Union Cabinet has given its nod to NDA government's flagship smart city project, but no city of Maharashtra has yet been included in the program as the Centre's guidelines are awaited for it, an official said. "Till now, no city has been included in the smart cities scheme. We have to first shortlist cities for the scheme in the first phase. They will then need to compete with other cities to get selected," the official in the state Urban Development department has said. "However, states cannot shortlist their cities until the Centre issues guidelines pertaining to the criteria of a smart city. We are still waiting for the guidelines and expecting them to be issued soon," he said. "Decent living option to every resident and offering sustainable economic and employment opportunity to a wide section of its residents would be the main focus of smart city," he said. "At the beginning, the Centre may put a cap of 2 - 3 smart cities per state," the official said. "The cities will have to compete on several parameters to become eligible. The parameters are likely to be vision, progress under 'Swachh Bharat Mission', payments of salaries to municipal staff on time, information and grievance Redressal mechanisms, self-financing abilities of the cities, service level and track record in implementing reforms," he added. A total of 100 cities will be selected for the project through a ‘Smart City Challenge’ competition. The visionary program is appreciated and is expected to develop India as the best place to live in. The smart cities will have all the facilities including electronic connectivity, which will make the city with all facilities at the finger tip. By Premji
There were reports that Saudi Arabia has taken a “strategic decision” to acquire “off-the-shelf” nuclear arms from its close ally Pakistan. The government of Pakistan has rejected the reports as “baseless” any such move to sell atomic weapons. Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalillulah said “Pakistan’s nuclear program is purely for its own legitimate self-defense and for maintaining a credible minimum deterrence”. “Pakistan’s nuclear program is meant for its security and there is a strong command and control system over it. Pakistan is aware of its responsibilities as a nuclear state,” Khalillulah said. “All parties to the NPT have the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. This right has been granted to them by the Treaty. It is, therefore, not for me to comment on that”, he added. “There has been an entirely baseless and mischievous campaign in the international media regarding Pakistan’s indigenous nuclear program,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah. “The Sunday Times story appears to be part of that malevolent campaign and is utterly unfounded,” foreign office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah added. Pakistan has expressed concerns over the shelling from Yemen on Najran, a city in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen. “About 15,000 Pakistanis are living in Najran. We have requested the Saudi authorities to ensure their safety and they have assured us that all possible measures will be taken in this regard,” he added. Rebuffing the report as mere “speculation”, a Saudi defense ministry official, said such reports were not new. “I don’t understand what the story is. This has been in the news for 18 years and will continue to be for the next 15 years.” By Premji
In a gruesome incident, a 25-year old girl severely injured in an acid attack in Bhopal city of Madhya Pradesh on Friday while the accused killed himself immediately after committing the crime. The victim was suffered with 50% burns after a middle aged stalker threw acid on her early on Friday. She is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in the city. Police said the accused, identified as Sanjay Patil, 47, stabbed himself with a knife at the incident spot after the victim was rushed to trauma centre. But, nature of injury points to foul play and raise questions on the suicide theory. The incident took place within just 80 feet from a local police station. The victim said she knew the accused for the past five-six years and lately he had started irritating her. Meanwhile, victim's mother Minu said had police initiated action, the incident wouldn't have happened. According to police, when they arrived at the crime scene, they saw Patil lying dead on the ground. Police said the family had twice registered complaints against Patil. Patil's autopsy report is awaited. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited the private hospital where the acid attack victim is being treated and assured the family of all help. The state government will bear all medical expenses of the victim, the CM said.
