Wed, 26 June 2024
Govt lens on Foxconn bar on married women

Timeline  Refresh

23:55   Chhattisgarh: Six Maoists involved in killing of 2 CoBRA personnel arrested
At least six Maoists, involved in blowing up a truck with an IED that killed two personnel of CRPF's CoBRA unit on June 23 in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, have been arrested with explosives, the police said on Wednesday. 

They were apprehended on Tuesday by police and the 201st unit of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action of the CRPF from the forests between Timmapuram and Tekalgudam villages under the Jagargunda police station limits in Sukma district during an anti-Maoist operation, an official said. 

They were active as Militia members, he added. Security personnel recovered 11 detonators, 11 pencil cells, eight gelatin rods, two switches, and Maoist literature from the possession of Tamu Bhima (30), Korsa Deepak (18), Bhune Kunjam (19), Korsa Ayatu (40), Vetti Pandu (40), and Korsa Raju (19), the official said. 

They have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Codes, Arms Act, and the Explosive Substances Act. 

Maoists blew up the truck carrying rations for security personnel near Timmapuram village between Silger and Tekalgudem camps killing constable Shailendra (29) and driver Vishnu R (35), police had said. -- PTI
23:29   Spurned man stabs woman to death as onlookers watch in Chhattisgarh, held
A knife-wielding married man fatally stabbed a 20-year-old woman, two months after their relationship turned sour, in Chhattisgarh's Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi district on Wednesday, the police said, as onlookers watched in horror but did not intervene. 

CCTV cameras captured the horrific incident and footage showed the man accosting the victim and bystanders failing to intervene as he repeatedly stabbed her. 

The accused, Durgesh Prajapati (28), fled the spot, but was later arrested from the Marwahi area, superintendent of police Bhavna Gupta told reporters. 

The incident took place at around 11:30 am in front of an ATM in Gaurela town when the victim Ranjana Yadav, a resident of Jhagrakhand village in the district, was going somewhere with her cousin brother, Gupta said. 

As per preliminary information, Yadav, a college student who also worked at a beauty parlour here, was in a relationship with Prajapati for the last three years, she said. 

Prajapati, who worked at a petrol pump, is already married twice and was living with his second wife. 

Yadav stopped talking to the man two months ago and blocked his mobile phone number. 

Despite his repeated attempts to reach out to her, the victim ignored the accused, Gupta said. -- PTI
File image
File image
23:18   Govt seeks report on Foxconn's bar on married women
The ministry of labour and employment on Wednesday said it has sought a detailed report from the Tamil Nadu labour department amid reports that married women are not being allowed to work at the Foxconn India Apple iPhone Plant. 

Section 5 of the Equal Remuneration Act 1976 clearly stipulates that no discrimination is to be made while recruiting men and women workers, the labour ministry said in a statement. 

As the state government is the appropriate authority for the enforcement and administration of the provisions of this Act, the report has been sought from it, it stated. 

At the same time, it stated that the office of regional chief labour commissioner has also been directed to furnish the report to the ministry of labour & employment, government of India. 

The labour and employment ministry takes note of media reports on married women not being allowed to work at Foxconn India Apple iPhone Plant in Tamil Nadu, it added. -- PTI
The Ather 450X e-scooter/Courtesy
The Ather 450X e-scooter/Courtesy
23:11   Ather to set up Rs 2,000-cr e-scooter plant in Maha
Ather Energy will set up a Rs 2,000 crore electric scooter manufacturing plant at Aurangabad Industrial City in central Maharashtra's Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar district, the state government said on Wednesday. 

The plant will produce up to one million units of vehicles and battery packs annually and create around 4,000 jobs, deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in a post on X. 

"Just got done with a meeting with the Founder of Ather Energy, Swapnil Jain, and I am glad to share that he informed about their great decision that Ather Energy, the leading electric scooter manufacturer, has chosen Maharashtra for its 3rd manufacturing facility in Aurangabad Industrial City," he said. 

The development underscores Maharashtra's supportive business environment and robust electric vehicle manufacturing policies which align with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for India's industrial growth, Fadnavis said. 

It also shows that Maharashtra is a preferred destination for investments in automotive innovation, and "the Marathwada region will lead Maharashtra's growth story," Fadnavis said. -- PTI
Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai/File image
Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai/File image
22:54   Hooch tragedy: Annamalai sends defamation notice to DMK leader
Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai on Wednesday demanded Rs 1 crore from a senior DMK leader for "spreading slanderous, false propaganda" against him vis-a-vis the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy, that has left nearly 60 persons dead, and said the money will be used to construct a de-addiction centre in the affected locality in the northern district. 

A legal notice to DMK organisation secretary RS Bharathi was sent by Annamalai's advocate RC Paul Kanagaraj and the BJP leader shared a copy of it on his 'X' handle. 

"Here's the copy of the defamation notice sent today to the Organisation Secretary of DMK, Thiru RS Bharathi, for spreading slanderous, false propaganda aimed at me to divert the attention from the misgovernance of the DMK, which led to the death of over 60 people in Kallakurichi." 

"We have sought Rs 1 crore in damages, which will be used to construct & operate a deaddiction centre in Karunapuram, Kallakurichi," the BJP leader added. 

Among others, the notice said Bharathi held BJP "liable" for the tragedy and that "they have done it." 

It also charged Bharathi with making some direct accusations against Annamalai which were "false, concocted and incorrect" which had lowered the saffron party leader's dignity. 

Kanagaraj said his client calls upon Bharathi to tender an unconditional apology within three days of receiving the legal notice. -- PTI
Actor Aditi Rao Hydari/Courtesy Aditi Rao Hydari/Instagram
Actor Aditi Rao Hydari/Courtesy Aditi Rao Hydari/Instagram
22:36   Aditi Rao Hydari waits for 15 hours for her luggage at Heathrow Airport
Heeramandi actor Aditi Rao Hydari recently shared her frustrating experience at Heathrow Airport in the UK, revealing that her luggage went missing and she had to wait for several hours without any help from the airport staff. 

Taking to her Instagram Stories on Wednesday, Aditi posted a video expressing her frustration. "#Heathrow chaos * 10000. 2 hours at an empty luggage belt! @heathrow_airport Worst!!!!!," the actress stated. 

She also shared a screenshot of her conversation with Heathrow Airport, which directed her to contact the airline for further information. 

Aditi wrote, "Heathrow washed their hands off any answers @british_airways ?????? Hour 3 and ticking." 

In another update, Aditi posted a countdown video, tagging both the airline and the airport. 

Aditi also took to her X account and wrote, "19 hours and ticking...Also, @British_Airways just putting it out there. This isn't my first rodeo with the #Heeramandi on @NetflixIndia and you'll know that I'm not one to go down without a fight for justice! So can you free our bags! ASAP! I have a conference to attend, and the essentials I'll need for it will not meet your criteria for essentials." -- PTI
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File image
22:09   Some passengers miss Lucknow-Varanasi connecting IndiGo flight; airline apologises
Some IndiGo passengers missed their connecting flight from Lucknow to Varanasi on Tuesday as the incoming flight was delayed due to operational reasons and the airline has apologised for the inconvenience caused to the customers. 

