BANGALORE: India successfully launched its biggest ever rocket on Thursday, including an unmanned capsule which could one day send astronauts into space, as the country ramps up its ambitious space programme. Continue reading
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will not allow any Arab Spring-type uprising in the country, which is emerging from decades of ethnic war vowed President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking an unprecedented third term. Continue reading
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is to end its moratorium on the death penalty in terror-related cases, the prime minister’s office announced a day after Taliban militants killed 148 people in an attack on a school. Continue reading
THIMPU (BHUTAN): Making the functional literacy test more accessible by having test centres located closer to women is one of the initiatives the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) would take to enhance women participation in future elections. Continue reading
KATHMANDU: A newborn Nepali may expect to live over 7 decades, says a study published today on 18 December 2014 in The Lancet, a renowned global medical journal. Continue reading
VADODARA (Gujarat): Kerala’s nearly Rs 90,000 crore of NRI deposits, which is highest in the country, pales into oblivion when compared to the over Rs 1,000 crore that the members of this sleepy Dharmaj village near here cumulatively have in their banks. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: In what the country’s premiere external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), described as a “bizarre twist of events” it has pointed out to the government that Pakistan-based terror outfits have started a major propaganda in a section of the local media that it is in fact the “Indian intelligence agencies that may carry out subversive activities over the next few days and blame it on Pakistan”. Continue reading
FEATURE, (Madhya Pradesh): The drive from Mandsaur to Neemuch along the state highway 31 in northwest Madhya Pradesh takes one through the usual scenery of an Indian countryside. Until, of course, the girls appear by the roadside. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: In a bid to control negative fallout from recent hate speeches, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday warned BJP parliamentarians not to cross the ‘laxman rekha’ while airing their views. Continue reading
WASHINTON: US senate voted to confirm Vivek Murthy as the next surgeon general, a position often called America’s Doctor. He is the first Indian American to hold the position, and the youngest. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday declared a ban on Islamic State, days after having detained an engineer for running a popular Twitter account extolling the militant group’s military campaign. Continue reading
LONDON: Bollywood actress and former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was felicitated for being the most successful Miss World at this year’s edition. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: Despite its attempts to universalise education with the Right to Education (RTE), new data shows that India’s schools still fall short of 5.86 lakh primary-level teachers and 3.5 lakh upper primary level teachers. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: The government has issued a word of caution to the German embassy over the issue of Sanskrit replacing German as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas, saying they should go by the “Indian rules and regulations” in the efforts to move ahead. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: Making a strong pitch for passage of a pending legislation against child labour, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi said on Sunday history “won’t forgive” the MPs if they fail in the task. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: Wholesale price inflation hit a zero level in November, the lowest in about five and half years, on account of decline in prices of food, fuel and manufactured items. Continue reading
KABUL: From the ruins of a bombed-out palace above Kabul, a young Afghan man bearing a striking resemblance to kung fu legend Bruce Lee is high-kicking his way to internet fame, aiming to show another side to his war-weary nation. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: A city-based Muslim rights organisation has written to CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi to initiate recruitment of yoga teachers in all the CBSE-affiliated government, aided and non-aided private schools in the national capital, and introduce yoga as a compulsory subject. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: Russia will help build at least 12 nuclear reactors in the next two decades and will join the “Make in India” initiative of the Modi government through the manufacture of “advanced” Russian helicopters in India for both civilian and military use. Continue reading
COMMENT, NEW DELHI: James Montier of GMO has written a must-read white paper titled “The World’s Dumbest Idea”, namely, ‘shareholder value maximisation’, or SVM. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on Friday cautioned the government, in reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make-In-India” campaign, that what worked in China’s case may not always work for India. Continue reading
MUMBAI: A family court has the jurisdiction to decide matrimonial petitions filed even by a foreign nationals or people domiciled outside India, if the marriage has taken place in India in keeping with provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Continue reading