A recent research conducted by global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft advises on the threat of a terror attack in almost any urban setting around the world, has put 64 cities across the world at extreme risk of an attack. Baghdad, which has survived 380 terror attacks topped the list, making it the world's highest risk urban centre, followed by Mosul, Al Ramadi, Ba’qubah, Kirkuk and Al Hillah. The research was done, based on the intensity and frequency of attacks that have taken place in these cities in the last 12 months up to March 2015 and is combined with the long-term record of attacks in the previous five years. According to the analysis of the terror risk to 1,300 commercial hubs and urban centres around the world, populations and businesses in 113 Indian cities are also identified with some risk of high, medium or low risk of facing terrorist attacks. Two Indian cities - Imphal (ranked 32) and Srinagar (ranked 49) are being named as "extreme risk" of a terrorist attack, mainly aiming to cause mass casualty and destroy public transport networks. The third Indian city that faces a terrorist threat is Chennai, but has been marked as medium risk. Bangalore is the fourth placed at 204th in the global threat list and is followed by Pune and Hyderabad at 206th and 207th respectively. Cities like Nagpur (ranked 210) and Kolkata (212) have been found to face a higher risk of a mass attack by terrorists than the usually expected targets like Delhi (447) and Mumbai (298). Verisk Maplecroft Charlotte Ingham said, "Just because a city in India hasn't seen a terrorist attack in a while does not mean it isn't potentially facing one. The rankings are based on the frequency and intensity of attacks." "The risk level in Paris is representative of a wider trend for Western countries, including Belgium, Canada and Australia, where the level of risk in key urban centres is substantially higher than elsewhere in the country, in part due to the significant PR value attached to such high profile targets by militant Islamist groups," the study found. By Premji
Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah on Friday accepted the resignation of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam and invited AIADMK leader J.Jayalaltihaa to form the ministry at the earliest, a Raj Bhavan statement said. In two different statements issued, Raj Bhavan said Rosaiah accepted the resignation of O. Panneerselvam and his council of ministers. Panneerselvam steps down as Tamil Nadu CM "The Governor has requested the Chief Minister and his present council of ministers to function until alternative arrangements are made," the statement said. Rosaiah has also invited AIADMK general secretary and the leader of legislature party Jayalalithaa to form the ministry at the earliest. Rosaiah also requested Jayalalithaa to send the list of people to be appointed as ministers with their portfolios. It was a day of fast paced political development on the expected lines within in the ruling party since morning. At 7 am, the lawmakers of AIADMK at their meeting the party headquarters elected Jayalalithaa as the leader of the legislature party. Panneerselvam proposing Jayalalithaa's name as the leader of the legislature party, much to the clapping of all the law makers, also said he would resign as chief minister and leader of legislature party. "It was a short meeting mainly to elect Amma (Jayalalithaa) as the AIADMK's legislature party leader," a party leader told IANS. It is also expected that Jayalalithaa would be sworn in as the chief minister on Saturday, according to party sources. Party cadres in large numbers assembled at the AIADMK headquarters here since early Friday morning. Later in the day, Jayalalithaa would offer floral tributes at the party founder late M.G. Ramachandran's (MGR) statue, DMK founder late C.N. Annadurai's and Dravidar Kazhagam founder late E.V. Ramaswamy's statue here. Jayalalithaa had to leave the position of chief minister and assembly seat (Srirangam constituency) after she was convicted and given a four-year jail term along with Rs.100 crore fine by a trial court in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case. The Karnataka High Court upheld her appeal against the conviction and acquitted her recently. On May 17, P. Vetrivel, a party legislator representing Radhakrishnan Nagar assembly constituency, resigned from his post and the same was accepted by the speaker. It is expected that Jayalalithaa would contest for re-election from Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency. With Vetrivel's resignation, the AIADMK's strength in the 234-member Assembly comes down by one to 150, excluding the speaker.
Geelani, who is a pro-Pakistan Hurriyat leader, had applied for a passport to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia. Many political parties have supported Geelani and urged the government to issue him a passport on "humanitarian grounds", while some others opposed any such move by the Centre. Geelan a known baiter of India and a staunch supporter of Pakistan is a shameless man to apply for an Indian passport while he tells that he is not an Indian. This eunuch traitor was not having any dignity while taking help from the India forces during the floods in Jammu and Kashmir. "We have seen media reports of Syed Ali Geelani's passport application. An incomplete passport application was received from him. Fees were not paid and the biometric details and photographs not submitted," Spokesperson in MEA Vikas Swarup said. "Passport is the right of every Indian citizen and is issued by the Ministry of External Affairs after following due process. In case any applicant applies for the passport, he should fulfil all the formalities before his case is processed. As and when the matter is referred to the Ministry of Home Affairs, we will process the case on merit," a Home Ministry spokesperson said. PDP said that it will approach the Central government for issuing a passport to Geelani on "humanitarian" grounds, while BJP said, he should not be given the travel document till he "apologises" for his anti-national activities. Defense minister Manohar Parrikar said ,“Geelani should declare he is an Indian to get a passport. If he wants to apply for a passport, he will have to fill the form and declare he is Indian." By Premji
