reason for seeking an additional 3 weeks time. 

The extensive survey, spanning a duration of 100 days, concluded nearly a month ago. However, ASI has sought several extensions during this period, citing the complexity and thoroughness required in preparing the report.
16:36   IMD issues orange alert for TN, Pudu, Karaikal
The India Meteorological Department issued an orange alert for coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal. These regions are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall from November 30 and December 2 to 4, read the post by IMD on X. 

 "Coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal are likely to experience very heavy to isolated heavy rainfall (115.6 to 204.4 mm) between November 30 and December 2-4. Stay alert and stay safe!," IMD posted on X. 

 Heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts of Tamil Nadu.
16:17   Brothers behind Jerusalem attack were just released
The two assailants who carried out a terror attack on Thursday morning in Jerusalem have been identified as brothers, Murad Namr, 38, and Ibrahim Namr, 30, The Times of Israel reported citing the Shin Bet security agency.

The duo exited a car at the entrance to Jerusalem and opened fire at a group of civilians waiting at a bus stop, surveillance footage shared by a Times of Israel correspondent showed.

 The two brothers had previously been incarcerated for terror activity. Murad was jailed from 2010 to 2020 for planning terror attacks under the direction of terror elements in the Gaza Strip, reported The Times of Israel citing the Shin Bet security agency.

Ibrahim was jailed in 2014 for undisclosed terror activity, the agency said. The shooting that occurred at 7:40 am local time has killed three persons so far including, two elderly civilians, who died in hospital and a 24-year-old woman who died on the scene, several others were also injured during the incident. 

 One of the victims has been named as rabbinical judge Elimelech Wasserman. The offices of Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau both mourned Wasserman as a senior, gifted and dedicated Dayan (judge in Jewish religious court), saying he was "murdered by a vile person." 

 After his retirement, Wasserman was appointed a dayan amit, a retired rabbinical judge who continues serving after retirement if there are empty seats on the bench, The Times of Israel has reported. Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir arriving at the scene of this morning's terror attack, said that Israel must respond to the terror attacks with military pressure. 

 "This type of incident proves again how much we can't show weakness, how much we have to speak to Hamas only through intentions, only through the war," he said appearing to criticize the government's ceasefire negotiations with the terror group. -- ANI
16:01   Modi govt's recklessness is undermining national interest
If true, the allegations by three US federal agencies that an Indian official ordered a hit on Pannun in New York, paint an unflattering picture of India's national security leadership. Read the column here. 
15:52   Tunnel workers' dilemma: Stay back or go home?
Workers at the Silkyara tunnel are now faced with a dilemma, whether to stay back or return to their homes, which their family members desperately want them to do, days after 41 trapped colleagues were evacuated in an almost 17-day-long rescue operation. 

 "I have filled up the leave application form to go back home. We don't know when the construction work will resume," a machine operator from Bihar said. 

 Another labourer said his mother wants him to quit the tunnelling job. "We work in such conditions.... it is dangerous," he said. 

 According to a government official, the construction work could only be resumed after a safety audit of the tunnel. The mountain was drilled from the top to about 45 meters to rescue the trapped workers and the debris was still lying in the tunnel, he said. 

 "We don't know whether we have to stay back or should we home," a labourer from Odisha who has been working at the Silkyara Tunnel site for the past two years told PTI on Thursday.

The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited under the supervision of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had begun the construction work of this tunnel four years ago.

 The project aims to decrease between Yamunotri and Gangotri on the National Highway of the Char Dham route from 28 km to 4.5 km.

 On Wednesday, a worker said he was given two days of rest by his contractor. "We have been asked to take rest for one to two days but we are planning to extend our leaves," said another worker from Uttar Pradesh. The workers -- masons, foremen, machine operators and electricians -- are lodged in porta cabins set up around 200 meters from the tunnel in Silkyara. At least four to five workers stay in one cabin.

