Bihar is a state well-known for the civil servants it produces and for its rich cuisine which is crossing the state's boundaries and becoming one of the most mouth-watering delicacies across India.Bihari cuisine is not born out of experiments, but is a food genre giving people's taste buds an ever tantalising experience. The cuisine is predominantly vegetarian as the traditional Bihari society is influenced by Hindu and Buddhist norms which included abstaining from eggs and other animal products such as chicken and fish.Bihari cuisine, classified into many genres, consists of traditional dishes, vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties, breads, appetisers, saag and fast food variants and sweet dishes. Some of the most tantalising dishes include Kadhi Bari, Khichdi, Ghugni, Pittha, Sattu, Dhuska and Litti in the traditional variety; Kafta, Bharwan Karela, Veg Korma, Paalak and Shahi paneer in the vegetarian variety, Mutton Biryani, Chicken Tandoori and Bihari Kebabs in the non-vegetarian category; Daal puri, Makuni and Makai ki roti in the variety of breads; Jhal Murhi, Tarua and Kachori as appetisers; Munga Saag, Kalmi Saag, Gandhari Saag and Koinar Saag in the saag variety; Chokha, Bajka; Bhurta and Bhunjia are some the most famous fast food varieties; and Khaja, Tilkut, Malpua, Parwal ki Mithai, Balushai and Anarasa are some of the most exotic Bihari sweet dishes.Following is a list of 15 famous must haves. Litti Chokha, a dish baked and prepared from wheat-gram flour, filled with a mixture of gram flour, spices and lemon served with chokha, mashed mixture of tomatoes and baked brinjals.Bihar is a state known for its sweet tooth! Khajuria, is a sweet dish prepared on every occasion in a Bihari household. The dish is prepared by mixing wheat with jaggery, moulded and deep fried. Khaja, a wafery, deep fried sweet snack is prepared with flour and sugar and dipped into sugar syrup after frying. Khurma is also an addition to this genre.If you haven't tasted a Malpua, you probably do not know what sweet dishes are! Malpua is a sweet dish that every true blue Bihari swears by. The dish is prepared from a batter of flour, milk, sugar and mashed bananas, cooked in a manner that leaves the edges crispy and the middle soft. Daal puri is no puri is a Dussehra special and is prepared by stuffing Bengal gram into yummy puris.Balushai, the little desi doughnuts are prepared from gram flour and buttermilk. You would be surprised to know that Pedakiya belongs to Bihar. Pedakiya or the popularly known Gujiya is a preparation of Khoya, grated coconut and suji, often made during Teej festival.One really marvels at the amount of sweetmeats a Bihari household prepares as the next two are iconic Bihari sweets. Kala Jamun, yes it is a dish from the Bihari kitchen and is prepared with sugar, spice and everything nice such as khoya, paneer and milk. Who would think that vegetables can be used to prepare sweets. But Parwal Ki Mithai, pointed gourd filled with khoya, with a sweet and salty flavour, is afamous sweetmeat from the state.Dal Pitha is Bihar's answer to the dumpling rage. Kneaded rice flour balls are stuffed with Bengal gram paste and then steamed. While a lot of Bengal gram is used for stuffing purposes, Chana Ghugni uses it the other way round making Bengal gram mixed with lemon syrup, tomatoes and onions perfect for a Sunday brunch.A hearty meal ends with desserts, so does the rich Bihari cuisine. Laktho is an innovative snack prepared from rice flour, kneaded, deep fried and then soaked into a thick jaggery mixture. Not the least is kheer makhana, (also known as foxnut), is a different version of kheer, with the foxnut lending it a sweet salty flavour.
A lawyers body today criticised retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju saying he has lowered the dignity of the judiciary by levelling false allegation against three ex-Chief Justices of India that they made improper compromises under political pressure in the confirmation of additional judge of Madras High Court.It is surprising that Justice Katju made these false allegations after so many years and even after the death of concerned judge, senior advocate Adish C Aggarwala, Chairman of All India Bar Association, said.Intelligence Bureau reports have not been accepted in so many appointments of High Court and Supreme Court judges. If the said High Court judge was corrupt, then it was obligatory on Justice Katju as chief justice of Madras High Court to seek at least his transfer if not his impeachment, he said.The AIBA Chairman said that it is not appropriate for a retired judge and chairperson of Press Council of India to lower down the dignity of judiciary.If these allegations would have been made by some other person, he would have been convicted under the Contempt of Court Act, Aggarwala added.
The Reserve Bank today said the FII limit for investment in government securities has been increased by USD 5 billion within the total cap of USD 30 billion.The central bank said the limit has been enhanced by reducing the investment limit for long term investors from USD 10 billion to USD 5 billion.It has been decided to enhance the investment limit in Government securities available to FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors)/QFIs (Qualified Foreign Investor)/FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) by USD 5 billion by correspondingly reducing the amount available to long-term investor from USD 10 billion to USD 5 billion within the overall limit of USD 30 billion, an RBI notification said.Long-term investors include sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), multilateral agencies, pension, insurance funds and foreign central banks registered with Sebi.Earlier this year, the limit for long-term investors for investment in government securities was raised from USD 5 billion to USD 10 billion within the total limit of USD 30 billion available to them.The RBI, however, said the increment investment limit of USD 5 billion shall be required to be put in government bonds with a minimum residual maturity of three years.It further said all future investment against the limit vacated, when the current investment by an FII/QFI/FPI runs off either through sale or redemption shall, also be required to be made in Government bonds with a minimum residual maturity of three years.There will be no lock-in period and FIIs/QFIs/FPIs shall be free to sell the securities to the domestic investors, the notification said.
