Indiabulls Real Estate promoters to exit realty sell 14 stake to Embassy

first_imgNew Delhi: Indiabulls Real Estate promoters have sold 14 per cent stake through open market transactions to Embassy Group for Rs 950 crore, as part of the group’s strategy to focus on financial services and exit from realty business. Promoters have around 39 per cent stake in Indiabulls Real Estate, of which 14 per cent, representing over 6.3 crore shares, have been offloaded through bulk deal on Friday. Indiabulls Group is looking to exit the real estate business so that it can get regulatory approvals for the proposed merger of Indiabulls Housing Finance with the Lakshmi Vilas Bank. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsWith this deal, Bengaluru-based developer Embassy group will get entry into Mumbai and Delhi-NCR, the two biggest property markets in the country. According to the bulk deal data available on the BSE, promoters entities have sold 6,30,95,240 shares to privately-held Embassy Property Developments Pvt Ltd at Rs 150.45 apiece, aggregating to nearly Rs 950 crore. At this price, the company has been valued at nearly Rs 6,800 crore, higher than the current market cap of nearly Rs 5,800 crore. The share price of Indiabulls Real Estate fell 2.58 per cent on the BSE to close at Rs 128.20 per share. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefAccording to sources, Embassy Group may buy another 14 per cent in Indiabulls Real Estate, taking its total stake to 28 per cent and triggering an open offer. Indiabulls promoters may retain some stake in the company but will lose management control. Whether Embassy Group is buying stake in Indiabulls Real Estate directly or in partnership with global investment firm Blackstone could not be ascertained. On late Thursday, Indiabulls Real Estate informed BSE that the “promoters intend to dispose-of up to 14 per cent of the fully paid-up share capital of the company (out of the aggregate 38.72 per cent fully paid up share capital of the Company, currently held by them) to third party investors”. The stake sale is in line with the promoters’ strategy to focus on financial services in the long run, it added. Recently, Embassy Office Parks, the joint venture firm with global investment firm Blackstone, launched India’s first Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to raise Rs 4,750 crore. The group, which commenced its operations in 1993, is led by CMD Jitu Virwani. The group has developed 54 plus million sq ft of commercial, residential, retail, hospitality and industrial warehouse spaces and holds an extensive land bank of over 1,000 acre across the country. Indiabulls Real Estate has been selling its commercial assets to Blackstone in last few years. In December 2018, it sold 50 per cent stake in two office assets in Gurgaon to Blackstone for Rs 464 crore.last_img read more

ICICI moves NCLAT to seek early hearing on JAL insolvency plea

first_imgNew Delhi: Private sector lender ICICI Bank Monday approached the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), seeking a direction to NCLT Allahabad to hear urgently its insolvency petition against Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL) and pass the order without any further delay. In its plea before the appellate tribunal, ICICI Bank submitted that there has been no progress in its insolvency petition filed against JAL, which was filed in September last year. The bank alleged that Jaypee group’s flagship firm is delaying admission of the insolvency plea by approaching several judicial forums. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepICICI Bank also said that hearing before the Allahabad bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) was adjourned almost 12 times from September 10, 2018, to May 27, 2019, and such adjournments were “unfairly delaying” the resolution process. Hearing the matter, a single-member NCLAT bench of Justice Bansi Lal Bhat directed to list ICICI Bank’s plea on July 1 for hearing. JAL owes around Rs 1,296 crore and the bank had approached NCLT to recover the dues by filing an insolvency plea against the company under section 7 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsHowever, JAL challenged the ICICI Bank petition before the Allahabad High Court but the same was rejected. Later, JAL moved Supreme Court, which too refused to stay the application. “However, despite this, there is no development in this matter,” said ICICI Bank counsel on Monday. “We want direction to NCLT to expedite the matter,” the counsel said, alleging that the proceedings before NCLT are being played into the hands of the JAL promoters. In its petition, ICICI Bank has requested the appellate tribunal to “direct NCLT, Allahabad Bench to hear the (matter) … on an urgent and day-to-day basis and pass final order of disposal … expeditiously and without any further delay.” ICICI Bank also alleged that JAL is delaying the insolvency resolution process by approaching several judicial forums “only to prolong and delay the admission of the Insolvency Application”. “It is submitted that the Respondent (JAL) has been deliberately abusing insolvency resolution process by approaching different forums to stay or set aside the Insolvency Application,” it added.last_img read more

