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28% Students Lack Electricity, 27% Have No Devices: NCERT Survey Reveals Burden of Online Education

As students struggle with limitations stemming from the online modes of learning, the Ministry of Education directed the NCERT to form a committee to conduct a survey, which found “alternative modes of learning do not ensure equitable quality learning for all students.” The Ministry of Education on Wednesday released Students’ Learning Enhancement Guidelines after the alternative modes of learning and teaching were adopted due to the closure of schools to arrest the spread of Covid-19. This disparity in alternative modes of learning is due to unequal distribution of time of teachers, students having differential access to technological devices, and lack of support for learning at homes in several cases. “As a result, closure of schools is likely to lead to loss of learning and deficiencies in the achievement of students' learning outcomes.” The committee consisted of academic and curricular experts drawn from NCERT, NIEPA, CBSE, KVS and NVS. The Committee conducted a survey in KVS, NVS and CBSE schools for collecting information about various digital modes being used by students to receive online education and their concerns regarding children not having digital devices. According to the survey focusing on the gaps and/or loss of learning among students, during and after the lockdown, 50% students are facing problems. “About 20-30% stakeholders shared that they had a difficult experience and about 10-20% said that it was burdensome for them.” ........Read more

Want to Archive, Delete Old Facebook Posts? Use Its New 'Manage Activity' Tool

Facebook on Tuesday introduced a new feature called Manage Activity to help billions of users archive or trash their old posts in one place. The archive feature is for content people no longer want others to see on Facebook but still want to keep for themselves. “For example, you could archive a post you made when you were in high school that you still find amusing but that you’d rather not be seen by anyone else on Facebook,” the social networking giant said in a statement.........Read more

India registers biggest jump with 8,392 coronavirus cases, total tally over 1.9 lakh

India recorded highest spike in coronavirus cases on Monday morning with 8,392 fresh cases of infections in 24 hours. With over 8,000 new Covid-19 cases, India’s case tally surges past the 1.9-lakh mark. With 230 deaths in 24 hours, ending Monday morning, the death toll due to Covid-19 in India climbed to 5,394. According to latest figures by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India has so far recorded a total number of 1,90,535 coronavirus cases. These include 93,322 active cases, while 91,819 have recovered/discharged/migrated.........Read more

Saudi, U.S. firms eye stakes in Reliance's Jio - Bloomberg

U.S. private equity firm General Atlantic is considering investing about $850 million to $950 million in the Mumbai-based company, a Bloomberg report said, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The deal could be completed as soon as this month, though no agreement has been finalized and plans may change, it added. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is also considering to buy a minority stake in Jio, Bloomberg said in a separate report.........Read more

The big five mass extinctions

Biologists suspect we’re living through the sixth major mass extinction. Earth has witnessed five, when more than 75% of species disappeared. Palaeontologists spot them when species go missing from the global fossil record, including the iconic specimens shown here. “We don’t always know what caused them but most had something to do with rapid climate change”, says Melbourne Museum palaeontologist Rolf Schmidt. ........Read more

Hadaka Matsuri: Thousands gather for Japan's annual 'Naked Festival'

The event, called "Hadaka Matsuri" in Japanese, is a wild and raucous festival held every year on the third Saturday of February at the Saidaiji Kannonin Temple, about a 30-minute train ride from Okayama city. But the 10,000 or so male participants aren't as naked as the festival's name suggests.They sport a minimal amount of clothing; usually a Japanese loincloth called a "fundoshi" and a pair of white socks called "tabi." The festival, which celebrates the blessings of a bountiful harvest, prosperity and fertility, starts at around 3:20 p.m local time with a separate event for young boys -- aimed at fostering interest in younger generations.........Read more

Kejriwal Takes Oath as Delhi CM for 3rd Term, Seeks Modi's Blessings After Countering BJP on 'Freebies' Jibe

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as Delhi’s chief minister for the third consecutive time on Sunday at the Ramlila Maidan. In his address after taking oath, Kejriwal said he wants to work in harmony with the Centre and also sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's blessings for smooth governance in the capital. The AAP had earlier said all ministers would continue to hold the same portfolios. Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai, Kailash Gahlot, Rajendra Pal Gautam and Imran Hussain were sworn in as ministers on Sunday.........Read more

Average Indian spends over 1,800 hours a year on smartphone: CMR study

More than half of the respondents have never tried to switch off from their social handles and admit to finding it difficult to live without their phones. 73 percent of respondents agree that the current rate of smartphone usage is likely to impact one’s mental or physical health, whereas three out of five people say it is necessary to have a life separate from a mobile phone.........Read more