In a statement, the airline said the customers were served refreshments and offered options to travel on the next available flight with hotel accommodation in Lucknow or continuing their journey via surface transport which was promptly arranged at Lucknow. 

"We deeply apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers," it added. 

According to IndiGo, flight 6E 518 operating from Dehradun to Lucknow was delayed due to operational reasons which resulted in some customers missing their connecting flight 6E 7741 from Lucknow to Varanasi. -- PTI
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File image
21:42   India received $120 bn in remittances in 2023: WB
India received $120 billion in remittances in 2023, which is almost twice of $66 billion received by Mexico during the same period, the World Bank said in a report released on Wednesday. 

China ($50 billion), the Philippines ($39 billion), and Pakistan ($27 billion) figure in top five countries list of remittances recipients as released by the World Bank, according to which remittances in 2023 after a period of strong growth during 2021-2022, officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries moderated in 2023, reaching an estimated $656 billion. 

"Growing at 7.5 per cent, remittance flows to India touched $120 billion in 2023, reflecting the benefits of a deceleration in inflation and strong labour markets in the United States, the largest destination for India's skilled migrants, and other OECD destinations, as well as positive demand for skilled and less-skilled workers in the GCC countries (which, together, are the second largest destination for Indian migrants)," the World Bank said. 

While the same external demand conditions could have favoured remittance flows to Pakistan, weak internal conditions due to a balance of payments crisis and economic difficulties triggered remittances to plummet 12 percent to $27 billion in 2023 compared with more than $30 billion in 2022, it said. -- PTI
21:35   Maha cops arrest Yemeni man for helping Thai women get fake PAN, Aadhaar
The police have arrested a Yemeni man for allegedly helping four Thai women get fake Aadhaar and PAN cards after taking one of them into custody for allegedly running a prostitution racket in Maharashtra's Thane, an official said on Wednesday. 

The Thane police arrested Bagdi Abdullah Mughed Saad (42) from Pune on Tuesday, he said. 

Acting on a tip-off, a team of the Anti-Human Trafficking Cell of the Thane police raided a hotel last week and arrested a 44-year-old Thai woman for allegedly running a sex racket. 

Three more Thai women were rescued from there, police had said. 

During the investigation, the police learnt that Saad had helped the four women get fake Aadhaar and PAN cards. 

With the help of technical leads, they tracked him down to Pune and took him into custody, said deputy commissioner of police (crime) Shivraj Patil on Wednesday. 

Saad and the arrested Thai woman were living in India despite the expiry of their passports and visas, he said, adding that police have now invoked the Foreigners National Act and upgraded the original FIR. -- PTI
21:23   6 Assam police personnel sentenced to life imprisonment for murder
Six police personnel were on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment by a local court in Tinsukia district of Assam for beating one person to death in an open market 11 years ago. 

Tinsukia district and sessions judge Dipankar Bora sentenced the six policemen to life term under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. 

The incident dates back to October 7, 2013, when a person named Ajit Sonowal was beaten at Ambikapur market. 

Subsequently, he was transferred to the Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh for treatment. 

However, he had succumbed to his injuries. 

Sonowal's father filed an FIR at Sadiya Police Station on October 9, 2013. 

After a thorough investigation, the chargesheet was filed and the trial began in the Tinsukia district and sessions court. 

The court, considering the evidence, witness testimonies and the arguments presented by government advocate Ashok Chaudhary, found the six police personnel guilty. -- PTI
Sam Pitroda/File image
Sam Pitroda/File image
21:00   Sam Pitroda re-appointed chairman of Indian Overseas Congress
Sam Pitroda was re-appointed as the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, an AICC release said on Wednesday. 

The AICC release said that the Congress president has reappointed Sam Pitroda to the position with immediate effect. 

Pitroda had resigned from the position earlier in May this year amid controversies surrounding his remarks regarding the appearance of Indians. The Congress party then distanced itself from Pitroda's remarks. 

Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh informed about Pitroda's decision to step down through a post on X. 

"Sam Pitroda has decided to step down as chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress of his own accord. The Congress President has accepted his decision," the post mentioned. 

Pitroda, in an interview with The Statesman, while reflecting upon the democracy in India, said, "We have survived 75 years in a very happy environment where people could live together, leaving aside a few fights here and there. We could hold a country together as diverse as India, where people in the East look like Chinese, people in the West look like Arabs, people in the North look like whites, and maybe people in the South look like Africans." -- ANI
Canada-based terrorist Goldy Brar/File image
Canada-based terrorist Goldy Brar/File image
20:25   NIA declares Rs 10L bounty each on arrest of Canada-based terrorist Goldy Brar, aide
The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday declared a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh each for sharing information that can help in arresting Canada-based terrorist Goldy Brar and another accused wanted in an "extortion and firing" case in Chandigarh. 

The two accused are wanted in the case related to firing at the house of a businessman as part of an extortion bid on March 8 this year, said a statement issued by the probe agency. 

The case has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms Act against accused Satwinder Singh alias Satinderjit Singh alias Goldy Brar, son of Shamsher Singh, a resident of Adesh Nagar, Sri Muktsar Sahib City, Punjab, and accused Gurpreet Singh alias Goldy Dhillon alias Goldy Rajpura, son of Sukhjinder Singh of Baba Deep Singh Colony, Rajpura, Punjab, it said. 

"The NIA on Wednesday spread its dragnet further in search of designated terrorist Goldy Brar and one other gangster wanted in a case of extortion and firing at the house of a businessman in Chandigarh with the declaration of a cash reward for their arrest," the statement said. 

The agency has announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh each for any information leading to the apprehension/arrest of either of the two men, it said, adding the "identity of the informant will be kept a secret". -- PTI
19:49   As HC rejects bail, Andhra police arrest YSRCP leader who damaged EVM
Andhra Pradesh police on Wednesday arrested YSRCP leader P Ramakrishna Reddy after the high court dismissed his anticipatory bail plea in a case over his alleged attack on a TDP polling agent who questioned him for smashing an EVM. 

On polling day May 13, former Macherla MLA Ramakrishna Reddy barged into polling station number 202 in the constituency and smashed an EVM on the floor and also allegedly engaged in an altercation with "adversaries" at the polling station. 

When the TDP agent questioned Reddy, he allegedly threatened him and later instigated his followers against him. 

They allegedly attacked the agent with sticks, rods and knives brought in their vehicles. 

The act of EVM smashing was caught on a web camera installed by the Election Commission, leading to Reddy's identification with footage and documentary evidence. 

Following this, he was "absconding' for a few days. 

The Andhra Pradesh high court had granted him interim protection from arrest for some days, considering various reasons, including his status of being an assembly election candidate. -- PTI
19:22   Excise policy: Delhi court sends Kejriwal to 3-day CBI custody
A court in Delhi on Wednesday sent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to CBI custody for three days after the probe agency arrested him in a corruption case linked to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam. 