India is aimed at intelligence-backed "targeted kills" against terrorists in J&K while militarily is dominating in the Line of Control with Pakistan, which has forced a 30% drop in cross-border ceasefire violations as well as infiltration bids. "The situation is pretty much under control. Our proactive attitude is to identify terrorists and then effectively neutralise them. Every case is handled firmly with clear-cut intelligence for targeted killings, ensuring minimal, if any, collateral damage," defense minister Manohar Parrikar said. Parrikar clarified that "terrorists should be neutralised by terrorists" or "kante se kanta nikalna (remove a thorn with a thorn)" and he did not mean covert operations being undertaken by "our own people". "Many terrorists are drawn into terrorism because of financial allurements, they are paid money for it. If such people are there, why not use them? What is the harm is using terrorists against terrorists? Why should our soldiers be in the front?", he said. The Army has been asked to undertake surgical strikes against terrorists, rather than conducting random operations. The Army has neutralised 110 terrorists in 2014, the highest such tally in the last four years. While talking about Pakistan’s dubious attitude, the defense minister said "the situation actually depends on how we react to it", India's "very firm" response to cross-border firing and abetment to terrorism is paying dividends. As per defense ministry figures, there has been a decline of 32% in Pakistan-initiated ceasefire violations and a decrease of 28% in "successful infiltrations" since the Modi government came to office in May last year. After the takeover of the new government, Pakistan is very much concerned about the retaliation it may get if they try any misadventure. During cease fire violations the India Army gave a befitting reply and the Pakistan Army was forced to wave white flags. By Premji
Thorak’s “Walking Horses” which are standing with 16 feet high and 33 feet long, once guarded Hitler’s New Reich Chancellery in Berlin, on either side of the stairs to the building. During World War II, they were relocated and in the 1950s, they were seen on a Red Army barracks’ sports grounds in Eberswalde, a town northeast of Berlin in the communist German Democratic Republic, according to Agence France-Presse. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the horses went missing. Speculations were that, they were sold by the GDR. Police recently started investigating when they learned someone was trying to sell them in the black market. “Thorak worked on statues intended to represent the folk-life of Germany under Nazi coordination; these works tended to be heroic in scale, up to 65 feet,” according to Holland’s German Art Gallery.” notorious Nazi Albert Speer referred to the sculptor named Josef Thorak in Germany as ‘more or less my sculptor.'” One of Thorak’s works has been unearthed in a black-market raid. German police discovered two massive bronze Thorak sculptures, dubbed as “Walking Horses,” during an investigation targeting eight suspects in an illegal art trafficking ring, Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf told. The dealers wanted some $5.6 million for the statues. The sculptures showed signs of the battle they had been through. They are painted gold to mask the bullet holes.Police raided homes in Berlin, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, seizing several other pieces of Nazi-era art, including a massive granite relief by German sculptor Arno Breker depicting muscled, shirtless fighters wielding swords in what police called “typical Nazi style.” By Premji
A 33-year-old woman in the US faces up to 25 years in prison for pleading guilty to pushing an Indian man to death in front of a subway train in 2012. Erika Menendez, a resident of Queens, pleaded guilty here before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak for shoving Sunando Sen, 46, to death as the subway train entered the station on the night of December 27, 2012. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Menendez had admitted committing “what is every subway commuter’s worst nightmare - being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train.” He said Sen was shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself. Lasak has indicated he would sentence her to between 22 and 25 years in prison on April 29. According to the criminal complaint, Menendez was observed talking to herself and pacing back and forth on the subway platform around 8 pm. Sen was on the platform waiting for the train’s arrival when suddenly Menendez approached him from behind and shoved him onto the tracks as the train came into the station. Sen was struck by the train and died of multiple blunt force trauma. Menendez had later told authorities that her hatred for “Hindus and Muslims” prompted her to push Sen off the subway platform. She had also said that even though the attack on Sen was too sudden, he had still tried to save himself briefly before he fell onto the tracks. Sen, an immigrant from India had lived in Queens for years and had opened his own printing and copying business near Columbia University.
In an attempt to practise using highways for emergency landings, an IAF Mirage 2000 jet successfully test landed on the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. According to IAF, the aircraft made a practise approach on the highway, coming down to a height of 100 metres before landing off the next approach. "The operations were conducted with active support from the government of Uttar Pradesh, Yamuna Expressway Authority, toll authorities of JP Infratech and Civil Police," IAF said. The IAF has plans to activate more such stretches on highways in the future. At present, countries such as Germany, Poland, Sweden, South Korea, Taiwan, Finland, Switzerland, Poland, Singapore, Czechoslovakia and Pakistan have dedicated stretches on their expressways and highways for airplanes to land and take off in case of an emergency. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) is set to build a two-km long special stretch on the upcoming Agra-Lucknow expressway for the landing and takeoff of Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter and cargo planes in case of an emergency. At present, the width of the six-lane expressway is 110 meter, which can be expanded to eight lanes in future based on requirements. Already four townships and two big agricultural mandis are planned along the expressway. About 8,500 acres of land will be required for the entire expressway out of which more than 7,000 acres or 85% has already been acquired. The construction work is being carried out simultaneously at fiveplaces—Lucknow, Unnao, Firozabad, Kannauj and Agra. The expressway is being built by five different developers — PNC Infratech (Agra-Firozabad), Afcons Infrastructure (Firozabad-Etawah), NagarjunaConstruction Company (Etawah-Kannauj), Afcons Infrastructure (Kannauj-Unnao) and L&T (Unnao-Lucknow).