 "The expenses for food are provided by our company," an Assamese worker said. The officer and administrative employees live in the guest houses and homestays near the tunnel site, another worker said. 

 A worker from Jharkhand said, "My contractor has asked me to stay back for two to three days, but I am planning to go home for some days." 

He said out of his 15 colleagues, four had already returned home while three were trapped in the tunnel. Akhilesh Singh from Uttar Pradesh was one of 41 labourers trapped in the tunnel. 

"His uncle came and took his luggage a day after a portion of the tunnel collapsed," a room partner of Singh told PTI. Asked what they will do now, he said, "I will not quit the job but if I get leave I will visit my home." PTI
15:39   India approves procurement of 97 Tejas jets
India on Thursday accorded an initial approval to procure an additional batch of 97 Tejas light combat aircraft and around 150 Prachand helicopters to boost the overall combat capability of the armed forces, official sources said.

 The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also cleared a proposal of the Indian Air Force to upgrade its Su-30 fighter fleet, the sources said. 

 It is learnt that mega procurement projects and the Su-30 upgrade programme are expected to cost the exchequer Rs 1.3 lakh crore. The defence ministry is expected to provide the details of the projects cleared by the DAC soon. -- PTI
Former National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger works in his office
Former National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger works in his office
15:22   Was on first-name terms with Henry: Tharoor
As former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger passed away, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Thursday recalled how the ex-American diplomat had morphed into the most prominent advocate of closer US-India relations three decades after being the architect of the US tilt towards Pakistan in 1971. 

 Tharoor also said it helps to live long enough so that people don't remember ones earlier statements and actions.

Kissinger, known for his disdain for India's leadership in the 1970s, died at the age of 100, but the well-known American statesman and former secretary of state had been advocating stronger US-India ties for the last one decade under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

 In a post on X, Tharoor said, "The end of, by any definition, an extraordinary life. Henry Kissinger was indeed both a pivotal and a polarising figure. He also cited a BBC obituary of Kissinger. "For a few years in New York, I knew him well enough to be on first-name terms with him. I was still amazed how 'Henry', the architect of the US tilt towards Pakistan in 1971, could morph with such insouciance into the most prominent advocate of closer US-India relations three decades later," the former minister of state for external affairs said. 

 "It helps to live long enough so people don't remember your earlier statements and actions!" Tharoor said. Considered the architect of the US-China relationship since the early 70s, Kissinger died at his home in Connecticut on Wednesday. PTI
Congress Jubilee Hills MLA candidate Mohammad Azharuddin votes
Congress Jubilee Hills MLA candidate Mohammad Azharuddin votes
15:00   Telangana records 36.68% voter turnout till 1 pm
 A total of 36.68 per cent of voter turnout was recorded till 1 pm in Telangana, which is currently undergoing polls for its 119 assembly seats, according to the Election Commission of India.

 Long queues were seen outside the polling stations in towns and rural parts of Telangana since early this morning as the polling for the State Assembly at 7 am.
14:47   Exit polls results after 5:30 pm today
The exit poll results for the assembly elections of the five states- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram are set to be declared after 5:30 pm on Thursday.

The exit polls will likely give indications of the assembly election outcomes.

An exit poll is a survey that is conducted immediately after people have voted for their respective candidates. The tool helps in assessing the support for political parties and their candidates.

The voting in these states was held between November 7 and November 30.
Israelis wait for a convoy carrying hostages
Israelis wait for a convoy carrying hostages
14:23   Jerusalem shooters are from Hamas: Israel
Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir says the two shooters in Jerusalem are members of Hamas and were residents in East Jerusalem, reports the BBC.

"These are apparently Hamas operatives, who speak here with two voices, one voice of a so-called cease-fire and a second voice of terror," said Gvir.

He added that the attack shows the importance of distributing weapons to civilians in Israel. 
14:09   So the answer to who sent Vir Das flowers is...
... Priyanka Chopra! 