India, by the virtue of being the previous hosts, will lead the parade, featuring more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories, during the opening ceremony of the 20th Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park here tonight.The team will parade on the basis of region as spectators will be shown videos of the work that UNICEF is doing in that part of the Commonwealth.At the end of the parade, which will feature current host, Team Scotland, athletes and team officials will be seated on the field of play, in the centre of the live show, directed by David Zolkwer, BBC reported.Queen Elizabeth will formally open the Games in front of a 40,000 crowd at Celtic Park. The competitions will begin tomorrow, and organisers said a global TV audience of close to a billion is likely to tune in to watch the event.A total of 17 sports will take place in 11 days of competition beginning tomorrow and it will culminate in a closing ceremony which will be held at Hampden Stadium on August 3.
India has quitely rescued another batch of 58 nurses from conflict zones in Iraq and was making all efforts to secure the release of 39 construction workers being held captive by Sunni militants ISIS in the oil-rich Gulf country.The Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said the 58 nurses were brought out of the conflict zone in extremely difficult circumstances through land route.Another 58 nurses have been brought out of the zone of conflict in extremely difficult circumstances but very quitely through land routes and they have come back, he said.He said the nurses were rescued with aid and assistance of our friends in Iraq but refused to share further details.Earlier, India had rescued 46 nurses from Tikrit.He said a total of 150 Indians were in conflict zones in the country and besides the 39 Indians in captivity and some others in small numbers, most of the Indian citizens were rescued.We will not be able to share further information of what is happening in zone of conflict as it impedes our operational ability there, he said.He said government was committed to ensuring that every Indian in difficulty is brought back and noted it was working at all levels.There were about 10,000 Indians in Iraq before the start of the serious strife between government troops and Sunni militants backed by al Qaeda. With MEA facilitating the departures, it is estimated that there are about 6,500 Indians left in non-conflict zones. Most of these Indians are in Kurdistan and Basra.
Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down in rebel-held eastern regions, the countrys defence ministry said Wednesday.We have information about the downed fighter jets; now we are investigating the circumstances of the incident, Alexei Dmitrashkovsky, a spokesman for the ministry, told reporters.Dmitrashkovsky later wrote on his Facebook page that the pilots of the jets had parachuted, but their whereabouts remained yet unknown, according to Xinhua.The incident came less than a week after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, killing all 298 people on board.The restive Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine are now under the control of insurgents, who are demanding independence from Kiev.
Incensed over reports that Shiv Sena MPs allegedly forced a fasting Muslim worker to eat in the Maharashtra Sadan here, several opposition parties today wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan demanding an inquiry into the incident.We would request you to uphold the dignity of the House by ordering an inquiry and also direct the government for an immediate inquiry and appropriate action so that such wanton behaviour is no longer repeated, they said in a letter to the Speaker.When asked, Congress Chief Whip K C Venugopal said the letter has been sent to the Speaker.Sources said besides the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, NCP leader Tariq Anwar, Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav (RJD), P Karunakaran (CPI-M), N K Premachandran (RSP), E T Muhammad Basheer (IUML) and Jose K Mani (Kerala Congress-M) are signatories to the letter.In their letter, the MPs said the incident turns much controversial and inhuman as the victim of this barbaric act is a Muslim who is fasting during Ramzan.The opposition MPs said they attempted to raise the issue in the House as it brings indignity to the position of parliamentarians and the House itself.The government was sadly defending the act by being silent and ignoring our requests for discussing this issue. We are of the opinion that the reply given by the Speaker is insufficient considering the severity of the issue and sentiments of the minority community being already hurt across the nation, the letter said.Earlier in the day, the government dismissed the allegations as unsubstantiated and said they need to be verified first lest they raise communal passions.The issue was raised in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by opposition members who demanded action against the Shiv Sena MPs who vociferously denied the reports.Senior BJP leader L K Advani disapproved of the alleged action of Shiv Sena MPs.This is wrong, he told reporters when asked to comment on the incident which allegedly took place last week.
Foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are to meet in Islamabad Aug 25, in a major forward movement in reviving stalled peace talks two months after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.The date and venue of the talks was decided Wednesday during a telephonic talk between Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and her Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad, said external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin at a briefing here.Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif, during their talks here May 27, a day after the swearing in ceremony of the Indian prime minister, agreed to re-start foreign secretary level talks that have been stalled since the firing incidents on the Line of Control.During her talk with her Pakistani counterpart, Sujatha Singh raised the issue of firing on the Line of Control in which an Indian soldier was killed Tuesday. She told Aizaz Ahmed that such incidents would act as impediments to the peace process. According to the spokesperson, the Indian foreign secretary said that it would be difficult to hold meaningful dialogue alongside the sound of bullets being fired on the border and that peace and tranquility on the LoC is one of the most important Confidence Building Measures, the spokesperson added.