Tamil Orator Arrested For 'Provocative Remarks' Against PM Modi, Amit Shah

A Tamil orator was taken into custody late Wednesday night for allegedly making provocative remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah last week. Nellai Kannan was whisked away by a police team in Perambalur district in connection with complaints against him by the BJP and the ruling AIADMK.........Read more

Pakistan in Illegal Occupation of Parts of India: MEA on Islamabad Changing Status of PoK

The statement from the MEA comes after an activist from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) recently criticised Pakistan for its aim to alter the status of PoK and Gilgit Baltistan, saying Prime Minister Imran Khan has been trying to ‘illegally merge’ the region with the Punjab province. The reaction from Nasir Aziz Khan, spokesperson of United Kashmir People’s National Party, came after an order by ‘Azad Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir’ Services and General Administration Department (Regulations) on December 11 stated that ‘President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir’ ordered renaming of ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir Management Group’ as ‘Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services’ (JKAS) with immediate effect.........Read more

200 Rockets Fired Into Israel After Its Air Force Kills Top Commander of Gaza-Based Islamic Jihad

Gaza-based militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) on Tuesday fired nearly 200 rockets into Israel after the Israel Air Force, earlier in the day, killed top PIJ commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata in an air raid.........Read more

2-year-Old Sujith, Trapped in Trichy Borewell For Over 80 Hours, Dies

The 2-year-old boy’s body is now in decomposed state. We tried our best to rescue him but unfortunately foul smell has started coming from the borewell in which the child had fallen. As of now,digging process has been stopped. ........Read more

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Igor Stimac Rues India's Scoring Inability After Bangladesh Draw

Indian football head coach Igor Stimac on Tuesday rued his players' inability to score goals as his side settled for a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in their World Cup qualifying round match, at Kolkata.........Read more

Tennis: Djokovic, Federer bow out in Shanghai as 'Next Gen' stars roar into semis

The next generation of youngsters made their mark at the Shanghai Masters as Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev knocked out former champions Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer respectively, booking their semi-final spots.........Read more

Oracle to hire 2,000 workers to expand cloud business to more countries

Seeking to better compete with bigger rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Corp, the move will also help transition Oracle’s business software for finance, sales and other functions to new systems over the next year.........Read more

BSNL’s mega expansion plan; govt-backed telco to borrow Rs 12,000 crore from market

The cash-strapped Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is mulling over a mega expansion plan to raise capital from the market, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar told CNBC TV-18 on Tuesday. The state-owned telecom firm will approach the market to borrow Rs 12,000 crore for expansion plan post approval by the union cabinet, P K Purwar also said. A plan to revive the crisis-ridden company is an advanced stage, he said adding administrative allocation of 4G spectrum may be a part of the revival package. BSNL is also targeting VRS package for its 70,000 employees, even as it has paid employees salaries through internal sources, he added. State-owned distressed telecom firms BSNL and MTNL have been reporting  losses and facing problems in clearing salaries of employees in the recent past. A plan to rescue for both companies is being worked upon by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for some time now, according to media reports.  The plan may include a revival package that includes components such as voluntary retirement scheme, asset monetisation and allocation of 4G spectrum, reports said.........Read more

India vs West Indies: Virat Kohli & Co thrash Windies by 257 runs to clinch Test series 2-0

India produced a top-notch bowling performance in a clinical 257-run demolition of the West Indies in the second Test as a 2-0 series victory put them on top of ICC World Test Championship points table. The victory was 28th in Tests for Virat Kohli making him the most successful Indian captain in the traditional format of the sport. Chasing a near-impossible target of 468, West Indies batting once again failed to show stomach for a good fight as they caved in for 210 in 59.5 overs, well inside the fourth day. It was one of the most satisfying tours for skipper Virat Kohli as his team had clean sweep in two formats (3-0 in T20Is and 2-0 in Tests) while poor weather robbed them in another format (2-0 in 3-match ODI series).  India vs West Indies 2nd Test Day 4 Highlights The bowling quartet of Ishant Sharma (2/37 in 12 overs), Mohammed Shami (3/65 in 16 overs), Jasprit Bumrah (1/31 in 11 overs) and lone spinner Ravindra Jadeja (3/58 in 16.5 overs) were relentless in their pursuit of maintaining a tight leash on the home team batsmen. Such was India’s dominance in the two Test matches that West Indies couldn’t even cross 250 in any of their four innings and the only half-century was scored by Shamarh Brooks (50) in this game. The win took India’s points tally to 120 after two games and they lead the nine-team table even though Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa are yet to begin their bilateral campaign as a part of the championship.........Read more

