Himachal Pradesh: 35 IIT Roorkee students, who went missing in Lahaul Spiti, are 'safe', informs CM

Himachal Pradesh: 35 IIT Roorkee students, who went missing in Lahaul Spiti, are 'safe', informs CM

New Delhi: Forty-five students from Roorkee's Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), who had gone trekking in Himachal Pradesh's mountainous Lahaul and Spiti district, are stranded due to bad weather. The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister said the trekkers are safe.  "The group of 50 trekkers which includes IIT-Roorkee students are safe in Sissu area of Lahail-Spiti," Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur told news agency ANI.

Himachal Pradesh has seen heavy rain and snowfall in many areas. At least five people were killed and many have been injured in separate incidents as heavy rain pounded Kullu, Kangra and Chamba districts on Monday, the officials said.

Four people, including a girl, died in Kullu, while a man died in Kangra district as heavy rain triggered flash floods and landslides in many parts of the state Monday. Rajvir Singh, father of one of the students, told news agency ANI that the group had gone for a trek to the Hampta pass and were supposed to return to the popular tourist hub of Manali.

Tamil Nadu BJP Chief 'Nominates' PM Modi For Nobel Peace Prize

Tamil Nadu BJP Chief 'Nominates' PM Modi For Nobel Peace Prize


Chennai: BJP's Tamil Nadu unit President Tamilisai Soundararjan on Monday said she has "nominated" Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Nobel Peace Prize for launching the "world's largest" health scheme. Her husband, Professor Dr P Soundarajan, the head of department and senior consultant in nephrology at a private university, has also nominated Modi for Nobel, a press release from the state BJP chief's office said.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2019 for launching the world's largest health care scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana-Ayushman Bharat, by Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan..." the release said, adding that the "path-breaking initiative" of the "visionary" prime minister, launched on Sunday, will transform the lives of millions of people, especially the underprivileged and vulnerable. "The last date for nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize 2019 is 31 January, 2019. The nomination processes start in September each year. University professors and Members of Parliament, among others, can also nominate our prime minister," the release said.

Modi rolled out the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana-Ayushman Bharat on Sunday in Ranchi, calling it a "game-changer initiative to serve the poor". It is the "biggest" government-sponsored healthcare scheme in the world, he had said, adding that "the number of beneficiaries is almost equal to the population of Canada, Mexico and the US together".


ED resisted my efforts to repay banks, Mallya tells court

ED resisted my efforts to repay banks, Mallya tells court

Mumbai: Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya told a special court here on Monday that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) "resisted" his efforts to settle his loans with public sector banks. Mallya, who is currently in the United Kingdom, has been charged by the ED of defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. Mallya, through his counsel, was replying in the PMLA court of Judge M S Azmi to an ED application seeking that he be declared a fugitive under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

In his reply, Mallya stated that "despite continuing efforts over the last two to three years, when efforts have been made to repay the public sector banks, instead of taking steps to facilitate the process of repayment to banks, the ED has, at every step, resisted this effort". Mallya's reply also stated that the ED's application, in its endeavour to confiscate assets, is one which is contrary to public and national interest. Objecting to the ED plea to declare him a fugitive, Mallya mentioned that he has been cooperating with the authorities in the UK in extradition proceedings and has submitted himself to the jurisdiction and process of the UK courts- a process invoked at the behest of the government of India.

Mallya's reply contended that, in these circumstances, it was false to contend that he "refuses to return to India", adding that "adherence to the law of the land cannot and doesn't render one as fugitive economic offender".

The arguments in the extradition proceedings in UK have concluded and the matters are to be listed on December 10 for judgement, the reply read.

Mallya's reply sought that present proceedings ought to be stayed or adjourned sine die till the judgement is delivered in the extradition proceedings (in the UK).

Meanwhile, the ED on Monday filed its say in the intervention application moved by some parties seeking to implead themselves in the matter. The PMLA court on Monday set September 28 as the next date for hearing on the intervention application.The main application (to declare Mallya fugitive) will be heard after its order on the intervention plea, the judge said. The court had earlier issued non-bailable warrants against the businessman in two cases filed by the ED.

Mallya, his now defunct venture Kingfisher Airlines Limited and others availed loans from various banks and the outstanding amount, including interest, now stands at Rs 9,990.07 crore. Both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have filed cases for alleged loan default against him. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act has provisions for special courts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) to declare a person as a fugitive economic offender and order immediate confiscation of assets.