Smart city NDMC completes 72 projects in four years 39 on anvil

first_imgNew Delhi: The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on Tuesday said the agency has been selected as one of the first 20 Smart Cities by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and has so far completed 72 projects worth Rs 199.11 crore under the smart-city initiative with 39 more projects worth Rs 1,377.17 crore are in the pipeline. According to NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar, a total of 111 projects were identified under the initiative at a cost of Rs 1,576.28 crore since announcement of Smart City initiative out of which two-thirds have been completed.Talking about the initiative, the Chairman said they have installed 3.1 MW of solar rooftop on all its buildings (92 buildings) and a further of 7.52 MW (on 90 buildings) is connected to its grid through net-metering basis. Nearly 95 solar poles were set up at various roundabouts, which are sleek poles with upper halves covered with solar panels and a small circular LED light at the top. The civic body has installed 98 modular type RWH in Chanakya Puri, Gole Market, Laxmi Bai Nagar, Kidwai Nagar areas. These are modular, robust, load bearing and easy to install. “37 water ATMs have been installed by NDMC for providing affordable and pure potable water. Tender for third phase consisting of 40 ATMs has been floated on PPP mode,” said an official. Nearly 11 de-centralised Sewerage Treatment Plants (STP) with the capacity of 3.1 MLD have been developed under PPP model to treat sewerage de-centrally near its point of generation to make the Council more sustainable and utilise treated water for horticulture purpose. A total of 50 digital interactive panels have been installed at market places like Connaught Place, Khan Market, Sarojini Nagar market etc. and are being used by the general public. These interactive panels are being used to access online information like FIR registration, free Wi-Fi and Mobile charging points. “NDMC has converted five colonies, namely D1-D2 Chanakyapuri, Jor Bagh, Ravinder Nagar, Golf links and A Block Moti Bagh, where complete segregation of waste into wet and dry are being done and domestic hazardous waste and e-waste is collected by an authorised NGO. 0.5 TPD Bio-methanisation plant has been installed and working at Laxmibai Nagar, NDMC,” the official added. The Council has developed Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra at Mandir Marg offering courses in health and solar energy with a capacity of 5000 students. Rs 185 crore project, work of which is likely to be completed within two years Smart Metering Project has been given to EESL, a PSU of the Ministry of Power, to installed smart meter with mobile app facility for offering various services to the citizens as well as easing up the maintenance and billing of the consumers. The civic body has constructed 65 out of 109 proposed smart PTUs at different locations as Public Hygienic centre having features like Bank ATM, Water ATM, Non-invasive body basic vitals testing.last_img read more

Pakistan are back in this World cup

first_imgNew Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has congratulated Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men for making a great comeback in the ongoing World Cup following their emphatic victory over New Zealand in Birmingham. Pakistan were in a spot and were brutally criticised by former cricketers and fans on social media following their loss to arch-rivals India on June 16 at the Old Trafford. However, they made a strong comeback in their next fixture as they defeated South Africa by 49 runs, knocking them out of the competition on June 23 at Lord’s. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ Medvedev And on Wednesday, Pakistan came out with a brilliant bowling performance as they first restricted the Black Caps to 237/6 at a tricky Edgbaston wicket. Left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi was the pick of Pakistan bowlers as he scalped three wickets and also bowled three maidens out of his 10 overs, giving away just 28 runs in his spell. The Green Brigade then rode on Babar Azam’s unbeaten century to chase down the target with six wickets in hand. Along with Babar (101*), Haris Sohail also made significant contribution with the bat and scored 68 runs. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’ships “Congratulations to our cricket team for a great comeback. Congratulations especially go to Babar, Haris and Shaheen for their brilliant performances,” the Pakistan Prime Minister tweeted on Wednesday night. Former cricketers Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis also took to Twitter to congratulate the Pakistan team. “Brilliant batting by Babar Azam and Haris Sohail, special win for Pakistan. Babars batting through the innings has made all the difference. The talent of Haris Sohail, his shot making is pure class. Pakistan are back in this World cup!” tweeted Afridi. “Match winning inning from Babar Azam. Brilliant display of talent by Haris Sohail. What a class act he is turning out to be. Shaheen Afridi bowled with pace & aggression. Pakistan Zindabad. One step closer to the dream,” said Akhtar. “Pakistan keep the dream alive!” tweeted Wasim. “Congratulations Pakistan and Well done Team Green You guys played like Champions,” said Waqar on the micro-blogging website. The win ensured that Pakistan remain in the hunt for a berth in the semi-finals. And while the team currently has seven points from as many matches, they need both luck and wins in their remaining two matches to ensure a path ahead in the knockout stages.last_img read more