PVR, Cinepolis under probe for overcharging

PVR Cinemas and Cinepolis theatres are under the scanner of the anti-profiteering authorities for not reducing the price of movie tickets in line with the rate cut announced by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council earlier. A preliminary probe has been initiated by the state-level anti-profiteering committee against the two multiplex players in the national capital region, after some consumers complained to the committee that the two chains hadn't passed on the relief to moviegoers. A complainant alleged the ticket price of Simbaa was not slashed at PVR theatres. A similar plaint was made against Cinepolis at Saket. To make cinema viewing affordable, the GST Council had brought down tickets costing over Rs 100 to 18% slab from the 28% starting January 1. For cheaper tickets, the rate was cut to 12% from 18%. "The state screening committee has sought replies from the two multiplex companies on the ticket pricing before and after January 1 in respect of all the cinemas owned by them in NCR," said a person in the loop. "The profiteering amount will be calculated based on the details provided by them. Subsequently, the companies will be asked to deposit a part of the profiteered amount with the Consumer Welfare Fund," the person said. They added that at a later stage, the probe is likely to be expanded to include the remaining multiplexes owned by the companies across the country.........Read more

IT dept attaches Rs 400 cr 'benami' plot in Noida belonging to Mayawati's brother

Mayawati recently appointed Kumar as the national vice president of BSP. The Income-Tax Department has attached a 'benami' plot worth Rs 400 crore in Noida belonging to BSP supremo Mayawati's brother and his wife, an official order said. The provisional order for the attachment of the seven-acre plot, "beneficially owned" by Anand Kumar and his wife Vichiter Lata, was issued on July 16 by the Delhi-based Benami Prohibition Unit (BPU) of the department.  Mayawati recently appointed Kumar as the national vice president of the Bahujan Samaj Party.........Read more

Anil Ambani planning to sell Mumbai HQs to cut debt: Report

Anil Ambani is looking to sell or lease his group's headquarters in Mumbai, an effort aimed at reducing the debt the industrialist's companies are in. Anil Ambani would reportedly move back to his Ballard Estate office in South Mumbai, a property he had gained after he split with his elder brother Mukesh in 2005. According to business daily The Economic Times, Anil Ambani is looking to either sell the 700,000 sq ft property or put it on long-term lease. According to Times of India, the property is owned by Reliance Infrastructure and the idea behind selling or leasing it is to make the company debt free. Anil Ambani has been facing a tough time in recent years. Almost of all of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group companies are in massive debt. In fact, Anil Ambani barely managed to avoid going to prison recently over unpaid debt of one of his erstwhile companies -- Reliance Communications. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had ordered Anil Ambani to pay money owed to telecom equipment maker Ericsson or go to jail. Anil was saved from going to jail by his elder brother Mukesh who lent him the money he needed to pay Ericsson. ........Read more

After Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Assam government approves Rs 600 cr farm loan waiver

The BJP government in Assam has approved Rs 600 crore farm loan waiver which it said will benefit around eight lakh farmers of the state. It will write off 25 per cent loan of farmers up to a maximum of Rs 25,000 of all farm debts.........Read more

NASA's Cassini finds six-sided vortex in atmosphere above Saturn's north pole- Technology News, Firstpost

Using data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, scientists have spotted a surprising feature emerging at Saturn's northern pole as it nears summertime a warming, high-altitude jet stream with a hexagonal shape.........Read more

2 militants gunned down in encounter in J-K’s Sopore, operation still on

Two militants were gunned down after an encounter broke out with security forces on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district........Read more

CBSE conducts Class X compartment exam using URL system

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducted Class X compartment exam using the encrypted mode of the new URL-based system of transferring question papers to around 211 examination centres all over the country.........Read more

LinkedIn India crosses 50 million

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 562 million members globally, announced that it has crossed the 50-million member mark in India.........Read more

Centre's move to scrap MP airfare DA draws flak across party lines: Narendra Modi faces side-effects of political reform

When the magnitude of this expenditure on TA and DA allowance came to public light and it was proposed in the Budget (2018-19) that the DA should be scrapped, MPs, across party lines, got together to protest about this proposed withdrawal. Then came the cheeky proposal that the MPs raise their objections on the floor of the Parliament during the budget discussion. MPs were shy of biting that bullet, fearing how such a protest would make them look in the public eye. The amendment withdrawing the DA on air travel was thus passed through the Finance Bill 2018.........Read more