Special Judge Amitabh Rawat passed the order on an application moved by the CBI. 

The probe agency formally arrested Kejriwal on Wednesday after getting permission from the court. 

The Aam Aadmi Party national convener is lodged in prison in an excise policy-linked money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Department. 

"CBI application is allowed for three days," the judge said. 

In the application seeking Kejriwal's custody, the CBI told the court that he was required to be quizzed to unearth the larger conspiracy in the matter. 

It also said that the Delhi chief minister was required to be confronted with evidence and other people accused in the case. 

Federal agencies had earlier claimed that a so-called "south lobby" dictated the formulation of the now-scrapped excise policy and that the chief minister was involved in all this. -- PTI
Nagarjuna/File image
Nagarjuna/File image
19:18   Nagarjuna meets specially-abled fan pushed by bodyguard
Nagarjuna on Wednesday met the differently-abled fan, two days after he was criticised for the way the man was mishandled by the Telugu superstar's bodyguard. 

In a new video, shared by the official X page of celebrity photographer Viral Bhayani, Nagarjuna is seen making his way to the Mumbai airport when the fan, a cafe staff, approaches him once again. 

Nagarjuna is seen hugging the man, who apologises to him but the actor says, "It's not your fault. Hamara galti hai (It is my fault)." 

Bhayani had also posted the original video that saw the fan being shoved aside by Nagarjuna's bodyguard as the actor walked on. 

It showed the actor walking out of an airport accompanied by his security detail and his "Kubera" co-star Dhanush. 

The fan tried to come close to Nagarjuna but was pushed by his bodyguard, making him stumble and almost fall. The bodyguard, however, helped him up. 

After a social media furore, Nagarjuna apologised for the incident and said he was unaware about what had happened. -- PTI
18:41   Kerala man dies after upper berth seat falls on him in train
A 60-year-old man from Kerala died while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Hyderabad due to the injuries he sustained after the upper berth seat in a train coach in which he was travelling fell on him due to improper chaining by another passenger, Government Railway Police said on Wednesday. 

The incident happened on June 16 when Ali Khan C K from Kerala was travelling to Agra along with his friend in the lower berth of the sleeper coach of the train number 12645 Ernakulam-Hazrat Nizamuddin Millennium Superfast Express, they said. 

The train was passing through Warangal district of Telangana when the incident happened, a GRP official said, adding the man suffered neck injuries and he was initially taken to a hospital in Ramagundam from there he was shifted to a hospital in Hyderabad where he died while undergoing treatment on June 24. 

A case was registered. 

The official spokesperson of the Ministry of Railways (@Spokesperson Railways) in a post on social media platform 'X' said the passenger concerned was travelling on seat number 57 (lower berth) of S6 coach. 

"The upper berth seat fell down due to improper placement of the chain of the upper berth. Due to improper chaining of seat of upper berth by a passenger, the seat fell down," the post read. -- PTI
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari/File image/ANI Photo
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari/File image/ANI Photo
18:10   Agencies shouldn't charge highway toll if...: Gadkari
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that highway agencies should not charge tolls if roads are not in good condition. 

Gadkari was speaking at a global workshop on satellite-based tolling, set to be implemented over 5,000 km this financial year. 

"If you don't provide good quality service, you should not charge toll...We are in a hurry to start tolling to collect user fees and protect our interest," the road transport and highways minister said. 

"You should collect the user fee where you provide the best quality road. If you collect toll on roads with potholes, mud, then there will be a backlash from people," he added. 

State-owned NHAI plans to implement (Global Navigation Satellite System) GNSS-based Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system within the existing FASTag ecosystem, initially using a hybrid model where both (Radio Frequency Identification) RFID-based ETC and GNSS-based ETC will operate simultaneously. 

NHAI proposes to roll this out on commercial vehicles initially then private vehicles, considering scalability and privacy concerns. 

The highway authority has also recommended driver behaviour analysis and back-end data analysis for fraud detection. 

"With GNSS, the payment modes might be converted from prepaid to postpaid. Banks and financial institutions might be able to provide faster credits based on travel plans," NHAI has recommended. -- PTI
17:57   LTIMindtree chairman AM Naik steps down; S N Subrahmanyan appointed as chairman
IT company LTIMindtree on Wednesday said its chairman AM Naik has decided to step down from the post and announced the appointment of SN Subrahmanyan as the new chairman. 

Naik announced the decision at the company's 28th Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday. 

Following this, the board of the company has appointed S N Subrahmanyan, (vice-chairman), as chairman with effect from June 27, 2024, according to a regulatory filing. 

"The board of directors and the LTIMindtree family places on record, a deep sense of appreciation for Naik's remarkable efforts in founding this company and his unwavering dedication towards building this information technology giant within the L&T group..." the filing said. 

"I feel privileged to have not only led such a great organisation but also laid the foundation for future growth and success," Naik said. -- PTI
17:36   Former foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey dies
Former foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey died at a hospital in New Delhi on Wednesday due to health complications, one of his friends said. He was 90. 

"He was not keeping well for the past few weeks and had been admitted at Fortis (Escorts) heart hospital in Delhi earlier this month. He had heart-related complications and also some other health issues. Prof Dubey died at the hospital today afternoon," his octogenarian friend Manoranjan Mohanty said. 

Dubey is survived by his wife and two daughters, he said. 

The veteran diplomat served as India's foreign secretary during 1990-91. 

He was also India's high commissioner to Bangladesh and the Permanent Representative to UN Organisations in Geneva. 

The funeral has been planned at Lodhi Road Crematorium here Thursday evening, Mohanty said. 

After retirement from foreign service, Dubey also served as the president of New Delhi-based Council for Social Development, he said. 

The former foreign secretary was also considered an expert on disarmament. 

He was about to complete his fifth term as the president of CSD, so he served it for about 20 years, Mohanty said. Born in 1933 in undivided Bihar, 

Dubey had a Master's degree in economics from Patna University and later studied economics in Oxford and New York universities. 

He had a D. Litt degree (honoris causa) from the University of Calcutta, according to his profile shared on the website of CSD. -- PTI
LOP Rahul Gandhi with newly elected Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla/ANI Photo
LOP Rahul Gandhi with newly elected Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla/ANI Photo
17:19   Speaker recognises Rahul Gandhi as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla recognised Rahul Gandhi as the leader of opposition on Wednesday, a day after the Congress communicated its decision to name him for the position to the Lok Sabha Secretariat. 

In a notification issued on Wednesday, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said Gandhi, leader of the Indian National Congress, had officially been recognised as the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha with effect from June 9. 

The Congress MP from Rai Bareli in Uttar Pradesh has been recognised as the leader of opposition under Section 2 of the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977. 

Gandhi, who earlier in the day joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju in escorting the newly-elected Birla to the speaker's chair, thanked Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge for his appointment to the role. 