Mistaken identity lands Assam woman in detention camp for 3 years

first_imgGuwahati: A woman from Assam’s Chirang district, sent by a foreigners’ tribunal to a detention camp three years back on suspicion that she was an illegal infiltrator after being mistaken for someone else of the same name, has now been freed. “I am happy that I can take care of my daughter now. She is physically challenged, she needs my help always,” said Madhubala Mondal, 59, after her release on Wednesday. Mondal, a widow who worked as a domestic help, had to spend three years at a detention camp in Kokrajhar district after she was declared a foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal in March 2016. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah She could not even challenge the Tribunal’s order due to extreme poverty and lack of knowledge. The case of her “illegal detention” came to light only recently when a local organization took up the case and moved a petition challenging the Tribunal’s order. During the fresh hearing, the police admitted that they took her to be Madhubala Das of the same village in Chirang. “We have received an order from the Foreigners’ Tribunal asking to release Madhubala Mondal. We forwarded the order to the detention camp and accordingly she was released from the detention camp on Wednesday,” said a senior police official in Chirang. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey Colony The officer, who did not want to be identified, admitted that there was a goof-up regarding the name as there are three Madhubalas in the village. “She was Madhubala Das when she got married. But later after her husband died, she got married to one Mondal and become Madhubala Mondal,” the officer said adding that the police picked up Madhubala Mondal instead of Madhubala Das and sent to detention camp. Village residents, however, said that the woman named Madhubala Das, who was declared a foreigner by a Tribunal and her husband Makhan Nama Das, had died long before the Foreigners’ Tribunal order was issued. The Assam government is updating the National Register of Citizens of 1951. A draft NRC was published last year which excluded names of over 40 lakh people due to some discrepancies in their documents in proving their Indian citizenship. ON Wednesday, the Assam government published a draft additional exclusion list which listed over one lakh people as ineligible for enrolment in the NRC, despite the fact that their names have appeared in the draft NRC published last year.last_img read more


first_imgApart from food for humans and other species are fish of any consequence to the planet? I mean, if they were to be reduced as we are doing by catching millions every day, what are the consequences? Every day humans breathe out millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. All our factories and processes create more millions of carbon dioxide. If this carbon dioxide builds up in the air, then we would be dead very soon. As it is, from the amount it has built up, we have now warmed the planet so much that our weather is now unpredictable – which has its impact on food availability, prices and the spread of disease. So, what slows down this build of carbon dioxide? Two things: trees and fish (not the oceans but the fish in them). The more trees you cut the hotter and drier it gets. The more fish you remove the less carbon dioxide they can remove. Also Read – Feel what you fearDeep sea fish around UK and Ireland remove and store more than one million tonne of carbon dioxide per year. According to a new study by the University of Southampton, this natural carbon capture and storage scheme saves millions of lives. Fish living in deep waters on the continental slope play an important role in carrying carbon from the surface to the seafloor. But, as fishing, energy extraction and mining extend into deeper waters, these seldom seen fishes who provide a valuable service to all of us are going to disappear, making the carbon dioxide built up even more intense. Soon it will be difficult for anyone to breathe. Also Read – HomecomingI recently noticed a discoloration in the center of a 4 month old kitten’s eye – it’s like a cloudy circle but has no discharge or irritation to the eye. An opacity in the lens of the eye is most commonly attributed to either a cataract or sclerosis of the eye. Sclerosis only occurs in cats due to old-age, so in this case, your kitten is likely to have developed a cataract. However, a cataract can only be confirmed by a thorough veterinary examination, and your vet will design a treatment plan to not only cure the cataract but also address the underlying cause. A cataract describes any opacity in the normally clear lens of the eye that prevents light from reaching the retina at the back of the eye, sometimes eventually leading to blindness. Inherited conditions are the most common cause of cataracts and may be present at birth or may develop when the animal is very young. They can also be caused by injury or illness such as diabetes, in which case, treatment of the underlying condition is essential – if your kitten has diabetes, failure to treat this will lead to further complications. Cataracts can be removed surgically by a veterinary ophthalmologist, who would replace the lens with a plastic or acrylic prosthetic lens to allow for more focused vision. Cataract surgery requires a lot of postoperative care. I am not sure anyone in India can do it. (Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to read more

SpiceJet starts daily direct flight between Guwahati and Dhaka

first_imgGuwahati: Budget carrier SpiceJet Monday started the first daily direct flight between Guwahati and Dhaka. The first flight ‘SG 78’ was flagged off by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here. The Bombardier Q400 aircraft will depart Guwahati at 11:55 am, while it will leave Dhaka at 2:10 pm (local time) every day. Hailing the new mode of connectivity as landmark, Sonowal said: “We are now looking to connect all the capitals of the ASEAN and BBIN countries with Guwahati. For that, we have already requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to do the needful.” Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! SpiceJet Chief Marketing Officer Debojo Maharshi informed the daily flight has been launched under the International Air Connectivity Scheme (IACS). “We believe the tremendous success of Regional Connectivity Scheme can be replicated in IACS as well thereby making international air travel much more affordable and convenient for Indians,” he added. Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner in India Shah Mohammad Tanvir Monsur said this new flight will be a turning point in the history of connectivity between the two regions. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed “Before 1947, Bangladesh and Assam were part of the same region. Every day, 4,000 patients come to India for treatment, but they go to Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. Now they can come to Guwahati too as it has many good hospitals,” he added. With the launch of this new service, SpiceJet now operates two flights under IACS, besides running 43 flights connecting 24 cities under UDAN scheme. The low-cost airline currently operates a fleet of 76 Boeing 737 aircraft, 31 Bombardier Q400 planes and two B737 freighters across India.last_img read more