The handwritten note sent along with the flowers read, "Dear Vir, wishing you huge congratulations on your Emmy win! Such a well deserved and wonderful accomplishment! With love, Priyanka, Mary and your friends at Purple Pebble Pictures." 

Purple Pebble Pictures is a film production company established by actor and producer Priyanka.

Vir Das took to X and shared this picture alongside, called her 'awesome' as he thanked her for the sweet gesture. "Thank you @priyankachopra for the flowers and for every door youve opened for the rest of us. Youre awesome!" Vir Das wrote. 
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun
14:04   Contrary to policy: India on US claims on Pannun
India on Thursday described as a "matter of concern" the US charging an Indian national with conspiring to kill a Sikh separatist on American soil, and asserted that a high-level probe committee will investigate all aspects of the case. 

India has constituted a probe team to investigate allegations relating to the conspiracy to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Sikh extremist and known to be an American and Canadian citizen. 

 On Wednesday, US federal prosecutors charged Indian national Nikhil Gupta of involvement in the foiled plot to kill Pannun. 

 "As regards the case against an individual that has been filed in a US court allegedly linking him to an Indian official, this is a matter of concern," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. 

 "We have said and let me reiterate that this is also contrary to government policy," he said at a media briefing. 

 Bagchi said the "nexus between organised crime, trafficking, gunrunning and extremists at an international level is a serious issue for law enforcement agencies and organisations to consider and it is precisely for that reason a high-level inquiry committee has been constituted and we will obviously be guided by its results." 

 The Financial Times, citing unnamed sources, last week reported that US authorities foiled a plot to assassinate Pannun, and issued a warning to the Indian government over concerns it was involved in the plot. 

 The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that the Biden administration was so concerned after discovering the plot to assassinate the Sikh separatist that it sent CIA Director William J Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to India in August and October respectively to demand investigation and hold to account those responsible. PTI
File pic
File pic
13:14   Death toll in Jerusalem attack rises to three
The death toll from the shooting attack in Jerusalem has risen to three as another elderly victim succumbed to their injuries, Israeli media say.

Earlier the BBC reported that a 24-year-old woman and a man in his 70s were killed. The police said two attackers opened fire at a bus station in the outskirts of Jerusalem during the morning rush hour. The police said they received the initial reports at 07:40 local time.

The two suspects were later "neutralised by security forces and a nearby civilian", the police said. Police have sealed off the scene of the attack.
13:09   15 tunnel workers to be flown home tomorrow
Fifteen labourers from Jharkhand who were rescued from Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi will be airlifted to Delhi on Thursday and from there to Ranchi on Friday morning.

They will fly to Ranchi from New Delhi as there is no direct flight between Dehradun with a stopover at Jharkhand Bhawan.

After medical screening of the labourers trapped in the tunnel accident in Uttarkashi is going on at AIIMS Rishikesh, all the labourers can be discharged very soon, after which all the labourers will be sent to their destinations, a Jharkhand government official said while talking to ANI.

"15 labourers from Jharkhand would be sent to Delhi by 7.45 pm flight and then they would be made to stay at Jharkhand Bhawan for the night, after which they would be taken from Delhi to Ranchi by a morning flight the next day and will be dropped at their destination," the Jharkhand official added.

The workers who were rescued from the Silkyara tunnel were brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, for further medical examination on Wednesday.
13:05   Guess which international actor sent Vir Das flowers
Vir Das tweeted his thanks to this actor for the flowers and "for every door you've opened for the rest of us". The actor sent Vir Das a congratulatory note for his Emmy win. 

Who is the actor?
ISRO chief S Somnath with his colleagues. File pic
ISRO chief S Somnath with his colleagues. File pic
12:22   Nasa chief to visit ISRO today with India's 1st...
NASA administrator Bill Nelson will visit ISRO today to see the low earth orbit observatory, NISAR. He will be accompanied by India's first astronaut Rakesh Sharma.