The Supreme Court today commenced the crucial hearing to examine the power of the Union and states to grant remission for releasing convicts whose death sentences are commuted to life term with the Centre asserting that the rights of the victims cannot be overlooked.The issue of remission reached the apex court after the Tamil Nadu government took a decision to remit the sentences of all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, a day after the apex court commuted their death sentence to life imprisonment.Briefly going into the background, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha wanted to fix the time-frame of two whole working days for completing the hearing on the matter but Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar cautioned by saying that it cannot be done in a hurry as several important issues have to be addressed.There are seven questions referred to the Constitution Bench. It will take a long time as important questions have to be decided. The very question, whether there is a right to claim remission, is important, he submitted before the bench, also comprising justices J S Khehar, J Chelameswar, A K Sikri and Rohinton Nariman.The Solicitor General said the Constitution Bench will also have to decide that on commutation of death sentence to life term whether life imprisonment meant jail term for rest of the life or a convict has a right to claim remission after 14 years of prison.He said another question that needs to be determined is the need to look into the rights of the victims.Whether there is a right of victims at any stage while death penalty is taken into consideration for hearing of commuting into life imprisonment or whether the State can without referring to the victims decide on remission, Kumar said.The hearing commenced in the background of the interim order of the apex court which on July 9 restrained all states from exercising power of remission for releasing convicts from jail who are serving life sentence and sought their response whether the Centres nod was needed for the purpose in cases prosecuted by central agencies like CBI.However, after serving of the notices, responses are yet to come from several states while some have placed the policy followed by them on the issue, the Solicitor General said.The bench had also made it clear that there was need for a categorical response whether in CBI cases, states have any role on the question of remission to life convicts.The issue of remission was referred to the Constitution Bench after the Centre had challenged the Tamil Nadu governments decision to remit the sentences of all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.The court had on February 20 stayed the state governments decision to release three convicts--Murugan, Santhan and Arivu-- whose death sentence was commuted to life term by it on February 18 in the case.It had later on also stayed release of four other convicts Nalini, Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran in the case, saying there were procedural lapses on the part of the state government.Today Tamil Nadu has exercised power (of remission). Tomorrow other states would also, Kumar had submitted while reading out the April 25 order of the apex court when the matter was referred to the Constitution Bench by framing the issues that need to be deliberated.The Solicitor General had said in the cases filed by the CBI or other central agencies, the Central Government is the appropriate authority to take such calls. The bench had also made it clear that it would not go beyond the questions which were framed in the Reference.However, during the brief hearing, the bench had also posed a question to the Centre about how the writ petition was maintainable in the case in hand.How is the writ petition maintainable? You have to file a written submission on the question of maintainability, it said.The Jayalalithaa government had on February 19 decided to set free all the seven convicts who have been in jail for 23 years for their role in Rajiv Gandhis assassination on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbudur.The apex court had referred the case to the Constitution Bench saying this issue has been raised for the first time before the court and an authoritative pronouncement is required on the matter which could have wide ramifications.Accordingly, we refer this matter to the Constitution Bench to decide the issue pertaining to whether once power of remission under Article 72(by the President) or 161 (by Governor) or by this Court exercising Constitutional power under Article 32 is exercised, is there any scope for further consideration for remission by the executive, it had said.It had said that the Constitution Bench will also decide whether the sentence of a prisoner, whose death penalty has been commuted to life, can be remitted by government.The Constitution Bench will also take a call on whether life imprisonment meant jail term for rest of the life or a convict has a right to claim remission.Another issue it will deal with is whether a special category of sentence may be made for cases where death penalty might be substituted by the punishment of imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term in excess of fourteen years and to put that category beyond application of remission.It will also decide whether the Union or the State has primacy over the subject matter enlisted in concurrent list of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution for exercise of power of remission.
Sports Ministry today expressed shock and outrage over the incident of two Sikh players being asked to remove their turbans at the recently-concluded Fiba Asia Cup in China and sought details from the BFI, which has already taken up the matter with the international body.We have written to them and are awaiting their response. Once we get the response, we will act accordingly, a Basketball Federation of India spokesperson told PTI.Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the ministry has asked the IOC to issue necessary instructions to international sports federations, so that such incidents are not repeated.We are shocked and outraged. Wearing a turban does not affect fair play and has not been objected to in international sports championships. Therefore, the latest incident has surprised and shocked us. We have spoken to BFI and sought a detailed report from them, Sonowal said in a release.We have also asked International Olympic Committee to issue necessary guidelines/instructions to international sports federations so that such incidents do not take place again. Our Government respects all religion and will do everything to ensure that their sentiments do not get hurt, he added.Two Sikh players -- Amritpal Singh and Amjyot Singh -- were stopped from entering the court minutes before India were to open their campaign against Japan on July 12 at Fiba Asia Cup in Wuhan and were asked to remove their turbans.The officials of the International Basketball Federation told the players that they were not allowed to play with their turbans on as it was in violation of the rules.There is a Annual General Assembly of the FIBA Asia at Doha tomorrow and BFI senior vice-president K Govindraj will be attending the meeting and would be taking up the matter with them. And from there on, we will be going forward, the BFI spokesperson said.The two players initially did not figure in the starting five and it was only after they removed their turbans, that they were they allowed to play in the first quarter.Both of them were forced to play the remaining six games of the tournament without wearing their turbans.According to Article 4.4.2 of Fibas rules, it states: 1. Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players; 2. Headgear, hair accessories and jewellery are not permitted.Amjyot, who is an integral part of the Indian team, said such instructions were never issues before.It was very humiliating for us when we were asked to remove our turbans. We have always played with our turbans on and even during the practice, said Amjyot.While Amritpal added: Every time if we are asked to remove the turbans, it would be an insult to our religion.The incident has provoked strong reactions from the sporting fraternity with legendary athlete Milkha Singh terming it as a serious matter.I regret it. It should not have happened. Wherever in the world I have competed during my career, I always wore the turban. And even all the hockey players or any other Sikh player in any other discipline, always wear a turban.This is a serious matter. If they had any doubt, they should have checked their turbans with an instrument. I think the BFI should take up the matter with the international body, said Milkha.Indian Olympic Association vice-president, Tarlochan Singh also expressed anguish over the incident.This is shocking. This should not have happened because all over the world there is no ban on any head gear. Only in boxing, they dont allow anyone to go into the ring with anything on their head.But in basketball there have never been any ban. I think there is some lack of knowledge at the local level. The BFI should write to the Indian Olympic Association and it in turn should write to the international basketball, as this should not be repeated. This is totally uncalled for, he said.The Indian ambassador in China should also take notice of it and this mistake should be pointed out to them immediately, Tarlochan insisted.