Finn Cole Anna Sawai join Fast Furious 9

first_imgLos Angeles: Finn Cole, Anna Sawai, and Vinnie Bennett are the newest additions to “Fast & Furious 9”. According to Entertainment Weekly, the details of their characters are under wraps. Cole is best known for playing Michael on “Peaky Blinders”. He currently stars as Joshua ‘J’ Cody on “Animal Kingdom”. Sawai’s biggest cinematic outing was 2009’s “Ninja Assassin”, whereas Bennett is well known for his performances in films such as “Ghost in the Shell” and “Human Traces”. Justin Lin, who was at the helm of franchise’s third, fourth, fifth and sixth installments, is directing the new film. Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges are returning to the action series, with new entrant John Cena.last_img read more

Netflix announces five India Originals SRK Anushka to produce

first_imgMumbai: Streaming giant Netflix on Tuesday unveiled their new slate of Original series with superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma attached as producers on two different projects.According to Netflix, Shah Rukh’s Red Chillies Entertainment will produce zombie horror “Betaal”, while Anushka and Karnesh Sharma’s Clean Slate Films will serve as executive producers on “Mai”.”This is my second collaboration with Netflix after ‘Bulbul’ and we are again looking to disrupt the kind of content audiences are consuming. We at Clean Slate Films have been dedicated to making clutter-breaking, powerful stories since our first production and we are looking forward to push the content envelope. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot”The creative freedom to be able to translate these stories to screens that reach a global audience is exciting for us, which is why Netflix is such an important partner,” Anushka said in a statement.”Mai” revolves around 47-year-old wife-and-mother, Sheel, who finds herself accidentally sucked into a rabbit hole of violence and power, following a personal tragedy. The series is penned by Atul Mongia along with Tamal Sen, Amita Vyas, with Sudip Sharma as a creative producer. Also Read – ‘Vaastav’ gave me the real sense of being an actor: Sanjay Dutt on film’s 20-year anniversaryShah Rukh’s “Betaal”, which also marks the actor’s second collaboration with Netflix”, is based in a remote village, visited by two-century-old Betaal, a British Indian Army officer, and his battalion of zombie.”With Indian police pitted against the undead army, hapless villagers are trapped in a horrific, edge-of-your-seat conflict,” the plot line read. Patrick Graham is attached as writer/director and showrunner, along with Nikhil Mahajan as the director and Suhani Kanwar as writer. The Original will be executive produced by Blumhouse, known to design some of the best horror content, and Ivanhoe. Apart from this, Netflix is coming with “Masaba Masaba”, a scripted series based on real-life moments from fashion designer Masaba Gupta’s life. It follows her unique background, the diverse worlds she straddles across fashion and family, and her foray back into the dating world. The series will star Masaba along side her mother, veteran actor Neena Gupta, as themselves. The genre-bending show is created and produced by Ashvini Yardi’s Viniyard Films and will be directed by Sonam Nair.Alankrita Shrivastava’s “Bombay Begums” and American actor and director, Ravi Patel’s “Messy”, are also part of the streaming platform’s list of upcoming series. Bela Bajaria, VP, International Originals, Netflix, said they are excited to present these entertaining India-based stories. “India is home to some of the world’s greatest stories. It’s been thrilling to watch these amazing storytellers embrace the artistic freedom possible at Netflix to create entertaining stories. Audiences everywhere will love these five inventive series set in stories of horror, drama and comedy,” Bajaria said. “Bombay Begums” revolves around five women from different generations and their lives in contemporary urban India. Created, written and directed by Alankrita, the show has Chernin Entertainment and Endemolshine India attached as executive producers.”Messy” focuses on Mumbai’s rising stand-up comic, Beanie, who struggles to balance a career in comedy with pleasing a yuppie day-job boss, peculiar best friends forever, persistent parents, and proposal-popping boyfriend. Patel has co-written the series with Neel Shah. It is co-produced by The District’s David Bernad and Ruben Fleischer and Mutant Films’ Seher Aly Latif and Shivani Saran.last_img read more