Nelson will visit the UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bengaluru, where the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite is undergoing testing before its scheduled launch in 2024.

The NASA chief who is on a visit to India on Wednesday had an interaction with students of Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum (VITM) in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

NASA Administrator also noted how the upcoming joint NISAR mission, scheduled for launch in 2024 is just one example of how the US and India's partnership in space is helping people on Earth. Data from NISAR will help people worldwide better manage natural resources and hazards, as well as provide information for scientists to better understand the effects and pace of climate change.

Nelson announced that the US will help train and send an Indian astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of 2024.

Meanwhile, ISRO chief S Somanath said, "It's an announcement based on our PM and President of the US meeting and this idea was mooted. We are taking it forward; that's what the NASA chief said--that Indian astronauts will be flying to the international space station in an American weight. The whole programme should be done in a manner that benefits us. We want our astronauts to be trained at US facilities."
12:15   President Murmu reviews passing out parade of NDA grads
President Droupadi Murmu reviewed the Passing Out Parade of the 145th Course of National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla today. She also laid the foundation stone for a building of the upcoming 5th Battalion.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the NDA is a cradle of leadership which has given birth to great warriors. 

"This Academy has a special place among the best training institutes of the country and is recognized as a strong pillar for the armed forces and the country," President Murmu said.

She expressed confidence that the training and life values ''received from NDA always help cadets move ahead in life. She advised cadets to move forward by learning and adopting new technologies to face the challenges of the future. 
12:03   'Karnataka results will be repeated in Telangana'
Telangana Congress President Revanth Reddy on Thursday exuded confidence that the election result in Karnataka will be repeated in Telangana. 

 Voting is underway at various polling booths across the state amid heavy security arrangements. Speaking to ANI after casting his vote, the Congress leader said, "Congress will make the government with a two-thirds majority. We will repeat Karnataka results in Telangana." The ground situation changed a lot in Telangana after the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress leader claimed. 

 When asked if he would be the Chief Minister if the Congress party is voted to power, he said, "There are 85 MLAs; everyone is capable of the CM post. There is a process..." 

 Ahead of casting his vote, the Congress leader lashed out at the ruling BRS government, headed by CM K Chandrashekar Rao. 

"For 10 years, under the KCR government, the farmers of the state suffered..." He said that he has great expectations from the first-time voters who will take the future of Telangana "ahead". -- ANI
11:54   From today, we are one: Randeep Hooda shares wedding pics
Actor-couple Randeep Hooda and Lin Laishram have shared first pictures from their wedding. The two actors tied the knot on Wednesday at Chumthang Sanapung in Manipur capital Imphal.

"From today, we are One. #JustMarried," Hooda and Laishram posted on their respective Instagram pages along with photos from the marriage ceremony.

 Hooda, who has acted in films like "Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster", "Jannat 2", "Highway" and "Sarbjit", was dressed in traditional Manipuri white dhoti (Pheijom), kurta and turban (Kokyet). 

 Laishram wore the traditional Manipuri costume of Potloi, a highly decorated red-coloured cylindrical skirt made of thick fabric and a traditional dark green blouse embellished with jewellery. 

 The wedding was performed in traditional Meitei rituals which featured the bride circling in dignified movement around a seated groom for seven times and the bride and groom garlanding each other with floral garland made of a variety of Jasmine flowers (kundo) amidst cheers from the guests. 

 Hooda, 47, and Lin, 37, have been in a relationship for sometime. Lin is a model, actor and businesswoman, who has featured in films such as Mary Kom, Rangoon and most recently Jaane Jaan. -- PTI
11:32   Singapore is world's most expensive city
Singapore maintained its pole position as the world's most expensive city for the ninth time in the last eleven years, tying with Zurich and overtaking New York, which fell to third place this year. 

A second Asian city -- Hong Kong -- also ranked in the top five.