CBI has made only nine arrests in the 268 anti-corruption cases registered this year while 87 arrests were made in 2013 in 649 such cases, Lok Sabha was informed today.The data was presented by Minister of Personnel, Jitendra Singh who said till May 31, 2014, CBI has arrested nine people in cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act.The Minister said in 2011, CBI had registered 600 cases under the Act in which 143 arrests were made, 703 cases were registered in 2012 with 132 arrests being made, 649 cases were registered in 2013 with 87 arrests.The data given by the Minister in a written reply, shows CBI had arrested a person in every fifth anti-corruption case in 2011 while in 2012 arrest was made in every sixth case and in 2013 arrests were made in every eighth case.In 2014, a sharp decline has been witnessed with an arrest being made in every 30th anti-corruption case registered by the agency.The Minister said in 2011, CBI could manage conviction of 533 persons in anti-corruption cases where in 2012 the figures were 163, 1136 convictions were secured in 2013 and in 2014 by May 31, 407 persons were convicted in anti-graft cases registered by the agency.In a separate response, the Minister said the agencys rate of conviction has marginally gone up with 69.65 per cent in 2014 whereas in 2011 and 2012 it remained 67 per cent and in 2013 it was 68.62 per cent.There are 1122 cases pending with CBI for investigation as on May 31, 2014. Out of 1122 cases, 11 cases are pending with CBI for investigation for more then three years, Singh said in his response.CBI has filed only closure report in 268 corruption cases registered by it in 2014. The agency has filed charge sheet in 19 cases this year.In 2011, out of 600 cases registered by the agency, 445 charge sheets and 43 closure reports were filed by it. In 2012, out of 703 cases registered 457 charges sheets and 46 closure reports were filed.In 2013, 649 cases were registered out of which 252 resulted in charge sheets and 18 in closure.No was the reply of the Minister to a question seeking to know whether ratio of filing closure reports have been high over the years.The minister also refused to respond to a question whether CBI maintains a list of Undesirable Contact Men saying information sought for being secret in nature, cannot be disclosed in public interest.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today announced setting up of five new government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) at a cost of Rs.40.04 crore to make the youth employable by providing vocational education.Making a suo moto statement in the state assembly, she said in tune with her governments Vision 2023 document that has set growth targets, ten new ITIs were launched last year.I am happy to announce five new ITIs at Manigandam (Tiruchirappalli District), Chinna Salem (Villupuram), Kadayanallur (Tirunelveli), Kattumannarkoil (Cuddalore) and Udumalaipettai (Tirupur), she said.Also, work on constructing own buildings for women ITIs at Cuddalore and Karur was in progress.Similarly, new buildings will be constructed at the Namakkal ITI for Women at a cost of Rs.2.50 crore to house classroom, office room and library, she informed.
Bollywoods gorgeous on screen pair Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif-starrer Bang Bang teaser was unveiled Wednesday and has blown away Bollywood celebrities. They have tagged it as smouldering hot and smashing.Directed by Siddharth Anand, Bang Bang is produced by Fox Star Studios and is being touted as the biggest action-romance of the year.Shot in Prague, Phuket, Greece, US and Indian cities like Shimla, Manali, Delhi and Mumbai, the film with guns, explosions and death-defying action stunts will hit the screens on Gandhi Jayanti, which falls on Oct 2.As a film, Bang Bang has turned out amazing. Big canvas, great emotion and chemistry and outstanding action! The teaser gives a glimpse of the film and we are proud to present the biggest action-romance entertainer of the year, Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios, said in a statement.Anand says that Hrithik and Katrina are two of the most gorgeous people in the film industry.This is Hrithiks biggest action film that he has done to date and they simply look awesome with each other, he said.And friends from the film fraternity agree too. Heres what they tweeted: Priyanka Chopra: Love the teaser of Bang Bang!! Katrina @iHrithik and Siddharth anand!! Killing it!!! (sic).Neha Dhupia: #bangbangteaser lookin bangin hot ! @iHrithik #BangBang #KatrinaArjun Kapoor: @iHrithik wish I cld list the words I have used in 60secs...F**K what a teaser #BangBangSujoy Ghosh: Just saw the BANG BANG teaser. so proud of siddharth anand .. aap bhi dekho if you havent already..Parineeti Chopra: What an amazinggggg teaser!!! Beacause youre Happyy tananananana @iHrithikTusshar ?Kapoor: Awesome trailer @iHrithik! All the pain, patience & perseverance behind the perfection seems to have paid off & it shows with a huge banggg!Dia Mirza: Smouldering hot. These two can set anything afire. This TEASER is BANGING! #bangbangteaser @iHrithik jaw on the floor. No no. Leave it be;)Karan Malhotra: @iHrithik WHAT A BLOODY TEASER!!!!! BANG BANG IS GOING TO ROCK!!!!!!!!Karan Johar: No this is what you call a TEASE!!!! #BangBang The mind is blown!!!!!Abhishek Bachchan: What a great teaser for #BangBang loved it! Well done bro braz @iHrithik , Katrina, Sid.Abhishek Kapoor: Smashing trailer of #bangbang. Raised the bar once again @iHrithikSonam Kapoor: Why are they so good looking!! @iHrithik This is too hot!Sanjay Gupta: Shot at a fraction of KNIGHT AND DAYs budget, BANG BANG looks even better than the original. Well done FOX India.Riteish Deshmukh: Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang OutBANGintastic - Mummy ki eye teaser @iHrithik.
Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali compares Priyanka Chopra with Million Dollar Baby star Hilary Swank insisting that only Barfi star could pull of the title role in Mary Kom, a biopic on Olympic bronze medallist and five-time World Champion M.C. Mary Kom.Sports drama Million Dollar Baby was the story of a waitress determination to become a boxing champ and Swank played the protagonist in the film, which did so well that it took home four golden statuettes.Mary Kom is a very special film and no one other than Priyanka could have pulled off the role, Bhansali told reporters at the trailer launch of Mary Kom.Priyanka is an atom bomb and power packed talent. Her dedication, passion, and commitment toward her work is commendable. If Hollywood has Hillary Swank, we have Priyanka Chopra.Bhansali also compared Priyankas talent with Nutan and Waheeda Rehman saying she is in the same league. Bhansali feels Mary Kom was destined to happen.If a film has to happen, it will happen. For this film, we had no meetings or readings. Omung was in the lift and told me he wants to make a film on Mary Kom and I said yes then and there. So, I feel the film was meant to happen, he said.Directed by Omung Kumar and co-produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions, the movie will release Sep 5.
Despite star shuttler Saina Nehwals last-minute pull-out, India will look to maintain their impressive run when they begin their campaign with a clash against minnows Ghana in the mixed team event of the 20th Commonwealth Games here tomorrow.India had won two gold, one silver and one bronze in 2010 and this time again they would look to repeat their performance even though they suffered a jolt with the late withdrawal of Saina due to injury.P Kashyap and P V Sindhu are expected to be among medals in mens and womens singles repectively while the womens doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa would be raring to go to defend the gold they won in 2010.The Indian team has been considerably weakened due to the absence of Saina but it will still be in the reckoning for a medal in the combined mixed team event.The badminton competitions at the Glasgow Games begin with mixed team event at the Emirates Arena and India has been placed in Pool B along with Ghana, Kenya and Uganda and it should not be a problem to top the group and make it to the knock-out round.The Indian team is raring to go and they have left behind the disappointment of Sainas pulling out.The players are upbeat, they are training well and ready. We hope to do very well and maintain our level, team manager Tej Pal Singh Puri said.About tomorrows match against Ghana and Kenya, Puri said, We should be able to top our group and make it to the quarterfinals.The group winner of the six pools and the two best runners-up teams will make it to the quarterfinals.We won silver last time but we cannot say anything now about our performance in the knock-out phase. There will be a draw after the preliminary rounds and we will know who plays whom in the knock-out phase, he added.India has a strong chance to win at least a medal in the mens singles after the pulling out of world number one Lee Chong Wei.
Several political parties In Maharashtra today slammed as unpardonable and uncultured the alleged act of Shiv Sena MPs forcing a Muslim catering supervisor to break his Ramzan fast at Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi.This is unpardonable. This is vigilante justice. Is this what we are going to see in the next five years, Former Union Minister Milind Deora said.Congress ally NCP also reacted strongly, condemning the Sena MPs behaviour and demanding their arrest.Union home minister should ensure that a criminal case is lodged and the guilty arrested, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.The goondagiri of Sena is nothing new. Their MPs and legislators behave in this manner, Malik said, adding if they dont get good food, they should complain to the concerned committee, or approach the Lok Sabha Speaker or bring in a privilege motion, he added.But forcing a Muslim to break his roza shows their utter disregard for religious sentiments, he said. Maharashtra Unit of the Samajwadi Party also criticised the incident.For the first time I am at a loss of words to comment on their behaviour towards muslims. These uncultured MPs should be given strict punishment and taught how to conduct themselves in public as they are now elected representatives, SPs Maharashtra President Abu Azmi said.He added that Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray should conduct training camps for his MPs.Uddhav Thackeray should conduct a training camp for his MPs where they should be taught that they are not in their villages anymore. They have no regard for law and are destroying the image of politicians in front of the public. They do not deserve to be MPs, he said.Bala Nandgaonkar of MNS said it was wrong for the Sena MPs to force a Muslim to break his fast.I am not completely aware of the incident. But if they did force a muslim to break his fast, it is very wrong. One should make sure that people of all religions are respected, he said.There was outrage after videos emerged of a Shiv Sena MP allegedly thrusting chapati into the mouth of a catering worker over being served poor quality food last week.