AGRA: Come December 25 and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) will introduce online ticketing for visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, ASI director general Rakesh Tiwari said. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi told President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that Russia will remain India’s top defence supplier, even though New Delhi’s options had improved since the end of the Cold War. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Thursday slammed the government for suggesting that a legislation to ban religious conversions can be brought in if all parties agree, saying it was an infringement of fundamental rights. Continue reading
CHENNAI: Superstar Rajinikanth turns 64 on December 12, and Chennai is all set to welcome his latest release – Lingaa – directed by ace filmmaker K S Ravikumar, on Friday. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: With a dip in temperature and crackdowns from the Delhi High Court over amenities in night shelters for the homeless, seven mobile health teams have been appointed by the Health department to provide services to the thousands who stay in shelters. Continue reading
STOCKHOLM: Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India have received the Nobel Peace Prize for risking their lives to fight for children’s rights. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: India has been ranked as the second most ‘up and coming’ destination – the countries that are getting better as a place to live and work in – for expats after China, says an HSBC survey. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: In a relief to 65 years and above doctors who have gone to study abroad and do not wish to come back to India, the government has decided to issue “No obligation to return to India” (NORI) certificates — a practice which was stopped during the UPA regime two years back. Continue reading
JHARKHAND: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday asked the electorate here to give a decisive mandate to the BJP for a strong and stable government in the state, and not opt for a coalition as “thekedars” (contractors) would then be in charge. Continue reading
NEW YORK: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not make the shortlist of eight finalists selected by TIME for its annual ‘Person of the Year’ title but has won the publication’s readers’ poll online. Continue reading
India is in a position to do the same when Russian President Vladimir Putin comes for his state visit this week — if New Delhi negotiates properly. Continue reading
LONDON: Billions of rupees worth of fruit and vegetable waste in India could be better conserved if the country had a sustainable cold chain of refrigerated warehousing and transport, according to a new study by experts at the University of Birmingham. Continue reading
COMMENT, NEW DELHI: Ever since the Narendra Modi government assumed office about six months ago, it seems to have been embroiled in a series of controversies over allegations of ‘saffronising’ history and the education system of the country. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: India will press the Group of 20 economies to set a two-year deadline to reduce the cost of international money transfers, potentially saving more than US$20 billion for developing countries, two government sources said . Continue reading
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is among the 10 worst countries along with Iran and China on the index of internet freedom, according to a global survey released on Friday. Continue reading
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has personally returned the gold and jewellery to the people in the north allegedly taken by the LTTE during the time of their parallel administration, reaching out to the minority Tamils ahead of crucial presidential poll next month. Continue reading
COMMENT: The 2014 Saarc Summit, which started with high expectations, ended low on delivery. The rivalry between India and Pakistan continues to frustrate efforts to integrate South Asia. Continue reading
ASSAM:Prime Minister Narendra Modi scored with his development mantra during his three-day visit to the northeast that ended Monday. Continue reading
BHOPAL: On both sides of every photograph is placed an audio instrument like a telephone and as you pick up the instrument, narration of story that went into making of that picture begins: “First, we shifted the dead bodies, placed them in a line and numbered them. Continue reading
COMMENT: Some steps being taken by the Centre signify its resolve to sprint towards the much-delayed restructuring of the bureaucracy. Continue reading
NEW DELHI:A churning has begun in the Congress on whether to follow the Narendra Modi communications model, which includes social media, one-liners and sound bytes, or rely on personal contacts, institutional strength and political tactics to win elections. Continue reading
JAMSHELPUR (JHARKHAND): Largely ignored by political parties as a vote bank, the Parsi community in Jamshedpur has reserved their votes for a candidate who can bring a Central government scheme, that promises to save their community, to Jharkhand. Continue reading
ASSAM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended all speculation here on Sunday on the pending land swap deal between India and Bangladesh, and clarified that his government would go ahead with the land swap agreement to defend the interests of Assam as well as India as a whole. Continue reading
LONDON: Investment and job creation were the ‘fundamental pillars’ of the foreign policy of the Narendra Modi government’s, which was keen to forge an international ‘alliance of prosperity’ rather than adhere to the old idea of non-alignment, BJP spokesman MJ Akbar said in London on Friday.
