1 s Karnataka poll campaign Aends and the State gears up for elections on Saturday, consumers should be ready for a petrol price hike. For every one dollar rise in Brent crude prices of one barrel, the oil companies in India increase petrol and diesel prices by 40 paisa per litre. Since April 24 when last time the petrol price was revised, Brent crude prices in international market have gone up by nearly $5 a barrel. It means, the oil companies could be forced to raise prices by 2 per litre after May 12. Oil marketing Companies (OMCs) revised the petrol prices last time on April 24 when the crude prices flared to $74.01 a barrel. Then OMCs increased the prices of petrol by 13 paise and 18 paise for diesel. The daily revision stopped there. Next day, global crude price fell to $73.07 a barrel, but OMCs did not react. Since then global oil prices have risen by almost five dollars, but OMCs have ignored the situation even as they accumulated losses on their books and their share prices nosedived on stock exchanges. To offset the accumulated loss of nearly three weeks and to catch up with the current prices of nearly $78 per barrel, OMCs will be forced to increase petrol and diesel prices by at least 2 per litre. This could push up inflation and put a great deal of pressure on economy. The margin of oil companies have shrunk from 3.14 per litre of petrol and diesel on April 1 to an estimated 1.8 per litre on May 10. During the Gujarat polls also, OMCs lost more than 1.5 a litre on marketing margins during the period of campaigning through artificial freezing of prices. However, the Government later allowed them liberty to recover the losses. Going by the Gujarat he National Highway TAuthority of India (NHAI) and the Minister for Road, Transport and Highways on Thursday spoke in two voices on the inauguration of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), even as the Supreme Court said that it will throw open the highways to public on June 1 if it was till then not formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister as proposed by the NHAI. With the 135-kilometre long super highway connecting Kundli to Palwal via Ghaziabad and Greater Noida expected to he sound of honeybees Tdownloaded from the internet to keep elephants away from railway tracks has created quite a buzz after the novel idea introduced by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) brought down the number of accidents. The NFR has this system in place across four of its divisions at select level crossings where elephant zones exist. The idea was implemented in late 2017 and this year only six elephants have died after colliding with a train. In 2013, the number of elephants killed was 19, in 2014 it was 5, in 2015, it was 12, in 2016, it was 9, while in 2017, it was 10. We installed this in experiment, it is safe to assume that in addition to a hike of 2 (40 paise x 5) a litre, which the OMCs will have to unleash on consumers to catch up with the current price, they will also have to go for an additional hike to offset the losses suffered during three weeks of price freeze. The Economic Survey 2018 said that every $10 per barrel increase in the price of oil brings down GDP growth by percentage points. While the survey said the oil price was expected to grow by 12 per cent in the FY19, the price rise has overshot the upper limit of this percentile range in the first he bitter and intense cam- for the high-stake Tpaign Karnataka Assembly polls ended on Thursday with all eyes on the turnout on the D- day on March 12. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi connected with the voters through ModiApp from Delhi on Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi fired at him from the ground zero in substantially reduce the traffic load of Delhi, the Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked the NHAI to report the status of the project. On April 18 when the matter was last heard, the authority informed the court that the project will be inaugurated on April 29. The NHAI informed the Bench that the Prime Minister is expected to inaugurate the Rangiya division and once it was successful we have installed it in other locations as well. This was started barely six three months itself. India imports 82 per cent of its total oil requirement and Brent crude oil makes up around 28 per cent of India s total imports or every $1 rise in project on May 29. The amicus curiae and advocate Aparajta Singh who surveyed the project informed that the expressway is ready for inauguration. The Bench wondered why the project was held up for want of inauguration, suggesting that even a law officer appearing for the Centre was equipped to inaugurate. Giving time till May 31 to the NHAI for completing inauguration, months back, said Lokesh Narayan, Additional General Manager, NFR. Continued on Page 4 crude oil prices of a barrel, the impact on the current account deficit is around $1 billion. While Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had last month denied reports that the the Bench directed, NHAI must ensure that inauguration takes place on or before May 31 or else traffic will be thrown open to public from June 1. Soon after this, Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari sang a different tune and said that that the delay was on account of the project being incomplete. He said as and when it is complete, the Prime Minister will inaugurate it. He was quoted by ANI as saying, The Eastern Peripheral Expressway is still under construction. It will be completed soon. We will take a date from the Prime Minister for its inauguration and will immediately open it. He (PM Narendra Modi) has no connection with the delay in the opening of the expressway. We were left with little construction work and that is why we shifted the date. Continued on Page 4 or the first time since FIndependence, the Army is set to replace canvas shoes issued to its jawans with modern sports shoes. More than 80,000 pairs of new shoes will be used for final field trials in various commands. If they meet the required standards, the entire 11-lakh strong Army will get these shoes within the next two to three years. It has taken more than ten years for the Army to shortlist a private company to supply the shoes as per its specifications. The trials will take place in four commands, including Southern, South Western, Western and Central. All the these commands will get 20,000 pairs each for evaluation and the trials will take place for Government had issued any directive to OMCs to keep petrol and diesel prices on freeze, the way the oil companies had to helplessly watch their margin slip, showed that elhi Chief Minister Arvind DKejriwal s relative was arrested by the Anti- Corruption Branch (ACB) in connection with the PWD scam on Thursday, ACB chief Arvind Deep Vinay Bansal, son of Kejriwal s brother-in-law late Surender Bansal, was produced before the court and sent to judicial custody for one day. He will be produced before the court on Friday. The ACB had registered three FIRs on May 9, 2017 in which it had named a company run by Surender. Also, included in the FIRs were three other companies, including Renu Constructions (owned by Surender, Kamal Singh and Pawan Kumar). Related report on P3 about two months starting next month, officials said here on Thursday. Giving the details of the selection procedure and reasons for delay, they said the idea to replace standard issue brown or white canvas shoes with they were forced into inaction. However, with three more State Assembly elections round the corner, will the Centre afford to give freehand to the OMCs is a million dollar question. Bengaluru. In his address via app to the ST/ST/slum morcha workers of the BJP, the PM spoke about Dalit welfare programmes undertaken by his Government and slammed the Congress for ignoring BR Ambedkar. He also reminded the party workers that the BJP had the maximum number of MPs belonging to the SC/ST, OBC and minority communities. Modi criticised the Congress for not allowing Parliament to function and scuttling the move to give Constitutional status to the OBC Commission. Modi held 21 rallies crisscrossing the State, while Rahul addressed 10 rallies and reached out to people by holding roadshows. Many pre-poll surveys are predicting a fractured mandate with the JD(S) playing a kingmaker role. More than 25 senior leaders from the BJP campaigned on the last day of the campaign. Addressing a Press conference in Bengaluru, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday slammed Modi for distracting public from real issues and claimed that the Congress will win hands down in the State. He also said it s a war of ideologies and RSS wants to take over Karnataka. Continued on Page 4 modern sports shoes was first mooted in In 2010, the global tender or request for proposal (RFP) for 1.75 lakh pairs was floated. At least five Indian and multinational companies responded, they However, an objection over n a blow to West Bengal IChief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Supreme Court on Thursday prevented the State Election Commission (SEC) from announcing the results of nearly 20,000 uncontested seats, where only candidates from the ruling party had filed nomination papers. Meanwhile the Calcutta High Court on Thursday said the SEC and State officials would be held liable and have to pay compensation if the loss of life and property in the panchayat election is higher than that in the 2013 poll. The Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra took notice of this fact while hearing an appeal by the SEC against a May 8 Calcutta High Court order which directed the poll panel to accept all nominations filed through by Opposition party candidates in the elections due for May 14. Terming the order as bad, the Bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud found no reasoning for the HC to interfere in the election process, especially when the last date of nomination had expired on April 23. The HC had held the Information Technology Act applicable to the process of filing of nominations, governed purely by the Representation of People Act. The SC also asked the State N inety-two-year-old Mahathir Mohamad was on Thursday sworn in as the world s oldest elected leader after a stunning election win that swept Malaysia s establishment from power after more than six decades. In a huge political upset, former strongman Mahathir s Opposition alliance broke the grip on power of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which had governed Malaysia uninterrupted since its birth as an independent country in It capped a dramatic political comeback for Mahathir, who previously ruled the country with an iron fist for 22 years and came out of retirement to take on Prime Minister Najib Razak after the leader became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal. In a ceremony at the national palace steeped in centuries-old Muslim Malay tradition, Mahathir was officially sworn in as PM by King Sultan Muhammad V. Mahathir, dressed in traditional Malay dress, took the oath of office in a elaborately decorated room, with political allies and senior Government officials in attendance. Continued on Page 4 use of leather in manufacturing the sports shoes made the Army withdraw the RFP in 2011 and a fresh tender was floated with new specifications with focus on synthetic material used in shoes. Fourteen companies, including several reputed international brands showed keenness, officials After extensive trials at the initial stages, two Indian companies managed to meet the standards and were asked to supply 1.75 lakh shoes as a pilot project in Following several rounds of modifications, one company was found to be ready to supply 80,000 pairs last year, they The Army has given some more time to the other poll panel to ensure free and fair panchayat elections on May 14 in the State. But before the State Government could celebrate this order, the Bench took note of the submissions made by the CPI(M) and the BJP who complained of their candidates being threatened, beaten and prevented from filing nominations. Due to this reason, they alleged that 20,076 seats out of the total 58,692 seats in the State will not have any polls as it will fall straight into the kitty of the ruling party in the State whose candidates will get elected unopposed. Continued on Page 4 company to carry out the required changes to be ready to supply more than 90,000 pairs, officials added. At present, the Army issues two pairs of canvas shoes in a year to the jawans for physical training (PT) and participating in sporting activities. Once the sport shoes are inducted, the jawans will be entitled for one pair a year, they Continued on Page 4
2 hree wanted criminals involved Tin the sensational kidnapping of a councillor s son have been arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell. The criminals were on the run after they took a hefty ransom of 1 crore for the release of the son of a councillor from Northwest Delhi two years ago. In 2016, then councillor Shambhu Sharma had reportedly paid a ransom of 1 crore for the safe release of his son, who was held hostage for six days and was released by the kidnappers in Gurugram. Manjeet Dabas, Arshu Shokeen and Bhagat were arrested after a brief encounter at the Dwarka Sector 23 area on late Wednesday night, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav. The three were wanted in the kidnapping of Shambhu Sharma s, 20-year-old son from Netaji Subhash Place area of Northwest Delhi in According to a police officer, Manjeet was carrying a reward of 1 lakh on his arrest while Bhagat and Shokeen were carrying reward of 50,000 each declared by the Police Commissioner. A senior police officer said, The kidnappers had worn police uniform at the time of kidnapping Shambhu s son when he was on his way to his college in a BMW car. His car was chased and intercepted by the men in Scorpio car. While the Crime Branch had arrested four associates of Mahesh Thekedar and Manjeet Dabas, Dabas and the other two were absconding. However the son was rescued only after Sharma paid 1 crore to the kidnappers. During the course of investigation, police found that the plan to kidnap was hatched by one Mahesh Thekedar and Manjeet Dabas. Sleuths of the Special Cell were tipped off about the movement of Arshu Shokeen, following which he was nabbed from Jhajjar on Wednesday evening, while he was driving to meet an associate. He was taken to Delhi and interrogated where he revealed about the two associates, Manjeet and Bhagat are coming to Darwka Sector-23 late night. A team of special cell laid a trap and managed to pin them down the duo where they had come on motorcycle. They were asked to stop but they did not stop and started firing on the police team. They opened fire on our team. Another set of members of our team overpowered them from behind and recovered two fire arms from their possession, ith the arrest of a 45-year- man, Delhi Police Wold Special Cell has busted a module of the Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs). They have recovered 8 lakh FICN in the denomination of 2000 notes from Northeast Delhi s Seelampur area. Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell said, We have arrested Kamil, a resident of Kairana who was involved in the circulation of FICNs being infiltrated through Malda in West Bengal. Police said that their team has been working for past few months to bust the FICN module. On May 10, they were tipped off that one Kamil, travelling to collect a huge consignment from Malda, will come near Seelampur Metro Station. A trap was laid and based on local intelligence, Kamil carrying a bag was spotted and apprehended by the team. On searching his bag, police found a small bag wrapped in mosquito net. The smaller bag contained two packets of ploythene in which four wads of fake currency of 2000 notes amounting to 8 lakhs was recovered, said Yadav. Police said that during sustained interrogation, Kamil disclosed that he brought the fake currency from one Martuz in Malda, West Bengal. Kamil paid 2.5 lakhs to one of his associates to further circulate said Yadav. Police said the all the three criminals have previous criminal 32-year-old man, employed with a private Ahospital in Noida, allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in East Delhi s New Ashok Nagar area, police said on Thursday. According to the police, the deceased has been identified as Abhinav, a native of Hathras in Uttar Pradesh. He was working with administration department. A senior police officer said the incident took place on Tuesday night when Abhinav shot himself. He was staying at a PG accommodation provided by the hospital. After hearing the gunshot, people in the adjoining rooms rushed to his room but it was locked from inside. A PCR call was made and a police team reached the spot. Police broke open the gate and found Abhinav in pool of blood. He had shot himself on temple. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead. No suicide note was found from the spot, said a senior police officer. However, it was found that he had differences with his wife whom he had been married for two years, which might have prompted him to take the extreme step, added the officer. The body was handed over to family members after post-mortem. He had shot himself with a country made weapon. We have initiated inquest proceedings in the case and family members do not suspect any foul play, said the officer. day after Flipkart and retail giant AWalmart inked a deal, a few activists of the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SAJM) staged a protest on Thursday outside a five-star hotel. SJM activists protested when Walmart s CEO hosted a select media roundtable after its $16-billion acquisition of home-grown retailer Flipkart. The protesters from the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh arrived at the hotel at 9 am and alleged that the US retail giant was circumventing rules for a back-door entry into India with the acquisition. Around 28 protesters were detained and taken to Tughlak Road police station and were let off after a couple of hours, the police SJM s co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan said that there was a series of violations of law in allowing the deal to happen. This deal is unfortunate, but not surprising. Now the danger is knocking at our doors, he The SJM had also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the matter to safeguard national interest. Walmart Inc on Wednesday announced acquisition of 77 per cent stake in Flipkart for about $16 billion ( 1.05 lakh crore) in the largest e-commerce deal which will give the US retailer access to the Indian online market that is estimated to grow to $200 billion within a decade. the fake currency notes. Kamil had procured the consignment two days ago and had come from Malda, West Bengal to deliver the same to his associate.accused also revealed he was arrested by the Special Cell regarding supplying of fake currency of 4 lakh in Kamil is the member of the Malda based module. A native of Kairana in Uttar Pradesh, Kamil joined the fake currency module to earn quick money. He used to work as a dealer supplying bed sheets in Panipat, said Yadav. he Delhi High Court on TThursday granted bail to two persons including lawyer Rohit Tandon, who are in jail in connection with a money laundering case after demonetisation, saying trial in the matter was likely to take time. Justice Mukta Gupta granted the relief to Tandon and coaccused entry operator Raj Kumar Goel subject to their furnishing a personal bond of five lakh each with two sureties of the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court. The order came on Tandon s plea challenging the trial court s order denying him bail on the grounds that he was alleged to have been involved in a white collar crime with the other co-accused in a wellplanned manner. rotesting against the PGovernment s decision to involve a private company for maintaining the historic monument Red Fort, civil society organisations, heritage groups, teachers and students associations and commoners among others on Thursday took out a protest march. Around 100 protesters raised slogans of No Company Raj Again as they held the protest march from the Rajghat to the Red Fort on the occasion of the 161st anniversary of the first War of Independence the revolt of Late last month, the Bharat Dalmia Group signed a MoU with the Government under which it was allowed to maintain the monument. Under the agreement, the Dalmia Bharat Group has agreed to make available certain basic amenities at the monument within six months. These include providing drinking water kiosks, street furniture like benches and signages to guide the visitors, according to the Government. The protestors, however, alleged the move was in line with the RSS efforts of rewriting and erasing history according to their whims and fancies. They said the MoU allows the Bharat Dalmia Group to place their company s name on signages on the fort campus and to establish interpretation centres in the name of providing brief history of the monument. The protest was organised by Anhad in collaboration with Left-wing student organisation All India Students Association (AISA), the Centre for Dalit Literature and Art, Dalit Lekhak Sangh, the Democratic Teachers Front, the IPTA, the Jan Sanskriti Manch, the Progressive Writers Association and other groups. he Special Task Force (STF) of the TGurugram police have arrested a dreaded criminal Jitender, alias Jeeta. The accused, a resident of Tandaheri village near Haryana s Jhajjar district, carried a reward of 1 lakh on his head. He was involved in half a dozen murders and attempt to murder cases. Police recovered a country-made pistol, six live cartridges and a Pulsar motorcycle. Following a tip-off, the STF team arrested Jeeta from the underconstruction Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway near his village on Wednesday. A case was registered by STF against him at Jhajjar Sadar Police Station under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Arms act. The accused has been handed over to local police for further investigation, said Ravinder Kumar, public Goel has been accused of engaging in earning profits by routing money into various accounts by using forged documents. Both have been in custody for a period of one year and four months, the high court noted in its order. It also noted that despite directions of the Supreme Court to hold day-today trial, till date arguments on charge have not begun. The court further said that evidence in the present case was primarily documentary in nature and statements of accused have already been recorded. Further corroborative evidence in the form of CCTV footage and call detail records is also documentary in nature. The trial is likely to take some time. Thus, this court deems it fit to grant bail to the records including robberies and attempt to murders. The DCP said, During sustained interrogation, the accused revealed that Mahesh Thekedar, who was charged in three cases, had obtained the sub contract of the toll plaza at Tikri Border to Daurala Border. It was then that he came in touch with the other accused of the sensational kidnapping case. these men became henchmen of Mahesh Thekedar. Mahesh Thekedar and Manjeet Dabas conspired to kidnap the son of ex-councillor for making easy money through ransom. They roped in other members. After kidnapping the then 20- year-old boy, the kidnappers first took him to Sirsa in Haryana. From there, he was taken to Navalgarh in Rajasthan and later to Hansi and Hisar in Haryana, added the DCP. relations officer (PRO) of Gurugram police. During the preliminary interrogation, Jeeta confessed his involvement in two cases of murder which he had committed in 2002 and attempt to murder cases in 2017 in Jhajjar. Jeeta in jail and came out on parole but did not return, the police, He was declared a proclaimed offender by the court as he did not surrender after expiry of his parole. The accused was awarded 20 years in jail in connection with a murder case by a Haryana court. Jeeta was changing his locations to avoid his arrest. Further probe into the matter is underway, the PRO petitioners (Tandon and Goel), the high court said and disposed of their pleas seeking bail. In its verdict granting the relief to the duo, the court also noted that even the crime branch of Delhi Police had not arrested them in a case lodged on the offences of cheating, forgery and criminal breach of trust and had filed a charge sheet without arrest.