Bloodbath in Gaza continued unabated today with Israel and Hamas refusing to back down in the conflict that has killed about 650 Palestinians and 31 Israelis, even as US Secretary of State John Kerry held hectic parleys in Jerusalem to broker a ceasefire.Several international airlines today halted flights to Israel indefinitely, citing security concerns after a rocket from Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip landed near Israels biggest airport, Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.Kerry flew into Tel Aviv from Cairo despite US warnings over airline safety and held hectic parleys in Jerusalem, also meeting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. We have certainly made some steps forward, but there is still work to be done, Kerry said.Kerry, during his whirlwind tour of the region, will also meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.On US President Barack Obamas direction, Kerry yesterday held talks with Egyptian and Arab League officials in Cairo to push for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Ban also voiced guarded hope for ending the violence, as efforts to broker a truce in the the 16-day conflict hastened.We are now joining our forces in strength to make a ceasefire as soon as possible, but there is still some detailed way which we have to make, he said. We do not have much time to wait and lose, Ban said after speaking with Netanyahu in the morning.The Israeli military said it hit more than 187 targets overnight, most of them in Shajaia, a neighborhood east of Gaza City near the border with Israel. The IDF said Hamas uses the residential area as a fortress for its weapons, rockets, tunnels and command centers.The death toll mounted as neither side showed any sign of backing down. Palestinian health officials said at least 649 Palestinians had been killed and 4,040 wounded. Some 70 to 80 per cent of them are civilians, according to the UN.Twenty-nine Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have also been killed in the conflict.United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said more than 118,300 Palestinians have now taken refuge in its shelters. It says 43 per cent of Gaza has been affected by evacuation warnings or declared no-go zones.In the latest incident, Israeli tank fire killed five people, including two children, in southern Gaza. Also, a foreign worker in southern Israel died after being hit by a mortar round fired from the Gaza Strip, police said.In Geneva, UN rights chief Navi Pillay said Israels military actions in the Gaza Strip could amount to war crimes, while also condemning indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas.There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes, Pillay told an emergency session on Israels Gaza offensive at the UN Human Rights Council.Netanyahu sought Kerrys help in restoring American commercial flights to Israel that had been cancelled amid ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza, Ynet reported.The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had yesterday told US carriers to cancel all flights to Israel for 24 hours after a Palestinian rocket struck near Ben-Gurion International Airport.Hamas armed wing had last week warned international airlines to stop flying to Israel, threatening to target the airport, but did not deter them from flying to the Jewish state till yesterday.Over 80 flights, American and European, have been cancelled since the FAA orders were issued yesterday. Israel heavily depends on revenues generated from inbound tourists and such moves can potentially have a very damaging impact on its tourism sector.Israels national carrier El Al has added additional flights to build confidence and make up for the cancelled flights, but a large number of Israelis are still stranded en route to the Jewish state after their flights were diverted and are now grounded in cities from Berlin to Istanbul.New Yorks former Jewish Mayor Michael Bloomberg has urged the FAA to reverse course and permit US airlines to fly to Israel. Bloomberg will himself fly on an El Al flight to Tel Aviv in an act of solidarity with the Israeli people and to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel.The US flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an underserved victory and should be lifted immediately, he said.Delta was the first carrier to halt flights to and from Israel after diverting a flight carrying 273 passengers bound for Ben Gurion airport to Paris. It was followed by Americas Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - which has halted all US flights to and from Israel - Air France and Dutch airline KLM.
A Shiv Sena MP was caught on a video footage apparently force-feeding a fasting Muslim employee in the New Maharashtra Sadan here sparking outrage and a huge uproar in Parliament today amid demands for action against its MPs involved in the incident and calls to avoid giving communal tinge.As the unsavoury episode escalated into a major controversy, sources in the Sadan, which is the guesthouse of the Maharashtra government, said it was a fall out of a group of Shiv Sena MPs being allegedly upset over the quality of food served there.Claiming there was no one to take note of their complaint, the MPs then allegedly barged into the canteen and questioned an employee of the caterer observing Roza and who was identified as Arshad Zubair.Watched by his party colleagues, Rajan Vichare in a fit of rage tried to thrust a roti in the mouth of the employee during the incident that was reported to have happened last week. The shaken employee, who had his name tag on his shirt, appeared to plead to the MP not to do this to him.Vichare, who initially claimed that he did not do anything as made out after the footage was aired on TV channels, later said he regretted the incident. I did not know the persons name, caste or community, he had earler said in the day.As anger mounted over his action, Vichare later said, I came to know that the employee was a Muslim only after seeing TV footage and I regret it. He also claimed that he was only trying to draw the attention fo authorities to poor quality of food served at the Sadan.Opposition parties seized on the incident that came as an embarassment for the BJP-led NDA government and said it was an apt case to refer to the Parliaments Ethics Committee.The issue was raised in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by opposition members who demanded action against the Shiv Sena MPs who vociferously denied the reports.After the uproar by opposition, the two Houses witnessed brief adjournments as agitated members wanted to raise the issue which was staunchly opposed by the Shiv Sena. The Lok Sabha also witnessed a walkout by the Congress, NCP, Left, PDP and AIMIM.Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said the uproar over the incident was an attempt to silence his partys voice. He, however, said despite being a votary of Hindutva, Shiv Sena had no hatred for other religions.This (uproar over the incident) is an attempt to silence Shiv Senas voice. We are proponents of Hindutva but we dont have hatred for other religions, Uddhav told reporters in Aurangabad.The IRCTC, the Indian Railways subsidiary that was catering for the Sadan, stopped all operations at the Sadan in protest and complained in writing to the Maharashtra Resident Commissioner, saying the employee had been deeply pained and hurt...as religious sentiments are attached.In a bid to calm frayed tempers in Lok Sabha, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu dismissed the allegations against the Sena MPs as unsubstantiated and said they need to be verified first lest they raise communal passions.We are dealing with a sensitive issue... Dont try to raise communal passions. Nobody knows the truth. Whether the incident has happened or not, we are not sure, Naidu said.He said the the government is in no way connected with the unsavoury incident. We need to enquire...Let us not send wrong signals to the country.Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Congress member M I Shanavas described the incident as shocking and said it is cutting at the root of secularism. MPs who should be role models have become bad models...The faith of minorities has been tarnished. The House should condemn it.Defending the Sena MPs, party leader and Union Minister Anant Geete said, Those who want to respect the month of Ramzan should not make false statement in the House, triggering sharp protests from the Opposition.Whatever the report has appeared is totally false and Congress is trying to tarnish the image of the Narendra Modi government, Geete said.In the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar said, It is an unsubstantiated report. We should not take it to the next level. Let it be ascertained. There are sensitivities involved.Outside Parliament, Krupal Tumane, Shiv Sena MP, said the food in the New Maharashtra Sadan is of inferior quality and the rotis cannot be broken with hand.We waited for the Resident Commissioner for over an hour to register our complaint. Since he did not turn up, we went to the canteen and asked the employee to eat the rotis himself. A Roza is not broken till the time someone swallows the food.He accused the Congress of trying to give a communal colour to the incident. The BJP came out in defence of its ally and said that the MPs had no inclination to hurt religious feelings of any individual.The video also shows that the MPs had no intent to hurt anyones feelings, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.When asked whether this case was fit to be referred to Parliaments Ethics Committee, NCP MP Supriya Sule responded in the affirmative.Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said, I appeal that no communal colour should be given to this. But, they should not have tried to thrust rotis during the month of Ramzan when the person was observing fast.MIM Chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi demanded that a compalint be filed against the erring MPs and also their arrest.
