Group photos of mostly new recruits of banned terror group Hizbul Mujahideen have gone viral on the social media in Jammu and Kashmir. The photos alarmed the security establishment in the state, particularly because it had recently compiled a list of nearly three dozen missing young men, who were feared to have joined militant ranks. Sources said all the men posing in the photos, wearing military outfit and brandishing kalashnikovs, are Kashmiri, signaled a dangerous threat to the Valley. The authenticity of the photographs is yet to be verified but it has certainly worried the government authorities. The photos have come to light at a time when security in Jammu and Kashmir has been beefed up following reports of militants planning to target the ongoing Amarnath Yatra. According to reports, the Indian Army has launched Operation Shiva comprising 7,500 jawans to provide security to Amarnath pilgrims following an Intelligence Bureau reports of terror threat. The Amarnath Yatra has been on the radar of terrorist groups for long and every year there is an intelligence alert ahead of the pilgrimage. Sources said intelligence agencies have received inputs regarding Hizbul Mujahideen looking to carry out terror strikes during the 59-day long Amarnath Yatra. Jammu and Kashmir Police had recently blamed Hizbul Mujahideen for attacks on the telecom sector in Sopore which killed three people and injured many others. An unknown militant group 'Lashkar-e-Islam' had earlier issued warnings to phone companies to shut their operations and the landlords to dismantle mobile phone towers erected on their properties. It had blamed the telecommunication network in the state for facilitating arrest and killings of militants. However, officials had then said that the attacks were carried out by Hizbul Mujahideen and the terror unit was using Lashkar-e-Islam's name to confuse the security agencies.
Chief Minister of the youngest state in India, Telangana – Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao aka KCR, who uses a chopper for his tours in the state will now tour in a 5 Crore Mercedes Benz bus. A bullet-proof Mercedes Benz bus has been purchased for Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for his tours of Telangana. The cost to the state is five Crores. The bus was brought this morning from Chandigarh to Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana. It will be managed by the state transport corporation. The bus is fitted with state-of-the-art technology and can withstand any type of attack. According to a Times Now report, it has an inbuilt bedroom, rest-room, a small meeting hall, internet and stairs to the rooftop of the vehicle. Rao has been primarily using a helicopter for his tours in the state - be it for site inspections, launch of programs or lying of foundation stones. The 'vanity' bus drew sharp criticism from the opposition on Friday, who termed it as a waste of money. "KCR is spending lot of money on a bulletproof bus to tour the state...before the election also he had toured the state. Why does he need a bus, that too worth five crores? The money should have been used to help the poor in the state," said senior Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao. However, the TRS is condemning the comments and claimed them as rumors. "Our Chief Minister will also be travelling in a state road transport corporation bus just like the common people of the state," a spokesperson in the Chief Minister's office told media. "It is not really a luxury bus. It doesn't even have a bed inside. It only has 12 seats for staff from the Chief Minister's Office to travel with him and hold meetings while on the move," he said. “The Chief Minister - KCR as he is popularly known- reportedly said he did not want a bedroom on-board, opting instead to use the space for a work area. The bus has easy stair access from within the roof so the Chief Minister can make public appearances”. He is expected to use the bus for the first time from tomorrow as he launches a tour to start a massive tree plantation drive
Earlier, there used to be a dictator called King Jong Un, who killed people doesn’t sing for him. There are many others in Indian history as well who embraces the tyranny. Now, is Delhi witnessing another dictator in making? Even after completing 100 days in Power, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has shown no progress in fulfilling his promises, which he made during the election time. While Delhi lists as the most polluted city in the world, the Aam Aadmi Party founder is enjoying in Air Conditioners. He is not bothered even if the power bill reaches six digits. Getting vexed with the leader’s behavior, a rebel member of Arvind Kejriwal's party conducted a press conference to share his criticism on the CM. However, he was left without any electricity in his office seconds before he began a press conference. Pankaj Pushkar, one of the 67 legislators from Mr Kejriwal's party in the 70-seat Delhi Assembly, alleged that the power cut for his office was orchestrated to impede his interaction with reporters. He did not, however, hold back on a litany of complaints. "The ethos of the party is in serious danger", he said, adding that he was forced to voice his concerns publicly after being refused an appointment by Mr Kejriwal and his deputy, Manish Sisodia, for over a month. That could be because Mr Pushkar is part of a rebel faction within the Aam Aadmi Party headed by leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, who have accused Mr Kejriwal of expunging dissent - including theirs - from all party fora. In evidence of his claim that the Aam Aadmi Party has deviated wildly from its commitment of providing down-to-earth, frills-free and transparent governance, Mr Pushkar referenced a television ad for the Delhi government that has aired to much criticism, not least because of its sexist depiction of its housewife protagonist. The ad, which played in heavy rotation, was also slammed for sneaking around a Supreme Court ban on politicians featuring in publicly-funded promotions for the government -the ad does not show Mr Kejriwal but mentions him with uninhibited frequency. Today, the opposition said that Mr kejriwal's government has budgeted a massive 500 core rupees for government advertising and promotion over the next year, as compared to Rs. 23 crores last year. As evidence of his claim that the AAP now functions exactly like the traditional parties it has criticized, Mr Pushkar cited an electricity bill of nearly a lakh for the Chief Minister's residence for the last two months. AAP has said the bulk of the costs were incurred for sections that are used by Mr Kejriwal as an at-home office space.