3 he Anti-Corruption Branch T(ACB) has arrested Vinay Bansal, the son of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal s brother-in-law in an alleged PWD scam. The arrest evoked an angry response from the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that it was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) s vendetta politics. Vinay Bansal, the son of Kejriwal s late brother-in-law Surender Bansal, was a partner in a firm which was involved in the alleged scam worth over 6 crore. Vinay Bansal was arrested from his residence in Pitampura after he failed to give satisfactory replies to our queries about a firm Mahadeo Impacts, said Special Commissioner of Police Arvind Deep who heads ACB. Bansal s firm showed purchase of raw materials for the construction of a Public Works Department (PWD) drain, Deep added. We received a complaint he Delhi Canbinet is likely to Tgive the go-ahead to the proposal for procurement of 1,000 standard floor CNG buses to be plied under the Cluster scheme. Delhi Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is meeting on Friday and this proposal will be cleared, a Government official As per independent sources, the city requires 10,000 to 15,000 buses for meeting transport needs of commuters in the city. The deadline for Cabinet approval to the proposal for procurement of 1,000 each of electric and CNG buses was set April 30. It may be recalled that Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had announced this in his speech while presenting budget for in the Assembly. The proposal was however not on the agenda of the Cabinet that cleared various other Government proposals on Wednesday that Surender Bansal got a tender below 46 per cent on behalf of a company, Renu Construction, on the estimated cost of 4.9 lakh. Accordingly ACB registered an FIR and probe was taken up, Deep The complaint also mentioned that the quality of products was sub-standard which was corroborated during the investigation. Iron and cement were bought from Mahadeo The proposal for 1,000 CNG buses for Cluster scheme is likely to get Cabinet nod in its meeting expected tomorrow, said a government official seeking anonymity. The proposal for 1,000 e- buses will come up before Cabinet later on as it is being currently firmed up by concerned departments, he The BJP charged that Government s timeline for procurement of new buses has gone haywire, although it was specified by Sisodia in his eachers of Delhi University T(DU) under the aegis of Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) held a protest against autonomy to St Stephen s College as the University Grants Commission (UGC) team led by Prof Rajen Harshe,former Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University, set up to examine grant of autonomous status to college, visited St. Stephen s College on Thursday. About 44 out of 56 permanent teachers had already submitted representations to the Chairperson UGC opposing the grant of autonomy to the college. While the interaction was going on inside, the DUTA he Supreme Court on TThursday said that the Delhi Government could use the funds collected from the environment compensation charge (ECC) for purchasing remote-sensing machines which would detect pollution emitted from diesel vehicles plying on the roads here. The apex court said this after the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) suggested that remotesensing technology was revolutionary and it was successfully used in China and Hong Kong to tackle the problem of air pollution. A bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was informed by advocate Aparajita Singh, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae, that EPCA s held a vociferous protest UGC Go back at the front gate of the College, in which teachers and students of the university and alumni of the college participated DUTA alleged that the Principal John Varghese tried to keep many of the senior teachers from meeting the committee today by handpicking members of various departments who were invited for the interaction. DUTA said that total of 46 permanent teachers out of 56 have signed in opposition to grant of autonomy. The students and staffers also expressed their grievances and opposed the grant of autonomous status to the college. report on steps to be taken to strengthen pollution under control (PUC) mechanism has recommended the use of remote-sensing machines, which was already being used in Kolkata as a pilot project. Singh said that as far as petrol vehicles were concerned, the existing PUC measures were optimum but for diesel vehicles the remote sensing technology should be used. She said that a remotesensing device would cost around Rs 2.5 crore each and 10 such machines were required to be installed in different locations at Delhi. The amicus also said that this machine not only detects pollution emitted from diesel vehicles, it also scans the number plate and owner of vehicles emitting pollutants could be sent notice regarding this. Let the government of India look into it and file a budget speech. It is a matter of deep concern that the public transport policy of the government is in doldrums now, alleged Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly and BJP MLA Vijender Gupta. Under the cluster scheme, 1,648 buses are being run by the Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS). Another 3,900 low floor buses are run by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). elhi University (DU) will Dnot consider those candidates who have only the participation certificate at State or district level, for admission under the sports quota this year. Rather those candidates who have secured some rank/position (either I, II or III) at district or state level sports competition would be eligible to apply under the sports quota. Delhi University (DU) under its sports quota grants admissions broadly under four categories such as; international, national, state and district levels. While admissions under national and international category (both position and participation) will be considered, admissions under state and district category would be made solely on the basis of position or rank. This is contrary to the rule last year when under the reply, the bench said after which Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, appearing for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), said that he would take instructions and get back to the court within six weeks. Impacts which was later found to be non-existent, the ACP chief Reacting to Bansal s arrest, Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia alleged that for the last three years, the Delhi Police and the ACB are being used by the Lieutenant Governor and the Central Government for arresting AAP leaders. The Delhi Police is planning just one thing: How to make AAP people unhappy, he Bansal was doing projects with the Delhi Government even before the Kejriwal Government. The current case is on a contract he won before the AAP Government came to power, Sisodia Sisodia claimed that IIT Roorkee had done a third party audit as per the terms of the project and submitted a report and the PWD had also said that the work was done well. After the complaint, the ACB got a separate inquiry conducted by Sri Ram Labs which also said that work was satisfactory, Sisodia State category also both position and participation were considered. The registration for the sports quota admission will begin with opening of Undergraduate (UG) admission portal. The registration process for UG courses will begin from May 15 next. Also this year under sports quota both Under-19 and Under-17 category have been clubbed together. That means similar marks would be given for the same rank in both categories. Similarly for participation, both Under-19 and Under- 17 will carry same marks, said a university official, on anonymity. He informed that the decision of Delhi University to club both the categories came after the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) allegedly removed the blockade that says only students who When the amicus said the device should be used in Delhi also, the bench observed, the amount from ECC can be used (by Delhi government) for this purpose. Delhi government s counsel told the bench that he would take instructions in the This is part of the chain of arrests against AAP MLAs, Sisodia The good thing is that there s justice in this country and when cases go to court it goes against police and police is being asked why did you do it. We are very sure that this case will be exposed in the court, Sisodia added. AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj too trashed the very idea of any corruption in this particular issue. There can be only two ways of corruption in PWD drain construction: the tender was rigged to favour of Chief Minister s relative or the payment was made for sub-standard work or matter after which the court fixed it for hearing in July. Meanwhile, the bench was informed that six task forces have been set up to look into the issue of traffic bottlenecks in several corridors in Delhi. Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand told the are in XI or XII can play Under- 19. Now even an X standard student is eligible for playing under-19. Following the removal of blockade by SGFI we have also clubbed both the categories for convenience of aspirants applying under sports quota, he Also, considering the gravity of the problems faced by sportspersons of DU who go for participating in national and international level sports events, face difficulties in their semester exams due to clash of dates. Delhi University Sports Council (DUSC) now wants a system of Contingent Exam to be introduced for such candidates. Whereby, flexibility in dates for appearing in university exams would be provided to such talented sportsperson who bring laurels to DU in international and national sports events. bench that such corridors have been classified under categories A, B and C and at present, steps were being taken with respect to 11 out of 28 corridors falling under category A. The apex court asked Anand to specify within six weeks the timeline to complete the work and posted the matter for hearing in July. The court had on Wednesday asked the EPCA to examine the Delhi government s proposal for using part of the Rs crore collected from ECC to buy semi-low floor fully electric buses to tackle pollution and improve public transport. The issue had cropped up when the court was hearing the matters arising out of a PIL filed in 1985 by environmentalist M C Mehta who had raised the issue of air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region. incomplete work. In this case, nothing of this sort happened, he tweeted. However, ACB officials rebutted AAP Government s claim that a third party audit had cleared the project and said that four PWD officials had colluded with the company in the alleged wrongdoing. ACB sources said that the ultrasound velocity test and Rebound Jammer tests that were carried out by Shriram Institute for Industrial Research to check the quality of work found it unsatisfactory. They also claimed that the MoU signed between PWD and IIT-Roorkee for the third-party audit was not there in the records. The investigation also found the collusion of four PWD officials who were also questioned in the matter, they During questioning, Bansal was evasive and had claimed that he was not an active partner in Renu Constructions, they It was found that he has 50 per cent shares in the firms and the records, agreements, acceptance of measurements, bills, etc, were signed by him, the ACB sources claimed. There was some other correspondence like request of approval of drawings that had his signatures, it is alleged. The partnership agreement (signed between the PWD and Renu Constructions) before the award of work was signed by the father-son duo, ACB sources claimed. The investigation of the ACB revealed that Bansal s firm Renu Constructions had procured steel and cement from a firm named M/s Mahadev Impex. However, it was found that the firm does not exist. It may be noted that three FIRs, including one against a company run by the chief minister s brother-in-law Surender Bansal, were registered by the ACB in the PWD scam case on May 9 last year. Three companies, including Renu Constructions (owned by Bansal, Kamal Singh and Pawan Kumar), were included in the FIRs. elhi BJP president Manoj DTiwari alleged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal s patronage to his relative Vinay Bansal who was arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau ( ACB ), and demanded his resignation. Bansal, who is a partner in a firm linked to alleged financial irregularities in building a drainage system for Public Works Department in northwest Delhi, was arrested early this morning. It is amply clear with the arrest of Bansal in the PWD s bogus payments scam, that he had Chief Minister s patronage in his misdeeds, Tiwari said in a statement. n their relentless drive against Iencroachment, the three municipal corporations on Thursday removed several vendors, razed permanent and non permanent structures and cleared stretches across the city. The action was taken by Special Task Force constituted by the Supreme Court. Hundreds of vehicles were also impounded in the drive for parking on roads. The officers of the Corporations along with officers and police force of Delhi Police and Traffic police took an action against encroachment at a stretch of road between ShaniMandir, Vijay Nagar to Kingsway Camp, Bharat Nagar, Mukherjee Civic Center, New Delhi railway station, Sadar Bazaar Chowk, Azadpur Bus Terminal toarya Samaj road, Adarsh Nagar, Indira Nagar Gurudwaras, Auchandi Road to Aditi College, Gokalpuri village, KG 1 block Tilak Nagar market, Raja Garden, Janakpuri East Metro Station, Jamia Nagar and surrounding areas. North Corporation cleared approx 10 km stretches and also impounded 54 vehicles illegally parking on roads. It further seized 120 items including selling carts (rehari), waterproofing sheets, temporary tin shades, fridge, and miscellaneous items. A senior NMC official said that it also sealed 60 shops in the action. East Corporation has also impounded 50 vehicles from Jaffrabad to Seelampur in a similar drive. An east civic body official said that the building department also sealed six stilt portion for misusing the properties besides demolishing two properties at Shastri Park and Jhilmil Industrial area. As part of enforcement measures 30 health trades were prosecuted in Shahdara South zone, he Meanwhile South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) also conducted a similar exercise in west zone and impounded 26 four wheelers and four rehris. In Najafgarh zone, it cleared encroachments from both sides of 4 Km nallah road, he T he much awaited Undergraduate (UG) admissions to Delhi University for academic session will begin from May 15 with the opening of registration process on the admission portal. Registration for Postgraduate programme (PG) will begin from May 18. Also the registration for post graduate diploma in Cyber security and Law will begin on the same date. While registration for research programme, both Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) and Master in Philosophy (M.Phil) will begin from May 20. The DU will hold Open Days session for the aspiring students for admission from May 21 to May 29 except on Sunday in the Conference Centre, north campus of DU. The Open Days will have two sessions from 10 am to am and 12 noon to 1.30 pm. In these open days session information about registration, admission process, schedule and other related information will be provided, said press release from the Registrar of DU. In the open days after a short presentation, expert comments of panelists representing various departments of the University will follow. he National Green Tribunal T(NGT) has sought response of the Union Government and civic bodies on a plea seeking cancellation of the approval by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to allot land at Sonia Vihar and Ghonda Gujran areas to set up landfill sites. A Bench headed by Acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim issued notice to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi Development Authority, Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and sought their reply before May 14, the next date of hearing. The Supreme Court had on May 4 stayed the proceedings This year, applicant can register for merit based as well as entrance based courses on the same portal through one application. As majority of students apply from Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the details of an applicant s mark in XII will be automatically captured by the software from the database provided by the CBSE, once a student enter his/her roll number and other details. CBSE results for class XII are expected on 28 May. Further, five year integrated course in Journalism has been added as a new course in the portal. For admission to sports category, applicants can now upload three best certificates instead of only one. The three certificates have to be uploaded as three separate documents. related to the landfill sites at Ghazipur and Bhalswa in Delhi pending before the tribunal. The tribunal s notice came on a plea filed Ghonda MLA Shri Dutt Sharma and others seeking a direction to restrain the DDA from allotting an area of 130 acres at Sonia Vihar and a 50-acre plot at Ghonda Gujran to the EDMC for handling and processing waste. The petition, filed through advocate Abhinav Singh, said that if the project is started by the EDMC for landfill sites at the two areas, it will adversely affect the ecosystem and the overall ecology since there are several densely populated colonies nearby. It said the approval was based on wrong facts and that it violated the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
4 day after having defended ARahul Gandhi for voicing Prime Ministerial ambition, the ruling Shiv Sena on Thursday sprang another surprise by extending its active support to the Congress candidate Vishwajeet Kadam in the Palus- Kadegaon Assembly bypolls scheduled for May 28. The Palus-Kadegaon Assembly bypolls in Sangli district of western Maharashtra have been necessitated by the demise of senior Congress leader Patangrao Kadam, who died of renal dysfunction at Mumbai s Lilavati Hospital on March 9. Vishwajeet is the son of late Patangrao Kadam. In a brief statement issued here in the evening, Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut not only extended his party s support to the Congress candidate, but also indirectly slammed his party s senior alliance partner BJP s failure to facilitate unopposed election of the departed Congress leader s son. Late Patangrao Kadam s son Vishwajeet is contesting the Palus-Kadegaon Assembly bypolls. Patangrao had contributed a great in education, social and co-operative sectors. His contribution was beyond political party lines. As mark of respect to late Patangrao, the Sena wanted to see Vishwajeet get elected unopposed. Unfortunately, we do not see that happening, Raut. That s why the Shiv Sena has decided to extend its active From Page 1 I, Mahathir Mohamad, after being elected as Prime Minister, swear to carry out my task with all my ability, and that I will be loyal to Malaysia and preserve and defend the constitution, he As he was sworn in, fireworks lit up in the night sky across Kuala Lumpur as people celebrated. Earlier, Mahathir and his wife Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali were driven into the palace past hundreds of well-wishers waving flags and chanting the national anthem. Mohamad Azlan Shah, a member of Mahathir s party in the crowd, said he was very proud. Our struggle to change Malaysian politics is not wasted. We believe Mahathir can make a change, he told AFP. One of the most remarkable aspects of Mahathir s comeback has been his reconciliation with jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim, his former nemesis. Their relationship has loomed large over the Malaysian political landscape for decades. Anwar was support to Vishwajeet Kadam s candidature. An announcement to this effect has been made by Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, Raut Despite being the BJP s alliance partner in the state and at the Centre, the Shiv Sena has embarrassed the Amit Shah-led party on three occasions during the past one week. First, the Sena announced its decision to field BJP s late MP Chintaman Vanaga s son Shrinivas Vanaga in the May 28 Palghar Lok Sabha by-poll. Secondly, the Sena advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to ridicule Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his statement that he was prepared to become the Prime Minister in the event of his party emerging as the single largest party in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Thirdly, it has now backed the Congress candidate in the Palus- Kadegaon Assembly by-polls. 4 lakh each as Sunday at isolated places in ompensation, eastern Uttar Pradesh. he death toll in the storm Deputy Chief He said a dust storm too Tthat hit parts of Uttar Minister Dinesh was "very likely" at certain Pradesh last night has risen to 18, an official said on Thursday as the Met office issued another bad weather alert for the State. Five deaths people died in Etawah district, three each in Mathura, Aligarh and Agra, two in Firozabad and one each in Hathras and Kanpur Dehat last night, an official spokesperson Twenty-seven others were injured in the calamity which affected nine districts, mostly night's storm. Thirty-seven head of cattle perished. Two of the three deaths in Mathura district took place when electricity poles collapsed on the victims. Another person was killed when a tractor-trolley filled Sharma said during a visit to Mathura today. He said the loss to farmers not covered by the crop insurance scheme was being determined. The minister claimed that the losses would have been bigger had Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath not told the weather department to issue timely warnings. places in western UP. Last week's storm had killed 134 people and injured over 400 in five states, the Home Ministry had Uttar Pradesh was the hardest hit with 80 deaths, most of them in Agra district. Meanwhile, Adityanath today issued fresh directives to the administration to speed up relief operations. An official release said he asked the ministers-in-charge and district magistrates to visit in western Uttar Pradesh that with hay toppled on him during A weather office the affected districts. had also borne the brunt of a previous storm on May 2-3. the storm. Two victims were from the district's Mant spokesman today warned of more thunderstorms accompanied He said the assessment of the damage should be done The official said seven tehsil. The state government by strong winds of up immediately and repair work houses were damaged in last has given their families Rs to 70 kmph on Saturday and must begin at the earliest. Thank you for the Blessings Holy Spirit. Celine. PD(8093)C I, Reena Muradia W/o sh. Ajay Bans Lal R/o 704 Divyalok Residency, Sector- 21D Faridabad declare that I have change my name from Reena Muradia to Reena Wadhawan. In future know me as Reena Wadhawan for all purpose. PD(8095)C Mahathir s heir-apparent until the premier sacked him in 1998 over political differences, and he was subsequently jailed on charges of sodomy and abuse of power. As it became clear that BN was facing a historic wipeout, Najib disappeared for hours and only surfaced Thursday morning to tell a press conference that he accepted the people s will, although he stopped short of conceding defeat. His comments were slammed by one analyst as unstatesmanlike. Najib s defeat could be just the start of his problems -- Mahathir has vowed to bring him to justice over allegations that billions of dollars were looted from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which the scandal-hit leader set up and oversaw. In Mahathir, the opposition found the perfect person to take on Najib. He is a staunch Malay nationalist who could appeal to the country s biggest ethnic group, and whose years in power were remembered as a prosperous period in the country s history. he board of Fortis THealthcare on Thursday recommended the binding offer of the Munjal-Burmans combine to the shareholders after 18 months of hectic parleys with several potential investors for the sale of its business. The board decided by majority to recommend the revised offer of Hero Enterprise Investment Office-Burman Family Office made on May 1 for an upfront equity infusion of Rs 800 crore at a price of Rs 167 per share through preferential allotment, Fortis Healthcare Ltd said in a late-night filing to the BSE. The Munjal-Burmans further agreed to invest another Rs 1,000 crore via preferential issue of warrants priced at Rs 176 per From Page 1 Earlier, the EPE missed the deadline of January 26 this year and was slated for completion by March 31. The EPE alone is expected to cut Delhi s traffic burden by about two lakh vehicles. The court also took stock of the Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE) connecting Kundli with Palwal via Manesar. This project is still under construction by Essel Infraprojects and the nodal agency for making funds available is the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC). The counsel appearing for HSIIDC informed the court that though the deadline set for the project will expire in February 2019, the concessionaire has agreed to deliver completion by June 30 this year. The Bench ordered the WPE to also be inaugurated by July 1. The WPE is being built at a total project cost of Rs 1,863 crore. The Manesar-Palwal section of WPE has already commenced and by June 2018, the completion of the Kundli- Manesar section is expected to take off a chunk of Delhi-bound commercial traffic, thereby easing congestion and pollution level in the city. MILITARY ENGINEER SERVICES e-procurement TENDER FOR HQ CWE No. 2 DELHI CANTT HQs COMMANDER WORKS ENGINEER No. 2 DELHI CANTT-10 on behalf of President of India invites electronic bids from eligible MES enlisted Contractors/un-enlisted contractors through nic-eprocurement portal for the following works. For details refer SL BRIEF NAME OF WORK Estimated ELIGIBILITY No Cost CRITERIA 1 CA NO : CWE/BH-01 / : SPECIAL REPAIR TO Rs. 17 Lakhs Class 'E' Cat a (i) DENTAL OFFICERS MESS AT BASE HOSP UNDER GE E/M BASE HOSP, DELHI CANTT-10 (Tender ID: 2018_MES_186824_1) davp/10102/11/0345/1819 share, it added. Of this Rs 250 crore will be upfront, being an amount equivalent to 25 per cent of the consideration of warrants at a price of Rs 176 per share, Fortis Healthcare Ltd Reacting to the development, Sunil Kant Munjal said: "We are delighted that the board has accepted our offer, which is, unarguably, the best solution." "We are sure that the shareholders will see the intrinsic value in our proposal and repose confidence in us. As long-term investors, we are committed to help make Fortis the finest healthcare institution in the region, and create value for all stakeholders," he added. Anand Burman said that Fortis is a national healthcare asset which has a good spread across the country and hoped to help the company become what it ought to be. "Going forward, the immediate plan of action for the company should be to build on its strengths, retain talent, expand business and institutionalise processes at Fortis," he T he world premiere show of the Russian film "SOBIBOR" made the "Victory Day", dedicated to the 73rd anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War ( ), organised jointly by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in India and the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi on May 9, 2018, phenomenal. The event was indeed an unprecedented experience to the Delhi audience. The function had the gracious presence of H.E. Mr. Nikolay R. Kudashev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to India, H.E. Ashraf Shikhaliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Bulat Sarsenbayev, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Bisher Alhaar, From Page 1 Unlike in Kenya, where boutique beehives are dangled from fences to keep elephants away, NFR uses an electronic buzzer to keep the animals at bay. While elephant-repulsion techniques such as the chili bomb and electric fences have been used earlier, this buzzing sound has been the most effective and cost-efficient. It is a simple device that amplifies the recorded sound of honeybees downloaded from the internet.the device costs around Rs 2,000 to put together and is audible to an elephant 600 metres away. NFR covers northern West Bengal and parts of eastern Bihar besides the northeastern States. In fact, railways has put in place several measures to From Page 1 When asked about his possibility of becoming Prime Minister in 2019, Rahul said it all depends on his party emerging as the single largest party in The Congress has fought a very good campaign. We ve all stood together. Our party is completely united. We fought the campaign on the fundamental issues. We put down in front of the people a vision for Karnataka our Opposition is restricted on making personal attacks on the Chief Minister, Khargeji, me and other leaders. They haven t really put down what they want to do for Karnataka, he Criticising the PM for making irresponsible comments during the campaign, Rahul said, A PM should never say anything baseless He has belittled the chair. This has become like a comedy show We have great respect for the PM s chair. Even when he went on personal attacks on us, we just responded in decent manner. xternal Affairs Minister ESushma Swaraj on Thursday called on Myanmar President U Win Myint soon after she arrived here for talks with the country's top leadership on key bilateral and regional issues, including the Rohingya refugee crisis. An estimated 7,00,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine State since August last year after large-scale violence following a military crackdown. The exodus of refugees in large numbers has resulted in a major crisis in neighbouring Bangladesh. Swaraj is here on a twoday visit for discussions on a number of bilateral and regional issues, including the situation in the Rakhine State from where lakhs of Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet: "A key partner in Act East Policy! called on the President of Myanmar, U Win Myint in her first engagement in Myanmar". Deputy Chief of Mission,, Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic, Mr. Jean-Francois Ramon, Director, Delegate- General Foundation Alliance France, India, Nepal, senior diplomats from the Embassies of Belarus, China, Great Britain, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Turkey, USA, and others.the gathering comprised intellectuals, educationists, ensure elephants do not get killed in collision with trains. It has imposed 49 temporary speed restrictions of 20/25 kmph over a total of 109 km in different stretches. We have also created this WhatsApp group with forest officials for real time information sharing. This alerts the loco pilot in real time basis when elephants are spotted, said Narayan. He also said that a proposal of fencing of 109 km in different stretches has also been given by the railways. It has also been suggested that under passes and over passes be built to facilitate movement of elephants and prevent them from coming on the tracks. This project will be funded by Ministry of Environment and implemented by the Railways. Hitting out at Modi for his reference to Sonia s foreign origin, Rahul said, My mother is an Italian. She has lived the larger part of her life in India. She is more Indian than many, many Indians I have seen. She has sacrificed her life for the country and suffered for the country. When Modi makes such comments, it shows the quality of the man. I am happy if he enjoys making such comments, he is welcome, he added. The issue of Sonia s foreign origin was raked up by Modi at a rally recently where he dared the Congress chief to speak for 15 minutes about the achievements of the Karnataka Government in any language, including his mother s mother tongue. Rahul declared, Our programmes are not restricted to one religion or caste but for all religions and castes and communities. All the indications suggest that the Congress will retain power. On Rafael deal, the Congress chief took a jibe at resident Ram Nath Kovind Phas given assent to the 'Delhi Working Journalist Amendment Act 2015' which seeks to ensure "effective implementation" of the Majithia Wage Board awards and provides penal provisions, including imprisonment of up to one year, in case of nonadherence to the Act. In December 2015, the Delhi Assembly had passed the Bill seeking to amend the Working Journalists Act for effecting changes in the existing law. Labour Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday said that Delhi has become the first State to bring amendments in the law to ensure effective implementation of the Majithia Wage Board in the country. As per the law which is applicable to Delhi-based media organisations, contractual employees will be treated as working journalists. In case of non-payment of the due wages to an artists, media people, business elite, Russian compatriots, and others. A Photo Exhibition was also opened on the occasion. A major highlight of the programme was the screening of "SOBIBOR", the impact of which was such that the Cinema Hall, packed to its capacity by an unusually large gathering, became spell-bound. From Page 1 Canvas shoes are a colonial legacy and even now nearly all the state police forces and para-military forces besides the Army issue this kind of footwear. However, the Army over the years has been equipping select soldiers excelling in sports with latest shoes to compete in intra-army and inter Services tournaments. The need for changing the canvas shoes was felt due to growing aspirations of the jawans and rapid economic changes in society at large. While the soldiers will get these shoes free of cost, the officers have to foot the bill for their pair of sports shoes, they clarified. Modi and questioned who will be benefited by that deal. He said, I agree the Rafael deal was good, but for whom? The company with a 45K-crore debt? Thousands of technical jobs with highest value would have come to Karnataka. It s absolutely great slashing deal for his friend. Rahul also questioned the PM on his stance on corruption. Our PM comes and says he fights for corruption. Well, obviously his chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa has spent time in jail Reddy brothers have stolen as much money from Karnataka.The PM needs to answer why in none of the speeches he talks about of the eight seats he has given to Reddy brothers and why the CBI has become CB of illegal mining. The Congress chief questioned the PM over his silence on Dokhlam when he visited China and said it was a failure of foreign policy. I expected the PM in China to go as the leader of our country and stand right there and tell the Chinese about Dokhlam. The PM went to China after the Chinese entered Dokhlam and didn t mention a word about it, he added. employee, the employer will be punishable with imprisonment of either description which may extend to six months or fine which may extend to two hundred rupees per employee per day or with both, till the offence is continued, a Delhi Government s notification stated. The notification was issued by department of law, justice and legislative affairs on May 7. The Act also empowers authorities concerned to direct payment of compensation not exceeding five times of the amount of the wages due the newspaper employees, in case of complaints. According to the new law, violations attract fines ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 and jail term of up to one year. From Page 1 Senior advocate PS Patwalia who appeared for the BJP candidates submitted that the State Government was appearing in the disguise of the SEC as their repeated complaints to the poll panel have gone unheeded. Expressing concern over such a large number of seats being kept out of polls on May 14, the Bench asked SEC counsel senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi whether the results had yet been published. He informed the court that the Commission had put out a list of 34.2 per cent seats where no election is to take place. The Bench found this figure too hard to ignore as it directed the SEC not to publish the results of these 20,076 seats without the orders of the SC. The court further emphasised the duty cast upon the SEC to hold free and fair elections. The matter will next be heard next on July 3.