UP Cop Taken Off Duty After SPG Personnel Protecting Rahul Gandhi Falsely Accused Him of Being Drunk

UP Cop Taken Off Duty After SPG Personnel Protecting Rahul Gandhi Falsely Accused Him of Being Drunk


New Delhi : A Uttar Pradesh police constable was removed from VIP security duty at a guest house at Musafirkhana here, where Congress president Rahul Gandhi was to stay in night on his first day of his two-day visit, police said Monday.

The Congress chief arrived here Monday on a two-day visit. Amethi Superintendent of Police Anurag Arya told PTI that “this all happened in confusion after the SPG protecting the VIP in civil dress was stopped by the police constable.” “The constable was sent for medical examination at the community health centre at Musafirkhana after allegations by SPG personnel that he was drunk,” the SP said.

However, after the medical examination confirmed that he was not drunk, the SP said. “However, he was replaced by another constable,” he said. In the day, Gandhi met delegations of youths, traders, social media activists of party, senior party leaders and other people from different walks of life.

Himachal Pradesh: Schools of 8 districts to remain closed due to heavy rains

Himachal Pradesh: Schools of 8 districts to remain closed due to heavy rains
Shimla: As the heavy rainfall continued to remain disastrous on Sunday in Himachal Pradesh, schools will remain closed on September 24 in eight districts of the hilly state.
The eight districts that will remain close in wake of predictions of heavy rainfall are – Kullu, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kangra, Bilaspur, Sirmaur, Mandi and Shimla. Vehicular traffic also got blocked on National Highway 3 near Aut in Mandi district due to water from flooded Beas River entering the highway.
As the normal life too disrupted following the heavy rainfall and flash flood in the region, Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus Khan said, “We are trying to evacuate and rehabilitate people. I request people not to go to high reach areas and near rivers.”

A number of roads have been blocked across the state and scores of vehicles have been damaged due to landslide and heavy rainfall in the state. In fact, a tourist bus was washed away into a flooded river in Manali. The bus was empty when it was washed away into the flooded Beas River, ANI said.
In Kullu, trucks were washed away from the road into the Beas River. Normal life was paralysed following heavy rainfall in the Kullu region. At lesat 19 people have been airlifted by the Army helicopter from flood-hit Dobhi-Fojal area today. The incessant rains have been lashing various districts in Himachal Pradesh causing Beas River to overflow. Heavy rains and snowfall have also brought down the temperature in the hilly state.

AATS arrests woman allegedly involved in human trafficking

AATS arrests woman allegedly involved in human trafficking

New Delhi: A woman named Prabha Muni, who was allegedly involved in human trafficking and carried a bounty of Rs 25,000, was arrested by a team of Anti Auto Theft Squad (AATS) West District officials. The police said that the 42-year-old, along with her husband, Rohit Muni, allegedly ran an NGO that lured girls on the pretext of getting them jobs as housemaids in Delhi and later sold them off.
Prabha was arrested under section 41.1(C) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), after following the due procedure of law as per Supreme Court guidelines, while her husband is still absconding. The information about her arrest was given to the concerned police station and her family members.
A case was registered against the duo in 2013 and the accused were absconding since then.

Ayushmann Khurrana’s wife detected with breast cancer

 Ayushmann Khurrana’s wife detected with breast cancer

New Delhi: Ayushmann Khurrana’s wife Tahira Kashyap recently revealed that she has been detected with Stage 0 breast cancer.
Her post read, “An opportunity to give competition to the Kardashians just went wasted! A week back I mentioned about ‘my badge of honour’ that I was going to receive. And I did and am happy to share about it with the intention of it being received with love. As that’s the only reason I am posting it. Love for self and gratitude for the universe. The picture might be disturbing for some, but these drains have become my dumbells for a few days. I was detected with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) in my right breast with high grade malignant cells. Simply put stage 0 cancer/ pre-cancerous stage, with cancer cells multiplying in a contained area. The result I have become a half Indian version of Angelina Jolie (since only one breast was involved)!”
“I told my doctor now is the time to give some competition to the Kardashians since Pamela is passe. But no one listened to me, so now I have a portion of my back tissue in my breast. Perhaps now I can do chin-ups with my breasts! Jokes apart, this obstacle has given me a new definition of life. Respect it’s unpredictability and have the faith and courage to be the hero of your own drama of life. The invincible human spirit is God like, gives you the courage to endure and the will to revive. There is nothing that human spirit can’t do,” she added.