A leading Spanish website has claimed that Lionel Messi was interested in a transfer to English Premier League club Arsenal before the Argentine star signed an extension with Barcelona in May.The 27-year-old was locked in contract extension talks with the Catalan giants and reportedly bonus payments was a cause for concern for both parties.Spanish website Vozpopuli claimed that Messi had asked former Arsenal midfielder and Barca teammate Cesc Fabregas, who joined Chelsea in the summer, to talk to his agent Darren Dein about a move to the London club.Messi has a buy-out clause reported to be around a whopping 197 million pounds and the Argentine player earns a massive 16 million pounds a year in wages.
Wooden coffins were being brought out on the tarmac of a Ukrainian airport as the first plane carrying corpses recovered from the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17 readied to leave for the Netherlands today.Grieving families and Dutch royals are due to receive the bodies as flags fly at half mast on a day of mourning across the nation, which lost 193 citizens in the flight that was allegedly blown out of the sky by a missile, turning civilians from a dozen nations into casualties of a remote conflict raging in eastern Ukraine.US officials said the Kuala Lumpur-bound plane from Amsterdam was mistakenly shot down by pro-Russian separatists as investigators hope two black boxes, which will be sent to Britain for analysis, would help to shed light on the disaster that killed all 298 on board.The recovery of the crucial flight recorders and the victims remains came after days of bitter wrangling with pro-Russian separatists controlling the crash site, who finally released them under intense international pressure.But officials say many remains were still on the sprawling crash site in rebel-held territory, decomposing under the summer heat.Evidence gathered by US intelligence officials suggests pro-Russian separatists launched the SA-11 surface-to-air missile that blew up the Malaysia Airlines flight on Thursday, but it remains unclear who pulled the trigger and why.The most plausible explanation... was that it was a mistake, and that the missile was fired by an ill-trained crew using a system that requires some skill and training, said a senior intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.Weve all seen mistakes in the past, the official told reporters, in reference to a Korean airliner downed by a Soviet fighter jet in 1983, and an Iranian passenger plane shot down by US naval forces in 1988.Russia, which US officials accuse of backing the separatists by providing them with military hardware and training, has faced a hail of international condemnation over the accident.The crash has spurred an intense propaganda war, with both Ukraine and Russia trading blame, ratcheting up tensions after months of crisis sparked when Kiev turned its back on its former Soviet master in favour of stronger European ties.Russia denies supporting the rebels who have declared independence in parts of Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and also says it did not supply the missile system allegedly used to bring down MH17.US intelligence officials said Russian claims the Ukrainian government had shot down the plane were not plausible noting that the territory was clearly under rebel control.A senior security official in Kiev claimed that Russia had massed over 40,000 soldiers along its border over the past week.
Police in Saudi Arabia have arrested a beggar, who, it later turned out, has been sitting on a fortune of over $300,000, a media report said Wednesday.Cash and valuables worth 1.2 million Saudi riyals ($320,000) were seized from the unnamed man of Arab ethnicity by the police from Yanbu port city in western Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Gazette reported.Fahd Al-Ghanam, spokesman of Madinah police, said the man was nabbed after he was found begging in dubious circumstances.Begging is strictly banned in Saudi Arabia.The suspect was living in a luxurious furnished apartment and used to travel between various cities in his own car, police said. Investigations revealed that the man was assisted by his wife and three children in the job, the report said. All the family members were illegally staying in Saudi Arabia.Ghanam said the millionaire beggar managed to obtain an investor licence from a Gulf country. Meanwhile, the police have launched comprehensive investigation into the suspects illegal activities. His nationality was not given.
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested for allegedly raping a three-year-old girl in a village 30 km from here, police said Wednesday.We traced the accused in a nearby village late Tuesday and sent him to juvenile home in the city for remand and interrogation, Ramanagara district superintendent of police Anupam Agarwal told IANS.We are waiting for the medical report of the victim from a state-run hospital to formally charge the juvenile and investigate him, Agarwal said.The incident occurred July 18 at Thalaghattapura in Uttarahalli taluk. On July 20, the girl complained to her parents of pain while passing urine.The complaint was filed Tuesday after a local doctor in the village examined the child Monday and told her parents that she had infection due to sexual assault.We were shocked to learn from the doctor that our child was sexually abused by the accused, who stays in our neighbourhood, the mother said in the complaint.The victim was Tuesday admitted to St. Johns hospital in the city for treatment as she had had a heart surgery in April this year and was consequently weak.The accused has been identified as the son of a Thalaghattapura local body member. A case was registered against him under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012 late Tuesday.