5 he Government has inten- efforts to seek the Tsified release of seven Indians abducted in Afghanistan. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), both Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are in touch with their counterparts in Afghanistan to expedite the release of the Indians. We are in touch with different people who are involved in the exercise through the Afghan government, Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson, He, however, refused to share any specific details citing sensitivity of the case. Seven Indian engineers were abducted in the restive northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan on Sunday. They were abducted by the Taliban militants near the Cheshma-e- Sher area. The Indian engineers of KEC International, an RPG group company, were working on a project for construction of a power sub-station in the country. Shortly after the news came, Swaraj had a telephonic conversation with her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani during which she had sought all possible help of Kabul in securing the release the Indians. Doval too had a telephonic conversation with his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar on the issue. I would not like to get into the details of the people and authorities with whom we are in touch with. This is a sensitive matter. The lives of seven Indians are involved and, therefore, I would not like to share much on where we are at this point of time, said the MEA spokesperson. Afghan media, quoting Baghlan governor Abdulhai Nemati, reported that Taliban militants were behind the abduction of Indians and they were moved to the Dand-e- Shahabuddin area of Pul-e- Khumri city. This is not the first case of abduction of Indians. Two years back an Indian id worker Judith D Souza was abducted in Afghanistan and was later released with the help from Afghanistan government. day before he leaves for the AHimalayan Kingdom, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday described his two-day visit to Nepal as a reflection of his Government s commitment to the neighbourhood first policy. He said as Nepal entered a new era, India would continue to remain its steadfast partner to implement its vision of samriddha Nepal, sukhi Nepali. Modi s visit, starting Friday, will be his third visit to the neighbouring nations as Prime Minister. It reflects the high priority, India, and personally I, attach to our age-old, close and friendly ties with Nepal, the PM said in a statement. He said his visit closely follows the state visit of Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to India last month. These high-level and regular interactions reflect my government s commitment to the neighbourhood first policy, in consonance with the motto of sabka saath, sabka vikas, the statement Modi said the two countries have completed several five-judge Constitution ABench of the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved orders on the validity of the 2016 Aadhaar Act, bringing an end to a 38-day marathon hearing over four months. The bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, examined a host of petitions filed by individuals and organizations raising apprehensions that Aadhaar was a tool for state-sponsored surveillance and this affects the dignity and privacy of an individual. Several top notch lawyers including Gopal Subramanium, Kapil SIbal, P Chidambaram, Shyam Divan, Arvind Datar, KV Vishwanathan, Sajan Poovayya among others appeared for the petitioners and questioned the efficacy of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to store biometrics of 130 billion citizens. Attorney General KK Venugopal led the defence on part of the Centre followed by senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi for UIDAI, by presenting a live video demonstration of how the process works, the enhanced safety net for storing biometrics, and the details of the project which make it almost impossible to be hacked or misused. The bench, also comprising Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan asked the aintaining that India will Mhave around 969 million Internet users by 2021, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday pitched for putting in place laws, ethics and rules to ensure that no one player dominated the digital media industry. Inaugurating the 15th Asia Media Summit (AMS) 2018 here, she said the Indian media industry looked upon the digital world not only as a challenge but also as an opportunity. Do we look at the new evolving technologies from a position of suspect, or do we look at it from a position of opportunity, from a position of consolidation or further expansion, the I&B Minister asked at the opening session. Within the next three years, India would have over 969 million Internet users, she This is the time to put laws, ethics, rules into place which help us balance out the industry so that we don t have one dominant player who rules the roost, Irani stressed. The three-day media summit is being hosted by the I&B Ministry jointly with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and public sector firm Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd (BECIL). The theme of the summit is: Telling Our Stories - Asia and More. Irani said India was the fastest growing advertising market, which was expected to touch billion US dollars by the end of 2018, and mobile spend was estimated to grow to 1.55 billion US dollars in Times Group Managing Director Vineet Jain said with more than bilateral connectivity and development projects in the last few years, and initiated transformational initiatives for the benefit of their people. Prime Minister Oli and I will have the opportunity to take forward our recent wideranging discussions in New Delhi on issues of mutual interest, and to advance our cooperative partnership across diverse sectors, he As Nepal enters a new era of consolidating gains of democracy and achieving rapid economic growth and development, India will continue to remain a steadfast partner of government of Nepal to implement its vision of samriddha Nepal, sukhi Nepali (prosperous Nepal, happy Nepal), read the statement. In addition to Kathmandu, Modi said he was also looking forward to visiting Janakpur and Muktinath. Both these places attract a large number of pilgrims every year. They are living testimony to the ancient and strong cultural and religious ties between the peoples of India and Nepal, he The prime minister said he was also looking forward to meeting the political leaders and friends in Nepal. I am confident that my visit will further cement our people-centric partnership with Nepal on the basis of mutual benefit, goodwill and understanding, Modi noted. overnment has initiated Ginter-ministerial consultations on a draft ordinance to overturn a Supreme Court verdict that put safeguards on arrest of those accused of committing atrocities on SCs and STs, official sources said on Thursday. A draft is ready with the Ministry of Social Justice and it could be placed before the Union Cabinet in coming days if the government s review plea before the Supreme Court fails to yield a favourable ruling. The next hearing is on May 16 and much would depend on that, said a senior official in the Social Justice and f over 79 per cent of Owomen who deliver in health institutions in India, more than half of them, 41 per cent, breastfeed within the first hour, UNICEF said on Thursday on Mother s Day. On the occasion, the UN body released a new analysis on the number of babies missing out on breastfeeding which found that approximately 7.6 million babies each year were not breastfed globally. The analysis noted that babies were much more likely to be breastfed at least once in low- and-middle-income countries like Bhutan (99 per cent), Madagascar (99 per cent) and JP Kisan Morcha on BThursday opposed the Modi Government s support to Genetically Modified (GM) crop saying it was not good for the farming community. Nevertheless, it has set out to train BJP workers to impart information in each village on pro-farmer policies of the party in last four years. As the Lok Sabha polls draw closer, BJP Kisan Morcha head Virendra Singh Mast has organised a three-day National workshop to train BJP workers who would be deployed in each village to do samvad (dialogue) with villagers on government s welfare policies and schemes for farmers. The workshop will be held at Gurugram, Haryana, from May 18 to May 20 and train 220 BJP workers who, in turn, in batches of five each, would visit villages and coordinate in implementing pro-farmers Yojanas of the Modi government. He said soon after completing the national workshop for training, the Morcha would set up such workshops in each district by next month. Asked whether he approved government s backing 900 TV channels and about 17,000 newspapers, India was the most diverse and vibrant media market in the world today. Later addressing the delegates, Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said government always prefers self regulation in media and media needs to understand that in a democracy everyone should be accountable. We in India have always celebrated diversity. We have also appreciated how our people are getting informed and mature by the proliferation of media- news, magazine, television channels and now digital media. We support self regulation but media needs to understand that no institution in a democracy should remain unaccountable, he said Prasad informed the delegates that the Government has set up a committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge to recommend on a legislative framework for data protection. There is a need to strike a balance between data availability, data utility, data anonymity, data innovation and data privacy, he Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu outlined six complex challenges the world faces today, listing them as poverty, gender disparity, terrorism, ICT revolution, climate change and uneven globalisation. Cambodia Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said, We are trying to improve the state of the press in Cambodia. We seek to maintain strong relationships with the fourth estate. UNESCO Director (New Delhi) Shigeru Aoyagi talked about the role of the media in creating peace and partnership on the planet. Empowerment Ministry. Another government functionary said there is no clarity as yet on exact date for the proposal to be placed for the Cabinet approval. But a cabinet note detailing the reason for bringing the ordinance has been circulated to ministries for consultations, the functionary The proposed ordinance would make it clear that notwithstanding any judgement or any other law in force, the provisions of the Act shall remain valid. Once promulgated, this would mean the ordinance would overturn the SC order, explained a law ministry official. Peru (99 per cent) than those born in Ireland (55 per cent), the US (74 per cent) or Spain (77 per cent). According to the Unicef, 95 per cent children in India at some point were breast fed in their early years. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data indicates that 54.9 per cent children are exclusively breastfed and exclusive breastfeeding is on an average for 2.9 months. Use of water and other fluids is one the main reasons for discontinuation of exclusive breastfeeding, a Unicef statement However, within low-andmiddle-income countries, wealth disparities affect how long a mother will continue to to GM crop, Singh said he disapproved of those opposing GM crop in the past supporting it now... it is not good. The issue on having a regulatory mechanism before giving clearance to GM crop is pending before the Supreme Court. A PIL has been filed on the issue. Government has claimed that it has a sound regulatory mechanism in place. Singh, a BJP MP from Bhadohi Lok Sabha Constituency in Uttar Pradesh, said he has been interacting with farmers in each district for past one year and flagged animal husbandry, sheep rearing, tree plantation and waterrecharging as areas which he said could increase income and mitigate deteriorating environment around. Dialogues with farmers in nion Minister Nitin UGadkari on Thursday said while he has written to President Ram Nath Kovind requesting him to donate his one-month salary to the Clean Ganga Fund (CGF), set up by the government to aid efforts to rid the river of pollutants, he would also urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ministers, MPs and MLAs and people to do the same. The CGF has been formed to receive voluntary contributions from individuals and organisations. Contributions to the Fund enjoy 100 per cent tax exemption. The government has till now received Rs 250 crore in the CGF after it was approved by the Union Cabinet in September 2014, he Gadkari added at least one crore people should come forward to help raise fund for the river cleaning efforts, which is high on the reaking protocol, President Bof Panama Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez accompanied visiting Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on the latter s visit to the famous Panama Canal. This was an unscheduled engagement of the Panamanian President on Tuesday that surprised the diplomats of both the countries. At the end of the banquet hosted by him in honour of Naidu, President of Panama said Mr.Vice President, I have decided to accompany you on your visit to the Canal and delighted to give you company. Naidu responded Excellency, villages would shift the urbancentric discussions to right places, he said even as he did not favour modes of communication and campaigns like road shows. Road shows are westernized ways of campaigning, he said and accused the Congress of westernizing the poll culture. When his attention was drawn to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah also moving with the trend and leading road shows in Karnataka, the MP said he was stationed in Karnataka villages having samvad with them. He said if solar irrigation is implemented it would cut the cost of irrigation by 40 per cent and double the income of farmers. He lauded Modi-government for earmarking 52 percent budget for agriculture. petitioners whether it was correct to fault the system when it benefited the Government to check pilferage of funds under various welfare scheme and to help track black money hoarders. The petitioners contended that while issuing a blanket order to link all services, schemes with Aadhaar, the Act was making redundant all other identity documents used by citizens so far. By mandating Aadhaar, there was hardly a choice available with citizens from parting with their valuable biometrics, they argued. Moreover, services like widow pension, provident fund, and scholarships were such services/benefits that accrued to an individual as a matter of right and such benefit could not be deprived for want of Aadhaar. Further, the linking of Aadhaar with mobile phone SIM and banking services was also criticized as excessive, as it did not classify under any scheme or benefit where Government could be interested to protect its revenue. There was also a challenge to the introduction of the 2016 Aadhaar Act as a Money Bill in Parliament when it essentially was a substantial law in itself. Arguments were advanced by petitioners that such a move was political in a bid to prevent discussion in the Rajya Sabha. However, Centre contended that the law dealt with targeted delivery of subsidies for which funds came from the Consolidated Fund of India to justify it as a Money Bill. New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday carried out a reshuffle at the joint secretary level. Delhi s Education Secretary and 1993 batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, Punya Salila Srivastava and 1989 batch Sikkim cadre IAS officer Govind Mohan have been appointed in the Home Ministry. Srivastava was also the member of the probe committee set up by the Delhi government to probe irregularities in DDCA. Mohan, a batch IAS officer of Sikkim cadre, is at present Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA). Sunil Bharthwal, Joint Secretary in the Steel Ministry, has been moved to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) to succeed Mohan. Lok Ranjan, currently Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services, has been appointed as Joint Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). SC Barmma, currently working as Joint Secretary in the Department of Justice, has been appointed in the same capacity in the Ministry of Culture, for an overall tenure up to his superannuation on May 31, 2020, the order Vikram Sahay, a batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax cadre), will be Joint Secretary, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting while IAS officer Bhawna Garg has been named Deputy Director General, UIDAI, Chandigarh under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. government s agenda. I have written a letter to the President. And after the President, I am also urging all, the Prime Minister, Ministers, MPs, MLAs and all to donate their one-month salary to the CGF, he told reporters here. Gadkari said all people should join the cause sharing whatever amount they can through digital transfer. Some people have donated even Rs 300 per month in the CGF...People can share Rs 500, Rs 1,000 and whatever amount they want to share, he Gadkari stressed there was no shortage of fund for the Namami Gange programme, which has a non-lapsable provision of Rs 20,000 crore. He said the government had already signed MoUs with corporate houses in connection with works such as constructing ghats and roads, installing light and sound show, developing parking spaces and other purposes. it is an honour you would be doing to the people of India and an indication of the importance you attach for improving breastfeed her child. Babies from the poorest families have rates for breastfeeding at 2 years that are 1.5 times higher than those from the richest families, it added. The US alone accounts for more than one-third of the 2.6 million babies in high-income countries who were never breastfed. The gaps are widest in West and Central Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, where babies from the poorest families have breastfeeding rates at two years that are nearly double those from wealthier families, said the UN body. However, the UN agency praised countries like India and Vietnam for putting in the relations between the two countries, an official communiqué said here on Thursday. place strong policies to protect and promote breastfeeding. Others like Turkmenistan have very high rates of mothers giving birth in baby-friendly hospitals. Almost all mothers in New Zealand and Sri Lanka give birth at a baby-friendly facility. Additionally, cultural and political contexts, including support from fathers, families, employers and communities, play a decisive role, said the UNICEF. It has called for Increase in funding and awareness to raise breastfeeding rates from birth through the age of two as well enact paid family leave and put in place workplace breastfeeding policies, including paid breastfeeding breaks.