"I thank Congress president @kharge ji, and all the Congress leaders and 'babbar sher' karyakartas from across the country for their overwhelming support and warm wishes. Together, we will raise the voice of every Indian in Parliament, protect our Constitution, and hold the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government accountable for their actions," Gandhi said. -- PTI
16:52   MBBS student's kidneys fail after ragging
A first-year MBBS student of Dungarpur medical college had to undergo dialysis four times after allegedly being ragged by some senior students last month, which caused an infection in his kidney, police said. 

 According to the SHO of Dungarpur Sadar police station, Girdhari Singh, seven second-year students made the victim do more than 300 sit-ups at a place near the college on May 15. This exerted severe pressure on his kidneys, leading to a malfunction and an infection, he said. 

 The victim was hospitalized in Ahmedabad for a week during which dialysis was done four times, the police officer said, adding the student is stable now. 

 He rejoined college in June. The college principal lodged an FIR against seven accused students on Tuesday after they were found guilty in an inquiry by the anti-ragging committee of the institute, the SHO said. The victim took admission in the college in September last year. 

 "He had faced ragging earlier too but did not complain. The latest incident came to light after the college authority received a complaint through the online portal on June 20 following which an inquiry was conducted," the police officer said. 

 The FIR was registered against the seven students under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 149 (offence committed in prosecution of common object), 341 (wrongful restraint), and 352 ( assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation). The matter is being investigated, the SHO said. PTI
16:37   Bengaluru court rejects bail plea of Prajwal Revanna
A Bengaluru court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of former JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna, who is facing charges of rape and sexual harassment in multiple cases. The 33-year-old is presently in the custody of the Special Investigation Team, formed to probe his alleged sex crimes. Several explicit clips purportedly of him were leaked days before the recent Lok Sabha polls. -- PTI
16:27   Have some shame! BJP MPs to Cong on Emergency
BJP MPs, including Union ministers, held a protest in the Parliament Complex on Wednesday, targeting the Congress over the imposition of Emergency in 1975 and demanding the opposition party's apology for violating the Constitution. 

 With the Congress and its allies in the INDIA bloc persistently targeting the Narendra Modi government for its alleged attack on constitutional values, the ruling alliance has sought to turn the tables by launching a frontal counterattack over the Emergency issue against the backdrop of its 49th anniversary on June 25. 

 Soon after Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla adjourned the House after reading out a resolution condemning the imposition of Emergency and flaying then prime minister Indira Gandhi for her attack on the Constitution, a large number of BJP-led NDA MPs assembled outside, carrying placards and raising slogans. 

"Emergency ke liye Congress sharm karo" and "emergency ke liye maafi mango" were among the slogans raised by them. Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw, Pralhad Joshi, Kiren Rijiju and Lalan Singh joined other MPs in attacking the Congress. 

 BJP MP and the party's national spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "It is necessary to show the mirror to those who are talking about saving the Constitution and holding its copies in their hands. They were those who tried to erase the Constitution." 

 "That's why we are hearing the slogan: Rahul Gandhi 'maafi mango' (apologise)," Patra told PTI. 

 JD(U) MP and Union Minister Lalan Singh slammed the Congress, saying the party, which had "ripped" the Constitution to shreds by imposing Emergency, does not have the right to talk about protecting its values.

 "Indira Gandhi, grandmother of the Leader of Opposition (Rahul Gandhi), had imposed the Emergency. What is their right today to talk about the Constitution? Do they have the right to even discuss about the Constitution," he asked. 

 Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Gajendra Singh Sekhawat also joined the protest. BJP MP and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hailed Birla for bringing the resolution on Emergency, saying "it was necessary". The Congress government under then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had imposed Emergency just to hold on to power, he said. Union minister Giriraj Singh took a swipe at the Congress' allies such as the Samajwadi Party, saying Akhilesh Yadav's father and socialist stalwart Mulayam Singh Yadav was among the leaders arrested during the Emergency. 

 BJP MP Bansuri Swaraj said the Congress should apologise to the country for "murdering" democracy 50 years ago. 

 "How bizarre it is that the Congress flashes the Constitution in Parliament but never looks within. The Congress has forgotten its own history that 50 years ago it had murdered democracy by imposing Emergency to serve its selfish political motive and lust for power," she said. Thousands of people were arrested overnight, the BJP MP added.
Sunita Kejriwal
Sunita Kejriwal
16:04   System ensuring Kejriwal doesn't get bail: Wife
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's wife Sunita on Wednesday alleged the whole system was trying to ensure that her husband does not come out of jail and stressed that all this is akin to "dictatorship" and "emergency".

 The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said that when there was a possibility of Kejriwal getting bail from the Supreme Court in a money laundering case, the BJP panicked and got him arrested in a "fake case" by the CBI. 

 The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday formally arrested Kejriwal in the alleged excise policy scam and sought five-day custody of the AAP national convener in the corruption case.

 In a post on X in Hindi, Sunita said her husband got bail on June 20 in the excise policy-linked money laundering case and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) immediately got a stay. 

 "The very next day, the CBI made him an accused. And today he was arrested. The whole system is trying to ensure that the man does not come out of jail. This is not law. This is dictatorship, this is emergency," she said. 

 The AAP also condemned Kejriwal's arrest. "The dictator crossed all limits of cruelty!! Today when there was every possibility of Chief Minister @ArvindKejriwal getting bail, the BJP went into panic mode and got Kejriwal arrested by the CBI in a fake case. "The CBI took Kejriwal ji to Rouse Avenue Court where his blood sugar level dropped very low. Dictator, no matter how much oppression you inflict, Kejriwal will neither bow down nor break," it said in a post on X in Hindi.

 Kejriwal has been in prison since April 1 in connection with the excise policy-linked money laundering case being probed by the ED. On May 10, the Supreme Court had granted interim bail to Kejriwal for 21 days to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. He returned to prison on June 2. -- PTI
16:01   Sensex, Nifty settle at new all-time high levels
Stock market benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty ended at their fresh all-time high levels on Wednesday in tandem with a rally in Asian peers and buying in Reliance Industries. 

 The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 620.73 points or 0.80 per cent to settle at a new closing peak of 78,674.25. During the day, it rallied 705.88 points or 0.90 per cent to hit a fresh all-time high of 78,759.40.

 The Nifty went up by 147.50 points or 0.62 per cent to settle at a record closing peak of 23,868.80. Intra-day, it surged 168.6 points or 0.71 per cent to hit the fresh lifetime high of 23,889.90. Among the 30 Sensex companies, Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, UltraTech Cement, Sun Pharma, Adani Ports, Axis Bank, NTPC and Bajaj Finance were the biggest gainers. -- PTI
15:31   Speaker recognises Rahul as LoP from June 9
Speaker Om Birla has recognised Congress MP Rahul Gandhi as the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha with effect from 9th June 2024.

Congratulating Om Birla for being elected speaker of the Lok Sabha for a second term, Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he hoped the Opposition would be allowed to raise the voice of people in the House.