When got chunk of money, he can push that ordinary to the expensive for no reason, except that someone is willing to pay more than the deserved rather than it is worth for. This is the culture followed across the world, with riches of every terrain following the same ideology to make their vicinity an expensive lawn. However, no exception for this billionaire of India, Mr. Mukesh Ambani, the top boss of Reliance Industries (RIL) has paid a whopping amount of Rs 1.6 crore as the highest registration fee for his armoured BMW 7-Series. The amount was received by Tardeo RTO of Mumbai, and was quoted as the highest until date as received by any of the transport offices in the city. The armoured flagship sedan BMW costs Rs 8 crore, and as per the rules 20% of the vehicle cost amounts to registration fees. However, the armoured 7-Series in Germany is pegged at Rs 2 crore, but due to import duties and other taxations the price plunges by 300%. Technically speaking, the armoured vehicles need special attention and some additional amendments, which with the lack of those provision such vehicles aren’t manufactured in India, and they are imported from international markets. At Rs 1.6 Crore, Mukesh Ambani's BMW 7-Series Is RTO's Costliest Registration Hence, the cost of this vehicle is raised exorbitantly, as they say some alterations are made inside out taking the safety concerns of Mukesh Ambani into the account.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on how there was a time when people felt a sense of shame at being born in India have triggered a fierce debate on social media over whether he had insulted India abroad or simply spoken the bitter truth. Now, the government has hit back sharply at the Congress' criticism of these remarks. Speaking to NDTV on The TownHall, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had a question for the Congress. "Did you forget about India's image abroad when the United States of America denied Narendra Modi a visa? Did you protest even once? Did you stand up even once for an elected Chief Minister of India?" she asked Congress leader and former minister Sachin Pilot who was debating her on the same programme. Mr Pilot argued back, saying, "It's unbecoming of the Prime Minister to carry domestic politics to foreign soils. When he travels abroad, he is my Prime Minister too, isnt he?" "He can say what he wants to in Patna or Delhi, no problem," Mr Pilot said, adding that outside India, no one should present the image of the country as "a fractured nation". Ms Sitharaman accused the Congress of doublespeak and hypocrisy. "When 63 MPs, yours among them wrote to US senators to block Modi's visa, where was your worry for India's image abroad?" When Mr Pilot retorted that Mr Modi should direct his question on visas to US President Barack Obama and asked "Why do you want to be his best friend now?", Ms Sitharaman said, "Very lame, very lame response, expected better from Sachin. On the other hand the shameless Congress has decided to defame the ruling BJP with 24 press conferences across the country, as it builds a counter-campaign against the Narendra Modi government, which is planning a mega celebration to mark one year in office. From now till May 26, the first anniversary of the Modi government being sworn in, the opposition party plans 100 pressers where party spokespersons will attempt to discredit the BJP-led coalition government at the Centre. Today's 24 pressers will see Congress leaders travel to cities like Chennai, where Milind Deora will speak, and Srinagar where veteran Shakeel Ahmed will attack the central government. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has set the pace for the Congress offensive ever since he returned from a two-month sabbatical abroad. In a new, aggressive avatar, the 44-year-old, billed to take over as Congress chief soon, has launched almost daily attacks on the BJP and particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Tuesday, as the PM was flying home after a three-nation tour, the Congress' Kapil Sibal criticised him for his remarks in speeches he made in China and South Korea. The Prime Minister had said in Seoul, South Korea, "There was a time when people used to say we don't know what sins we committed in our past life that we were born in Hindustan. Is this any country, is this any government...we will leave. There was a time when people used to leave, businessmen used to say we can't do business here. These people are ready to come back. The mood has changed." He had made similar comments in Shanghai, and has faced a backlash on social media. "We are really pained over the remarks as no leader in independent India has ever made such a statement", Mr Sibal, a former Union Minister said yesterday, also criticising the PM's decision to grant the facility of e-visas to Chinese tourists. The anniversary that the BJP is celebrating also marks a year of the Congress' worst performance in national elections ever. It was reduced to a humiliating 44 seats in Parliament, a number that does not even qualify it for a Leader of Opposition. In assembly elections held since, the party has lost states that it ruled for years and Mr Gandhi's recent efforts are seen as attempts to pull his party out of the morass.