6 atting for operation All Bout against active terrorists in Kashmir valley, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Thursday said announcing unilateral ceasefire at this juncture is not at all in national interest as security forces have established their supremacy over terror outfits by eliminating their top commanders. On Wednesday Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had issued an appeal to the central leadership to consider announcing unilateral ceasefire during the holy month of Ramzan and Amarnath yatra after chairing an all parties meeting in Srinagar. Following differences over the issue the alliance partners are expected to evolve a consensus before apprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the prevailing security situation in the state. Addressing a press conference here in BJP headquarters State chief spokesman Sunil Sethi told reporters, during the all parties meeting only a suggestion came up for a unilateral ceasefire on the lines of one declared by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government. We have a strong view. Unilateral ceasefire in the present situation is not in national interest at all, he added. He said relaxation of any type at this stage will mean stepping back on the process of restoration of normalcy in Kashmir. Today s stone pelter is a potential terrorist of tomorrow. We will not agree or buy any argument that the hands of army should be tied, he added. Sethi said militants were demoralised due to Army action and a unilateral ceasefire would ease pressure and allow them to regroup. He again clarified the state BJP was not at all of this opinion. He also stressed that a call for a unilateral ceasefire was not a unanimous decision at the meeting. The issue was raised by Independent MLA Engineer Rashid, Sethi claimed. There was no debate on it and BJP did not agree to it, he told reporters. Our point is clear that pressure created by Army on the terrorists should continue along with operation all out and to a large extent listed militants have been eliminated and only few among them are active, Sethi On stone pelting in Kashmir, Sethi said there were stone pelting units operating from Shopian to Baramulla in Kashmir. They keep moving from place to place to engineer stone pelting on Army and para military forces, he When asked about amnesty scheme announced by the State Government, Sethi said the withdrawal of FIRs against first-time stone pelters did not achieve the desired results. First-time stone pelters continue to resort to stone pelting and have not stopped pelting stones post amnesty. It is a serious issue and we need to review the amnesty scheme, he added. he Office of the Commissioner of TPolice, Mumbai Police Foundation and Tata Trusts have come together to set up a Police Museum in Mumbai to conserve and archive historic police records. The Office of the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, Mumbai Police Foundation and Tata Trusts on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a two-pronged project to conserve and archive historic police records, and to plan for a Police Museum. One of the objectives drawn by the newly registered Mumbai Police Foundation is a mandate to restore artefacts/equipment of historical value to police history and it is aimed towards enhancing the efficiency of the Mumbai police force and ensuring social, cultural and public welfare. Conceptualized by Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatraya Padsalgikar, and his team, the Mumbai Police Foundation and the Office of the ontroversy and Tripura CChief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb seems to have become synonymous. Deb stirred yet another controversy on Wednesday by saying that Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore had repudiated his Nobel prize awarded to him in protest against the then British Government. Kobiguru Rabindranath Tagore was not only a world poet. He was not only the personality who had repudiated the Nobel Prize awarded to him in protest against the British government, said Deb while speaking at a function to Celebrate Rabindra Jayanti in Agartala. Tagore won the Nobel Prize in 1913 for his much celebrated anthology Gitanjali (1910). The Nobel Laureate, who was awarded a knighthood in 1915, however, repudiated it in 1919 as a mark of protest against the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre. Deb who took over as the Chief Minister of Tripura only two months back, stirred a controversy by saying that internet and satellite communication existed during the Mahabharata era. Following this, Deb also questioned the crowning of Diana Hayden as Miss world in Deb has recently advised the educated youth in his state to set up paan shops instead of running after political parties for several years to get government jobs and waste vital time of their life. n the wake of Gujarat s his- relation with Poland Itorical going back to World War-II days, Gujarat Government s Sports Youth & Cultural Activities Department will extend its support to Poland celebrate in its Independence Day Centenary scheduled for October A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed between Gujarat s Sports Youth & Cultural Activities Secretary VP Patel and Poland s Ambassador to India Adam Burakowski in presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at the State Capital Gandhinagar. Gujarat Government will support Poland in information and publicity of the cultural programmes lined-up by Poland during the centenary celebration in their country, in New Delhi and other places in the world, under the theme Generation to Generation. This is in positive response to Poland Ambassador s recent visit to Gujarat expressing his desire to strengthen the historic bond between the two regions. It may be recalled that during the World War-II, Nawanagar Maharaja Digvijaysinh of Nawanagar (now called Jamnagar) had provided asylum to nearly 1,000 war orphans and women at his Balachadi Palace in his princely state then. When their ship docked in Mumbai, the British Governor too refused them entry. delegation of Gujarat ACongress headed by Ahmed Patel submitted a memorandum to Governor OP Kohli at the State Capital Gandhinagar on issues related to land acquisition of agriculture land, especially for Bullet Train project. Post submission of memorandum, Patel said the Congress would also support the farmer movement to be organised in Palghar in Maharashtra on June 3, 2018 against acquisition of land for Prime Minister Narendra Modi s pet project of Bullet train. Local political parties in Maharashtra are opposing recent land survey being taken up by the National High Speed Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, the project will seek to generate awareness internally through the archiving project, and externally through the museum project about the rich history of the city s police force that came into being in The archiving project will be an exercise in organization and maintenance that will also train police volunteers in good practices of conservation and archiving. The development of the Police Museum is a project to present to citizens a slice of history from the perspective of the force, a Mumbai Police Foundation pokesperson Tata Trusts is partnering with the Mumbai Police on this project as an important step in preserving the city s history and heritage. The Trusts have long been associated with the betterment and development of the city and its public works. The Arts, Crafts & Culture portfolio at the Trusts focuses on promoting conservation of India s cultural heritage through support of monuments, museums and building archival facilities; supporting Maharaja, who had heard of the plight of the refugees, sought to help them and pressurized the British Government to allow the refugees to disembark. Frustrated by the lack of empathy and the unwillingness of the Government to act, the Maharaja ordered the ship to dock at Rosi port in his province. His act of generosity is clearly still remembered in Poland, where he was posthumously award the Commander s Cross of the Order of Merit by the President. Poland has also named the Maharaja the Honorary Patron of the popular Warsaw Bednarska High School. In 2013, the Government of Poland inaugurated the Good Maharaja Square in Warsaw. performing arts and crafts; promoting art scholarship, art education and research, the spokesperson The Mumbai Police Foundation is a registered Trust formed with the objectives to promote and secure the welfare of policemen of Mumbai and their families and to promote efficiency, skills, technique and modernization of the Mumbai police department for the welfare of Citizens. Computerization of police stations and digitization of police records, restoration of artefacts and/or equipment of historical value to police history are also the main objectives of the Trust. Set up in 1892, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities it serves. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Trusts purpose has been to catalyse development in the areas of healthcare and nutrition, water and sanitation, education, energy, rural upliftment, urban poverty alleviation, and arts, craft and culture. Rail Corporation Ltd for the Bullet Train project. The Bullet Train project is coming up between Ahmedabad and Mumbai with Japanese collaboration. The Bullet train is slated to travel through Thane and Palghar districts of Maharashtra en route. This has been opposed by All India Kisan Sabha that has launched an agitation against Bullet train. In the memorandum submitted to the Governor, Congress alleged that the ruling BJP Government in the S0tate was subverting the Constitution in acquiring agricultural land from farmers as well as not adhering to Courts verdict on maintaining autonomy of Panchayati Raj institutions. The allegations in the Congress memorandum come in wake of amajwadi Party chief SAkhilesh Yadav charged that most of the encounters done by UP Police were fake and accused Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of misusing the police. The BJP is misusing the police, which is inflicting torture on the people of the state and driving fear among them. The Samajwadi Party is not only raising questions, but also telling other opposition parties that the police under thie rgime is continuously engaging in fake encounters, Akhilesh told newspersons in Lucknow on Thursday. The fomer UP Chief Minister demanded that the government should provide a list of criminals carrying reward on their arrest to substantiate its claim that those killed by the police were highly notorious. The SP chief demanded a compensation of 50 lakh to the next of kin of Narendra Gujjar, against whom a fake cow slaughter case was registered. He claimed that Gujjar was tortured to death in custody by the police in Meerut. It is the duty of the government to see that everyone gets justice. Has the situation worsened to an extent where no one can plead for justice? Will the BJP now deprive the people of the state of justice? he querried. As many as 50 dreaded criminals have been killed in over 1,400 encounters in the last one year in the state, while 3,435 history-sheeters were arrested after encounters. Yadav also referred to the death of Unnao rape survivor s father in police custody. The BJP says that we used to give Rs 50 lakh compensation when a Muslim died. Today, when a Hindu has died, why are you (the Gujarat High Court s verdict that the members of the Panchayat would not be able to bring about no-confidence motion against the Sarpanch for at least one year of the elections. Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Amit Chavda, Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly Paresh Dhanani and other senior leaders also remained present along with their senior leader Ahmed Patel. Meanwhile Patel expressed confidence that Congress would emerge victorious in the ensuing Karnataka assembly polls to be held on May 12. According to him out of 225 seats that would go for polling, Congress candidates would win on at least 115 constituencies. BJP) not helping the Hindu, the SP asked. Akhilesh also blamed the BJP government for the unrest in Aligarh Muslim University. Had the government wanted, then the situation would not have worsened at AMU, he On reports of a CBI probe into the sale of sugar mills during Mayawati s regime, the SP chief said that the investigation was being done keeping the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in mind. Attacking the BJP in the context of Kairana and Noorpur bypolls, Akhilesh said, These people have been saying that if other parties win by- polls, then Diwali will be celebrated in Pakistan. I have never been to Pakistan, nor do I have a Pakistani visa. The BJP should tell who went to Pakistan discreetly. Yadav contested the government s claim that it was taking care of cane growers in the state. He also demanded Rs 10 lakh assistance to families of Sitapur dog-bite victims. A total of 12 children have fallen prey to dog attacks so far. Referring to the Investors Summit in UP and the follow up visit to the USA by cabinet minister Sidharthnath Singh, Akhilesh said, The companies with which the UP government has inked MoUs, do not have any balance-sheet. The proposed Defence Corridor is only to divert public attention. s the fiery campaign ends Afor the Karnataka Assembly polls to be held on Saturday BJP national president Amit Shah has predicted a win for his party and said they would get at least 130 seats in the 224 member House. Addressing a Press conference in Bengaluru on Thursday hours before the election campaign comes to an end master strategist of the party said Lingayat strongman Yeddyurappa will be the next Chief Minister of the party. He slammed congress Government led by Siddaramaiah for the failure of law and order. He said Law and order have seen a downfall in Karnataka. More than 24 workers of BJP and RSS were brutally killed in the state and the Congress considers it a part of politics. No efforts were made to nab the culprits. Countering congress president Rahul Gandhi on farmers issue he accused the Karnataka government of not doing anything for the farmers and said, they are not even ready to give answers for their failure. Talking about the recovery of nearly 10,000 voter IDs from an apartment in Bengaluru, Shah said, The Congress is trying to win elections with undemocratic ways. Recovery of voter ID cards in Rajarajeshwari Nagar shows how desperately the Congress wants to win the election. I want to alert those whose fake IDs have been made, that don t fall in Congress trap and disturb polls. BJP chief said during his more than 50,000 km-long journeys criss crossing the State found people s anger against ruling congress government and against Siddaramaiah. He said In the last five years, more than 3,500 farmers in Karnataka have committed suicide. That is a 173 percent rise in the farmers suicide rate. All the development schemes are stuck like the Bengaluru traffic, he added. Shah said there was anger in the public against the Congress state government, on the other hand, there was increasing affection and liking for Modi. Shah said that he got a chance to experience the people s anger against the Siddaramaiah government. He predicted that the Congress chief ministerial face will lose elections from both Chamundeshwari and Badami. Meanwhile Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that his government s focused on bringing glory back to Karnataka. We have come a long way from being the most corrupt state in 2010 to become the investment capital of India by 2018, he JDs Chief HD Kumaraswamy who is expected to be the kingmaker or a king himself lashed out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on JDs and said he does not need a secular identity certificate from Rahul Gandhi. The high voltage campaign for the May 12 Karnataka assembly elections have come to an end. The Karnataka elections are seen as a preamble to the 2019 elections and party s are hoping to make in roads into it.
7 n a landmark Judgment the ICalcutta High Court on Thursday introduced an element of accountability among senior Government functionaries responsible for conducting free and fair elections saying violence and loss of lives and property during elections would be compensated by the Government and the officers who submitted status reports on satisfactory law and order situation would be held liable for their reports. Disposing of petitions complaining "hopelessly inadequate" security measures in the three-tier May 14 panchayat elections already mired by bloodshed at the nomination stage which saw about 10 deaths and more than 34 percent of the seats going to the ruling Trinamool Congress unopposed the Division Bench of Chief Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya said the Court would rely on the report on security placed by the State Election Commission and hence would not intervene in the election process. "The Court said that since the Commission was satisfied with the security framework provided by the State Government it will have to be relied on but reminded loss of life and property would be required to be adequately compensated by the Government and the compensation money would be realised from the salary, property of the officials who filed report on adequate security" said CPI(M)'s Rabin Deb. If the salary and property of the officials were inadequate for compensation then the Government and the Commission would have to fill the deficient money, lawyers quoting the order said adding, "this is for the first time that the officials who function as stooges of their political masters and not responsible servant of the people and the Constitution have been made liable and accountable for their act of public security. The Court, however, refused to interfere in the election process. "This means that the Court has made the Government, Election Commission and the officials jointly and severally liable," ontinuing slew of mea- for the empower- Csures ment and welfare of the farmers, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday announced that from June 2 all the 500 odd Mandal Revenue Officers or Tehsildars will be get the authority to do land registration. So far only the sub registrars had the power to register the lands. KCR made the announcement while launching the ambitious Rythu Bandhu or the Crop Investment Support scheme on Thursday at Dharmarajupally village in Karimnagar district. He also launched the handing over of the support of financial support as well as the new pattadar passbooks or the land owning documents prepared after a statewide land record streamlining program. He said henceforth the farmers will not have to pledge their land records with banks to avail loans. Rythu Bandhu scheme has the potential to change the future course of the country, KCR Addressing a mammoth gathering KCR said, launching of the Rythu Bandhu scheme marks the beginning of a golden era in the country as no other state from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Assam to Maharashtra had such a scheme to help the farmers. Under the scheme the Government will give financial support of 4000 per acre per crop to 58 lakh farmers in the State. KCR, who handed over the cheques and the new passbooks to the farmers on the occasion said that each and every eligible farmer will get the benefits of the new scheme. There is no need for you to become anxious if there is any delay. The cheques will reach you, he The State Government has earmarked crore for the scheme in the budget. Under the land record purification program of the 2.9 crore acres land in the State, 2.3 crore acre land was verified and 1.4 crore acre was found cultivable, KCR said adding that whether the farmers take up the cultivation or not, all the 58 lakh farmers will get the support under Rythu Bandhu. Chief Minister also moved a resolution at the public meeting, passed by the audience with applause demanding the Centre to increase the minimum support price for all the crops by 25%. He also demanded that the National Rural Employment guarantee scheme should be linked to agriculture and the compensation to the laborer should be equally shared by the Centre and the farmer on whose land the laborer works. Once the land record is updated following any transaction the same will be update on the website and the owners if they are sitting in Australia or London can see it, the Chief Minister said assuring that this will protect the interest of the land owners and there will not be any corruption or irregularity in it. Listing out the achievements of his government since the formation of the Telangana state four years ago, there was a time when the farmers were committing suicide due to their inability to pay the electricity bills. Now the State Government was supplying round the clock free electricity to them. Today if there is a power shut down it was a news. But earlier power coming was a news. said lawyers. The petitioners had questioned adequacy of security forces in the elections. In 2013 the then SEC Meera Pandey went till the Supreme Court to bring central forces. "Last time 82,000 central forces and about 86,000 State armed police were used in five phase polls. But this time the Government has only 46,000 armed police force and 82,000 civic volunteers to conduct the elections. More laughably they have arranged for forest guards and excise department officials to man violence-torn elections. This is bizarre," said BJP leaders. Division Bench of the High Court led by Justice Biswanath Samaddar had on Tuesday allowed e-nomination in the panchayat elections. This, for those who had filed their nominations within 3 pm on April 23 the extended date for filing of nomination after failing to do so physically on account of massive violence and resistance from thetrinamool goons. The Supreme Court hearing an appeal on the impugned order of JusticeSamaddar however put a stay on e-nomination which will be heard injuly. The Apex Court however, stayed publication of results of n a straight and clear message Ito persons using social media that they should be extremely careful about making or forwarding posts about women, the Madras High Court on Thursday denied anticipatory bail to leading theatre-film personality and BJP leader S Ve Shekher in a case filed against him by the Tamil Nadu Police. The actor-cum-director had posted a Facebook message received by him portraying women in a poor light but deleted the same following widespread protests from a section of society. The Tamil Nadu police had filed a criminal case against Shekher under various sections of the Indian Penal Code as ell as Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Women Harassment (Prevention) Act. Shekher had approached the Madras High Court when his house came under attack by demonstrators who demanded the arrest of the theatre personality despite him tendering a public apology. Justice S Ramathilagam who heard the appeal said in her verdict that Shekher instead of being a role model to his followers had set a wrong precedent. What is said is important but who has said it is very important in a society because people respect persons for the social status. When a celebrity forwards a message like this the common people will start to believe it, said the justice. The Justice also said that Ramathilagam the language and words used in the Facebook post were not indirect but a direct abusive foul language which is not expected from a person of his calibre and age. Last Thursday, while reserving the orders, the Justice had sought from Facebook the original message posted by Shekher. Rejecting the public apology tendered by Shekher, the Justice said: Mistakes and crimes are not same. Only children can make mistakes which can be pardoned. If the same is done by elderly people it becomes an offence,: said Justice Ramathilagam. The Facebook message was a fallout of the incident in which Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit was alleged to have patted a lady journalist during a press conference addressed by him last month. Though the Governor expressed regret over the same, the aggrieved journalist said she was not convinced by the public apology tendered by him and this had generated a lot of controversy. The Opposition DMK and its allies who were having a running battle with the Governor over his style of functioning and visits to the districts for interaction with the officials, made use of the incident much to the embarrassment of the Governor. the seats won uncontested till the next hearing. Meanwhile even as the BJP, CPI(M) and the Congress expressed dissatisfaction at the Court's verdict --- the impact of the Calcutta High Court order saw the SEC acting in a more cautious way stretching the poll process till May 21 sources The SEC had earlier decided to hold a single phase election for about 58,000 seats on May 14 result for which would be declared by May 18. But after the Thursday's order the Commission decided to hold elections to about 39,000 seats on May 14, initial reports ssuing a stern warning to Istone pelters, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Government would deal with them with an iron fist. The Home minister said that he would consider Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti s appeal for unilateral ceasefire during Ramzan and Amarnath Yatra after reaching New Delhi. Singh was speaking at the inauguration of non- residential buildings for 125 Battalion of Boarder Security Force (BSF) at Jaiti Kheda-Parvar West locality of Mohanlalganj in Lucknow on Thursday afternoon. Singh said that the death of a Chennai tourist in stone pelting in Kashmir recently, was indeed unfortunate and stressed that the Government was determined to go tough with stone pelters. We have a zero tolerance policy on the issue, he On being asked to comment on J&K CM s appeal to the Centre to consider a unilateral ceasefire, Singh said that he had not been directly apprised of Mehbooba Mufti s appeal and he would speak to her about on reaching New Delhi. Asked about the BJP s ationalist Congress Party N(NCP) chief Sharad Pawar announced here on Thursday that his party, Congress and other like-minded parties would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections as an alliance and that he did not foresee any impediments in seat distribution among the allies for the polls. Addressing the party workers from his party s Mumbai unit, Pawar said: We have already had talks with the Congress and other like-minded parties and decided to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra as an alliance. I do not foresee any problem in arriving at a seat-sharing arrangement among the various allies for the polls. In an apparent effort to enthuse the city party workers ahead of the polls, Pawar said: We expect to get more number of seats in the tie-up in Mumbai. Alluding to party s organisational issues in Mumbai, Pawar said that the NCP would have to give a right face to the party in Mumbai. We have to give3 a right face to the party in Mumbai Victories and defeats are part and parcel of electoral politics. But, we have ideology and relationships prospects against a0 united Opposition in the coming bypolls at Kairana (Lok Sabha) and Noorpur (Assembly), Singh said, Despite all parties joining hands, the BJP will win both seats. Besides, the BJP will win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as the Modi government has undertaken so many development works which people will not be able to ignore, he said adding that BJP staunchly believe in carrying out developmental for people and our governments in different states are working on these lines, he Singh assured that the BJP was set to form Government in Karnataka adding as it had formed a habit of winning elections. He said that the opposition failed to raise issue of corruption against any BJP government, be it led by Atal or Modi. intact. Even while taking along with us senior party leaders, we have to give opportunity to new faces, he Pawar said that in the distribution of tickets, his party would give preference to party activists who worked enthusiastically and those who were popular among various sections of the society. It may be recalled that as was the case with the Shiv Sena and BJP, the Congress and NCP had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as an alliance. While the Congress had contested 26 seats, the NCP had put up 21 seats. Of the 26 contested seats, the Congress mere two seats. The NCP had won four seats out of the 21 seats it had contested. On the contrary, the BJP had virtually swept the polls by winning 23 out of 24 seats it had contested, while the Shiv Sena had bagged 18 seats out of the 20 seats it had contested. However, the all the four major political parties - BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP had contested the October 2014 polls on their respective strengths. Of the total 288 Assembly seats, the BJP had put up candidates in 260 constituencies. It won an all-time high of 122 seats in the polls. The Shiv Sena walked away with 63 seats out of 282 seats, while the Congress bagged 42 seats out of 287 seats it had contested. The NCP emerged fourth by winning 41 out of 278 it had contested. The Union minister said that the BJP Government was performing the best and people were satisfied with its performance. Earlier, Singh inaugurated the BSF campus which has an Officers Mess, a hospital, a quarter guard and other facilities. He was given a guard of honour upon reaching the BSF campus after which he interacted with jawans about the glorious history of the BSF and bravery of its officers and jawans. Hailing the BSF officers and personnel for dedication and commitment, Singh said, Due to it impeccable performance, BSF has become a synonym of trust of our country. The Union government had approved foundation of 261 location points, he informed. On this occasion, the Union minister also met families of BSF officers/ jawans and also participated in a tree plantation inside the BSF campus.