 He also said the Opposition wanted the House to function "often and well" and added that it was very important that cooperation happens with trust. "I'd like to congratulate you for your successful election... I congratulate you on behalf of the entire INDIA alliance. This House represents the voice of people of India... Of course the government has political power, but the opposition also represents the voice of India's people," the Congress leader said. 

 "The opposition would like to assist you in your work. I am confident you will allow us to speak in House," he said.
15:01   PM continues with the Emergency spiel in Parl
After Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla condemned the Emergency Period, imposed in 1975, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the happenings during the Emergency exemplified what a dictatorship looks like. 

In a post on X, PM Modi said, "I am glad that the Honourable Speaker strongly condemned the Emergency, highlighted the excesses committed during that time and also mentioned how democracy was strangled. It was also a wonderful gesture to stand in silence in honour of all those who suffered during those days."

 "The Emergency was imposed 50 years ago but today's youth needs to know about it because it remains a fitting example of what happens when the Constitution is trampled over, public opinion is stifled and institutions are destroyed. The happenings during the Emergency exemplified what a dictatorship looks like," PM Modi added. 

 Meanwhile, the NDA leaders held a protest in the Parliament premises on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the emergency, demanding an apology from the Congress. -- ANI
14:44   Kejriwal's sugar level drops, allowed tea, biscuits in court complex
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal who was taken to Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court by CBI on Wednesday was brought out of the courtroom for tea and biscuits after his sugar levels dropped. 

 Kejriwal was taken to the Ahlmad room following court permission during which his wife Sunita Kejriwal also accompanied him. This happened just after the CBI had formally arrested him from the courtroom, in connection with the Excise policy case. 

 CBI arrested Kejriwal after the Vacation Judge of Delhi Court allowed CBI to examine him in the courtroom so that the agency could proceed with his formal arrest. 

The court also asked the CBI to place on record the material that they have for his arrest. Kejriwal was produced before the court of vacation judge Amitabh Rawat in compliance with the production warrant issued by the court yesterday. 

 During the hearing, Kejriwal's wife Sunita Kejriwal, AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and AAP leader Dilip Pandey remained present in the courtroom. 

 CBI's Special Public Prosecutor DP Singh extensively argued and opposed submissions by Kejriwal's lawyer. The advocate also moved an application seeking a supply of applications for interrogation by CBI and the order passed related to that. -- ANI
14:18   It will happen: Raut on Dy Speaker post to Oppn
After NDA candidate Om Birla took charge as Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha after a voice vote, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday claimed that discussions are going on that the deputy Speaker post should go to the opposition and it will happen. 

 Raut also mentioned that the opposition didn't ask for a division of votes and Birla was elected in a very peaceful manner.

 "There is a tradition. We didn't oppose but there is a tradition that elections should not be held. We showed them that we will stand facing you; we are doing that. We didn't ask for division (of votes) and Om Birla was elected in a very peaceful manner. Why is Om Birla being opposed? He is the same Lok Sabha Speaker who suspended more than 100 MPs at once. This didn't happen during Emergency," he said. 

 "Deputy Speaker post should go to the Opposition. Discussions are going on and it will happen," he asserted. Another Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi told ANI that it will be remembered in the history that there was a candidate against Om Birla for the Speaker post. 

 "I want to congratulate Om Birla for his second term but it would be noted in history that there was a candidate against him... I want to remind the BJP that they would have to work according to the Constitution," Priyanka said. DMK leader TR Baalu praised Om Birla and said that he is the common man's speaker.

 "He was a close friend of mine for the past many years. He hails from the farmer's community and he is the common man's speaker," he said. 

 Further, he said that fielding a candidate against Om Birla was a way for the opposition to show their anger and protest. "It is a democratic process that we wanted to have our deputy speaker but they have not considered our request. We only wanted to show our anger and protest by fielding a candidate," Baalu added.
13:59   Doctor, daughter test positive for Zika virus in Pune
A 46-year-old doctor and his teenage daughter have tested positive for Zika virus infection in Pune city of Maharashtra, but their health condition is stable, an official said on Wednesday. 

The man recently developed symptoms like fever and rashes, following which he was admitted to a private hospital. The medical facility sent his blood samples to the city-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) for analysis. 

On June 21, his reports confirmed that he tested positive for Zika virus infection, a health official of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said. 

The doctor is a resident of Erandwane area of the city, he said. 

"After he tested positive, the blood samples of his five family members were collected and sent for analysis, and it was found that his 15-year-old daughter was also positive for the infection," the official added. 

The Zika virus disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, which is also known to transmit infections like dengue and chikungunya. The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947. 

After these two cases were reported in the city, the PMC's health department has started conducting surveillance, the official said. 

Although no other suspected cases have been found in the area, the authorities have started taking precautionary steps like fogging and fumigation to curb the breeding of mosquitoes, he said. 

"The mosquito samples have been collected by the state health department. We have started the general public awareness in the area and given instructions to monitor the health of pregnant women in the area. Zika does not lead to serious complications in general, but in case a pregnant woman gets infected, it may cause microcephaly in the foetus," he said.
13:42   Indira attacked Constitution: Speaker amid protests
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla makes reference to Emergency in House amid protest by Opposition.

"Emergency a dark chapter in India's democracy; then PM Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency and attacked Constitution," he says. 

It may be recalled that The BJP on Monday said it will launch a nationwide programme on the 1975 Emergency to "expose" the Congress' "authoritarianism" and its disregard for the Constitution. 

13:15   Kejriwal withdraws from SC plea against stay on bail order
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal withdrew from the Supreme Court on Wednesday his plea challenging the Delhi High Court order granting an interim stay on the operation of the trial court's bail order in a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam. 

 A vacation bench of Justices Manoj Misra and SVN Bhatti, which allowed Kejriwal to withdraw his plea, was told by the AAP leader's counsel senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi that since the high court has passed a detailed order on June 25, he would like to file a substantial appeal. Singhvi informed the bench that new developments were taking place every day and Kejriwal has now been arrested by the CBI.

 "We would like to file a substantial appeal to bring on record all relevant details and challenge the June 25 order of the high court in which bail order was finally stayed," he said. 

 The bench recorded the submission and gave him the liberty to file the appeal. Earlier on Wednesday, a Delhi court allowed the CBI to formally arrest Kejriwal in connection with the alleged excise scam.
13:09   Defamation case: UP court orders personal appearance of Rahul on July 2
An MP-MLA court in Sultanpur, UP, on Wednesday asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to appear before it on July 2 in a defamation case filed against him for alleged objectionable remarks against Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Complaint lawyer Santosh Kumar Pandey said that one Ram Pratap had demanded that he be made a party in the case. 

 Opposing the plea, Pandey said Pratap is neither a victim nor has anything to do with the matter. Gandhi's lawyer Kashi Prasad Shukla, who was present in the court, also opposed the petitioner's plea. 

 However, the court dismissed the prayer and called for personal appearance of Gandhi on the next date of hearing. A defamation case was filed against Gandhi in 2018 over his alleged objectionable remarks against Shah. 