Tahira further spread awareness about breast cancer, saying, “Also I want women of all ages to be aware. I am 35, and I was returned twice over from a mammogram. If any symptoms come up, think of it as a protective force and get yourselves examined. Also we are so obsessed with boobs. This mastectomy has left me with even more self love! Big, small, left or right inclined , gravity pulling or defying, or even none, each breast the presence or lack of it has a story to tell. Mine has made me a 2.0 version of myself! This post is dedicated to awareness, self love and resilience of a warrior that I know each one of us possesses #breastcancerawareness #selflove #determination #faith #bodhisattva #bodhisattvaoftheearth.”
On the work front, Tahira, who recently directed a short feature film titled ‘Toffee’, has turned director for another film and will announce the title for the film soon.

Meanwhile, Ayushmann is ready to treat his fans with his upcoming movie titled ‘Andhadhun’, which is slated to hit the big screens on October 5, this year.
The two shares an amazing chemistry and have been married for eight years now. The couple has two children including Virajveer and Varushk.


Anna Rajam Malhotra, India’s first female IAS officer

Anna Rajam Malhotra, India’s first female IAS officer

“Who was the first Indian woman to be selected for the IAS?”, the baritone voice of Amitabh Bachchan echoed in millions of homes, in one of the episodes of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. And then the hearts of lakhs of Malayalis and women activists skipped a beat because it was an important moment for them. Then their hearts and faces pulsated with pride as Bachchan said, “It is Anna Rajam Malhotra (nee George).”

Most Indians had heard about India’s first female IPS officer, the irrepressible Kiran Bedi, but few knew that the first woman to be selected by the UPSC for the IAS belonged to Niranam, a small village on the edges of the backwaters of Kerala. Anna was born in Ernakulam on July 17, 1927.

Those were the days when, even in a “progressive” state like Kerala, women stayed indoors and didn’t get into any service. But Anna fought gender bias, stood her ground, went on to become India’s first female IAS officer, created history and rewrote the rules. She was also the first woman to hold a secretarial post in the Central government. She grew up in Calicut and completed her intermediate education from Providence Women’s College. After earning a BA from Calicut’s Malabar Christian College, she moved to Madras where she obtained her Masters in English Literature. Her family was against her joining this male-only profession yet she went ahead and surprised everyone with remarkable marks.

In 1950, Anna passed the civil services examination and qualified for the interview round. In 1951, when she appeared for the next round, she was discouraged from joining the Indian Administrative Service by the board which interviewed her. Instead, the Indian Foreign Service was offered to her as it was “suitable for women.” Anna was determined to get the post her rank deserved, convincingly argued her case, stood her ground, chose Madras cadre and picked up her rank. Her appointment order had these lines: “In the event of marriage your service will be terminated”. But after a couple of years, the rules were changed. This was one government order that had not only changed her life, but millions of women who had joined government service.

Posted to Madras, Chief Minister C Rajagopalachari was against women entering public service and not keen to post the new recruit in the field. Being the conservative type, he thought that she would be unable to handle law and order situations. Therefore, instead of the charge of a district sub collector, he offered Anna a post in the secretariat. But Anna knew that she was at par with her male counterparts. Once again she fought for a chance to prove herself, arguing that she was equally competent to men in handling any law and order situation.

Eventually, she was posted as sub collector in the Hosur district, becoming the first woman in such a position. After some years of service, Anna learnt that Rajagopalachari had appreciated her work in an official report and, at a public meeting even mentioned her as an example of progressive women! Over the years, Anna served under seven chief ministers.

At the Centre, it was with Indira Gandhi, but her service was brief but impressive. Given the responsibility of agricultural inputs, she had to accompany Indiraji on an eight-state tour, giving information about declining food production. A stickler for rules and deeply committed to her duty, she undertook the tour despite a fractured ankle. Away from the line of duty, Anna bid her time to finally marry her colleague and batch mate RN Malhotra who became the RBI governor in 1985.

For her it was worth waiting for a man in whom she found exceptional humane qualities. Malhotra had earlier served as the Finance Secretary when Indira Gandhi was the PM and was also posted as India’s Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. It was when Malhotra returned to India to take up the job of Governor of the Reserve Bank of India that Anna got her most notable assignment, building India’s first computerised container port, Nhava Sheva, in Mumbai. The greenfield port of Nhava Sheva opened in May 1989 and a year later, Anna was awarded the Padma Bhushan. She breathed her last on Monday, September 17, 2018, in Mumbai, at the ripe old age of 91.

French government says it is not involved in choice of Indian partners for Rafale deal

French government says it is not involved in choice of Indian partners for Rafale deal

New Delhi: The French government Friday said it was in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners for the Rafale fighter jet deal, asserting that French companies have the full freedom to select Indian firms for the contract.

The statement by the French government came following a French media report which quoted former French President Francois Hollande as saying that the Indian government proposed Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale deal and France did not have a choice. “The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies,” it said.