8 In my previous column, I discussed the issues with the Ordinance, stipulating death penalty in cases of rape of minors under 12 years of age, that has recently been proposed by the BJP Government and promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind. I commented on how the measures proposed under the Ordinance essentially take the easy way out and may be a case of the cure being more harmful than the disease. In this week s column, I will propose certain steps that can help tackle the important issue of reducing crimes against women. The current scenario: While the entire focus of the Prime Minister and the Government is on Karnataka and on campaigning, the recent horrific rape in Jharkhand has once again brought to light the crucial issue of women safety. Currently, India has a variety of laws that are aimed at protecting the rights of women, including strict penalties for crimes against women under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Although against a horrific and despicable backdrop of violent rapes and cases of sexual assault, the past few years have especially seen a spate of amendments to the criminal laws of our country to tackle this problem. Statistics, however, do not hint that these measures have contributed towards any meaningful improvement in the situation. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics indicate how crimes against women increased over 8.7 per cent between 2014 and Another troubling trend is the increase in instances of domestic abuse. A primary reason for the steadied increase in the number of crimes against women is the lack of focus on gender sensitisation. Therefore, the foundation of any approach, that is aimed at tackling these violent crimes, must first focus on the issues faced by women. Secondly, it must be grounded in the belief that women must be treated as absolute equals in society. Gender sensitisation: The term gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a society considers appropriate for men and women. Gender sensitisation is a practice of making people aware of such prejudices and roles that the society has attributed to both males and females and the primary purpose of gender sensitisation is to make people aware of such prejudices and differences between males and females. As stated above, while theoretically, there are a number of laws and programmes that are aimed at improving the status of women and reducing instances of crime against them, numbers on the ground show that such measures have unfortunately not shown tangible results. A large reason for this chasm between theory and practice is the lack of gender sensitisation programmes and conversations around gender in our country from the stage of drafting of legislations to the point of implementation of policies. Gender sensitisation programmes, however, should not be limited to the Government or the state but must be encouraged across age groups, ie, from children to adults and across forums and institutions (right from schools to offices). To better understand how gender sensitisation can be useful specifically in the context of reducing instances of crime against women, one can look what the numbers tell us. For example, in order to ensure safety of women, it is important that women feel comfortable enough to report instances of violence against them. However, Indian police estimate that only four out of 10 rapes are reported. One of the reasons behind this abysmally low reportage is that currently, women are ashamed of being victims of such brutal crimes because they fear being ostracised and criticised by their family, their community and society as a whole. Instead, men and women must be aware of how in cases of rape or other forms of violence against women, there is no blame that can be attached to the victim. It is also imperative that women feel safe to approach the State or their family/communities for guidance and support and not be ridiculed. Another example where gender sensitisation is required is at the time of drafting legislations to protect women. I have discussed this in greater detail in my previous column where the Ordinance could do more harm than good. Therefore, Governments need to apprise themselves of ground realities and avoid quick fire measures. Words to action: There is no denying Sir US President Donald Trump s pull out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal and his resolve to reinstate economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic is one of the biggest foreign policy decisions taken by him during his presidency till date. While the move has been hailed as a decisive step to rein in Iran s nuclear ambitions, the move by the US clearly defies logic. Actually, the scrapping of the pact will cause serious loss to the Iranian economy and bring its people back to the era of suffering and misery when Tehran was struggling under the strain of sanctions. Another fallout from the unravelling of the pact is the possibility of Iran to immediately resume work on its nuclear programme. For Tehran, however, all is not completely lost yet. The nexus it has carefully cultivated over the years with Russia and Syria has received a boost with the re-election of Vladimir Putin as President. India needs to work with countries with a shared interest in the JCPOA to ensure that President Trump s exit from the Iran deal does not harm its investments and plans for the region. India and other countries on the same page must also engage with Iran to discourage it from retaliatory malign behaviour that may further muddy the waters. P Arihanth Secunderabad that in most cases of rape or assault on women, there is a set of standard lines expressing grief and anguish that are surely getting worn out. Unfortunately, lack of ambition of moving from ephemeral words to tangible action is not only limited to comments to the media and the public but extends to the Government and the executive as well. For example, with respect to police reforms, various committees and commissions have noted that police officers are overburdened and ill-equipped to conduct investigations in a professional manner. One of the recommendations that have been suggested is training the police officers on modern investigative techniques. Another important change that must be introduced is the establishment of specialised investigative units within the police which will solely deal with investigation of crimes as opposed to law and order issues. These changes will indubitably help the police achieve a higher conviction rate with respect to crimes against women. This is pertinent to note in light of the Ordinance, which provides for a shorter period for investigation but completely ignores the manner in which investigations are conducted. This is akin to putting the cart before the horse because it will almost certainly result in fewer convictions due to a weak case by the prosecution against the accused. Another example is that of One Stop Centres (OSC). This was an initiative that was announced by the present Government in 2015 to ensure that women, who are victims of rape and other forms of violence, can access the police and medical help at one place. While this is a noble cause, as per reports and accounts available online, hospitals that are required to maintain such OSCs are either unaware of the requirement to maintain or have not set up the relevant infrastructure in accordance with the guidelines that have been set in place. RTI inquiries that have been made in relation to this initiative too do not indicate any real focus on this initiative since its announcement. This seems to be a classic move of the current administration where the focus is on announcing bombastic changes but there is little or no follow-up on such initiatives. It is hardly surprising then that the abysmally poor numbers on the ground reflect the costs of these insincere efforts. Ultimately, the root of the problem of violence against women in our country is our ignorance or blatant disregard for the issues that are faced by them. Therefore, in order to make strides towards reducing instances of violence, the need of the hour is to focus our efforts on sensitising, educating and informing the public in order to start chomping away at the root of this poisonous tree. At the same time, however, we must buttress these efforts by implementing measures and guidelines that are already in place rather than drafting new guidelines or legislations. There is no doubt that the measures discussed above will take time to bear fruit but if there is any problem that deserves our time, patience and energy, it is this one. (The writer, Jharkhand PCC president, is a former MP and IPS officer. Views expressed are personal) Sir US President Donald Trump s decision to unilaterally pull the US out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on Iran very shortly despite Tehran fulfilling all its commitments represents a major setback in the diplomatic process initiated by his illustrious predecessor Barack Obama. Trump described the landmark deal negotiated and signed during Obama s presidency as horrible and one-sided and defective at its core and called it a great embarrassment to the US. But he did not elaborate on the whys and wherefores. Trump s decision, not quite unexpected, may have pleased his domestic electoral base as well as the hardliners in Iran, but it cost the US s trustworthiness. The full support to his decision by Israel, Saudi Arabia and UAE and the plea of other signatories of the deal UK, France, Germany, Russia and China to not obstruct the implementation of the deal showed the geopolitical dimension of the US withdrawal from the deal. It will be fair to ask what good will the backing out from the deal serve when nuclear disarmament is a lofty goal to work towards and attain. It is to be hoped that other world powers will keep the deal going and counsel the US to avoid a military confrontation with Iran. G David Milton Maruthancode
9 In 2017, UNESCO added Kumbh Mela under its list of Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) which was adopted in In 2016, yoga was added to the same list of this Convention. In both cases, the agency under the Ministry of Culture, which handled the nomination process and submitted the completed nominations, was the Sangeet Natak Akademi. Both, yoga and Kumbh Mela have been added to the 2003 Convention s Representative List which is meant for intangible cultural heritage that is well looked after by communities (as defined under this Convention) and the state party (which means the country); whose future is in no way threatened. These two additions in successive years to the UNESCO s culture list (which now has 13 elements of ICHs from India) signal the need to take into account several considerations concerning how our culture and heritage are viewed administratively and popularly. Likewise, it signals that the activities of the Ministry of Culture need careful scrutiny, and most importantly, we must be alert to the assimilation of a very recent internationalist invention to label knowledge and practices, some of which reach far back into our historical record as a civilisation. In the late 1990s, with the 1972 World Heritage Convention already over 20-years-old, UNESCO commenced discussions on practices which celebrated and enabled the transmission of knowledge (values, techniques and meaning). This culminated in the 2003 ICH Convention which was ratified by India in Whereas, the World Heritage Convention is seen as a heritage embodied in structures, natural landscapes and tended landscapes; the ICH Convention is seen as encouraging the recognition of knowledge the ways in which it is coded, the manner in which it is transferred between generations, the meanings and values attached to such codes, forms of transmission and their enactments. One is for built or natural form; and the other is for an abstract concept. India has 36 listings under the World Heritage Convention (28 cultural sites, including monuments and structures, seven natural sites, one mixed site) and is, therefore, more conversant with this mode, considering the built (or landscape) cultural heritage. Of the 13 Indian intangible cultural heritage elements, several can readily be identified with what the ICH Convention considers intangible, such as Sankirtana (the ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur), the Buddhist chanting of Ladakh, Chhau and the Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan. Moreover, there were 23 elements nominated during to the ICH Convention s representative list which have not yet been considered for listing. In a hurry to get as many of India s ICH elements pushed into the showcase list of the UNESCO s ICH Convention (there is another called the urgent safeguarding list to which India has not submitted a single nomination), the Ministry of Culture and its autonomous organisations like the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts have overlooked both the important considerations mentioned earlier and have also overlooked the effects of not correcting some fundamentally weak areas of the ICH Convention. This writer s association with the UNESCO 2003 ICH Convention is almost a decade old, and ever since 2011, he has provided training and advice to a number of countries in the Asia- Pacific region on how the Convention can positively assist in their identifying, documenting and safeguarding endogenous knowledge systems and associated traditions and practices. This, the writer has done, keeping in mind the objectives of what UNESCO calls a normative instrument ie, its cultural conventions, including the 2003 ICH Convention which do not necessarily coincide with the objectives of the Ministry of culture, or arts. And, therefore, especially while approaching fundamental concepts and terminologies, one must particularly be sensitive to not deliver an abstract international package into a local environment thus, displacing local means of describing knowledge, its value, functions, contributions to social and community identity and terminologies. Unfortunately, neither the Ministry of Culture nor the Sangeet Natak Akademi or the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts have invested serious efforts to determine the correspondences between the international terminologies and the concepts of a normative cultural instrument such as the UNESCO 2003 ICH Convention and Indic systems of knowledge and worldviews where there is no distinction between tangible and intangible. According to the writer, there is one fundamental difference: That the living practices that form our intellectual and artistic heritage are not compartmentalised, as is done by the UNESCO cultural Conventions (including also the 2005 Convention on Diversity of Cultural Expressions). There is another fundamental difference and that is the religious and spiritual core that breathes life into our intellectual and artistic heritage. But this, in the 2003 Convention, is not a consideration. That is why we find in the text of the yoga nomination file that there is not a single mention of yoga being one of the systems of Hindu philosophy and also not that it is an Upaveda. Its description instead includes Yoga is a time honoured Indian holistic system of personal, physical, mental and spiritual wellness and Indian mythology traces the origin of yoga to the God Shiva. With yoga having become popular in the West several decades ago; and as today it is known and followed worldwide, it is yoga s universal (to employ a preferred cultural convention term) trait that is more favoured in descriptions than its Vedic and later Vedic origins. Giving such an emphasis is naturally less feasible with the Kumbh Mela, which is described in its nomination file correctly as the largest human gathering in the world, but is qualified strangely as a congregation of pilgrims mostly Hindus and further with the festival though particularly revolves around the Hindu rituals and mythology, it is in reality, an all encompassing, religiously tolerant and inclusive festival. The use of phrases like these that are agnostic in nature or at best religion-neutral may have to do with the perceptions held by the Ministry about the outlook towards practices and knowledge systems held by the 2003 ICH Convention. Examining the yoga and Kumbh Mela treatment for this Convention, the perception which appears to have been held is that the religious or spiritual aspect of practices and knowledge systems must be muted and that their textual interpretation will gain in validity only if adequately glossed through gender, inclusiveness, tolerance and caste/equality. In my view, the listings of yoga and Kumbh Mela in the representative list of the 2003 ICH Convention brings several adverse consequences. First, by the listing, an entire system of philosophical thought and practice has been reduced to ICH. Identifying and safeguarding ICH is good and benefits, especially, traditional cultivation, handicrafts, hand weavers, rural household industries and the festivals and social practices associated with them. But Indic intellectual, artistic and customary heritage is far more often than not considerably greater than the very recent, rather Eurocentric vision which formed the Convention. Second, the success of these two listings is likely to encourage both the Ministry and the State Governments to proffer what they consider candidate ICH elements to the 2003 Convention in a race for recognition. This writer s experience with countries that have done so is that the effects on the tradition bearers of ICH are more negative than positive. A UNESCO listing inevitably means encouraging a hierarchy in which the listed ICH such as the 13 from India are accorded a status superior to those unlisted, provincial or local. In the absence of a national or state means of according equal recognition to our vidyas, kalas, natya and nritya, arts humble and mundane all of which are a source of identity for their participants, listing becomes a liability. Third, professionalism that UNESCO circulates to countries concerning the mechanics of its Conventions and the minutiae of its nomination and reporting processes tends to be mistaken both for knowledge about culture and how to document that knowledge. The two are completely different one concerns a country s cultural, knowledge, practices and built or natural forms; the other concerns an inter-governmental process. This is the most adverse consequence for it causes entirely endogenous viewpoints and tools (definitions, vocabularies, values and meanings, roles, sciences major and minor) to become subordinate to what is a detailed administrative manual. If not guarded against stringently, within the course of two generations, the very modes of perceiving our extraordinary diversity of intangible cultural practices and forms will have been replaced. (The writer is a UNESCO Asia expert facilitator on intangible cultural heritage, and Adviser, Centre for Environment Education Himalaya) M A Jinnah s recent appearance, albeit in a portrait discovered after more than 70 years, has not only created turbulence at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), but has raised some fundamental questions that needs to be confronted. The sudden discovery and calls for its removal reek of the worst kind of politics and could well be either an attempt to influence the voters of Karnataka, or be meant to lay the foundation for creating a divisive issue to be exploited during the general election. That said, those against its removal are displaying an identical proclivity for mayhem and may have similar agenda which makes them equally culpable. We are, therefore, likely to see this needless confrontation gaining traction over the time and becoming an highly inflammable issue bereft of reason. Finally, there are those, with a liberal bent of mind, who are keen to avoid giving the issue a communal colour. They make the argument that it is only a portrait from a bygone era and a part of our historical heritage that cannot be wished away and, therefore, must not be tampered with. But history is a strange beast since it s not just a simple recounting of facts but their interpretation immensely complicated by circumstance, perception and ideological baggage of who is telling the story and why. Take the example of the British conquest of the subcontinent and the hundreds of thousands, known and unknown, who opposed them, many making the ultimate sacrifice in this quest for freedom. Surely, in the three entities that emerged finally from this struggle, there must have been those, regardless of their ethnicity or religion, whose valour, sacrifice and contribution must have been worthy of recognition by each of the three States. Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose immediately come to mind, though there would be numerous others worthy of such honour. Surprisingly, however, there was but only one family, the Suhrawady s, which received such universal accolades from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Thus, we have the Suhrawardy Avenue in Kolkata, the Khayaban-e-Suhrawardy in Islamabad and the Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka. What is truly ironic, of course, is the uncontestable fact that only a handful from our subcontinent would have ever heard of them; and even less who would be aware of their contributions that resulted in them being bestowed such an honour. For record, the Avenue in Kolkata is named after Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Hassan Suhrawardy, though many, including this writer, were under the mistaken impression that it was named after his famous nephew, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, erstwhile Chief Minister of Bengal in 1946 and subsequently the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Sir Hassan was an eminent surgeon, politician and also the first Muslim Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University. However, his chief claim to fame, for which he was probably knighted and had the Avenue named after him, was the incident on February 6, 1932, in which he, by his courageous and timely intervention saved the life of the Chancellor of Calcutta University and Governor of Bengal, Sir Stanley Jackson, who was shot by a 21-year-old revolutionary Bina Das during the annual convocation. Sir Stanley survived the assassination attempt and Das was jailed for nine years. While the British appreciation of Suhrawady s act at that time was expected, surely we, who claim to greatly value the sacrifices of our freedom fighters, can only see his actions as that of a traitor and a betrayal of our cause. Then, shouldn t post-independent India have taken the initiative to replace his name with that of Das? Surely, that would have reflected our commitment to our freedom fighters as well as our contempt for turncoats more than anything else could have, apart from being poetic justice! As for Huseyn Suhrawardy, his term as the Chief Minister of Bengal certainly didn t go well as he was held responsible for orchestrating the Great Calcutta Killings, the riots on the Muslim League organised Direct Action Day that resulted in the death of thousands, mainly Hindus. These riots lasted for around a week till the Army was finally able to regain control, and were the precursor to the spate of communal killings that made the Partition inevitable. He went on to become the fourth Prime Minister of Pakistan and was responsible for promulgating the 1956 Constitution that nullified the large majority that east Pakistanis enjoyed in Parliament by virtue of their 56 per cent share of the population. In essence, this move reduced Bengalis to the status of second class citizens, a situation finally rectified by its secession leading to the formation of Bangladesh. After his short-lived term as the Prime Minister, he was considered as an anti-national by Gen Ayub Khan and was forced into exile in Lebanon. He died shortly thereafter, though there were credible suggestions that he was assassinated. That both Pakistan and Bangladesh yet went on to honour him for his rather dubious achievements seems remarkable and eminently nonsensical. In all of this, one thing is clear that whatever one may wish to believe about Jinnah s character and leadership, he was unquestionably culpable for the violence that rocked Calcutta, the rest of Bengal and subsequently spread to north. All of those who were forced to flee their homes and businesses in areas that went on to become Pakistan, having suffered unspeakable horrors along the way, can never forgive him for the tragedy of Partition and the consequent destruction of their families and way of life. Whatever be Jinnah s connection with AMU, surely, those families that came into India as penniless refugees post-partition, deserve better than to once again be faced with religious zealots keen on putting Jinnah on a pedestal that he is undeserving of. This is not about politics or patriotism but just plain empathy for our fellow citizens who suffered because of his actions. Too high a price has been paid by our people for him to be dignified by being placed on our walls. The university authorities have been at fault for not having replaced such socalled doyens of yesteryear with heroes of post-independent India, those who have made the nation and community proud. Surely, that was not too much to ask. It is not that such acts are without precedent, after all, Stalin s statues have been toppled across the erstwhile Soviet Union, as have those of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. As a matter of fact, there is a growing popular movement at the present time in the US to remove the statues of popular Confederate leaders, such as General Robert E Lee, that continue to adorn parks and public spaces in southern States whose attempted secession led to the American Civil War. Surely, we too need to clear the detritus of history that divides and holds us back through consensus, without letting past antagonisms get the better of us. (The writer is a military veteran and consultant with the Observer Research Foundation. Views expressed are entirely personal)
10 aya Raipur in Chhattisgarh is a Ndream city that is emerging as a role model to many other upcoming Indian cities like Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh and Ranchi in Jharkhand. The contemporary and up-to-the-minute attitude of the present Government is all set to create a millennium city that is poised to attain high standards for others to replicate. Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh has remained in office since 2003 having won three consecutive Lok Sabha elections in a row. Despite sporadic anti-incumbency instances assenger vehicle (PV) sales in India Prose by 7.5% in April, driven by robust sales of utility vehicles, cars and vans. According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), PV sales last month stood at 2,98,504 units, up 7.5% from 2,77,683 units in April Domestic car sales were up 4.89% to 2,00,183 units as against 1,90,854 units in the same month last year. Utility vehicle (UV) sales rose 11.92% to 79,136 units while van sales jumped 18.99% t0 19,185 units during the month. We have started the current financial year on a positive note. We expect the industry to carry on the momentum during the rest of the year as well, SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen told reporters here. He said all segments in the PV vertical - cars, utility vehicles and vans - contributed to the sales growth last month. However, exports of PVs were down 15.89% at 50,921 units in April as against 60,538 units in same month last year. In April, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 13.43% in its domestic PV sales at 1,63,434 units. Rival Hyundai Motor India saw a growth of 4.42% at 46,735 units. Homegrown Mahindra & Mahindra registered a growth of 12.94% at 21,826 units, while Tata Motors saw its PV sales jump 36.19% to 19,157 units. According to SIAM, total two-wheeler sales in April rose 16.92% to 19,58,241 units compared to 16,74,787 units in the year-ago month. Motorcycle sales have bounced back and we expect the trend to continue, Sen Motorcycle sales last month rose 19.38% to 12,29,526 units as against 10,29,963 units a year earlier. Market leader Hero MotoCorp posted a rise of 16.44% in its domestic motorcycle sales at 6,07,720 units as against 5,21,909 units in the year-ago month. Rival Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) sold 2,12,292 units as compared to 1,83,182 units in the same month last year, a growth of 15.89%. Bajaj Auto's motorcycle sales stood at 2,00,742 units as compared to 1,61,930 units in April 2017, up 23.96%. In the scooters segment, market leader HMSI saw its domestic sales jump by 12.98% to 4,23,532 units as against 3,68,550 units in the year-ago month. Chennai-based TVS Motors sold 85,586 units as compared to 79,443 units in April last year, up 7.73%. in the State, people have chosen him to steer the State to growth and development. Over the years, his government has been widely lauded for implementing various public distribution schemes, taking a firm stand on Naxals, promoting digital technology and providing interest free agricultural loans in the state. Naya Raipur is also the Chief Minister's mainstay as he is determined to make the city a template for change in other parts of the country. Under his leadership, several elements have been incorporated in the smart governance plan. City Command Control Centre (CCC) is one such endeavour that acts as the centralised hub for integration of various components envisaged under the Naya Raipur ICT enablement. The body acts as the nucleus for all the city data capturing, processing analytics, consolidation reporting, monitoring and control. Teams of various stakeholders are proposed to operate on their respective areas from CCC in order to provide quality services to the residents of the city of Naya Raipur. The centre proposes to streamline the day-to-day operations while enabling the citizens to interact with CCC through SMS and mobile and web interface. The proposed common portal and mobile applications will provide a free flowing electronic citizen service window between the citizens and administration to ensure that citizens receive an appropriate response during an interaction with the city management. Naya Raipur is now the administrative capital of the State. The new city caters well to the infrastructural and trade requirements of the region. The city of Naya Raipur shines among the green cities planned globally in the 21st Century and stands as testimony to a rapidly urbanising India. A world-class city with state of the art infrastructure, the city is a classic example of social cohesiveness. Naya Raipur Development Plan 2031 envisages a Green and Smart City with modern amenities and an infrastructure comparable to the he Cabinet Secretary-headed panel on TThursday interviewed three senior bureaucrats and six bankers for the post of RBI Deputy Governor which fell vacant in July last after S S Mundra retired on completion of his three-year term. Some of the bankers who appeared for the interview included IDBI Bank MD, M K Jain, UCO Bank executive director Charan Singh and SBI managing directors B Sriram and P K Gupta Besides, K P Krishnan, Secretary Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Yaduvendra Mathur Additional Secretary NITI Aayog and T V Somanathan, Principal Secretary in Tamil Nadu also appeared for the interview before Financial Sector Regulatory Appointment Search Committee (FSRASC), sources Selected name from the interview will be sent to Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister for final approval, sources added. Besides Cabinet Secretary, other members of the panel included RBI Governor, Financial Services Secretary and two independent members. As per the RBI Act, the central bank should have four deputy governors two from within the ranks and one most modern cities the world over. Criss Cross green walkways, Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) and Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) are some of the key features of the plan. Keeping an inclusive city development in mind, the village settlements in Naya Raipur are declared as urban villages with provisions for basic infrastructure at par with the city. An expenditure ranging from 60 million to 200 million INR per village has been proposed in order to have a more equitable social structure. About 25 per cent of the total residential area is proposed to be fficials of the telecom Odepartment and aviation ministry will meet next week to chart out the framework and guidelines for operationalising 'in-flight' data and voice connectivity, a top DoT official said on Thursday. Telecom Commission - the highest policy making body of Department of Telecom (DoT) - on May 1 cleared a proposal for allowing wider inflight connectivity that is now available in most of the developed markets. The decision will pave the way for travellers to use internet and voice services on mobile phone during flights in the Indian airspace."we plan to hold a meeting coming Monday (May 14) or Tuesday (May 15) with officials of Civil Aviation Ministry on this," Telecom SecretaryAruna Sundararajan told reporters on the sidelines of CII Broadband Summit here. Telecom operators may or may not be part of the upcoming meeting which will look at evolving a framework for in-flight connectivity, she added. Earlier, Sundararajan had expressed hope that the facility will be rolled out in 3-4 months. commercial banker and another an economist to head the monetary policy department. Although interviews were conducted on July 29 last year, the government decided to start the process all over again in January this year. According to a public notice published on the website of the finance ministry earlier this year, applicants should have at least 15 years of experience in banking and financial market operations. Besides, applicants should have extensive experience as a full-time director or board member and possess understanding at a very senior level, of supervision and compliance in the financial sector, it had The appointment will be made for a period of three years and the person will be eligible for reappointment, it had The deputy governor will draw a fixed salary of 2.25 lakh per month plus allowances, it had reserved for EWS and LIG housing. The development of Naya Raipur is planned to confirm to the highest standards of norms like Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and people-friendly movement. Walkability, bicycle friendly streets, interconnected streets, safe parking, urban parks and street facing buildings are just some of the key features of the city plan. Conservation of natural resources has been kept in mind while planning various infrastructure projects like city level water supply, logistics hub and real estate features like hotels, golf course, sports city and themed townships. A transport network based on accessibility, affordability, equitable and safe mobility is a part of the New Raipur Development Authority (NRDA). A railway line connecting Naya Raipur to the main rail network within the country has also been planned and implemented. The four railway stations within the planning boundary of NRDA are proposed to provide access to most of the sectors and villages. Other projects in the pipeline include Public Bike Sharing Scheme, Multimodal Logistics Hub and Last mile Connectivity. The development plan of Naya Raipur endeavors to make 24x7 power supply with significantly reduced transmission and distribution loss and an increase in renewable energy resources (almost 20 per cent of the Mantralaya power supply is proposed to be through solar energy). In addition, features like underground cable network, solar panels, wind-powered street lights, smart meters and electrical charging stations have also been incorporated in the city plan. Basic amenities like water supply and drainage and sewage system are also well taken care of in the plan. With a fully functional water treatment plant since 2015, the system is being upgraded and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system is being implemented to ensure system efficiency. Naya Raipur is on its way to become a Zero Discharge City with 100 per cent piped domestic wastewater collection being implemented. If the civic amenities are planned to be world-class in the city of Naya Raipur; communication, health, education and recreation are also well taken care of. With 75 km of fiber optic cables already laid in the city, NRDA proposes to make the city totally Wi-Fi enabled in near future. Neighborhood concept has been at the core of planning to provide world-class education, health and recreational facilities. Some of the well-known educational institutions that have already marked their presence in Naya Raipur include IIM, IIT, IIMT, AIIMS and National Law University. The city is fast becoming the choice for healthcare with many upcoming facilities like AIIMS, Cancer hospital, nursing homes and dispensaries. Rightfully, the incumbent government is judiciously at the helm of affairs with Naya Raipur poised to become a smart city very soon.