The defamation complaint against Gandhi was filed by BJP leader Vijay Mishra. Gandhi had halted his "Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra" in Amethi on February 20 this year and appeared in court, which had granted him bail. PTI
13:07   I hope I won't have to take strict action: Speaker
"I am grateful to this House for giving me opportunity to serve as presiding officer for second term," Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla says.

"The 18th Lok Sabha should be of new vision and resolutions. I welcome 281 first time members to Lok Sabha and expect them to learn from their seniors. It will be my endeavour to give adequate time, opportunity to every member from all sides. 

"Agreements and disagreements will have place in Lok Sabha; expect govt to listen to suggestions from Opposition. Disruptions are not part of tradition of Lok Sabha; I hope I won't have to resort to any strict action. 
There has to be difference between protests in the House and on the streets."

12:34   Sule reminds Speaker of suspension of 150 MPs
NCP-SCP MP Supriya Sule says, "...A lot has been done. In 5 years, you have done very good work. But when 150 of my colleagues were suspended, we were all saddened. So, it should be an effort to see that you do not think of suspension in the next 5 years. We are always ready for dialogues. We should seek to deliberate more, debate more on both sides." 
12:23   The moment PM and Rahul shake hands in Parliament
As LoP, Rae Bareli MP Rahul Gandhi waited till the PM had greeted Om Birla on being elected the Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha and then after greeting Birla, shook hands with the PM, which is the norm. 

Does Rahul have what it takes to be LoP? Will the Speaker allow Opposition MPs to speak? 

Interesting times ahead in Parliament.
12:14   Rahul to Birla: Running LS efficiently not imp you..
Update on what LoP Rahul Gandhi said in the House after Om Birla was elected Speaker.  Pointing out that this time the opposition represents significantly more voices of the Indian people than last time, Gandhi stressed that it was very important that the voice of opposition is allowed to be represented in the House. 

"I am confident that you will allow us to represent our voice, allow us to speak, to represent voice of people of India." 

The question, he said, is not how efficiently the House is run, the question is how much of India's voice is allowed to be heard in the House.   

 "The idea that you can run the House efficiently by silencing the voice of opposition is a non-democratic idea. This election has shown that the people of India expect the opposition to defend the Constitution of this country and we are confident that by allowing Opposition to speak, you will do your duty of defending the Constitution of India," the Congress MP said.  
12:14   In one voice Oppn asks Speaker to be impartial
Opposition speaks in unanimous voice in Parliament on the right of MPs to speak in the House:

SP leader Akhilesh Yadav: "We expect voice of opposition will not be crushed and there will be no more expulsions.

DMK leader T R Baalu: I only request you to be impartial, impartial and impartial.

TMC's Sudip Bandyopadhay seeks proper debate on bills brought before Lok Sabha. He says suspension of members in previous Lok Sabha was undesirable.
11:58   Your sweet smile keeps House happy: PM to Speaker
Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, "Respected Speaker, it is the good fortune of the House that you are occupying this Chair for the second time. I congratulate you and the entire House. Your sweet smile keeps the entire House happy. he previous Lok Sabha passed several path-breaking legislations under your leadership." 

"The works that didn't happen during 70 years of independence, were made possible by this House under your chairmanship. Several milestones come in the long journey of democracy. A few occasions are such when we receive the opportunity to establish milestones. I am very confident that the country will be proud of the achievements of the 17th Lok Sabha..."
11:50   What LoP Rahul Gandhi told Speaker Om Birla
Leader of Opposition, Rahul Gandhi says: "I would like to congratulate you for your successful election that you have been elected for the second time. I would like to congratulate you on behalf of the entire Opposition and the INDIA alliance. This House represents the voice of India's people and you are the final arbiter of that voice. 

"The government has political power but the Opposition also represents the voice of India's people and this time, the opposition represents significantly more voice of the Indian people than it did last time. 

"The Opposition would like to assist you in doing your work. We would like the House to function often and well. It is very important that cooperation happens on the basis of trust. It is very important that the voice of the Opposition is allowed to be represented in this House."
11:28   Rijiju thanks pro-tem Speaker Mahtab
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju thanks BJP MP Bhartruhari Mahtab for carrying out the duties of the Pro-tem Speaker. BJP MP Om Birla has been elected as the Speaker of 18th Lok Sabha.
11:25   Om Birla elected Speaker of 18th Lok Sabha
BJP MP Om Birla elected as the Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha. Birla occupies the Chair of Lok Sabha Speaker as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, LoP Rahul Gandhi and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju accompany him to the Chair.
11:20   Sena MP moves motion to elect K Suresh as Speaker
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Arvind Sawant moves motion for the election of Congress MP K. Suresh as the Speaker of Lok Sabha. 

The Opposition has also fielded K Suresh as its candidate against Birla. Samajwadi Party MP Anand Bhadauria and NCP (SCP) MP Supriya Sule will move the motion that K Suresh be chosen as the Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha.
11:18   PM moves motion to elect Om Birla LS Speaker
Prime Minister Narendra Modi moves motion for the election of BJP MP Om Birla as the Speaker of Lok Sabha. Union Ministers like Lallan Singh, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Amit Shah, Chirag Paswan, HD Kumaraswamy, and Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu will also move the motion to choose Birla as the Speaker.
11:15   Cong MPs felicitate Rahul for being chosen LoP
Congress MPs held a meeting at the Congress Parliamentary Party office earlier this morning. Rahul Gandhi was felicitated for his election as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha.
11:06   Clad in white kurta-pyjama Rahul arrives in Parl
Lok Sabha LoP Rahul Gandhi arrives at the Parliament. 

 Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday appealed to the Congress party again not to contest the election of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and said that it is better for all that the Leader of the House be elected unanimously. 

 "It is better for all of us to elect the Speaker unanimously. I think we still have time and we will make one more appeal to the Congress party but if we are pushed into the election, we are prepared. Give it a thought again," Rijiju said.
11:02   Excise case: CBI seeks court's permission to arrest Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Wednesday produced before a court in Delhi by Tihar Jail authorities in the excise 'scam' matter. CBI seeks Delhi court's permission to formally arrest Kejriwal in the excise 'scam' case Kejriwal was produced before Special Judge Amitabh Rawat, where the CBI sought his custody to interrogate him. The AAP leader was interrogated by the agency inside Tihar Jail on Tuesday evening. PTI
10:47   My first time, very excited: Kangana on Speaker poll
On Lok Sabha Speaker election, BJP MP-actor Kangana Ranaut says, "We will vote. My stand is the same as that of my party. We are very excited. For me, this is the first time, so I am very excited...We will win as our party is in power. So, our candidate will win..." 

 Congress MP and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi leaves from his residence to attend the Parliament Session. The election for the post of Lok Sabha election will take place today. 

Union Minister Anupriya Patel adds, "The Opposition has fielded their candidate but NDA candidate is Om Birla Ji and we are sure (he will win). We have the numbers, this election is symbolic. Om Birla will be the Speaker for the second consecutive time and he will lead the 18th Lok Sabha assembly..."
10:23   When N Ram met Assange
As Julian Assange flies to freedom to Australia, N Ram, former editor-in-chief of The Hindu, shares this image saying, "Visiting Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London."