Bangladesh Ends Reservation in Govt Jobs as PM Sheikh Hasina Gives in to Student Protests

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said she has decided to scrap the quota system in government services after thousands of students marched across the country in protest against a controversial policy of setting aside jobs for special groups.........Read more

Davis Cup: Leander Paes Creates History as India Win Doubles Match

Paes collaborated with Rohan Bopanna not only to grab a record 43rd win but also bring India back in the tie against China. Earlier in 1990, Paes made his Davis Cup debut alongside Zeeshan Ali, who is now the coach of the side, and grew into a legend in the company of Mahesh Bhupathi, who is now the captain of the side. Paes and Bhupathi, who together ruled the ATP circuit in the late 90s with their incredibly successful partnership, weaved the longest unbeaten winning streak of 24 matches.........Read more

Videocon loan case: Lookout notice against ICICI's boss, her husband and Venugopal Dhoot

In the latest development on Friday late night, probe agencies reportedly have issued a lookout notice to all airports against ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot. ........Read more

Apple iOS 11.3 arrives: Battery health indicator, more privacy and 4 other top features

The iOS 11.3 brings a range of features and improvements to the iPhone and iPad, including new AR experiences, four new Animoji characters for iPhone X users, a messaging app called Business Chat, updated data and privacy information, new power management feature and also a feature called Health Records.........Read more

Not privatizing PSU banks Modi govt’s biggest failing: Morgan Stanley’s Ruchir Sharma

Speaking at the Rising India Summit, Sharma said lack of banking sector reforms is the real big problem that has not been fixed in India. Banking system is the archery; it lies at the heart of what a nation can do. It is the single biggest shortcoming of the last few years.........Read more

CoA asks ACU to investigate fixing charges against Mohammed Shami

The Supreme Court-run Committee of Administrators (CoA) head Vinod Rai wrote an e-mail to ACU head Neeraj Kumar, asking him to investigate these charges and submit a report within a week. The mail has also been marked to all the office-bearers of the BCCI and CEO, Rahul Johri.........Read more

Why imposing Hindi on all is as bad an idea as insisting that India is a Hindu country

Post-1947, political plans by those in the Hindustani region to make Hindi the sole official language by January 26, 1965, was opposed in non-Hindi regions. It became a youth-led mass-movement in what is present-day Tamil Nadu. New Delhi sent the army and central police forces to Tamil Nadu. The forces ended up killing at least 63 protesters – unofficial numbers run into a few hundreds. The ruling Congress party in Tamil Nadu was decimated in the next election. No national party has ever emerged as the strongest force in Tamil Nadu since.........Read more

Method acting? Lathicharge scene gets real at Malayalam movie B Tech sets as juniors artistes beat up lead stars

The sets of Malayalam movie B Tech in Bengaluru witnessed ugly scenes after the junior artistes playing cop roles reportedly lathi-charged the lead actors leading to a halt in filming. The junior artistes were mostly from Karnataka while the lead actors were from Kerala. The language barrier is said to have added to the confusion. ........Read more

First-Ever List of Rich People in Cryptocurrency

"Richest People in Cryptocurrency" released by Forbes based on numbers on estimated holdings of cryptocurrencies (a few provided proof), post-tax profits from trading crypto-assets and stakes in crypto-related businesses, and locked estimates using prices on Jan. 19, 2018. Chris Larsen, He is the executive chairman and former CEO of Ripple has a net worth of $8 Billion Cryptocurrency.........Read more

India Ranked 44 in Global IP Index

In the latest international Intellectual Property (IP) index released by the US Chambers of Commerce by US Chambers of Commerce today, India ranks 44th out of 50 countries. India's score has substantially increased from 8.75 out of 30 in the fifth edition to 12.03 out of 40 in the sixth edition. The report said that India reflects a relatively strong performance in the new indicators as well as positive reform efforts on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions (CIIs) and registration procedures for well-known marks.........Read more

Good news for Indian techies as Trump proposes to end visa lottery system in favour of skilled workers

If the US introduce skill-based visa program for offering visa instead of present lottery-based DV Program, then countries with maximum skilled workers will benefit the most. It will benefit India because a majority of H1-B visa holders are Indians, and their visa would be first considered for Green Card allocation. English speaking and listening skills of Indian migrants, advanced professional degree, young age group etc add more points for qualifying. ........Read more

Indian-origin 'New Jihadi John': All you need to know

The US on Tuesday placed Indian-origin Islamic State terrorist from Britain Siddhartha Dhar on its global terrorism list, a designation that allows the government to impose sanctions and freeze assets and property owned by him. Here's all you need to know about the man dubbed as the "New Jihadi John".........Read more

