Nuclear fog hangs over Modi’s visit to US

Obama-ModiNEW DELHI: As the Indian administration gears up to launch a civil nuclear cooperation blitz with the US and reiterate its petition to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in September, industry experts said that decisions in these complex matters “will not materialise overnight,” and New Delhi may have “painted itself into a corner,” on nuclear liability. Continue reading

India’s life expectancy improving

populationNEW DELHI: India’s life expectancy has increased from 58.5 years in 1990 to 66.4 years in 2013. While this is a significant increase, both Pakistan and Bangladesh have slightly better life expectancy.

Among the BRICS countries, only South Africa has a lower expectancy at 56.9 years, primarily due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. China’s life expectancy is 75.3 years. Continue reading

Kedarnath pilgrim route suspended due to bad weather

rishikeshroadDEHRAUN: With the Rishikesh-Kedarnath National Highway blocked at Doliyadevi near Fata and intermittent rains continuing, district authorities on Thursday decided to keep the Kedarnath yatra suspended till July 26.

The highway to Kedarnath as well as Guptkashi-Kalimath motor road is blocked by boulders following landslips and nearly half a dozen places in Kedar valley are being lashed by moderate showers. Continue reading

Jayalalitha dwells on values emphasised by Islam

jayalaithaCHENNAI: Following Prophet Mohammed’s teachings will ensure India remains a haven of peace, Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said at an ‘Iftar’ party she hosted here on Monday.

Jayalalithaa pointed out the Prophet not just sermonised virtues but also lived by them. The holy month of Ramadan was “spring season’’ to the followers of the Prophet. Continue reading

Poorer UP Congress scales back on Roza Iftaar party

upcongressLUCKNOW: At Roza Iftaar on Thursday, the UP unit of the Congress party will create history. Launching never-before austerity measures in light of the party’s recent poll debacle, senior leaders of the party have, for the first time, ditched the tradition of drawing from party funds to host the annual Roza iftaar at the UP Congress Committee head quarters.

Instead, the event will be hosted with the help of personal, voluntary contributions made by senior leaders of the UPCC as well as some in Delhi. Continue reading

Toilets, drinking water in schools: Court warns Andhra govt

andhra schoolsNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has taken a stern view of Andhra Pradesh government not complying with its directions to ensure drinking water and separate toilets for girls and boys in schools and directed the state’s Principal Secretary to appear before it and explain the exact position.

Earlier in May 2014, a bench of justices Dipak Misra and V Gopala Gowda said these provisions are essential for basic human rights that enhance the atmosphere where the education is imparted. Continue reading

Modi wants 24-hour point-to-point rail, road connectivity and ports

MODINEW DELHI: From building coastal expressways as part of a plan to upgrade the road and rail network to ensure that a person can reach any point in the country within 24 hours, to boosting labour reforms so that workers are employed for “fixed terms” instead of on contract; from new legislation on conflict of interest to adding a health knowledge institute to every district hospital — a 17-point people-oriented agenda has been sent by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his ministries.

While Modi’s wishlist was sent on July 10, all the ministries were told to submit detailed action plans, with sharp focus on delivery and implementation, by July 20 so as to put the agenda in place when the NDA government completes its first 100 days in office in August-end. Continue reading

‘Only divine intervention’ can check rape and crime

aziz-qureshiLUCKNOW: A day before he demits office, Uttar Pradesh Governor Aziz Qureshi Monday, in a controversial remark, said incidents of rapes could not be stopped even if the entire police force or Army was deployed. He said only a divine intervention can help check such crimes.

“Rape incidents cannot be stopped. Even if the entire police force or Army is deployed then also rapes will not end,” Qureshi told a TV channel. Continue reading

Sonia Gandhi to deal with warlord Rane fallout

narayan_raneMUMBAI: A day after Konkan strongman Narayan Rane quit the Maharashtra cabinet, efforts to persuade him to take back his resignation failed today and the matter would now be referred to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for resolving it.

Rane, who had a closed-door meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre to iron out the issues that led to his stepping down, remained unpacified and insisted on acceptance of his resignation Continue reading

Modi govt warns of attacks on Amarnath pilgrims

pilgrimsamarnathKASHMIR: There are intelligence inputs which suggest threat of terrorist attacks on Amarnath pilgrims, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said there are intelligence inputs about the plan of terrorists to target Amarnath yatra and the same has been shared with security agencies at the Centre and state levels.

Rijiju said since the beginning of the yatra this year, the reports of some incidents of stone pelting on yatra vehicles from Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district have been received.

In these incidents, injury to one pilgrim and damage to the windowpanes of three vehicles have been reported, he said adding the state government has been taking adequate measures to provide security to the Amarnath pilgrims.- From The Indian Express