Assange's case has drawn international attention and sparked debates over freedom of the press, government transparency, and the legal implications of publishing classified information. 

His journey from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought asylum for seven years, to incarceration in Belmarsh, and now to a return to Australia, has been closely followed by supporters, critics, and legal experts alike.
10:23   Om Birla offers prayers ahead of Speaker polls
NDA candidate for Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla offers prayers at his residence. The election for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker will take place today. 

In Lok Sabha today, PM Modi will bring the motion that Om Birla, a member of the Lok Sabha, be chosen as the Speaker of the House. Rajnath Singh will second the motion.

Thereafter, Union Ministers like Lallan Singh, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Amit Shah, Chirag Paswan, HD Kumaraswamy, and Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu will also move the motion to choose Birla as the Speaker.
10:15   Gone are the glory days
Much like an ageing rockstar who can no longer light up the stage solo and needs his bandmates to step up, Modi will need to carry his allies with him on major foreign policy decisions, writes Charu Sudan Kasturi. Read the column here. 
The INDIA Bloc meet yesterday
The INDIA Bloc meet yesterday
10:11   Speaker election: What's ahead in Parliament today
With just hours left before the poll to elect the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Congress MP Pramod Tiwari said that the election is taking place due to the BJP's lust for power and its intention to bulldoze democracy.

Tiwari also asserted that they (opposition) will not let the BJP win just like that but will raise their voices for the democratic tradition.

"BJP is responsible for this. The elections are taking place due to its lust for power and its intentions to bulldoze democracy. Had the traditions and norms been followed, the Speaker post would have gone to the BJP unopposed and the Deputy Speaker post would have gone to the Congress and INDIA Alliance. But the BJP doesn't believe in democracy. It broke that tradition. so this will be our democratic protest. We will not let them win just like that, we will raise our voice for the democratic tradition," he said.

Earlier today, Congress MP K Suresh alleged that the government "compelled" the INDIA bloc to contest the election as their reply was not satisfactory over the issue."The government compelled the INDIA Alliance to contest the election. We don't want to contest the election against the Speaker, but when the government approached INDIA Alliance, especially the Congress party leadership, we asked about the Deputy Speaker post. At that time, we were not given any assurance."

In Lok Sabha today, PM Modi will bring the motion that Om Birla, a member of the Lok Sabha, be chosen as the Speaker of the House. Rajnath Singh will second the motion. Thereafter, Union Ministers like Lallan Singh, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Amit Shah, Chirag Paswan, HD Kumaraswamy, and Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu will also move the motion to choose Birla as the Speaker.

As the opposition has also fielded K Suresh as its candidate against Birla, the election for the same will take place in the Lok Sabha when it resumes today.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Samajwadi Party MP Anand Bhadauria, and NCP (SCP) MP Supriya Sule will move the motion that K Suresh be chosen as the Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha.
09:28   Committee on NTA reforms to plug irregularities, meet parents
The high-level committee of experts constituted by the Ministry of Education to recommend reforms in the National Testing Agency (NTA) will prioritise engaging with parents and students, besides setting up a robust and foolproof exam mechanism, a senior member of the panel said.

The seven-member committee met on Monday evening, under the chairmanship of former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Dr Radhakrishnan said that the first priority of the committee would be meeting students and parents to understand their difficulties. 

"Our top priority is to ensure a transparent, smooth and fair conduct of examinations," he said.

"Another top priority will be to set up a robust and foolproof exam mechanism process that would also be tamper-proof. The intention is to set up such a transparent exam process as soon as possible," he added. 

The Centre had formed the seven-member high-level committee last week to oversee transparency amid controversy over the cancellation of UGC-National Eligibility Test (NET) exam and irregularities in conducting the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG). 

The move to form the committee came after the removal of the then-NTA director general Subodh Kumar Singh and the notification of rules of the anti-paper leak Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act by the Centre.

The committee has been asked to submit its report to the education ministry within two months, making recommendations on reform in the mechanism of the examination process, improvement in data security protocols and structure and functioning of NTA.

The terms of reference for the committee include analysing the end-to-end examination process and suggest measures to improve efficiency of the system, forestall any possible breach and conduct a thorough review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) of the NTA, suggesting measures to strengthen these procedures to ensure compliance at every level.

 The high-level panel will also examine existing security protocols related to the paper setting and other processes for different examinations and make recommendations to enhance the robustness of the system. 
-- Sanket Koul/Business Standard
09:22   Ambanis invite Maha CM to wedding
Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, arrived at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's to invite him for his wedding with Radhika Merchant, daughter of industrialist Viren Merchant. With him was his father, Mukesh Ambani. 

 The highly anticipated wedding of Anant Ambani with industrialist Viren Merchant's daughter Radhika Merchant will take place on July 12 at the prestigious Jio World Convention Centre in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai.
09:19   Compelled to fight polls: INDIA's Speaker candidate
INDIA bloc's candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker post, Congress MP K. Suresh speaks to ANI ahead of the elections today:

"The Government compelled the INDIA Alliance to contest the election. We don't want to contest the election against the Speaker but when the Government approached INDIA Alliance, especially the Congress party leadership, we asked about the Deputy Speaker post.

 At that time, we were not given any assurance. Yesterday, too they didn't give any assurance by 11.30 am. They said, first you support the Speaker election and after that we can discuss the Deputy Speaker. So, that reply was not satisfactory. 

So, our leaders decided to contest the Speaker election. This election is the adamant stand of NDA leadership. Otherwise, it could have been avoided. But, they are not ready to cooperate with Opposition, they are not ready to give a chance to Opposition party for Deputy Speaker post. That is why, this election is happening today. But this election's full responsibility is NDA leadership's. Number is not an issue but the only thing is the convention - the ruling party, the NDA has broken the convention. That is why, we are fighting (the election)."

On TMC's "unilateral decision" remark for INDIA bloc's candidate for the Lok Sabha Speaker post, Congress MP K. Suresh says, "Everything cleared up yesterday evening. Their leaders - Derek O'Brien and Kalyan Banerjee - attended the INDIA Alliance meeting last evening at Mallikarjun Kharge's residence. We explained the situation, they could understand the situation and they will also cooperate with us."
Julian Assange leaves a court in Saipan. @Stella_Assange
Julian Assange leaves a court in Saipan. @Stella_Assange
09:07   Julian Assange heads to Australia, a free man
Julian Assange has walked out of Saipan federal court a free man, writes his wife Stella and adds, "I can't stop crying. #AssangeFree #AssangeJet."

An aircraft carrying WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has left Saipan after he pleaded guilty Wednesday to obtaining and publishing US military secrets. 

 The plea in the US Pacific commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands concluded a drawn-out legal saga that spanned continents. The agreement with the US.