Asia continues to see relatively lower price increases on average compared to other regions. 

Four Chinese cities (Nanjing, Wuxi, Dalian and Beijing) and two Japanese ones (Osaka and Tokyo) were among the biggest movers down the rankings this year.

EIU's Worldwide Cost of Living survey found that, on average, prices rose by 7.4% year on year in local-currency terms. Price growth has slowed from the 8.1% reported in last year's survey, but remains significantly above the trend in 2017-21.

Of the 10 categories in our price index, utility prices rose the most slowly over the past year, reflecting the waning impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Grocery prices, however, continue to rise strongly.

Three of the bottom ten positions in this year's rankings are occupied by Asian cities, namely Karachi, Ahmedabad and Chennai
11:19   Israel, Hamas extend truce minutes before it ends
A temporary cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war has been extended another day, according to mediator Qatar. The announcement Thursday came minutes before the cease-fire was set to expire. Israel had agreed to extend the truce by one day for every 10 militant-held hostages who are freed. 

The Gaza truce was extended after Hamas gave Israel a new list of women and child hostages to be released "a short time ago", the Israel Hayom newspaper reported, quoting the Prime Minister's Office.

The cease-fire, which began November 24 and was originally set to expire on Monday, has paused the deadliest fighting between Israel and Palestinians in decades. 

 Israel has vowed to resume the war in an effort to end Hamas' 16-year rule of Gaza, but it's facing mounting international pressure to spare southern Gaza a devastating ground offensive like the one that has demolished much of the north.

 Roughly 240 hostages were captured by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel that ignited the war. More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed since the war began. 
Actor Allu Arjun votes
Actor Allu Arjun votes
11:06   8% voting in two hours in Telangana
Around 7.78 per cent voters turned up to vote till 9 am in the election to the 119-member Telangana Legislative Assembly on Thursday. Union Minister and state BJP president G Kishan Reddy, BRS Working President K T Rama Rao, his sister and MLC Kavitha, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi were among leaders who exercised their franchise in the initial hours of polling, which began at 7 am. 

 Several film personalities, including Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh and Allu Arjun also cast their ballot. 

 Hailing India's democracy, Kishan Reddy, president of BJP in Telangana, said one does not get the right to criticise the political system without fulfilling the responsibility of voting. 

 Finding fault with the distribution of money and liquor to lure voters, he urged the electorate to vote fearlessly and without being influenced by any inducements. Noting that he has fulfilled his duty as a citizen, Rama Rao asked people of Telangana to step out and exercise their franchise in large numbers. -- PTI
10:42   Indian govt needs to work with us: Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called on the Indian government to cooperate with Canada in the investigation of the killing of India designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar after the United States Justice Department filed an indictment against an Indian national for his alleged involvement in a foiled plot to assassinate a US-based leader of the Sikh Separatist Movement in New York, CBC News reported. 

 Trudeau was quoted by CBC as saying that the news coming out of the US underscores the need for India to take the issue seriously. Speaking to reporters, Trudeau said, "The news coming out of the United States further underscores what we've been talking about from the very beginning: which is India needs to take this seriously."

 He said, "The Indian government needs to work with us to ensure that we're getting to the bottom of this. This is not something that anyone can take lightly," according to CBC News report. 

 Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said that she would not make remarks on the US criminal case but added she expected more from India, CBC News reported. 

 She said, "Clearly, we expect more cooperation on their part. And more engagement on their part." 

Joly made the remarks in Brussels, where she was attending a NATO meeting. The US Justice Department unsealed the indictment against the Indian national about two months after Trudeau made allegations about India's involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Colombia's Surrey in June. India had outrightly rejected the allegation, terming it "absurd and politically motivated." -- ANI
Former US president Nixon had called Indira Gandhi 'old witch'
Former US president Nixon had called Indira Gandhi 'old witch'
10:25   'Indira was more than a match for Kissinger'
As former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger passed away, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday recalled that in 1971 then US President Richard Nixon and Kissinger created huge headaches for India but then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her close aide P N Haksar proved more than a match for them. 