Metro officials pay courtesy visit to Sajal Kanjilals home

first_imgKolkata: Senior Metro Railway officials on Tuesday visited house of Sajal Kanjilal,who died in the tragic incident on Saturday at Park Street Metro station. According to Metro Railway, it was a courtesy visit. On Tuesday afternoon, a team from Metro Railway visited Kanjilal’s home in Kasba. The station master who was on duty at the time of incident was also there, along with Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Indrani Banerjee, Chief Operations Manager (COM) Satyaki Nath and others. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersSeeing the Metro officials, Kanjilal’s family members got agitated initially. But later, they sat and had an interaction with the officials. Sources informed that during the interaction, they requested Metro officials to provide a job for a family member as compensation. However, Metro officials reportedly did not make any comments on the same before leaving the house. On Tuesday, Banerjee stated the purpose of the visit to be courtesy. When asked about the request for job, she said: “As the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) is investigating the matter, we cannot comment on that.” Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to sources, advertisements will soon be published in newspapers, requesting the eyewitnesses of Saturday’s mishap to come forward, in order to record their statements for the sake of investigation. The investigation will commence from Thursday and a thorough check of the ‘medha’ rake will be done as well. Metro Railway is also suspected to face problems in providing services on time as two running ‘medha’ rakes have been suspended from service until further order. On Saturday, Kanjilal died after being dragged through the tunnel between Park Street and Maidan Metro stations, while his hand was stuck between the doors of a ‘medha’ rake. As the rake started moving, the victim eventually hit the tunnel wall, fell on the third rail and got electrocuted.last_img read more

Train accidents kill 60 elephants 8 tigers in last three years Env

first_imgNew Delhi: India lost 60 elephants and eight tigers to train accidents in the last three years as several railway tracks run through forest areas, the Environment Ministry told Parliament on Monday.Responding to a query on death of animals due to train accidents, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said movement of wild animals in search of food and water brings them in close proximity to railway lines, leading to accidental deaths. According to the data provided by the minister, 60 elephants, eight tigers and one lion were killed in train accidents between 2016 and 2018-19. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”Rail tracks do pass through forest areas also. Movement of wild animals in search of food and water, brings them in very close proximity to railway lines and at times, leads to accidental deaths. “The state/Union territories’ Forest Departments manage the forest and wildlife habitats with cooperation of other sectors,” Javadekar told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply. The ministry said it has no plan to remove railway tracks from forest areas but several measures have been taken to track animal movement around railway track, especially that of lion. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Adequate number of trackers have been deployed for day-night patrolling to watch lion movement along railway tracks. “Regular and extensive patrolling by frontline field staff of the State Forest Departments is done so that wild animals can be retained in their habitat,” it said. The environment ministry said that standard operating procedure (SOP) has been issued to manage tigers dispersing in human-dominated landscapes to safeguard humans as well as the big cats.last_img read more

Ktaka BJP leaders meet Shah to discuss govt formation

first_imgNew Delhi: A group of Karnataka BJP leaders met party president Amit Shah on Thursday as the party weighed its options following the fall of the Congress-JD(S) government in the state.The state BJP led by former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa is keen to stake claim to form the next government but is waiting for the central leadership’s nod for its next move. Karnataka BJP leaders, including Jagdish Shettar, Arvind Limbavali, Madhuswamy, Basavaraj Bommai and Yeddyurappa’s son Vijayendra, met Shah as they discussed the development in the state and explored the options ahead for the party. With Speaker Ramesh Kumar yet to take a call on resignations of 15 rebel coalition MLAs and pleas by their parties to disqualify them, the BJP is treading cautiously as Kumar’s decision may have a serious bearing on the fate of the next government. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe state also needs to pass the finance bill before July 31. Sources said if a government is not in place before the month end, then imposition of the President’s rule may be a constitutional necessity for the passage of the bill, which is why the BJP is also consulting legal experts. The HD Kumaraswamy government in the state fell on Tuesday after it lost the confidence vote, garnering 99 votes against the 105 by the BJP in the assembly, ending the nearly three-week-long high political drama. The coalition had needed 103 votes in its favour to win the motion as 20 MLAs Congress-JDS (17), BSP (1), Independents (2) skipped proceedings, reducing the effective strength of the House to 205.last_img read more