The report in ‘Mediapart’, a French language publication, quoted Hollande as saying, “It was the Indian government that proposed this service group, and Dassault which negotiated with Ambani. We had no choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us.” Asked who selected Reliance as a partner and why, Hollande replied, “We had no say in this regard.” Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, had chosen Reliance Defence as its partner to fulfill offset obligations of the deal. The government has been maintaining it did not have any role in selection of the offset partner by Dassault.

Indian govt gave us no choice but to partner Anil Ambani in Rafale deal: former French president Francois Hollande
In a statement, Dassault Aviation said it has decided to make a partnership with the Reliance Defence in accordance with the policy of ‘Make in India’. “This partnership has led to the creation of the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) joint-venture in February 2017. Dassault Aviation and Reliance have built a plant in Nagpur for manufacturing parts for Falcon and Rafale aircraft,” the company said. The French government said, “In accordance with India’s acquisition procedure, French companies have the full freedom to choose the Indian partner companies that they consider to be the most relevant, then present for the Indian government’s approval the offsets projects that they wish to execute in India with these local partners so as to fulfil their obligations in this regard.”

The Congress has been accusing massive irregularities in the deal, alleging that the government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government when it was negotiating procurement of 126 Rafale jets. The Congress has also alleged that the government was benefitting Reliance Defence through the deal as the company has set up a joint venture with Dassault Aviation to execute the offset obligation for the deal.

The opposition parties have also alleged that the Reliance Defence was formed just 12 days before the announcement of the Rafale deal by the prime minister on 10 April 2015. The Reliance group has rejected the charges. The French government said the inter-governmental agreement it signed with India for supplying 36 Rafale aircraft concerns its obligations solely with regard to ensuring the delivery and quality of the aircraft. “As it happens, agreements have already been signed by French companies with many Indian firms, both public and private, under the framework of Indian laws,” the statement said.

The Congress has also been demanding answers from the government on why state-run aerospace major HAL was not involved in the deal as finalised during the UPA. Under India’s offset policy, foreign defence entities are mandated to spend at least 30 per cent of the total contract value in India through procurement of components or setting up of research and development facilities. Ten days after India sealed the government-to-government agreement on the Rafale deal, Reliance Defence and Dassault had announced a joint venture (JV) in the aerospace sector and a year later, the foundation stone of a manufacturing facility was laid in Mihan, Nagpur.

Kerala nun rape case: Bishop Mulakkal arrested

Kerala nun rape case: Bishop Mulakkal arrested

Kochi: Bishop Franco Mulakkal was on Friday arrested by the Kerala police in connection with the rape of a Kerala nun, Kottayam Superintendent of Police (SP) Hari Sankar confirmed. Addressing the media here, Sankar said, “On basis of the evidence collected so far and the interrogation that continued for three days, we arrested Bishop Franco at 8 pm today in regard to the petition filed against him.” “We are taking him for the medical examination. The subsequent investigation will continue and he’ll be produced before a magistrate court tomorrow morning,” Sankar added.

The Kottayam SP refused to disclose the evidences found against the Bishop, saying, “Evidences cannot be disclosed at this stage because the matter is under investigation and it has to go through a trial process, but the investigating officer has reached a reasonable conclusion that there is evidence in this case and we have decided to arrest him.” SP Sankar further stated the charges that Bishop Mulakkal has been found guilty of. They are rape and unnatural sexual intercourse, criminal intimidation and illegal confinement.

When asked if the investigation team will take action against those who came out in support of Bishop Mullakal, Sankar stated that separate cases have been registered in such matters, and are being investigated, adding that arrests will be made when the evidence is ample. Mulakkal had on Friday appeared before the Kochi Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) for the third day. He reached the Crime Branch (CID) office in Thrippunithura this morning and was quizzed by a five-member team headed by Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police, K Subhash. Bishop Mulakkal, in charge of the Jalandhar diocese, was on Thursday relieved of his pastoral duties by Pope Francis after he wrote to the Pope, expressing his desire to ‘temporarily step aside’ from the responsibilities of the diocese to fight his case.

The senior Catholic priest was accused of raping the nun as many as 13 times between 2014 and 2016. He, however, refuted the allegations, terming them “baseless and concocted.” A number of priests and nuns have been protesting against the bishop in Kerala. Activists had on Thursday staged a protest outside the Kerala Secretariat in Trivandrum, demanding the arrest of Bishop Mulakkal. Mulakkal had earlier filed for anticipatory bail in the Kerala High Court, which was deferred to September 25.

— By Asia News International