 Kissinger, who dominated foreign policy as the United States extricated itself from Vietnam, died Wednesday. He was 100. 

 In a post on X, Ramesh said, Henry Kissinger has passed away. He was as immensely consequential as he was hugely controversial. In his long and eventful life he has been both celebrated and condemned, Ramesh noted. But there can be no doubt about his sheer intellectual brilliance and awesome charisma, he said. 

 For the last three decades, he positioned himself as a great friend and supporter of India and indeed he was, Ramesh said.

"But this was not always so and in 1971 especially, President Nixon and he created huge headaches for India and thought they had us cornered.

"However, Indira Gandhi and P N Haksar proved more than a match for them, the former Union minister said. I have described the Kissinger-Haksar and Nixon-Indira Gandhi encounters with archival detail in my book 'Intertwined Lives: PN Haksar & Indira Gandhi'," Ramesh said. 

 He also pointed out that Gary Bass in his book 'The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide' indicts Kissinger severely for his role in the events of 1971 leading up to the creation of Bangladesh. PTI
10:24   'There was no doubt Vicky will deliver what I want'
"I do not refer to (Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw) him in the past tense. This is the impact he has had on me. They don't make men like him anymore," says filmmaker Meghna Gulzar

"The minute I had my script, the first thing I did was ring up Vicky," she says in the concluding part of the interview to's Archana Masih.
Read the interview here.
10:06   Kissinger is the only American to have dealt directly with every Chinese leader
"Over the years, Henry Kissinger was also subject to scathing criticism from those who accused him of putting rivalry with the Soviet Union over human rights and supporting repressive regimes across the world, including Augusto Pinochet in Chile.

Kissinger, however, was dismissive of this criticism.

"That's a reflection of their ignorance," the gravel-voiced statesman told CBS in an interview shortly before his 100th birthday.

In 1973, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize alongside North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho, who refused to accept.

The award led to two members of the Nobel committee resigning.

Read more on former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who passed away today, here
09:57   Telangana votes: Congress says people will...
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge Thursday said the people of Telangana have decided that they will choose a transparent and people-friendly government that has a safety net for the disadvantaged. 

 Former party chief Rahul Gandhi urged the people of Telangana to vote in large numbers and vote for the Congress. 

 Polling is underway to elect 119 members of the Telangana Legislative Assembly, with voters queuing up to exercise their franchise amid tight security on Thursday. In a post on X, Kharge said, "People of Telangana have decided that they will choose a transparent, people-friendly government, with a safety net for the disadvantaged." 

 "'No force on earth can stop an idea whose time has come. Let us ensure a Prajala Telangana now! This is the time to come out and vote in large numbers to make it happen. This is the time to realise the countless dreams and aspirations of Telangana's people, for which you have shed your sweat and blood for years," he said. 

 "We welcome our first-time voters of the state to participate in this democratic process for change and social justice," the Congress president said, adding that the youngest state in India must show the way.

 In a post on X, Rahul Gandhi said, "Today, Prajala will defeat Dorala! Brothers and sisters of Telangana, step out and vote in large numbers! Vote to build a 'Bangaru' Telangana, Vote for Congress." 

 Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also appealed to the people of Telangana to vote in large numbers. 

 In a post in Hindi on X, she said, "It is an appeal to you (people of Telangana) to vote thoughtfully, with full enthusiasm and energy. Voting is your right and biggest responsibility. Fulfill the dreams of the people of Telangana with the power of vote. Congratulations in advance. Jai Telangana. Jai Hind." Voting began at 7 am at the 35,655 polling stations across the state, officials said. -- PTI
09:40   Court nod to Varavara Rao to travel for eye surgery
A special NIA court in Mumbai has allowed activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the 2018 Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, to travel to Hyderabad to undergo cataract surgery.