Askew priorities

first_imgWe take pride in the extents and heights to which our laws may serve for greater good and in that, often do we forget the matters lying much closer to ground, the ones to go out of sight rather fast when remarkable heights are scaled. National security is important at its place, but more attractive is the intellectual indulgence which severs one from the brute realities on the ground. National security is not so pervasively a matter of basic socio-economic concern but what is, in fact, remains in want of attention and reform. Sanitation workers and manual scavengers continue to dredge up for their livelihood despite all the intellectual awareness and “sensitisation” to their condition robbed of dignity. Ramdas Athawale, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, brought to highlight in Rajya Sabha that a national survey conducted under NITI Aayog has identified a minimum of 54,130 manual scavengers from 170 districts of 18 states in India. Delhi has announced of its commendable plan to end manual scavenging with the use of technology. Prompted by the incidents of death of sanitation workers, Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam is said to go to Kerala to explore technological solutions to eradicate casualties resulting from cleaning of septic tanks. The meagre sum of money they are paid, the unjustified extents of health hazards they are exposed to, the social ostracisation their families are resigned to, all combine to reinforce the need to understand how inhuman and violative this occupation is, and how allowing it to continue is a failure of state and society at many levels. There are largely two aspects to this predicament: the human aspect and the technical/functional aspect. As far as the human aspect of it goes, it is reflective of the social dilemma pertaining to tolerance and acceptance for certain things that clearly place some humans well below others. Engendering from the caste system of yesteryears, the carry-over of some of its most objectionable practices to this day is manual scavenging. The life of manual scavengers is of stigma and exclusion. They remain at the fringe of society, only to become involved for what they do professionally– and without adequate returns and compensation. They are the modern-day untouchables because of the progress that a 72-year-old rising India has failed to make. Investing in technology to replace humans in such occupations ought to be an urgent priority. There cannot be any big things done on a larger scale for the nation without getting the smaller things done right.last_img read more

Bizman abduction bid foiled 1 cop hurt during gun battle

first_imgGurugram: Brazen incident of street crime again on display in Gururgam when three to four assailants fired gunshots at the police patrol party after their adduction bid of a businessman was foiled by the policemen.The incident resulted in 47-year-old Jaiveer deputed on the post of special police official (SPO) sustaining three to four gun wounds in his stomach and neck. He is admitted in a private hospital where the is said to be in a stable condition. On Sunday evening the Gururgam police achieved a major breakthrough when they arrested one of the gang members identified as Anshul who was involved in the crime. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe entire incident transpired at around 11:15 pm on Saturday night when a local businessman identified as Rahul Pahuja was moving in his Jaguar car. All of a sudden he was forced to stop by three to four men who were travelling in Toyota Innova. They blocked Rahul’s way and forcefully made him come out after one of the unidentified people brandished his gun at the businessman. They then forced him into the Innova. Knowing that he was being Kidnapped Rahul began shouting for help which alerted the police patrolling party. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsUnderstanding that they were being followed by the police patrolling party the kidnapers first tried to run away by speeding their SUV. However, realising that it was not proving to be fruitful they began firing gunshots at the policemen. The exchange of gunshots resulted in 47-year-old Jaiveer sustaining severe injuries on his neck and stomach. Even though injured Jaiveer was critically injured he and his team ensured that not only did the criminals leave their vehicle but also could succeed in their attempt of kidnapping Rahul Pahuja. Jaiveer who belong from Charkhi Dadri district of Haryana was working with Gurugram police for last two years. He is presently receiving treatment in a private multi-speciality hospital in Gurugram where his condition is said to be stable. “It was a brave attempt by Jaiveer that prevented a major crime taking place. Leading from the front he received gun injuries on his neck and stomach. Even though the doctors have been removing bullets from his body, he is been kept under observation at present,” said a senior police official from Gurugram police. Incidents of encounter and criminals targetting Gurugram police in the act is not a new phenomenon. Recently a court pronounced six people ten-year-imprisonment after they were convicted of abducting a serving SHO of Sector 29 and robbing valuables from him.last_img read more

Raiding RBI reserves shows govts desperation ExGuv D Subbarao

first_imgMumbai: Raiding the reserves of the central bank only illustrates the “desperation” of a government, and we should be very wary and careful while determining the value of the excess reserves, warned former governor D Subbarao on Friday. The career bureaucrat-turned-central banker said he would be “ok” if a sovereign bond issue in foreign currency is done once just to test the waters, but cautioned against using the instrument regularly. “A government trying to raid the balance sheet of a central bank anywhere in the world is not a good thing. It shows that the government is desperate, he said, speaking at a CFA Society India event here. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalIn defence of his opposition to the desperate attempts to carve out the reserves, the former governor, who was at the helm during the 2008 global meltdown,said the risks undertaken by the RBI are different from other central banks and it will not be entirely beneficial to draw from international practices. The comments from Subbarao come at a time when the Bimal Jalan committee is reported to be in the final stages of finalising its report on identifying the appropriate capital for the RBI and how to transfer the excess to the government. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostAcknowledging that transfer of the excess reserves was one of the key causes of tension between the RBI and Government in the run up to Governor Urjit Patels resignation, Subbarao seemed to suggest that there is little use of the transfers from a fund inflow perspective. He said international investors look at balance sheets of both the government and also its central bank, and that the same applies to distress time lending by the IMF as well. “… I do want to say that we should be very careful, very wary of what decision is ultimately taken on the transfer of the surplus reserves, he said. Many analysts have pegged the so called excess reserves at around Rs 9 trillion, or around 27 per cent of its core capital, and say the Jalan panel may suggest a staggered payout in the range of Rs 1.5 trillion to Rs 3 trillion over a period of three years. He advocated maintaining the autonomy of the RBI as essential because of its horizons extend far beyond the immediate objective of elections which a government can be guided by. Meanwhile, in a departure from his predecessor Y V Reddy and successor Raghuram Rajan, Subbarao said it will be “ok” for the government to test the waters with an overseas bond issue. “I would say that as a one-time measure, just to test the waters, its ok, he said.last_img read more