On the sidelines of Digital Media, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched on 1st July, MyGov, a Government of India platform to connect to citizens, hosted an informal interaction with a few selected individuals. Active contributors to MyGov and other social media influencers, were handpicked for this event. They were granted an interaction with Narendra Modi at his official residence at 7 Race Course Road, from 12.00pm to 1.30pm. We talked to some of the invitees to find out what happened behind closed doors. About 150 such individuals from all around the country were present for this once in a lifetime opportunity. The Prime Minister met each and everyone invited. Modi personally greeted everyone, shook hands and felicitated winners of the MyGov contest. He even posed for photos with each person individually, but there were no selfies, since mobile phones were not allowed. Modi even recognized some of the prominent social media users, like Temsutula Imsong, who is doing great work cleaning up the Ghats in Varanasi. Imsong recalled that Modi had mentioned her in a tweet on 1st April 2015, for her work in Varanasi. She remembered how when her friends told her about this, she thought it was an April fool prank. But after that, she received tremendous help from people in her work. Modi too spoke at length to all the participants. He asked his social media supporters to not use abusive language on Twitter and other social media. He stressed on speaking about “positive things in a positive manner”. He gave his own example, saying he receives loads of abusive messages all day on Social Media. “If all the abuses I receive are printed on a paper, entire premises of Taj Mahal will be covered”, he said, but he stressed that in spite of this, he hasn’t blocked anyone on twitter. Hence, he said, no matter what others do, his supporters should try to say positive things.
Lalit gate is refusing to settle down and it is getting murkier than everybody thought. Now that, BJP parliamentarian Varun Gandhi is dragged into this raging controversy involving former IPL boss Lalit Modi, after the ex-cricket administrator alleged that the Sultanpur MP offered him a deal to “settle everything” in the Congress with Sonia Gandhi. “He wanted me to meet her sister from Italy. I heard him next I heard from our common friend who introduced us that Auntie wants 60 million dollars,” he tweeted. “The auntie he refers to is #soniagandhi (sic). The sister is #soniagandhi sister - just for clarity.” The BJP also rejected the allegations"Varun Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are in different parties and the world knows about the ties between the two families,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said. "Please mr @varungandhi80 - let the world know what you told about what auntie wants - witness is our good friend world renowned astrologer,” tweeted Lalit. Another front of controversy has opened when the fugitive former IPL chief Lalit Modi had offered a job to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s advocate husband Swaraj Kaushal. Kaushal, who has for years been one of Lalit Modi's lawyers, later refused the offer. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “There is now clear material to show that Lalit Modi offered a job to close relative of Foreign Minister.” Singhvi said, “You are having on one hand deafening silence and on the other casual clean chits. This can't go. People of India want an answer.” "Is there any minister in Narendra Modi's cabinet whose immediate relative was offered a job in a company owned by Lalit Modi? Can a cabinet minister's relative be involved in a commercial transaction or have pecuniary interests with persons or businesses that are subject matter of that particular ministry? Should such disclosures not be made in public interest?" asked AAP leader Raghav Chadha. By Premji
Auditor CAG has pointed out many discrepancies in the implementation of the social welfare schemes, including mid-day meal (MDM) and pulled up the Delhi government, for its failure to obtain fund utilisation certificates from the institutions. "There were delays in obtaining utilisation certificates (UCs) from various grantee institutions for the grants released to them. Out of a total of 5,235 grants amounting to Rs 26,434.30 crore, which was given till March 2013, 4,784 UCs amounting to Rs 19,064.02 crore were awaited from various departments at the end of March 2014. Out of 4,784 outstanding UCs, 2,267 UCs (47.39%) amounting to Rs 5,651.17 crore were due for more than 10 years," the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said in its report. "Also, out of 2,102 samples of cooked meals, a total of 1,876 samples (89%) failed tests for nutritive value during 2010-14. The enrolment, attendance and retention of children in schools could not be enhanced," said the auditor’s report. The CAG also points out with much concern that large balances amounting to Rs 1,151.65 crore as on March 31, 2014 were outstanding under "suspense heads". In 2009-10, the balance under this head was Rs 101.02 crore, it rose to Rs 158.81 crore in 2010-11 and went up further in 2011-12 to Rs 215.62 crore. In 2012-13 it was Rs 273.78 crore and it suddenly shot to Rs 1,151.65 crore in 2013-14. "These are recorded initially under the 'suspense heads' which are required to be reviewed at short intervals so as to ensure that no item remains unadjusted longer than is reasonably necessary," the CAG noted. CAG had referred to the working of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation and said that it did not formulate a perspective plan for tourism promotion in the city despite 39 years of its formation (1975). Tourist inflow in Delhi as a whole has registered an increase of 108%, whereas it increased only by 30% in the tourist spots owned by the Company during 2009-14, it said. "Vacant craft and food stalls and non-holding of cultural events on a regular basis at the Dilli Haats, led to declining footfall and consequent inadequate exposition of Indian Art and Crafts, Culture and Cuisine." By Premji