 Judge Rajesh Katariya on Wednesday permitted Rao to travel to the Telangana capital between December 5 and 11 for his left eye surgery.

 He must report to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on December 4 and furnish details of his journey and the address and contact number of the place where he would be staying in Hyderabad, the court said. 

 The court also warned the activist not to misuse the liberty granted to him. Rao was arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case in 2018 and granted temporary bail on medical grounds in March 2021 by the Bombay High Court. 

 In August 2022, the Supreme Court granted him regular bail on medical grounds. One of the conditions in the bail order was that Rao shall not leave the jurisdiction of the special NIA court in Mumbai without the court's permission. -- PTI
09:08   Henry Kissinger dies aged 100
Former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger died on Wednesday at his home in Connecticut at the age of 100, The Washington Post reported.

Kissinger's death was announced in a statement by his consulting firm, which did not mention the cause.

'Kissinger, a scholar, statesman and celebrity diplomat held unparalleled power over US foreign policy during the administrations of US Presidents - Richard M Nixon and Gerald Ford and afterwards as a consultant and writer, shared opinions that shaped global politics and business,' according to The Washington Post report.

Heinz Alfred Kissinger was born in Germany's Furth on May 27, 1923. He was 12 years old when the Nuremberg Laws stripped Germany's Jews of their citizenship. Sponsored by a relative in New York, Kissinger and his family left Germany and moved to the US in August 1938. He became Henry after he moved to the US.

As the only person ever to be White House National Security Advisor and US Secretary of State at the same time, he had control over US foreign policy that has rarely been equalled by anyone who was not the president, The Washington Post reported.

Kissinger and Vietnam's Le Duc Tho shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the secret negotiations that led to the 1973 Paris Agreement and ended the participation of the US military in the Vietnam War.

His 'shuttle diplomacy' after the 1973 Middle East war helped stabilise ties between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

He was the architect of Nixon's historic opening to China. As the theoretician of detente with the Soviet Union, Kissinger earned much of the credit for policy shifts that redirected the course of world affairs, according to The Washington Post report.

With his German accent, incisive wit, owlish looks and zest for socializing in Hollywood, he was instantly recognized across the world. When he was appointed US Secretary of State, a Gallup poll found him to be the most admired person in the country, the report said.

He also became the target of critics who called him unprincipled and amoral. 

He refrained from visiting Oslo to accept the Nobel award over fear of hostile protests.

After leaving the government at the end of the Ford administration, Kissinger accepted consulting positions. However, he spent most of the first few years working on the first two volumes of his massive memoirs, written with the help of British editor Harold Evans.

He even started a business advising blue-chip corporate clients on international policy. Apart from consulting work, Kissinger wrote a syndicated column about world affairs and appeared frequently on 'Nightline' and other television news programs.Even in his final years, he continued to write books and participated in conferences and parties.

In July 2023, at the age of 100, Kissinger visited China.

During his visit to China, he received a warm welcome from senior Chinese officials, who praised him for being a statesman unrivalled in the US.

His visit to Beijing came amid the strained ties between the US and China. Notably, the ties between the US and China became strained after the then-US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August 2022, which China claims part of its territory.   -- ANI
08:27   Voting begins for 119 seats in Telangana
Polling began amid elaborate arrangements in all 119 assembly constituencies in Telangana on Thursday morning.

Voting began at 7 am and will conclude at 6 pm.

As many as 2,290 candidates from 109 national and regional parties including 221 women and one transgender are in the fray.

Their fate will be decided by a total of 3.17 crore voters.

A total of 103 legislators are re-contesting this time, most of them from the ruling Bharat Rasthra Samiti (BRS).

Voters would exercise their franchise at 35,655 polling stations set up across the state.

For the first time in Telangana, a home voting facility is being provided to persons with disabilities and voters above 80 years of age.