11 T hey were considered the Jai-Veeru of Indian startup panorama, and when one decided to finally exit the company they founded 11 years ago it was really a sad moment for the other. Sachin Bansal s decision to exit Flipkart after its takeover by Warlmart was a very emotional moment, said the company s co-founder Binny at a select media briefing on Thursday. Asked if he didn t try and convince Sachin to stay on, Binny, 35, said: That s an understatement. As US retailer Walmart acquired a majority stake in Flipkart, Sachin sold his 5.5 per cent stake for about USD 1 billion and exited the company. The two Bansals are not related but came to know each other as they were passing out of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2005 and decided to move to Bangalore, now known as Bengaluru. They launched Flipkart in 2007 as the Amazon of India. It was valued at close to USD 21 billion as Walmart on Wednesday bought 77 per cent stake in it for USD 16 billion. While Binny decided to continue with the company, Sachin, 36, exited. More than anything else, it is a very emotional moment for all of us. Sachin and I go a long way. We met in 2005 when we were passing out (of IIT, Delhi). Both of us moved to Bangalore. We were a group of 8 friends from IIT Delhi and we used to hang out together all the time and we were best of friends, said Binny recalling the Flipkart journey. I think both of us have been sort of a pillar of support to each other, he said, wishing Binny very best for his future endeavours. In a Facebook post, Sachin said his work at Flipkart is done and it s time to hand over the baton and move on. After moving to Bangalore, Sachin joined Amazon and recommended Binny, earning an employee recommendation bonus. He, however, had to soon return it as Binny left Amazon in just eight months. The two then started a company together with 4 lakh capital. Just Amazon, it started with selling books online. We would do whatever it takes to do the business. He and I would ride my bike for km every day in Bangalore, picking up books from various distributors, coming back, packing them (for dispatch to customers who had ordered), Binny The company has since grown and crossed 100 million registered customers in If I go back 10 years, its just amazing how we started what we did. Through the last 10 years one thing which really held both of us together was the shared values and making sure we do the right thing for customer always, he said adding both ensured that they thought big and audacious. A lot of Flipkart values, he said, came from the strong belief that Sachin brought and helped bring strong foundation. But like most investor-driven companies, there comes a time when a debate happens on founder versus non-founder. In 2016, Sachin became executive chairman, as Binny replaced him as CEO. A few months later, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, a senior executive from Flipkart s largest investor, Tiger Global, who was interim CFO at the e- commerce giant in , came back as head of category design. Soon, he tightened the targets and fired quite a few senior executives for poor performance. On January 9, 2017, Kalyan was declared Flipkart CEO, the first non-founder CEO of an Indian startup Unicorn, while Binny became Flipkart Group CEO. otel or restaurant services Hprovided to SEZ developers or units will not be treated as zero-rated supplies and hence will be taxable under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) has In an application filed before the Karnataka bench of the AAR, the applicant had sought clarification whether hotel accommodation and restaurant services provided by them, within the premises of the hotel, to the employees and guests of SEZ units be treated as supply of goods and services. The hotel accommodation and restaurant services being provided by the applicant, within the premises of the hotel, to the employees and guests of SEZ units, cannot be treated as supply of goods and services to SEZ units in Karnataka and hence they are the intra-state supply and are taxable accordingly, the AAR order In the earlier service tax regime, the law provided that only services which are labelled as authorised operation will be treated as zero-rated supply to the SEZ. Such operations included supply of machinery, contractor, among others. Experts said GST laws did not specify which goods and services would be considered as authorised operations which created confusion about their taxability. In Section 16 of the Integrated GST (IGST) Act, supply of goods or services or both to a special economic zone (SEZ) developer or unit are treated as zero-rated supply. Besides, Section 12 of the IGST Act defines the place of supply of services by way of lodging accommodation by a hotel or for providing restaurant and catering services as the location where the services are actually performed. In the instant case, the applicant is located outside the SEZ. Therefore, the services rendered by the applicant are neither the part of authorised operations nor consumed inside the SEZ, the AAR The rendition of services of restaurant, short term accommodation and banqueting or conferencing cannot be said to have been imported or procured into SEZ unit or developer and therefore, the supply is intra-state supply, it AMRG & Associates partner Rajat Mohan said this ruling laid down that supplies made for authorised operations shall only be treated as supplies to SEZ developer/sez unit and would be zero-rated. napping a three-session win- run, equity bench- Sning marks ended modestly lower on Thursday as investors retreated to the sidelines amid firm oil prices and a weakening rupee. Market sentiment was cautious ahead of assembly elections in Karnataka on Saturday, while unabated foreign fund outflows and lacklustre earnings by some companies added to the gloom, brokers The BSE Sensex dropped points to 35,246.27, while the NSE Nifty ended the day at 10,716.55, down points. Oil prices continued their move higher as investors digested the news of renewed US sanctions on Iran and fretted over its impact on global oil supplies. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, hit their strongest since November 2014 at USD per barrel on Thursday. The 30-share Sensex rose over 128 points in morning trade and shot up to 35,500.76, but quickly lost momentum to hit the day s low of 35, It finally ended points, or 0.21 per cent lower at 35, The Sensex had gained points in the previous three sessions. The broader NSE Nifty moved between 10,705 and 10,785.55, before ending points, or 0.23 per cent down at 10, Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of crore on Wednesday, provisional data showed. The rupee depreciated to fresh 15-month lows against the dollar, raising inflation and fiscal deficit concerns. Volatility continued despite positive global cues as investors remain cautious due to rise in oil price and weak INR. Banks/financials are under pressure due to rise in yield and earlier recognition of stressed assets. Results so far have not enthused investors sentiment whereas next phase of results will be crucial as any deviation will create further downgrades, said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services. In the Sensex kitty, major laggards included Dr Reddy s (3.70%), Tata Motors (2.34%), Sun Pharma (1.85%), Power Grid (1.77%), Bajaj Auto (1.62%), Tata Steel (1.44%), NTPC (1.20%), TCS (1.03%), Yes Bank (0.91%) and ITC Ltd (0.85%). However, ONGC rose 2.87%, Bharti Airtel 1.92%, RIL 0.55%, HDFC Bank 0.54%, Coal India 0.45%, HDFC Ltd 0.25%, IndusInd Bank 0.17% and Axis Bank 0.15%. Sector wise, the BSE realty index lost the most by falling 2.02%, followed by power 1.55%, healthcare 1.52%, consumer durables 1.27%, capital goods 1.12%, metal 1.04%, infrastructure 1.03%, FMCG 0.71%, PSU 0.66%, auto 0.63%, IT 0.35% and bankex 0.25%. Oil and gas, after struggling, managed to close in the green. In broader markets, the BSE mid-cap index dropped 1.52 per cent while the smallcap index lost 1.36 per cent. Shares of Federal Bank slumped nearly 12 per cent after the company reported a fall of 43.5 per cent in standalone net profit for the quarter ended March Shares of state-run Indian Bank plunged 8.17 per cent after it reported a 59 per cent decline in net profit for the March quarter. Overseas, Asian markets ended higher, with Japan s Nikkei rising 0.39 per cent and China s Shanghai Composite Index gaining 0.50 per cent. Hong Kong s Hang Seng moved up 0.96 per cent.
12 he Israeli military on TThursday said it attacked nearly all of Iran s military installations in neighbouring Syria in response to an Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the occupied Golan Heights, in the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date. Israeli strikes have killed at least 23 fighters, including five Syrian regime troops and 18 other allied forces, a monitor said on Thursday. The Britainbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an officer was among the regime troops killed in the strikes and that the casualties included foreigners. Israel said the targets of the strikes, its largest in Syria since the 1973 war, included weapons storage, logistics sites and intelligence centers used by elite Iranian forces in Syria. It also said it destroyed several Syrian air-defense systems after coming under heavy fire and that none of its warplanes were hit. Iranian media described the attacks as unprecedented, but there was no official Iranian comment on Israel s claims. Israel has acknowledged carrying out over 100 airstrikes in neighboring Syria since the civil war erupted in 2011, most believed to be aimed at suspected Iranian weapons shipments bound for the Hezbollah militant group. But in the past few weeks, Israel has shifted to a more direct and public confrontation with Iran, striking at Iranian bases, weapons depots and rocket launchers across Syria, and killing Iranian troops. Israel accuses Tehran of seeking to establish a foothold on its doorstep. Iran has vowed to retaliate. Reflecting the scope of the overnight attacks, Russia s military said 28 Israeli jets were involved, striking at several Iranian and government sites in Syria with 70 missiles. It said half of the missiles were shot down. Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, an annual security gathering north of Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel would response fiercely to any further Iranian actions. We will not let Iran turn Syria into a forward base against Israel, he We, of course, struck almost all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria, and they need to remember this arrogance of theirs. If we get rain, they ll get a flood. I hope that we ended this chapter and that everyone understood. he US-led coalition says TIraqi forces in coordination with US-backed Syrian forces have captured five senior ISIS group leaders. In a statement on Thursday coalition spokesman Army Col Ryan Dillon called the arrest a significant blow to Daesh. ISIS fighters no longer control significant pockets of territory inside Iraq, but do maintain a grip inside Syria along Iraq s border. The US-led coalition supported Iraqi ground forces and Syrian fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces in the more than three- year war against IS. US President Donald Trump tweeted about the raid, saying those arrested were the five most wanted ISIS leaders. resident Donald Trump on PThursday thanked Kim Jong-un for releasing three American detainees as he personally welcomed them back to the US, a development seen as a diplomatic win for him ahead of his planned summit with the North Korean leader. The Americans Kim here may not be much Iran Tcan do about President Donald Trump s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, but across the West Asian, it has a variety of ways it can hit back at the United States and America s regional allies. Iran has expanded its influence far beyond its borders in recent years, sponsoring an army of tens of thousands of Shiite militiamen spread across Iraq and Syria, all the way to Lebanon. Iran also holds enormous political sway in neighboring Iraq and in Lebanon, where its main Shia ally, the militant Hezbollah group, scored significant gains in weekend elections. In Iraq, two powerful Washington: US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jongun on June 12 in Singapore for a historic meeting to discuss the denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula. Trump s announcement came hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned home from North Korea with three detained Americans. Trump, who personally greeted the trio at the Andrews Air Force Base, praised Kim for their release ahead of their summit. The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!, Trump tweeted. The summit, which has been in the works since Trump accepted Kim s invitation to meet in March, will be the first ever meeting between a sitting US President and North Korean leader. US officials had considered holding the summit at the Korean demilitarised zone or in Mongolia, but ultimately settled Singapore as the location. Pyongyang s weapons programme has seen tensions on the Korean Peninsula reach ratchet up in recent months, prompting fresh rounds of sanctions and fiery rhetoric from Trump and Kim. PTI Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kim were freed on Wednesday by North Korea while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on a visit to the North Korean capital Pyongyang to finalise the details of the summit. The trio had been jailed for anti-state activities and placed in North Korean labour camps. Trump and his wife Melania entered the plane outfitted with medical facilities after it landed in the early hours of Thursday and a few minutes later emerged with the three Americans of South Korean origin to wave to the media. We re starting off on a new footing. This is a wonderful thing that he released the folks early, Trump Vice-President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence were also on hand to welcome the three men home. Speaking to the media on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews Air Force Base in a Maryland suburb of Washington DC, Kim Dong Chul said his release felt like a dream. We are very, very happy, he The three former detainees earlier issued a joint statement thanking Trump for their release. political alliances expected to win seats in parliamentary elections on Sunday also maintain strong ties to Iran. In his speech announcing the US withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, Trump called Iran the world s leading state sponsor of terror, citing its support for terrorist proxies and militias such as Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as its activities in Yemen. The rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia has torn the region apart, playing out on regional battlefields and fanning sectarian flames in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen. Trump s decision will likely intensify those confrontations, and could also embolden Israel to step up its own proxy battles against Tehran.