The Amarnath Yatra began today and all the state’s health minister seems to be caring about is lab coats! An image showing Jammu and Kashmir health minister Chaudhary Lal Singh ‘fixing’ the collar of a woman doctor’s lab coat is going viral on social media platforms. The image is drawing sharp criticism from social media users with people expressing their displeasure over the minister’s ‘inappropriate’ behavior. It appears that Singh is pretty obsessed with lab coats of doctors since this is the second time that he has courted controversy involving a lab coat. Just two weeks after he took oath in February, the minister had allegedly yelled at a woman doctor for not wearing her lab coat in the hospital. The doctor had filed a complaint against him, accusing him of ”mental harassment amounting to outraging modesty”. ”He snapped his fingers at me and said: ‘Tumhara Kaam Ho gaya, chalo niklo bahar’,” the doctor said in her complaint. The doctor said she informed the minister that at times psychiatrists don’t wear their coats even in hospital wards, so as to make their patients feel comfortable around them. But, she alleged, the minister shouted at her and said, “Who has invited you here?” The image in question was taken when the minister had gone to a government hospital in Lakhanpur to check preparedness for the Amarnath pilgrimage. Mr Singh reportedly saw the doctor and told her that her collar was not in place. Then he proceeded to fix it.
Greece's last-minute overtures to international creditors for financial aid, were not enough to save the country from becoming the first developed economy to default on a loan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF confirmed that Greece had not made its scheduled loan repayment of 1.6 billion euro to the fund. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that it will report this to the global lender's board that Greece is "in arrears," the official euphemism for default. The after effect will be that the Indian corporate may face higher borrowing cost in the overseas market in the short-run, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has said. "India's direct exposure to Greece through external trade is minuscule. A contagion effect may lead to a 'risk off' scenario, increased volatility and capital flight. The biggest single-day debt outflow from the Indian market was $2 billion on September 17, 2008, post Lehman's collapse," it said. Indian firms have raised foreign capital to the tune of $13.4 billion in 2014-15 and the cost of such borrowing may now go up. Ind-Ra expects increased global market volatility to weigh on the rupee in the near-term. Greece's bailout program has ended on yesterday, the country has failed to make a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) repayment to the International Monetary Fund. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has called a referendum and has shut down the banks for a week and imposed a daily ATM withdrawal limit of 60 euros. Finance secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has said that the economic crisis in Greece may trigger capital outflows from India and the government is in consultation with the RBI to deal with the situation. By Premji
A palace in Dholpur now being run as a luxury hotel is legitimately owned by the family of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, her party said today, as the Congress said the property has been misappropriated for a firm she co-owns with tainted cricket mogul Lalit Modi. The Congress, which has been for weeks demanding Ms Raje's resignation over her proximity to Mr Modi, today cited a 1949 agreement which said the palace was acquired by the government but allowed Ms Raje's father-in-law, the Maharaja of Dholpur, the personal use of the mansion for his lifetime. It is not an asset of the Raje family, the party's Jairam Ramesh alleged. The Dholpur palace, located about 40 km from Agra, is worth about 300 crores, the BJP has said, which is why Mr Modi invested nearly 13 crores between 2007 and 2008 in what was then a loss-making firm owned by Ms Raje's son, Dushyant, a parliamentarian. The BJP says that the Congress is distorting history. It says that in the 1950s, the Dholkpur palace was given back by the government to the former Maharaja in exchange for another building taken from him. In 2007, the BJP says, the palace was legally transferred from Ms Raje's former husband, Hemant Singh, to her son. If the ownership of the palace was not clear, why, the BJP asks, did the Congress government in Rajasthan pay Ms Raje's son nearly two crores in 2010 to use a part of the property for the passage of a major new highway. "Was the Congress government so inefficient that it mistakenly paid Dushyant Singh?" asked the BJP's Nalin Kohli. But the Congress says that that the 2007 agreement between Ms Raje's husband and son transferred "moveable objects" within the palace - and not the actual building - to Dushyant Singh.