Justice Department required Assange to admit guilt to a single felony count but permitted him to return to his home country of Australia without any time in an American prison. The judge sentenced him to the five years he'd already spent behind bars in the United Kingdom, fighting extradition to the United States. His plane was heading to Australia.
08:58   Rahul will become their voice...: Kharge
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday praised the appointment of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and said that the House of the People shall truly reflect the aspirations of the last person standing, with Rahul Gandhi becoming their voice.   

 Congress on Tuesday declared that Rahul Gandhi, party's MP from Raebareli will be Leader of the Opposition in the 18th Lok Sabha, ending the 10-year spell of no LoP in the Lower House since 2014.    

"In the 18th Lok Sabha, the House of the People shall truly reflect the aspirations of the last person standing, with Rahul Gandhi becoming their voice," Kharge posted on X.     He further expressed his confidence in Rahul Gandhi and said that he would raise the voice of the people.    "As Congress President, I am confident that a leader who has traversed the length and breadth of the country from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, and from Manipur to Maharashtra shall raise the voice of the people -- especially the marginalised and the poor," he added.     

The Congress chief reiterated the party's commitment to "protect Democracy and the Constitution, by upholding its eternal principles of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity."   

 Notably, Lok Sabha did not have a Leader of the Opposition in the last 10 years because no political party, other than the ruling party, was able to secure the minimum Lok Sabha seats required to nominate a Leader of the Opposition.
08:47   Modi to move motion to elect Birla as Speaker
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will move the motion today in the Lok Sabha to choose Om Birla as the Speaker of the lower house amid a tussle for the post with the opposition's Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).

In today's list of business, the remaining MPs who have not already taken the oath or made the affirmation to do so will sign the roll of members.

Then, in what promises to be a stormy session, Modi will bring the motion that Birla, a member of the Lok Sabha, be chosen as the Speaker of the House.

Rajnath Singh will second the motion.

Thereafter, Union Ministers like Lallan Singh, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Amit Shah, Chirag Paswan, H D Kumaraswamy, and Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu will also move the motion to choose Birla as the Speaker.

As the opposition has also fielded K Suresh as its candidate against Birla, the election for the same will take place in the Lok Sabha when it resumes today.

Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray MP Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Samajwadi Party MP Anand Bhadauria, and Nationalist Congress Party-Ssharadchandra Pawar MP Supriya Sule will move the motion that K Suresh be chosen as the Speaker of the 18th Lok Sabha.

At last, Modi will introduce the ministers and ministers of state who have recently been inducted into the council of ministers.   -- ANI
Abu Salem/File image
Abu Salem/File image
01:30   Court rejects gangster Abu Salem's plea against prison transfer
The special TADA court in Mumbai on Tuesday rejected gangster Abu Salem's plea opposing his planned transfer from the Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai. 

Salem is undergoing life sentence at the Taloja prison in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. 

The decision to shift him was a "conspiracy to kill him" as he was likely to be released in a few months, Salem's application claimed. 

The current prison was safe for him and he could be attacked by members of the rival gangs in other jails in Maharashtra, it said. 

The jail administration told the court it wanted to relocate Salem as his current cell needed reconstruction, and there was no other safe cell for him in Taloja. 

Special judge for cases under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act B D Shelke, after hearing both the sides, rejected Salem's plea. -- PTI
File image
File image
01:14   Protests erupt in northwest Delhi's Mangolpuri over demolition at mosque
Protests erupted in northwest Delhi's Mangolpuri area, where portions of a mosque were demolished due to alleged encroachment, amid heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces, officials said on Tuesday. 

The demolition drive, however, had to be halted after the situation escalated as a large mob gathered, forming a human chain to obstruct the entry of earth-movers into the area, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which carried out the drive, said in a statement. 

Additionally, the presence of women protesters, who sat on the unauthorised structure, complicated the law and order situation in the area, it added. 

The demolition drive was undertaken by the civic body at a municipal park in Y Block of Mangolpuri against an illegally extended boundary wall of the mosque, the officials said. 

The MCD removed 20 metres of the unauthorised structure but the situation escalated after a large mob and women protesters gathered at the site objecting to the demolition, the statement said. -- PTI
File image
File image
00:57   Army announces commencement of Phase II of Agniveer recruitment
The Indian Army has announced the commencement of Phase II of the Agniveer recruitment process. 

This phase marks a significant milestone in the Indian Army's efforts to transform its requirements procedures and ensure a seamless and efficient selection process for aspiring candidates. 

The recruitment rally is free, fair and transparent so all candidates are advised not to approach any type of tout. 

As part of the new recruitment system, the first phase involved an online common entrance exam that was conducted nationwide in April-May 2024. 

The results of the shortlisted candidates have been uploaded on the official website of the Indian Army, which is 

The upcoming rally for the Central Districts of Assam i.e., Sonitpur, Biswanath, Nagaon and Morigaon will be held at the Missamari Military Station, starting from July 23 to 27, 2024. 

Admit Cards for the rally can be downloaded from the official website of the Indian Army. -- ANI
Kenyan police personnel disembark after landing, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti June 25, 2024/Ralph Tedy Erol/Reuters
Kenyan police personnel disembark after landing, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti June 25, 2024/Ralph Tedy Erol/Reuters
00:46   Kenya violence: Indian nationals advised to exercise 'utmost caution'
The Indian high commission in Kenya on Tuesday advised Indian nationals to exercise "utmost caution" in view of prevailing "tense" situation arising out of violent protests in the African nation. 

Kenya's capital Nairobi and other cities across the country witnessed violent clashes and demonstrations after Kenyan parliament passed a controversial bill that proposed to increase taxes. 

"In view of the prevailing tense situation, all Indians in Kenya are advised to exercise utmost caution, restrict non-essential movement and avoid the areas affected by the protests and violence till the situation clears up," the Indian high commission said in an advisory. 

Around 20,000 Indians are currently living in Kenya, according to an official estimate. -- PTI
Pune civic body workers demolish illegal part of pub/ANI on X
Pune civic body workers demolish illegal part of pub/ANI on X
00:25   Pune pub's drug use area razed, owners booked
The Pune civic body on Tuesday demolished an "unauthorised" structure inside a bar linked to alleged drug use, while the police filed a case against its owners, a day after the Maharashtra government ordered a crackdown on buildings flouting rules in the city. 

According to a Pune Municipal Corporation release, a 125 square meter unauthorised structure inside Liquid Leisure Lounge (L3) bar on Fergusson College Road was razed as part of a drive launched against more than 20 establishments, including pubs, restaurants and eateries, in the city for violating norms. 

The action was undertaken after it came to light that some internal changes were made inside L3 in violation of norms, said the release. 

The pub was in news after a viral video showed youths with some drugs-like substance at the facility. 

According to the police, L3 was operating till 5 am on Sunday and liquor was being sold beyond permissible time limit. 

Pubs in Pune are allowed to remain open till 1.30 am. 

In a related development, police on Tuesday registered a case registered against L3 owners Santosh Kamthe and Ravi Maheshwari under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act for allegedly constructing the unauthorised structure inside the facility. -- PTI