Khattars brides from Kashmir remark hurts entire nation Mamata

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday criticised her Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar’s remark on Kashmiri girls and said people holding high office should refrain from making insensitive comments about the people of Jammu and Kashmir.Without naming Khattar, Banerjee in a tweet said, “We, and more so people holding high public office, must restrain ourselves from making insensitive comments about the beloved people of Jammu and Kashmir. These are hurtful, not only for J&K, but the entire nation.” Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHer comments come in the backdrop of Khattar’s recent statement that people from Haryana “could now get brides from Kashmir” apparently in reference to the scrapping of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution. Meanwhile, the Congress demanded the immediate dismissal of Khattar as Haryana CM and an FIR against him over the controversial remark, with party leader Rahul Gandhi claiming his comments reflect what RSS training does to the mind of a “weak, insecure and pathetic man”. Khattar hit back at Gandhi saying “weak, insecure and pathetic” are adjectives that people use for the Congress president as he accused him of “manufacturing statements”. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”Dear Rahul Gandhi ji, at least at your level, you shouldn’t react on distorted news. I’m attaching the video of what I actually said, and In what context – this will give you clarity of mind,” Khattar said on Twitter and also attached his complete speech to explain the context in which he was speaking. Gandhi, in a tweet, had earlier said, “Haryana CM, Khattar’s comment on Kashmiri women is despicable and shows what years of RSS training does to the mind of a weak, insecure and pathetic man. Women are not assets to be owned by men.”last_img read more

Noah Centineo bids adieu to his Peter Kavinsky from To All the

first_imgLos Angeles: Noah Centineo, who tasted success with Netflix’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”, has shot for the final film in the teenage rom-com series and said goodbye to his on-screen avatar, Peter Kavinsky. The 23-year-old actor took to Twitter on Saturday to share the news, saying he would always be grateful for starring in the films. “Tonight was my last night as Peter Kavinsky. I hope you all love these last installments as much as we do. Forever grateful for the opportunity to be yours. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “Thank you Lana, thank you Michael, Thank you Matt, Thank you Netflix, grateful to every person who told this story with us,” Centineo wrote. Condor, who plays the female lead Lara Jean in the ‘TATB’ films, replied to her on-screen love interest, saying “You’ll always be my Peter K & I’ll always be your Lara Jean, that I can promise you.” Centineo’s tweet came two days after the streaming service announced a third film in the franchise, “To All The Boys: Always And Forever Lara Jean”, which is already in production. Netflix also revealed that the 2018 film’s upcoming sequel, titled “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You”, will debut on its platform on February 12, 2020. “To All The Boys”, which started streaming on Netflix from August 17, went on to become a massive hit and saw breakout performances by Condor and Centineo.last_img read more

Journalists in Kashmir hardpressed due to restrictions on internet mobile services

first_imgSrinagar: With no internet and mobile services in Kashmir for over 40 days now, journalists in the Valley have been hard-pressed as a make-shift media centre set up here by the government continues to be the only connection for many with the rest of the world.The restrictions were imposed across Kashmir on the evening of August 4 a day before the Centre announced the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Even though landline phones have been restored early this month, mobile services and internet – on any platform – remain snapped. Harried journalists are now demanding that the government should at least restore broadband connections of media houses. We have minimal contact with our head office. We are often outside our offices here for assignments or something else and it is difficult for the head office or even our family to reach us in the absence of mobile phone services, Irfan Ahmad, a senior photojournalist, said. Another local journalist, Mudasir, who works for a daily newspaper, said information gathering has suffered due to the communication restrictions. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KWe often do not know what is happening in the city and information from other districts is hard to come by. We have to rely on official versions of the events or incidents. Reaching officials or sources especially in the other districts is very difficult, he said. During the first few days after the restrictions were imposed, the journalists could not file any stories except for the TV reports using the channels’ outdoor broadcast vans here. In the absence of any medium to send the news-reports across the country or outside, some journalists would send their reports on pen drives through flyers at the airport. The flyers would then contact the offices of the media houses which would collect the drives from him. Most media organisations, especially TV channels, sent journalists from Delhi to the Valley as their reporters were incommunicado. Around a week later, the state government’s Department of Information and Public Relations set up a ‘Media Facilitation Centre’ at a conference hall of a local hotel here. Four computers and a lone cell phone were available to cater to hundreds of journalists both local as well as from outside the state. “One often had to wait for more than half-an-hour to get a (computer) system. Then the speed was so irritating that the email would take ages to open, Firdous Ahmad, a local journalist, told PTI. Journalists have to register themselves before making a call from the cell phone and more often than not, the waiting period would stretch for hours because of the rush. We have to write down our names on a register before making a call and then wait for our turn, Ahmad said. PTIlast_img read more