Addressing a select audience at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on Modi’s foreign policy challenges and opportunities, Akbar said the ‘Make in India’ campaign reflected India’s new foreign policy approach that has seen increasing focus on ‘Act East’.
Cautioning Pakistan on what he called a ‘deep freeze’, Akbar said ‘goodwill’ did not go far in international relations: “There was 10 years of unrelenting goodwill from the Manmohan Singh government (towards Pakistan), but it achieved nothing in return”.
India, Akbar said, would be ‘happy to partner’ in international efforts to eliminate regressive ideologies, and hoped that a strategic agreement in this regard could be reached with Britain.
According to him, Modi had a ‘logical mind, interested in ideas than ideology’, and recalled the impact his Nepal visits had on leaders such as Prachanda, when he travelled to Kathmandu with a message of accommodation. – From the Hindustan Times
They are happy that the party has become a contender in the Valley. But some also see the BJP’s presence in the hive of a decades-old separatist movement as a reminder of the early ’90s when the community was uprooted from their homes and forced to migrate.
Srinagar’s Habbakadal, home to some 16,000-odd Pandit voters, is one constituency where the BJP hopes to open its account — at least to make a psychological point that the party is not confined only to the Jammu region.
It has fielded Moti Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit, based on a political calculation that voters from the community will help the party win Habbakadal, which has always responded to separatists’ poll boycott calls.
The Mission 44+ mathematics has, however, triggered unprecedented polarisation, prompting Pandits in Habbakadal to speak to Hindustan Times in hushed tones and on the condition of anonymity.
“I didn’t migrate in 1990. I had decided then to take a bullet and die in my own home. There is palpable fear again because our neighbours think we will favour the BJP. I prefer staying indoors because I don’t want to have a political conversation with my neighbours,” said a Pandit during an interaction with families belonging to the community at an ashram and their homes.
A Pandit woman waited for the Kashmiri Muslim driver to leave the room before she opened up.
“Only the BJP can abrogate Article 370 and only that can pave the way for the migrant community to return,” she whispered.
Will she vote? “Only if my neighbours do … We Pandits can’t be seen as the only ones going to the polling booth. The neighbours are talking of not boycotting because they want to keep the BJP out and if they go to the polling stations, we will too.”
Fear runs deep for families that have seen the horrors of militancy and the same anxiety has returned to haunt them as Pandits have become a part of the campaign discourse.
Candidates in Habbakadal are politically correct, but only just.
“I have joined the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) to save Kashmir from the BJP onslaught. They are trying to divide Pandits and Muslims. We don’t want a Gaza here. We welcome the migrants but among us and not in separate colonies,” said Zafar Meraj, the PDP’s Habbakdal candidate and a journalist.
Kaul too sounded politically correct. “Yes, all parties make political calculations and look at winnability but I am trying to convince the majority community that only Modi can deliver development and that Article 370 is not a political plank. I don’t talk about 370 unless asked to.”
The candidates are not the only ones side-stepping political landmines that litter Habbakadal’s labyrinth. Its bylanes are once again being identified as Hindu and Muslim.
The cloak of anonymity that the Pandits cling to in 2014 is a reminder of the political resolution the state still needs. - From the Hindustan Times
Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority state in the country, is debating whether a Hindu can become chief minister of a state that has never had any non-Muslim head of government. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: With the Opposition targeting the government on the black money issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the identity of 427 foreign account holders has been established, of which 250 have admitted to having these accounts. Continue reading
NEW DELHI: Rajasthan may have initiated long-pending reforms in labour laws, but the Centre has said it is unclear whether the state has followed the international norms of consultation with trade unions for some of the amendments. Continue reading