13 ctress-model Neha Dhupia surprised her fans Aand friends from the industry with the news of her hush-hush wedding with actor and best friend Angad Bedi, son of ex-indian cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi, at a south Delhi gurdwara on Thursday. Both released a statement saying, Marrying your best friend is one of the greatest feelings in the world, and we are extremely fortunate to have found love in each other. It has been a beautiful journey knowing each other and after formalising the wedding earlier this year, today we exchanged our vows in a beautifully simple, private and intimate Anand Karaj ceremony in Delhi. We look forward to celebrating and sharing this special moment with our friends and colleagues in Mumbai in the next couple of weeks. Thank you for showering us with so much love. Your blessings have truly made this day so much more special. The newly-wed couple got married in an Anand Karaj ceremony attended by close family and friends. They made the announcement via social media. Best decision of my life... Today, I married my best friend. Hello there, husband! Angad Bedi, Neha posted on her official Instagram page along with a photograph from their wedding proceedings. Angad, known for his performance in Pink and Tiger Zinda Hai, also posted, Best friend...now wife! Well, Hello there Mrs Bedi! Neha Dhupia. For the ceremony, Neha looked resplendent in a blush pink ensemble by designer Anita Dongre. The lehenga was intricately crafted with the ageold Rajasthani embroideries of gota patti, zari, pearl, dori, zardozi and sequin work. She completed her look with a piece from the designer s jewellery line a detachable choker made in gold and uncut diamonds, which were accentuated by Colombian emeralds and small pearls. The jhumkas were in gold with uncut diamonds, Colombian emeralds, pearls and a touch of enamel, and the maangtika was made in gold with an emerald and Iolite. A pink bindi added to the beauty of the actress, who won the Miss India title in The groom wore a cream sherwani with a saafa matching Neha s ensemble, and he carried magenta accents for a dash of colour. The wedding was attended by Ajay Jadeja, Ashish Nehra and Gaurav Kapoor. Filmmaker Karan Johar was the first to announce the wedding on social media which was then followed by congratulatory messages from many in the film industry. D ressed in a white shirt, black trousers and matching jacket with a trumpetshaped lapel pin and a grey stole casually flung across his neck, Rajeev Khandelwal walks into the room minus any airs. And it is this ordinariness the actor can t help but emphasise upon every few minutes that his new show, JuzzBaat Sangeen Se Namkeen Tak is based upon. I have always maintained that we are similar. All of us live our lives whether it is a politician or a journalist or an actor all of them are busy earning a living and looking after their families. Everyone has emotions including the celebrities. People often feel that a celebrity has different emotions but that is not true. Right now I might be dressed up well, he says pointing to his attire and goes on to add, but at home, I would be dressed in shorts and a vest. Khandelwal is emphatic that somewhere the show would make the viewers feel good, connected and get the confidence that there are problems in everyone s life. The show would feature guests from different fields sports, films and other arenas who have struggled and made it. And there is another thing that the actor is very passionate about that of being labelled as just an actor without prefixes. I have an objection to these slots. Everyone is an actor whether it is someone doing theatre or movies or TV. Actor it is. When we go to a hospital, we come to know that this a dentist or a cardiologist, but when we talk to them we say Doctor Sahab aa gae. And it is for this reason that he wants to give the TV personalities a platform. A film actor, even if he has done one flop project, gets a better platform than a TV actor. Yet TV actors work that much harder. In 100 days, they do 50 episodes while only one film is made in 100 days. The ability of an actor working on TV to engage his/her audience is much more and sometimes so is the talent. But perception wise, they are considered small. That is the reason I feel that we should watch their lives, he says. The actor, who started his career with a negative role in the serial Kya Hadsa Kya Haqeeqat (2002), became a heartthrob with Kahiin to Hoga as Sujal Grewal in the same year. But it was with his portrayal of Aamir in the eponymously named movie that Khandelwal got both critical and popular acclaim. He also got a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut for the movie. And successively in Shaitaan, Table No. 21, irrespective of the box office records, Khandelwal s performance has been appreciated. He returned to TV with Sach Ka Saamna, a game show which again became very popular. Reporters, a show with Kritika Kamra, which received good reviews was aired in Khandelwal has also done a web series and is not very particular about the platform. There is no difference in the medium. One does not act small in TV and even smaller in the web series as opposed to movies, he says. And this is a grouse that he holds. People would say TV actor, when I was doing serials. When I switched to films, they said TV actor or TV heart throb Rajeev Khandelwal is doing films. After several movies when I did Sach ka Saamna, it was back to small screen sensation returns to the medium. So now I want to confuse them what will you call me, a TV actor, a film actor or a web actor? I am just an actor. That s my job. You cannot limit my personality to one thing. The media creates the perception. Things have changed and I am happy to be in the space doing different things. I will always pick up projects and then think of the medium, he asserts as he holds up the phone to ensure that it records his point of view better. But coming back to the show, Khandelwal feels that there are several things that make it unique. I felt that for a long time we haven t seen a show that isn t scandalous and there are no revelations that make their rounds in the news. Sometimes it is the simple stories that have the capability to keep you spell-bound. Whether it is my story or yours when we listen to it without any cosmetics it has the ability to touch hearts. There are emotions involved, says the 42-year-old. Moreover, the format too is different as there isn t any. There will be no rapid fire or QnA session. The way that the show progresses in each of the 26 episodes depends upon each story. If I feel or the research team feels that a certain aspect needs to come to the forefront then it will progress accordingly, says the anchor of the show. The first episode would feature actor-brothers Ronit and Rohit Roy. As compared to his previous outing, it is emotions that bind both the shows. Driving Sach ka Saamna was easy as there was a clear format. Here the drive is difficult as there is no clear road. JuzzBaat will take its own course. It will develop as we talk, he says. And there is a reason why he picked up this show despite not watching TV any more having switched to the digital platform. There are die-hard television loyalists. We do not have too many talk shows which bring out the real side of the celebrity. I don t say that I am a magician but I know that I have the ability to connect with people. Personally I am an ordinary regular guy. And it is that belief translates into the show when you see the other side of the celebrity, he says. The show would also be available on Zee5, the digital platform.khandelwal says that there is a reason why viewers should log in. Somewhere there is a human connect. I was so happy with the way the show with actor Divyanka Tripathi came out for I am sure there would be at least 10 girls if not millions who would watch her and say that if she can go through a bad patch and come out of it, so can I, says Khandelwal, as he walks off, comfortable in his extraordinary ordinariness. e are told that Teslas have a W Ludicrous Mode, where the battery discharges electricity to the motors and gives a huge boost to power. And while it took a long time for electric cars to make such a mode possible, it is mechanically and physically easier than what the new Mercedes-Benz E63S AMG does. This, and keep in mind that this is a two-ton luxury sedan, at full-bore, can go from a standing start to 100 km per hour in 3.4 seconds. That is faster than some proper supercars out there. Think about it, the amount of precise mechanical movement that gets done for something like this to happen. First, on the Budhh International Circuit, a car like the E63S will go through a litre of the best petrol just on the kilometre-long back straight if your right foot is planted on the floor. And that just takes a few seconds, really. Ask yourself if you can drink a litre of water in a few seconds. Most cars have thin fuel lines running from the tank to the engine, not this one. Think of the engine, to be able to feed fuel inside a turbocharged V8 at quite a rate of knots and having that engine constantly revolve 8,000 times a minute. An engine that while supercharged produces a scarcely believable 612 horsepower. Get your head around that for a second, six hundred and twelve horsepower. Any which way you slice or dice it, that is a lot of power. And all this while you are ensconced in fairly decent luxury and listening to music through a brilliant Burmeister system. So, in essence that is the ludicrousness of this car. It is a comfortable, expensive but comfortable car that in an instant converts itself into something brutal. If there was a automotive representation of Hannibal Lecter, this is it. Of course, to tame that amount of power, the E63S has Mercedes 4Matic+ intelligent four-wheel drive system. Like in the new BMW M5, this is slightly biased towards the rear wheels and there is a button that transfers all the power to the rear wheels. While we were not allowed to use it, the latest E63 has a Drift Mode to remind us of its drift friendly predecessors, particularly the last-generation E63, because the fact is that even on Sport+ mode, with the traction control partially disabled, things that you should only ever do on a racetrack or closed road, the 4Matic+ system keeps the car within some semblance of bounds. Even if you attack a corner like a madman, you will not leave a brown stain on the seat. Of course, some things have changed in the new car, the engine is now a fourlitre dual-turbocharged (BiTurbo as Merc calls it) V8, which has the ability to switch off cylinders when you are cruising around. On the inside, the new car is certainly more luxurious and the large screens that double up as the instrument panel and infotainment display can show you a wealth of information and allow you to change a whole host of settings. This car might be the pinnacle of the internal combustion engine invented by one of this company s founders, but this is also a full technogeek spaceship. You can watch various statistics if you want on the display, but when you are driving full-bore down the BIC, you are more concerned about the next apex. There are some negatives though. I actually have driven the new BMW M5 which is, if anything, more brutal even though that was partially due to the fact that I drove that on the far more technically demanding Estoril circuit in Germany. Sure, the M5 is a little teensy bit down on power compared to the E63S and while it is also four-wheel drive, the ability to change modes is up close and personal on the steering wheel of the M5. Both cars are wolves in sheep s clothing but the M5 does look a bit more of the part. And when it comes to cornering, the M5 even on the moderate M mode is properly scary, let alone what happens on the insane M mode. Mercedes-Benz India does try to incentivise you to buy the Rs 1.5 crore E63S, which is around six lakhs more than the BMW M5 and ten lakhs less than the Audi RS7 by providing a Rs 88,000 two-year service package for the car with unlimited mileage. Of course, that will not take care of the inevitable tires that you will wear out and the extraordinary quantities of fuel you will need to buy, but this is a fun car. However, 600+ horsepower on a sedan is bonkers and I can assure you with confidence that you will never need so much power in India. This is why Mercedes sells a more sedate AMG, the 43 series. And that has become pretty popular with folks because believe it or not, of the 16,000 cars that Mercedes-Benz sold in India last year, 400 were AMGs and the average age of the buyer? Just 30. It is pretty cool that Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi still make cars like these that are more than supercars, completely play around with physics and what a car can or cannot do, particularly at a time that even petrolheads are extolling the virtues of electric and hybrid cars. And for that I m grateful.
14 A s we broke off pieces of Chicharron de Queso, the famous Mexican street snack, Mukesh Rana, manager, Rodeo, pointed out with a laugh that in its method of preparation and looks it resembled the humble Indian dosa. But taste is where the comparison evaporated completely. For the Chicharron de Queso is crispy grilled Gouda cheese, all frilly and curled crisp served with fresh guacamole and avocado relish yes, absolutely droolworthy and opening up tastebuds you never knew existed. We were at the revamped Rodeo s Connaught Place outlet, which has been around longer than the millennials who had had parked themselves in strategic corners that night. The restaurant, which started in 1994, was one of the first home-grown Tex Mex brands which predated the international chain, TGIF. But Rodeo 2.0 which reopened in March has a new avatar which is cool, casual and fluid as opposed to the cowboy theme of the past. People can walk in for the quick drink after work with friends and colleagues, grab a snack or go for a full meal, says Rana. And the menu specialities are all about authenticity in bite-sized portions. True to its theme, the place carries the casual and fun vibe. The walls have been done up with colourful murals and paintings depicting festivals that are quintessential to Mexico. The wall adjacent to the table was painted with which my companion immediately identified as being from the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos), when the departed souls come down for a feast with the living. Incidentally, we were there trying to hold down a memory of a dear one but that is another story. For drinks, we started with Agua de Tamarind, which was a Mexican classic consisting of fresh tamarind juice for me and kaffir lime and watermelon margarita, which as the name suggests was fresh and done just right with a zesty kick. In the starters we dug into Guacamole artesenal, essentially tortilla chips served alongside avocado dip dressed up with onion, tomato, cilantro, chile, serrano and lime juice. The lightness of the chips, the soft mouth feel of the guacamole and the crunch of the onion was a good start to the meal. We had not quite finished with the chips when the server came up with the Chicharron de Queso and that suddenly had the effect of transporting us straight to culinary heaven. I am somewhat of a cheese buff (I would avoid the word aficionado at the heart of which is embedded the idea of being knowledgeable about something. All I can say is that I can down substantial quantity of a variety of cheese hard, soft, blue, melted with gusto). But even for me this was a surprise and a pleasant one at that for crunchy cheese is something that is a world apart. The caramelly, nutty and buttery taste of gouda on its own was to die for but when combined with the creamy guacamole, the dish was certainly not the one I would miss here. One thing that makes us merry about Mexican cuisine is that it features many dishes that one can grab on the go. Tostadas are just that. Consisting of crispy corn or white flour tortillas, these can be layered with a filling of your choice. We stuck to Chicken Tinga and Roasted Vegetables. And the complexity and the layering of the dish was astounding. Refried beans were pureed and spread over the tortilla over which were placed spicy chicken cooked in Chile Chipotle, onion and tomato sauce, sour cream, crumbled cheese, avocado and lettuce. For the vegetarian variants, there were roasted vegetables. Considering the fact that each of it was finished in not more than four bites, it was certainly a wonder where each flavour came through distinctly. Despite being a carnivore, my vote in this one would certainly go with the vegetarian version. If you get tired of the corn tortillas, the chefs can whip up ones with flour as well. So we had four different versions two with corn and two with flour. The first was Mushroom Silvestres, where the fungi were grilled and marinated in a blend of chillies and herbs. The second vegetarian version was with eggplant and potato, which had an eggplant cutlet, green chili potato mash topped with avocado salsa, jalapenos, fried leeks and crumbled cheese. But it was the one with cheese and chilli, where the grilled cottage cheese filled out roasted chilli Poblano strips and coated Pinto beans and Avocado Salsa, that got our unanimous vote. The chicken version did not match up for it tasted similar to the one which we had earlier. The main course, Pescado A La Mostaza, with oregano flavoured baby potaotes, fish in a creamy mustard sauce and grilled vegetables, was spectacular for several reasons. The flavouring of the potatoes with oregano was a snack in its own right, it was that delicious. The fish in the mustard sauce on the other had was cooked just right and the flavours were bang on. The grilled vegetables on the side added the much-needed element of crunch and created a contrast of texture with the potatoes and fish. We were full to the brim, but it did not take much cajoling to dig into the dessert(s). Churros with chocolate, the traditional Mexican pastry with cinammon and chocolate dip was delicious and is considered one of the better versions not just in India but Asia as well. The Vanilla tres leches cake, a sponge cake which has strawberry, peaches, pine nuts and rose petals, despite its lush appearance, was mildly sweet and light. This new Rodeo s is not about grit and gush but a comforting lull over long conversations with some throwback music and familiar food. Let it sit nice and easy. One suggestion: They could add more main course varieties than the wraps and tortillas. t s time to dust off your Ishakers as World Cocktail Day (May 13, 2018) is upon us and with it some interesting new discoveries about which drinks are currently in vogue. And the latest research couldn t be timelier with cocktail consumption on the rise around the world. The Old Fashioned has been revealed by the world s largest producer of spirits, Diageo, as the most popular drink being ordered in bars right now, according to a survey of the world s best bartenders. Hot on the heels of the Old Fashioned is the Italian dark horse Negroni, made with onepart Tanqueray No.TEN gin, one-part vermouth rosso, onepart Italian aperitif and garnished with orange peel. This sophisticated, bittersweet, continental cocktail may have been around since the 1860s, but it s certainly a favourite in bars right now. Old Fashioned and Negroni s retro charm is all part of a cocktail revolution that s taking the world by storm. In the latest IWSR report, beer volumes fell 1.8 per cent around the world, and wine sales dipped by 0.08 per cent (IWSR drinks market analysis 2016). But sales of spirits like gin and whisky are on the up. And it s the millennials that are leading the cocktail charge, with almost nine out of 10 (88 per cent) younger drinkers enjoying mixed drinks on a night out (Cellar Trends). And that s because, according to World Class Bartender of the Year 2017 Kaitlyn Stewart, consumers no longer see cocktails as an afterthought. The Old Fashioned and Negroni are classic cocktails that have stood the test of time. There are countless variations, but when executed perfectly in any bar around the world, they always taste exactly how you want them too, says Stewart. Whisky Sour and Moscow Mule are next, when it comes to consumers current likes. Espresso Martini, Dry Martini, Tom Collins and Manhattan also squeezed their way into the top eight favourites list. Any of the top cocktails can easily be made at home. The nice thing about classic cocktails, is that they aren t over complicated. There tends to be three ingredient recipes that any home bartender can attempt with ease. Simply stocking quality products like Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky, Ketel One Vodka, or a quality single malt whisky like Talisker in your home bar, will have you a third of the way to success, adds Stewart. Diageo World Class recently carried out this farreaching survey of the consumer preferences, in time for World Cocktail Day No stone was left unturned in finding out cocktail secrets from behind bars across the globe with respondents from a vast mix of countries, including Puerto Rico, Portugal, Greece, Norway, Iceland, UAE, Beirut, USA, Canada, Hong Kong and the Philippines. We surveyed the world s best bartenders from the four corners of the globe and it is incredible to see the renaissance of these important and timeless cocktails picking up pace everywhere, says Global Cocktailian, Lauren Mote. The cocktail revolution is here people! It is time to embrace it! We hope you feel inspired to take on these classics and make them your go to drinks when raising a glass to world cocktail day. OLD FASHIONED 2 oz Johnnie Walker 18 label 4 dashes Angostura Bitters 1 sugar cube 1 orange peel METHOD:Muddle sugar and bitters together in a mixing glass. Slowly add Johnnie Walker 18 label while stirring over ice. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist and cherry. TIPPLE FACTOR: 22.6 grams of alcohol (according to ml of the serve) NEGRONI 0.75oz Tanqueray NO. TEN Gin 0.75oz Italian liqueur 0.75oz Sweet Vermouth METHOD: Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir for 10 seconds. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist. TIPPLE FACTOR: 14.4 grams of alcohol (according to ml of the serve) WHISKY SOUR 1.5 oz Johnnie Walker Black Whisky 0.75 oz lemon Juice 0.5 oz simple syrup (1:1 ratio) 1 Egg white 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters METHOD: Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin. Dry shake for 7-10 seconds. Add ice and wet shake for 7-10 seconds. Fine strain into a small rocks glass or coupe. Garnish with 2-3 dots of bitters. TIPPLE FACTOR: 14.5 grams of alcohol (according to ml of the serve) MOSCOW MULE 1.5oz Cîroc Vodka 0.5oz lime juice 3.5oz ginger beer METHOD:Build or shake. Serve in a copper mug over crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and a dash of Angostura bitters. TIPPLE FACTOR: 14.2 grams of alcohol (according to ml of the serve) ESPRESSO MARTINI 1.5oz Ketel One Vodka 0.5oz coffee liqueur 1 oz cold brew coffee 0.5 oz simple syrup (1:1 ratio) METHOD: Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin. Shake for 7-10 seconds. Fine strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with three coffee beans. TIPPLE FACTOR: 16.6 grams of alcohol (according to ml of the serve) DRY MARTINI 2 oz Tanqueray NO. TEN Gin 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth 1 dash orange bitters METHOD: Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir for 7-10 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. TIPPLE FACTOR: 21.3 grams of alcohol (according to ml of the serve) TOM COLLINS 1.5 oz Tanqueray NO. TEN Gin 0.5 oz lime juice 0.25 oz lemon Juice 0.25 oz simple syrup top with soda METHOD: In a shaker tin, combine all ingredients (excluding soda). Shake for 5-7 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with soda and garnish with a lemon and lime wheel. TIPPLE FACTOR: 15.3 grams of alcohol (according to ml of the serve) MANHATTAN 1.5 oz Johnnie Walker Blue Label 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth 2 dashes Angostura Bitters 1 dash orange bitters METHOD: In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients. stir for 7-10 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Express the oils from an orange peel, then discard. Garnish with a cherry. TIPPLE FACTOR: 16.7 grams of alcohol (according to ml of the serve)
15 T ottenham secured qualification for next season's Champions League after beating Newcastle 1-0 through Harry Kane's second-half goal to move into third place in the Premier League on Wednesday. With Chelsea drawing 1-1 with Huddersfield on the other side of London, Tottenham is guaranteed a top-four finish heading into its last game of the season - at home to Leicester on Sunday. Spurs will be in the Champions League for the third straight season, playing host to Europe's elite competition in a new stadium being built on the site of its White Hart Lane ground. They have played this season at Wembley Stadium. "It is a massive achievement to qualify again," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino "I want to congratulate the players... It is a massive effort, 38 games away from home is a huge effort. "Next season, it will be fantastic for Tottenham to be playing in a new stadium and in the Champions League." Kane curled in the winner from the edge of the area in the 50th minute for his 28th league goal of the season, leaving the striker three behind Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah in the race to become the Premier League's top scorer. Tottenham is two points above fourthplace Liverpool. All that is left to decide on the final day of the Premier League is whether Liverpool or Chelsea takes the final Champions League place. And it is advantage Liverpool - by two points and a vastly superior goal difference. Juergen Klopp has friend David Wagner to thank for Liverpool only requiring a draw against Brighton to hold usmane Dembele scored twice and OLionel Messi added to his leagueleading tally as champion Barcelona stayed on track to finish unbeaten in the Spanish league with a 5-1 rout of Villarreal on Wednesday. A depleted Real Madrid, without Cristiano Ronaldo and many other regular starters lost 3-2 at Sevilla to remain in third place behind Atletico Madrid. It was an eventful night for captain Sergio Ramos, who missed a penalty, converted a penalty and scored an own-goal. Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho also scored for Barcelona, which has already won the title but it is still trying to become the first team to go through the entire season unbeaten in the league's current format. With two matches left, Barcelona reached 90 points, 15 more than secondplace Atletico. Its final games are at Levante and against Real Sociedad. "It's a great victory, it keeps us unbeaten and that's how we want to finish the season," Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo Villarreal stayed in sixth place, still in position to qualify for next season's Europa League. It is two points behind fifth-place Real Betis and three points in front of seventh-place Sevilla, which occupies the last spot in the qualifying zone for the second-tier European competition. Before the match, Villarreal players lined up on the field to congratulate Barcelona for its title in a guard of honor that Real Madrid had declined to give its rival in their match at Camp Nou last weekend. Wednesday's match was postponed from two rounds ago, when Barcelona and Sevilla met in the Copa del Rey final. The Catalan club won 5-0 to earn the first leg of its double. Coutinho opened the scoring in the 11th minute off the rebound of a shot by Dembele, and Paulinho added to the lead with a touch from close range five minutes later. Messi got on the board just before halftime after a perfect pass by Andres Iniesta. It was Messi's 34th league goal, leaving him with nine more than Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, his closest contender in the scoring race. Dembele scored his first goal in the 87th after a low pass by Ivan Rakitic, onto a top-four finish on Sunday when Chelsea is at Newcastle. Wagner's Huddersfield held dethroned champion Chelsea to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, ensuring the northern English team will have a second-ever season in the Premier League. "This is the least you can do as a friend," Wagner said of Klopp, "to do him a favor." Since Brighton and Newcastle were already safe, all three promoted teams this season have avoided the drop. "It's a bigger achievement than getting promoted," Wagner "We were predicted as a team to get relegated." The three teams going down are Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and, almost certainly, Swansea. Although the south Wales club can still catch Southampton on points on the final day, its goal difference then closed the scoring after a long run from near midfield. Barcelona has scored 94 goals in 36 matches in the league this season. Villarreal got on the board with a 53rd-minute goal by Nicola Sansone. Sevilla defeated Madrid for its second straight win after enduring a ninematch winless streak in all competitions. Wissam Ben Yedder and Miguel Layun put Sevilla ahead in the first half, and the hosts added to the lead with an own-goal by Ramos while he tried to block a cross. Ramos, a former Sevilla player who is often jeered by the crowd when he plays in Seville, missed his first penalty attempt by sending the ball onto the crossbar early in the second half. He converted from the spot in the final minute of stoppage time, not long after Borja Mayoral scored Madrid's first goal in the 87th. "We played better in the second half but couldn't get it done in front of the goal," Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane The loss leaves Madrid three points behind Atletico ahead of the team's final two games, against Celta Vigo and at Villarreal. Atletico is at Getafe and then hosts Eibar. Among other players rested by Zidane on Wednesday were Luka Modric, Keylor Navas, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Raphael Varane. Madrid will play Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 26. Barcelona's Sergi Roberto has been handed a four-match suspension for his swipe at Real Madrid defender Marcelo during the Clasico on Sunday. The Spanish Football Federation's disciplinary body has punished the Spaniard after it deemed his behaviour to be aggressive. In a statement yesterday, the federation's Competition Committee said Sergi had violated Article 98 of the disciplinary code, in which an aggression is considered "malicious". The Committee has imposed a more minor punishment for such cases, which can incur bans of up to twelve matches. Sergi was sent off on Sunday at the end of the first half against Real Madrid, in a match that ended 2-2. is inferior by nine. On a miserable night for Chelsea, three of its Premier League records were broken by Manchester City after the title-winners beat Brighton 3-1. City moved onto 97 points, two more than Chelsea's final total from the season, and 105 goals, two more than Chelsea's previous record haul from the season. Pep Guardiola's team also now has 31 wins, surpassing the previous record of 30 set by Chelsea last season. op-ranked Simona Halep lost Tto Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3 in the Madrid Open quarterfinals on Thursday, while Maria Sharapova also bowed out to Kiki Bertens. Halep was the two-time defending champion and on a 15- match winning streak at the claycourt tournament. But Pliskova gave the Romanian no chance, breaking her serve four times and hitting 20 winners. "I think I played one of my best matches this year for sure, and for sure on clay in my life," the sixthseeded Pliskova "I feel amazing since in the last six matches I lost to her. I never thought I would beat her. My serve was great and everything went my way." Halep got off to a great start by breaking Pliskova for a 2-0 lead, only for the Czech to take the break right back to swing the match in her favor. "I missed in some important moments. That's why it went her way," Halep "I'm not upset. I'm not looking in a negative way. I won two times here. I played great matches. So I take the positives." As players and fans of Huddersfield, including actor Patrick Stewart, celebrated at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea players watched on gloomily. This was Huddersfield's night, taking the lead five minutes into the second half. Willian was disposed inside the Chelsea half and Huddersfield midfielder Aaron Mooy launched a high ball forward. Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero raced off his line and collided with Laurent Depoitre, allowing the visiting forward to rsene Wenger will end his tenure Aat Arsenal without an away point in the Premier League in 2018 after his team lost 3-1 at Leicester on Wednesday. It was the seventh straight loss on the road for Arsenal since the turn of the year, an embarrassing statistic for Wenger at the culmination of his reign of 22 years. Arsenal last had such a run of defeats in Arsenal played with 10 men from the 15th minute at King Power Stadium after center back Konstantinos Mavropanos was given a straight red card for hauling back Kelechi Iheanacho, who had put Leicester ahead a minute earlier. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalized in the 53rd for Arsenal, but Jamie Vardy regained the lead for Leicester by converting a 76th-minute penalty and Riyad Mahrez made the points safe with a goal in injury time. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hit out at the referee after his side's loss to Leicester City. Kelechi Iheanacho punished some poor defending by Arsenal to put Leicester ahead before Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang found the equaliser early in the second half. But Leicester were awarded a penalty when Henrikh Mkhitaryan brought down Demarai Gray inside the Arsenal penalty box. Leicester's star striker Jamie Vardy stepped up to convert the spot kick while Riyad Mahrez scored the third goal for the hosts in the 90th minute. A clearly annoyed Wenger asserted that referee Graham Scott made an error of judgment while awarding the penalty. "The penalty is a very creative, imaginative aspect from the referee. We've watched it again, it's a nice dive and it's not a penalty. Mkhitaryan plays the ball," Wenger was quoted as saying by the Guardian. Wenger also praised the Arsenal players for their spirited performance despite being a man down for most of the match. "It's a frustration because I believe we played a great game and with 10 against 11 we have shown quality in our game and spirit. Overall it is very sad because the decision went against us and we are upset that we lost a game that we should not have lost," he "It does not have big consequences but it's just a continuity of what we have faced all season," he added. Pliskova's only prior victory from her previous seven matches against Halep was in the 2016 Fed Cup. She arrived in Madrid fresh from winning her 10th career title in April, when she was victorious on clay in Stuttgart. Pliskova is now the highest seeded player left in the women's tournament after both No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki and thirdseeded Garbine Muguruza lost Wednesday. Pliskova beat Victoria tap into the net. Chelsea fortuitously equalized in the 62nd when Mathias Jorgensen's clearance cannoned off Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso's head and went back into the net. As Chelsea scrambled to produce a winner to move level on points with Liverpool, Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl made vital saves, including tipping Andreas Christensen's header on the post. "This was definitely the most important save in my career, no doubt about it," the 29-year-old Lossl C Milan goalkeeper AGianluigi Donnarumma gifted two goals and Nikola Kalinic added an own-goal in a nightmare 4-0 defeat for the Rossoneri as Juventus claimed a record fourth straight Italian Cup title on Wednesday. While the 19-year-old Donnarumma could not be blamed for Medhi Benatia's opener in the final, his mistakes led to the ensuing goals from Douglas Costa and Benatia. Then Kalinic headed a corner into his own net. After the final whistle, Milan captain Leonardo Bonucci and Juventus counterpart Gianluigi Buffon attempted to console Donnarumma. "We have to accept it and realize we made our own errors," Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso It was the first of two titles that Juventus is hoping to celebrate over the space of four days at the Stadio Olimpico. The Bianconeri can clinch a record-extending seventh consecutive Serie A title with only a draw against Roma on Sunday. "Now we have to ensure the Scudetto mathematically and enjoy this extraordinary season," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri Juventus has won a total of 13 Italian Cups, at least four more than any other team. For Benatia, the brace served as redemption after he Azarenka and Sloane Stephens in previous rounds and has recorded nine wins in a row. She will play Petra Kvitova or Daria Kasatkina in the semifinals. Seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia also advanced to the final four after beating Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-3. Garcia will take on Bertens after she came from behind to beat Sharapova 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Bertens finished Sharapova off when the Russian's backhand missed on a was blamed for a goal in a 1-0 loss to Serie A rival Napoli last month. "After my error on the marking for Kalidou Koulibaly, everyone said I was useless," Benatia "I haven't become fantastic now and I wasn't useless then.... I gave my contribution, nothing more." Milan, meanwhile, missed out on a chance to justify its preseason spending spree and take home a trophy ahead of likely punishment from UEFA for financial fair play violations. The last time Juventus had beaten Milan by at least a fourgoal margin came more than 20 years ago - in a 6-1 away win in Serie A in "The guys had an extraordinary game and deserved this win, taking nothing away from Milan, who had a good first half," Allegri "In games like this you need a little time to get into gear, but we found the passing lines, the spaces opened up and naturally the technique second match point. In the third round of the men's tournament, Dusan Lajovic fought back from 0-4 in the decisive tiebreaker to stun fourthseeded Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) for his first career win against a top-10 ranked player. Lajovic moved on to meet sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson, who advanced to the quarterfinals after eliminating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (7). Kyle Edmund continued his excellent run in Spain by ousting eighth-seeded David Goffin 6-4, 6-4. Edmund, an unseeded Brit, defeated former No. 1 Novak Djokovic in straight sets on Wednesday. Edmund will face 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov, after he defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4 in an all- Canadian clash. Novak Djokovic is trying his best to stay optimistic despite a disappointing start to his season. Former No 1-ranked Djokovic has struggled since returning from a layoff for a right elbow injury and is yet to reach the quarterfinals in the six tournaments he has played emerged." After a slow-paced first half, Juventus took control when Benatia headed in from a corner. Donnarumma then had Costa's shot on his fingers but the ball fell through his hands. Three minutes later, Donnarumma was preparing to collect a header from Mario Mandzukic but it again slipped off his fingers and Benatia was waiting to pounce on it. Milan came closest when Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi nearly scored an owngoal, hitting the post with a failed clearance. Kalinic, who has not reached expectations at Milan, then added to the misfortune by finding his own net with his back to the goal by the near post as he attempted to defend a corner. Buffon preserved the clean sheet with successive saves on Manuel Locatelli and Fabio Borini. this year. His latest defeat was against Kyle Edmund in the second round of the Madrid Open on Wednesday. "Obviously I'm disappointed from losing this match, but I can be happy with the progress of the level of tennis," Djokovic "There are positives to take out from this. But obviously disappointing to go out early in the tournament." Djokovic lost in the third round in Monte Carlo a few weeks ago, following second-round exits at both Miami and Indian Wells. "It's a process," Djokovic "It's something I have to accept, I have to embrace. In general I feel much better about everything that is happening on the court and around tennis in general... than maybe two months ago." In a bid to get back on track, Djokovic has reunited with coach Marian Vajda and trainer Gebhard Gritsch after stints working with former players Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek. "If there is anybody that knows my game well, knows me as a person well, especially in the last decade, it's these two guys," Djokovic said following his first-round in Madrid.
16 P owered by a 176-run partnership between captain Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan, Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday cruised to a breezy 9-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils here at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. The Sunrisers now have 9 wins in 11 matches and sit at the top of the table, while the Daredevils have nothing but pride to play for in the outings they have in hand for the season. An early dismissal for Sunrisers opener Alex Hales (14 off 10) may have caused an upsurge in the spirits of Delhi Daredevils against table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad, but in terms of encouragement, that was all the hosts had for the entire course of the visitors innings. Following Hale s departure by an LBW, Sunrisers Captain Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan ran riots upon the Daredevils bowlers and fielders as they cruised to a comfortable 9-wicket victory with seven balls to spare. The duo shared a balanced partnership of 176 runs off 102 balls with Dhawam tallying 92 off 50 balls and Williamson, 83 off 53 balls. Williamson and Dhawan seemed to be having quite a stroll in the park as they faced no compilations in keeping the runrate above the required margin across all overs. The visitors crossed the 50-run mark before the sixth over got over. Delhi s bowling department seemed to have lost the plot, with Harshal Patel recording the unit s best average economy at Patel was also the only bowler who claimed a wicket for Delhi. The next 50 runs came in the next five overs as the Williamson-Dhawan duo got more comfortable on the pitch with each passing minute. By the end of the fourteenth over, the visitors crossed 150 runs only to make matters worse for Delhi. Earlier, Rishabh Pant put behind a couple of running errors that had cost Delhi Daredevils two crucial wickets to smash an unbeaten knock of 128 in 63 balls, including 15 fours and seven sixes. Riding on Pant s blistering form had Delhi sealed their innings with 187 runs, which was supposed to be a challenging one for their opponents. Opening alongside Prithvi Shaw, Jason Roy greeted the opponents with the first boundary of the match after connecting with a Sandeep Sharma delivery in the second over. However, Delhi s woes began early in the fourth over as Shikhar Dhawan caught a miscued Prithvi Shaw shot off a Shakib Al Hasan delivery. The Bangladeshi spinner claimed Roy s wicket right in the next delivery, giving the hosts no room to recover with two wickets for 21 runs with both Prithvi Shaw and Jason Roy dismissed at 9 and 11 runs respectively to give way for skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. In the final over of the powerplay, Pant took Siddharth Kaul s bowling spell for a rampage, hitting four boundaries (all fours) in three deliveries to put Delhi at 38/2, and allowing room for hope that there was still a certain load of ammunition in the Daredevils lineup. But the next over changed that. Captain Shreyas Iyer got run out after scoring just three runs as he broke into a sprint for a single while Pant decided to stay put at the batting end. The error made it three wickets gone for Delhi before even reaching the 50-run mark. The first big hit of Delhi s innings came only in the eleventh over as Harshal Patel, quite unexpectedly, cleared Siddharth Kaul s short length delivery with a powerful shot over mid-wicket to launch the ball out for a six. The boundary proved to be a turning point for the fates of the Daredevils as Iyer and Patel combined to tally 42 runs in three overs, taking their partnership to 50 runs in 30 balls including two sixes from Patel. But miscommunication once again took the better of Delhi as Pant, first deciding to go for a second run, quickly changed his mind to stay at the crease as Patel frantically tried to sprint back to safety only to fail miserably. With that wicket, the Pant-Patel partnership ended at 55 runs in 37 balls as Delhi summoned Glen Maxwell to join the fray at 98/4. Pant completed his half-century in the next over with a sensational six off a Shakib Al Hasan delivery as Delhi dragged past the 100-run mark after fourteen overs. He then continued to dominate his position on the field as he smashed four sixes and as many fours in the next four overs as he approached his century. Pant sent the ball out for another four in the nineteenth over to reach his maiden IPL century after connecting well with a Siddharth Kaul delivery. In the final over, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar dismissed Glen Maxwell for nine runs with an off stump delivery which the Australian miscued to gift Alex Hales an easy catch. This ended Maxwell's 63-run partnership with Pant, in which the latter had more than a lion's share of runs (52). But there were still five balls to go, and Pant was determined to completely put behind his running errors to wrap up the innings in style. Which he did by smashing Bhuvneshwar. With two 4 s and three 6 s in the last five balls, Pant walked off the pitch with an unbeaten 128 off 63-ball knock which allowed Delhi to put up a challenging 187-run target before Sunrisers Hyderabad. The visitors overcame the challenging chase with visible ease to remain at the top of the table with an extension in their lead over second placed Chennai Super Kings. For Delhi Daredevils, this season will be one they would like to forget as soon as possible. n a must-win game, IRajasthan Royals have to produce something special to beat the mighty Chennai Super Kings in Jaipur on Friday. With just four wins from 10 matches, Rajasthan are in sixth position on the table and need to win their remaining four games to secure a play-off spot. They can take some confidence from their 15-run victory over Kings XI Punjab in their last game. It ended a run of three successive defeats for Ajinkya Rahane-led side. But, their next challenge is against the tournament heavyweight Chennai. Led by their talismanic skipper, CSK are second in the table with 14 points. One win from the remaining four games might be enough to seal a playoff spot for them. Barring explosive English wicket-keeper Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson, others have failed to live up to their billing. Below-par performances from all-rounder Ben Stokes and Rahul Tripathi have hurt Royals badly. Their captain Rahane has neither been impressive. D'Arcy Short has neither fulfilled his potential. With 332 runs, Samson is the top-scorer for the team, while Buttler has 320 runs to his name. In their last match, Buttler's 58-ball 82 took the hosts to a decent 158 for eight, which their bowlers defended due to impressive performances from Krishnappa Gowtham, Kiwi spinner Ish Sodhi and Jofra Archer. The likes of Jaydev Unadkat and Shreyas Gopal need to do more. Archer has been a revelation for them so far, grabbing nine wickets from five matches. If they are to have any chance of putting together a winning streak, then the team has to step up in both batting and bowling, and should perform in unison. Chennai, on the other hand, have returned to the tournament - after serving a two-year suspension - in some style. They have been formidable as usual and have that air of invincibility around them, making them an instant favourite for the coveted title. Their batsmen have been in stupendous form, firing on all cylinders. The likes of Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, skipper Dhoni and Suresh Raina all have contributed when the team needed them. Rayudu, in particular, has been sensational both as an opener and at number four. As of now, he is at the third position in the run-scorers HEAD TO HEAD chart with 423 runs from 10 games. Dhoni is seventh on the chart with 360 runs, which included three half-centuries. With his great performances in the bat, he has silenced his critics and shown his hard-hitting ability again. Watson has defied his age to give Chennai good starts at the top of the table regularly this season. He has 328 runs, including a splendid 106 to his name. However, bowling has been a worry for them in this campaign. Their bowlers have been regularly taken to the cleaners by the opposition batsmen. Their pacers Lungi Ngidi, David Willey and Shardul Thakur need to do more after Deepak Chahar got injured and England's Mark Wood cut short his IPL stint earlier than expected. Their spinners Ravindra Jadeja and veteran Harbhajan Singh came good in the last match as they restricted RCB to 127/9. Dhoni will hope that outing will give his bowlers the required confidence in the coming games to perform at the top level. D espite twin defeats to nemesis Mumbai Indians (MI) in the space of three days, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Dinesh Karthik feels his side still has a "great chance" of making the Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs. KKR slipped a rung to the fifth spot after a crushing 102-run defeat to MI at the Eden Gardens here on Wednesday night, days after MI continued their dominance over the purple brigade with a 13-run triumph at home. With three more games to go, KKR now have to win all of them to ensure their safe passage to the knockout stages and not leave their fate on other teams. KKR take on Kings XI Punjab next followed by Rajasthan Royals at home, and table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad on the road to finish their engagements. "I am very disappointed. But there are three games and we take one game at a time," Karthik told reporters after their humiliating loss to MI which stretched their sorry record against Rohit Sharma's side to eight straight reversals on the trot. "So if we win the games I know we have a great chance of getting to the playoffs. I believe in that and want my teammates to believe in that," Karthik The heavy defeat, the largest margin in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), saw KKR's net run rate plummet to , the worst among eight teams in the tournament. "After this game, our run rate has taken a hit. We will take a call as the run rate has come to minus now. If we play three good games, it will go up," Karthik Ishan Kishan's 21-ball 62 in the middle overs took the game away from KKR, Karthik "He changed the run rate and played some nice eaping praise on Kane HWilliamson and including him in his list of top five current batsmen in the world, New Zealand national team coach Mike Hesson described that country's captain as having the skills to adapt to any format of the game. The stylish Williamson is leading Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the current Indian Premier League (IPL) season, and has been inspirational with the bat as well as a captain. "Any quality batsman, if they have got the skills, will adapt (to) any form of the game and Kane Williamson is no different," Hesson said ahead of the high-flying SRH game against the struggling Delhi Daredevils. "He does not go out and look to thrash the ball, but he times the ball, gets in good positions and hits where fielders aren't. (He is) an allround good player," said the 43-year-old Kiwis' coach, a Star Sports Select Dugout expert of the T20 League. Williamson has amassed 410 runs from 10 games, shots. We bowled in an area he could have got out but he took on the bowlers at that stage." "We succumbed to pressure and played a few bad shots and lost too many wickets in the Powerplay. When you lose too many wickets in the Powerplay, it's always going to be hard," Karthik Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, on whom KKR depend a lot, was hit for four consecutive sixes in the 14th over which turned the game in favour of MI. Kuldeep, a regular for India across formats, went for 43 runs in three overs. "He is somebody who brings in a lot of control in the middle overs," Karthik said of Kuldeep. scoring five half-centuries. His highest score has been 84. Asked whether Williamson was the best batsman in the World, Hesson said, "Look, I wouldn't say that." But he was quick to add that it was good to have a New Zealand batter among the top five batsmen in the world. "There are four-five (players) who are extremely good. (India and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper) Virat Kohli is one, Joe Root (of England is) exceptionally good. Steve Smith (Australia), Kane Williamson, they are probably the four at the moment around the world, and AB de Villers when he is playing," he "They are good in different conditions (and) they stand out. It's nice to have a New Zealand batsman as one of those top five," said Hesson, who had also coached Kenya. "And when he goes for runs it's hard. This game he went for a few runs, in the middle they took him down a little bit but these things happen in a game of cricket. "He gets picked in all three formats and he is a confident young guy. He knows it's one of those bad days which every bowler has in a T20 format." Karthik added that the wicket was good for batting and 190 was a par score. "The wicket was good, 190 would have been par. It was 20 runs over par which made a lot of difference." MI, after Wednesday's win, made it 18 triumphs over KKR, eighth in a row, in 23 meetings. Karthik though said it's unfair to blame this unit full of new faces including himself. "We are a new team and a young team. I understand stats wise maybe as a team KKR has not (played well against Mumbai) but this is a new team with lot of new players so we were hardly aware of these things. "If we do 3-4 years down the line the same thing, then I think that's a fairer question. But these have happened with different teams and we are a new set of boys. It's unfair to label that blame on us even though as a team KKR has lost so many matches which I accept." ndian World Cup winning Icoach Gary Kirsten feels that skipper Virat Kohli's consistent efforts of learning and improving his game makes him one of the greatest players of the cricketing world. "He is a great player. He continues to improve and get better. I enjoy working with him because he continually wants to learn about the game and all the great players do that," Kirsten Kirsten, who coached India from and bid adieu after the 2011 World Cup victory, is currently working with Kohli as assistant coach of the Indian Premier League side's Royal Challengers Bangalore. The former South African opener, who came for scouting camp in Delhi on Thursday, also backed Kohli's decision of playing county cricket to get used to the conditions ahead of the England tour. "It is good for him to prepare (for the Eng tour). For any player preparation is good," he oung Ishan Kishan, whose batting Ypyrotechnics played a part in Mumbai Indians massive win on Wednesday, has credited skipper Rohit Sharma for backing him despite his repeated failures. After some below-par outings, Kishan's day of reckoning finally came on Wednesday night with the 19-yearold smashing a brilliant 62 off just 21 balls to help Mumbai Indians' cause. "Rohit bhaiya told me to just back yourself and attack. When your skipper and teammates are backing you, it's just about playing your natural game," Ishan said after MI thrashed Kolkata Knight Riders by 102 runs on Wednesday. Picked up by MI for 6.20 crore after an intense bidding with Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Jharkhand wicketkeeper batsman struggled initially with three ducks, forcing his team management to drop him down in the batting order from no 3 to 4. But Kishan finally showed his mettle on Wednesday when, sent in, MI looked in a disarray on 62 for 2 after nine overs. The diminuitive left-hander then came in and tore apart the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine to help the defending champions post an imposing 210 for 6. "The coach also said in the time out that just be yourself, back yourself. We need some good hits today. Rohit bhaiya also said the same. 'You can hit well just look at the ball and get with the flow.' "They knew that if I remained there I can get a lot of runs. I just had to look Kohli had a terrible outing the last time when India toured England in The star batsman failed to make his presence felt and was only able to manage 138 runs from eight innings. The former South African coach also expects that the upcoming five-match Test battle between India-England series will be fought keenly. Talking about growing craze at the ball till the last moment and keep it going," Kishan Kishan went ballistic against Kuldeep in the 14th over with four consecutive sixes and in the process notched up his fifty in 17 balls, the joint second fastest half-century of the season. "Kuldeep is outgoing for me (the one that turns away from me) but he loves to bowl the googly at me. I've played him earlier as well. I knew he would look to get me stumped by bowling outside off. My target was if the ball was in my arc, just get the ball out of the park," said Kishan about his strategy. "It was like just watching the ball and if you get them in your arc hit them or just take a single with Rohit bhaiya batting at the other end. I knew if I missed something, he will make it up for it." for T20s among youngsters, Kirsten says that though the shortest version of the game appeals to the younger generation, the longest format (Test) will always have a place in the cricketing world. "I enjoy T20 cricket. It really appeals to the younger generation. It's very entertaining. My kids enjoy watching T20 cricket more than anything else.