Bloc Quebecois members meet to discuss partys future amid leadership crisis

first_imgDRUMMONVILLE, – The Bloc Quebecois’ embattled leader fended off a challenge from her rivals on Sunday as party members adopted her timeline for an early June confidence vote.The two-day vote on Martine Ouellet’s leadership will begin June 1, along with a referendum on whether the Bloc should focus on promoting Quebec independence on a daily basis.It will be decided on a 50 per cent plus one basis with the result announced June 3.That proposal was challenged at Sunday’s party meeting by 42 riding associations, who had suggested a mid-May confidence vote with no referendum.They also proposed that Ouellet should have to obtain 75 per cent of the vote to stay on as leader.Tensions were running high on Sunday morning as about 200 Bloc Quebecois members gathered for a meeting in Drummondville, Que., as the party seeks to turn the page on a crisis that has shaken the party over the last two months.Seven of the party’s 10 MPs resigned in February, citing Ouellet’s leadership and her political priorities.The MPs who stepped down accused Ouellet of constantly zeroing in on independence instead of defending Quebec’s interests on the federal scene.Ouellet has refused to resign despite criticism of her leadership style, which some have described as controlling and uncompromising.Instead, the 49-year-old former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister has reiterated her belief that the crisis stems from an internal disagreement over what the Bloc’s vision should be.In a speech on Sunday, Ouellet accused the seven dissident MPs of promoting “fake news” against her and breaking with the party’s “internal democracy.“I can tell you that it isn’t easy to live when you hear invented stories in the media, falsehoods that are repeated ad nauseum,” she said“At that moment, they caused a distraction and you saw the debate focused on my personality, my leadership style.”She also accused the dissenters of perpetuating U.S.-style politics and chided them for criticizing her focus on independence.“For the resigners, to make a public debate to say they find their leader talks too much of independence — the leader of a separatist party — it’s not very chic, it’s a little embarrassing,” she said.But she ended with a call for unity, extending a hand to those who left because Quebec independence “is more important than our personal egos.”She also called on delegates to reconfirm the Bloc Quebecois’ mission as a promoter of independence.last_img read more

Sister of teacher who died in La Loche shooting returns to work

first_imgThe sister of one of the victims in a northern Saskatchewan school shooting has been working with youth in the community where her brother was killed to make sure their voices are heard.Caitlin Wood’s older brother, Adam Wood, was one of four people killed when a young man opened fire at a home and school in La Loche, Sask., in January 2016.A major theme in the wake of the shooting was a lack of support and opportunity for young people in the north.Driven by how fondly her outdoors-loving brother spoke about the community, Wood recently returned to La Loche as part of her master’s work at Ryerson University to interview young people about what they thought would make things better.“What (media) were saying about this community didn’t line up with what my brother had spoken about the community,” said Wood, 32.“When these things are being said on behalf of the community it was like from outsiders, it wasn’t from insiders and it was never from youth representatives, even though youth were in the school when that happened.”The project asked participants what was good about their life, what made them strong, what needs to change and what should childhood look like.The 11 participants, between the ages of 13 and 19, took photographs or drew pictures to respond to the questions and then Wood interviewed them.In response to the question “what is your life like?” a participant named Harry said that he was thinking of starting a restaurant.“Because, in this community, after that (school) shooting, after that tragedy, it felt a little sad, and I want to make this community happy again,” he said.Emily offered picture of a road, saying they needed to be fixed “because they become obstacles in obtaining necessary health and emergency services.”Wood’s project was recently profiled in the Saskatchewan children’s advocate’s annual report. Advocate Corey O’Soup said he was inspired by Wood’s work.“Caitlin’s work was just an example of how something positive can come out of something so negative,” he said. “She’s truly amazing to be able to do that and to go back into the community where tragedy struck her family.”La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre said the community is still grieving more than two years after the shooting and needs a lot of help.“We’ve got a lot of people that are dealing with the traumatic event that occurred and we’ve got staff that are there that are still dealing with it … that haven’t coped with it yet,” he said.Wood, who now works at Ryerson, said the project taught her the importance of listening to youth.“We need to figure out ways to talk to them and we bring in their insights into everything that we’re planning,” Wood said.“Otherwise we’re not going to meet their needs, we’re going to fail every time and so I think that’s absolutely vital.”— Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitterlast_img read more