Is Chennai Metro intended for Middle Class and Upper Middle Class of Tamil Nadu? The charges says yes. The Southern state which commenced its services from Monday is charging whopping amount from its commuters. The Government of India have approved the Chennai Metro Rail project on 28-1-2009. SIGNING OF LOAN AGREEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN: The estimated base cost of this project is about Rs.14000 Crores. Of this, the Central and State Governments together are expected to contribute about 41%. Being the state’s biggest infrastructure project, Chennai Metro is trying to recoup the money from the public. The Metro commute charges of Rs 40 for a 10-km distance tells us the same story. With the charges (or Penalties?), now Chennai Metro becomes the most expensive in among the cities that have the metro facility in India. Compare to bus charges, the charges for metro are very high. This forces the lower middle class and poor to opt for the existing bus services. But those who support the metro debates that given the comfort of the service, the fares are cheap. Also people reach in time reach the destinations in fresh mind is their version. Apart from that Projects like Chennai Metro are providing much needed public transportation, good paying jobs and gender equality. The first train was steered by A Preeti, a young woman holding an engineering diploma. "We are proud that nearly 25 to 30 of the working staff - the train operators, station controllers, maintainers of signaling telecom and track - are young engineering graduate women who have been recruited through competitive exam and they have been doing a wonderful job," Systems and Operations Director Narasim Prasad told media. One have to spend a minimum of Rs 10 to step in to the metro. Chennai Metro covers the 10km stretch between Alandur and Koyambedu in 19 minutes approximately. The distance encompasses seven stations.
India mulls towards abolishing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises gay liaisons and the legalisation of same-sex marriages may be considered, Union law minister DV Sadananda Gowda said. “The mood appears to be in favour of it. But it can be done only after widespread consultations and taking all views into account,” Gowda said. Gowda was speaking in the context of the US Supreme Court's historic verdict in the last week that has legalised the same-sex unions and the positive reception it got on the social media in India. While referring to a private member’s bill on the rights of transgender people, Gowda said, “That bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha and everyone supported it. If that bill is passed by the Lok Sabha and becomes an act, Section 377 will become irrelevant.” Tiruchi Siva of the DMK, who has moved the bill, said, “The bill does not talk about Section 377 or anything other than the rights of Transgenders. I am always optimistic that rights of others will also get due importance." The minister's interpretation of the legislation on transgenders, appears to be somewhat off the mark. Tiruchi Siva told that he had limited his Bill to just the educational, economic, employment and health rights of transgenders." Siva's Bill was taken forward by three Lok Sabha members with varied political leanings, Shobha Karandlaje of BJP, NK Premachandran of Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Baijayant Panda of Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Karandlaje and Premachandran said the issue of Section 377 and gay rights are not on their radar. By Premji
The Information Commission of Himachal Pradesh has directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) to disclose the information on the Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s land deal in Shimla, which is sought under the Right to Information Act. After hearing the appeal of RTI activist Devashish Bhatacharya, the Information Commission directed the Public Information Officer to provide the information in 10 days’ time. “He (Devashish) wanted details of the properties that have been bought by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the past few years. They had given an RTI application, which had been allowed by the ADM, Shimla, but had been set aside by the DC Shimla and said that the information cannot be provided,” said K.D. Batish, Information Commissioner, Himachal Pradesh. “Against that, Devashish had approached the Commission. After listening to both the parties, we decided that this information is in the public interest and the information regarding the properties should be provided within 10 days,” he added. “The decision has been given by the learned State Commission. So, we will see whether we have to prefer an appeal or writ petition against the said order or not. So, I will be able to tell you any further information after I have the discussion with my client,” Priyanka Gandhi’s advocate Gautam Sood said. A notice in this regard has been issued to the DC of Shimla and the ADM asking why they should not be penalized as they tried to obstruct the information. The next date for hearing has been set as July 23. Priyanka Vadra, 43, has previously wrote to the state government through her lawyers, that the information should be kept confidential due to security reasons.