Home voting for citizens aged over 80 years and persons with disabilities has also been made available, with about 27,600 voters enlisted to avail of the service on Thursday.

About 1,000 other voters have also registered for the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System.-- ANI

IMAGE: Actor Allu Arjun after voting at a polling booth in Hyderabad. Photograph: ANI on X
01:18   Nepal becomes the first South Asian country to officially register same-sex marriage
Five months after the Supreme Court legalised it, Nepal on Wednesday formally registered the first case of same-sex marriage, making it the first South Asian country to do so. 

Trans-woman Maya Gurung, 35 and Surendra Pandey, 27, a gay, got legally married and their marriage was registered at Dordi Rural Municipality of Lamjung district in Western Nepal, according to Sanjib Gurung (Pinky), president of Blue Diamond Society, an organisation working for the rights and welfare of the sexual minorities in Nepal. 

Way back in 2007, Nepal's Supreme Court had allowed same-sex marriage. 

Even the Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, explicitly states that there can be no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. 

On June 27, 2023, the Supreme Court issued an interim order to legalise same-sex marriage in Nepal in a writ petition filed by multiple people, including Gurung. 

But despite the historic order to temporarily register same-sex marriage, Kathmandu district court four months ago rejected the move citing a lack of necessary laws. 

Surendra Pandey and Maya's marriage application was rejected at that time. -- PTI
01:13   Youth dies in stampede during marriage function in UP's Pratapgarh
A youth died after he fell into a well in a stampede during a marriage function in Pratapgarh, the police said on Wednesday. 

The incident took place on Tuesday night in the Shekhpur Athgawa village in Patti area after a dispute while people were dancing in a the function, leading to a stampede, Patti SHO Arjun Singh said. 

There were some people in an inebriated state due to which the dispute took place, locals said. -- PTI
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00:52   Row over burqa-clad women on catwalk in UP college, Muslim body seeks apology
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, a Muslim body, has raised objections to a recent fashion show held in a local college where participants walked down the ramp wearing burqas. 

The convener of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind in Muzaffarnagar, Maulana Mukarram Qasmi, in a statement alleged that the organisers of the show targeted a religion and demanded an apology for what he deemed as a disrespectful portrayal of the traditional garment. 

The controversy erupted after a video from the fashion show organised at Shri Ram College here on Sunday went viral on social media which showcased participants walking down the ramp in burqas. Qasmi said that the burqa holds cultural and religious significance, representing the tradition of 'purdah' (veil). 

"Burqa should not be treated as an item for display in a fashion show," he said, adding that the incident goes against the cultural values associated with the attire. 

Qasmi condemned the use of the burqa in such a manner and called for an immediate apology from the college authorities. 

"If they fail to apologise, our organisation will take legal steps against the college authorities," he said. -- PTI
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00:45   ED seizes cash, jewellery in ABG Shipyard searches
The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday said it has seized cash and jewellery worth about Rs 5 crore after fresh searches against ABG Shipyard and others as part of a money laundering probe linked to an alleged bank loan fraud. 

The searches were undertaken on November 24 at seven locations in Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. 

The central agency undertook searches in this case first time in April, 2022. 

"The searches were conducted at the residences of the persons, family members related to ABG Shipyard Ltd and its related group companies which resulted in the recovery and seizure of unaccounted cash, bullion and jewellery to the tune of Rs 5 crore," the ED said in a statement. 

The money laundering case stems from the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the company for causing loss to the tune of Rs 22,842 crore to a consortium of banks led by ICICI Bank. 

 ABG Shipyard and its group companies availed various credit/loan facilities from the consortium of banks for the purpose of working capital requirement and capital expenditure and some other purposes, it said. 

However, ABG Shipyard and its group companies "utilised huge funds for purposes other than its stated use and diverted the same through various group companies incorporated in India and abroad," the ED alleged. -- PTI