The government today asserted that no gas from Reliance Industries eastern offshore KG-D6 block was being supplied to Bangladesh.In the run up to the general election, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had alleged that RILs partner Niko Resources was selling KG-D6 gas in Bangladesh for half the USD 4.2 per million British thermal unit rate that India pays them.The gas produced from KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) block in eastern offshore is being sold domestically in India as per the allocation made by the Government and no gas is being supplied to Bangladesh from this block, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Rajya Sabha today.In a written reply to a question, he said Article 21.1 of the Production Sharing Contract for KG-D6 signed between the government and RIL, states that the Indian domestic market shall have the first call on the utilisation of natural gas discovered and produced from the contract area (field).He said the current sale price of KG-D6 is USD 4.205 per mmBtu. This price formula which led to a rate of USD 4.205, was valid for first five years of production. RIL began production gas from KG-D6 in April 2009 and the price was valid till March 31, 2014.Accordingly the formula was due for revision. The new Government has decided that the whole issue of gas pricing will need comprehensive re-examination. The Domestic Natural Gas Pricing Guidelines, 2014 have been kept in abeyance up to September 30, 2014 and till that time, the domestically produced gas would continue to be priced at the rate prevailing on March 31, 2014, he said.The pricing guidelines, notified on January 10, would have doubled the gas price to about USD 8.4.To a separate question, Pradhan said cost of production of gas varied between USD 1.86 per mmBtu to USD 4.31 excluding levies and USD 2.47 to USD 4.80 per mmBtu including levies.The average cost of crude oil and natural gas production varies from company to company and field to field depending upon size/type of the reservoir, location of reservoir, operating cost, financing cost, depreciation, depletion and amortization applicable and accounting policy followed by various E&P companies as well as taxes and duties levied by the Government, he said.Cost of production includes operating cost, recouped cost (depreciation, depletion, survey and dry wells) and statutory levies, and excludes return on capital employed, he added.
It wont be business as usual in the Congress after the severe drubbing in the elections and party president Sonia Gandhi would soon fix accountability and take decisions on revamping the party, former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor said today.The decisions will be taken as per her own analysis and that of the A K Antony Committee report, he said.Tharoor, who is also a Congress spokesperson, said only Sonia would be able to steer the party out of this crisis as she has seen two election losses in a row and two consecutive wins under her command.Asked if it meant that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi would be taking a back seat, the two-time MP from Kerala told PTI in an interview, Rahul has his own leadership role and will of course be supporting her. He was not the vice president when the party lost those elections and also won consecutively and hence I mentioned Sonia.His comments came amid a feeling in a section of the party that Sonia, who was perceived to be slowly handing over the charge to Rahul, should continue to be at the forefront.Asked about perception outside the party that it seems to be business as usual within the Congress despite the historical loss of being reduced to just 44 MPs in Lok Sabha as no accountability has been fixed or changes carried out, he said Sonia has herself met a number of party leaders and workers to form her opinion about why the party performed so badly.She has got her impression which will be added to what Antony Committee has concluded, he said, stressing that it wont be business as usual in the party which has set up a committee headed by Antony to study the reasons for the poor performance in the elections.Tharoor said the party was already learning new ways to deal with the situation arising out of the small tally in Lok Sabha, besides making adjustments.On criticism of Rahul not being an out and out politician, he said, Rahul may not be a conventional politician but he is a grassroots politician.Tharoor admitted that he would have personally liked to see Rahul as the Leader of the Party in Lok Sabha. But he has decided that he will be more useful outside in the organisation. He was off to Badaun to condemn the rape and murder of the two girls.He is a young man who believes the party has an equally important role in the villages and the streets of India and not just in Parliament. He has a strong sense of what to do.He argued that Rahul is not the one to run after positions or designations and is focused on strengthening the party.Asked about open dissent within the party in Maharashtra and Assam, he said the high command was looking into the issues. These seem to be issues of unfulfilled personal ambitions, Tharoor said.
Actress Priyanka Chopra, who will be next seen in the much-awaited biopic Mary Kom, said it is disrespectful to see it as a film made in sync with the trend of sports dramas.Priyanka will essay the life story of Olympic medal-winning boxer Mary Kom in the film, produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.Last year, biopic on life of national sprinter Milkha Singh, played by actor Farhan Akhtar, had won the film several accolades, while Irrfans stint as Paan Singh Tomar in the 2012 film of same name bagged two National awards.The Fashion star made it clear that it was wrong to compare the film with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.I think you cant compare Mary Kom with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. For the first time a film has been made on life of a female athlete. It is disrespectful to say it is a trend of sports biopic film. Mary Kom is the pride of our nation, Priyanka told reporters here at the trailer launch of the film today. The 32-year-old actress said Mary Kom is so far the toughest film of her career.It is the most hardest film of my career. To bring her (Mary Koms) personality on screen was the hardest part. To bring the part of a fighter, a homemaker, and a mother was a challenge, Priyanka said.Priyanka said she was deeply touched with the real life journey of the pugilist. She comes from a small town farmers family. Sports, in itself is a difficult thing in India, but she did it, the actress said.To get into the skin of the character, Priyanka underwent rigorous training and has even spent 15 hours training to have the muscular look.Drawing parallels with real life instance of Kom, where her father tried to stop her from being a boxer, Priyanka said she too had her share of struggle. Directed by debutante Omung Kumar, Mary Kom is slated to hit theatres on September 5.