Australia romp to innings victory in Sydney Test, complete 4-0 Ashes triumph

Australia’s bowling attack mopped up the last four England cricket team batsmen at the cost of just 36 runs after the lunch break at Sydney Cricket Ground as they romped to a 4-0 Ashes series win.........Read more

Apple will replace old iPhone batteries, regardless of diagnostic test results

Apple has now confirmed that it would replace batteries on an iPhone 6 or later, regardless of whether or not a diagnostic test shows that the battery retains less than 80 percent of its original capacity. ........Read more

NGOs asked to open a/c in designated banks

NGOs, business entities, and individuals who have permission to receive foreign funds will have to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks, including a foreign one, by the third week of January. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked all those having a licence under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 or prior permission to receive foreign donations will have to do so by January 21.........Read more

Commercial flight nod for made-in-India plane

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)-manufactured Dornier 228 to be used for civilian flights. The 19-seater aircraft has, till now, been used by defence forces and is the first plane to be made in the country for commercial flights.........Read more

UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea

The US-drafted resolution imposes tough measures on energy, export and import sectors, overseas North Korean laborers, and asks maritime authorities to help shut down North Korea's illicit smuggling activities. Signed by all 15 members of the Security Council, the resolution bans the import of nearly 90 percent refined petroleum products to the country.........Read more

'India's made a huge mistake in voting against US on Jerusalem,' says BJP's Subramanian Swamy

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has again gone against the party line, this time saying India made "a huge mistake" voting in the UN against the US on the Jerusalem issue. Swamy, a long-time supporter of Israel, said India voted against its national interest, because "Palestine has never supported India on Kashmir question", while Israel "has stood with India always".........Read more

Re-tweets can be defamatory, SC says in AAP Neta's case

The Supreme Court rejected on Friday AAP functionary Raghav Chadha's plea to wriggle out of the trial in a Rs 10-crore defamation case filed by finance minister Arun Jaitley against him and five others, including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, on the contention that there was no law making a re-tweet defamatory.........Read more

Pradyuman murder case: Bail plea of accused juvenile dismissed by Gurugram court

The bail plea of the accused in the murder of a 7-year-old student Pradyuman Thakur in the Ryan International School was dismissed by Gurugram court.........Read more

Aamir's Dangal wins Best Asian Film award at AACTA; Russell Crowe goes gaga over it

Dangal' was unanimously chosen the Best Asian Film at the seventh Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards. Veteran actor Shabana Azmi, who served as one of the jury members on the panel, led by Hollywood star Russell Crowe, for this year's inaugural category, took to Twitter to laud the film's team.........Read more

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6%, maintains neutral policy stance

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy committee (MPC) on Wednesday kept the key interest rate unchanged as it feared that inflation may top the central bank’s medium-term target of 4%.........Read more

TVS launches Apache RR 310 sports bike at Rs 2.05 lakh

Chennai-based automaker, TVS Motors, on Wednesday l​aunched its new flagship motorcycle - Apache RR 310​. The bike has been priced at Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) which is very competitive as compared to the other options in 300cc sports bike segment.........Read more

Kerala love jihad case: 'I want freedom', says Hadiya; SC allows her to resume medical studies in Salem

The Supreme Court put forth its decision in the contentious Kerala love jihad case, and ordered that Hadiya be allowed to pursue her medical studies in Tamil Nadu's Salem district. Posting the next hearing of the case to third week in January, the Supreme Court also ordered the Tamil Nadu government to ensure her safety. ........Read more

Poison food and water at Sabarimala temple, new threat from ISIS states

A high alert has been issued following an Islamic State threat to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The threat states that Jihadi groups in Kerala could poison the water in the temple. The Government Railway Police has issued an alert to this effect. It has also handed over a letter to the authorities urging strict monitoring of the situation.........Read more

US hits back after Pakistan court orders release of Hafiz Saeed

Mumbai attack mastermind and banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed is a terrorist leader designated by both the United Nations and the United States, the Trump administration said on Wednesday, hours after a Pakistani court ordered his release from detention.........Read more

Trump warns 'rogue regime' North Korea of grave danger

U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in China on Wednesday seeking help to rein in North Korea after warning the North's leader that the nuclear weapons he is developing "are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger."........Read more

Hyderabad's signature cuisine: Biryani, Tirupati laddoo & idli-dosa get India Post stamp

​Andhra dishes, idli-dosa and pongal, have also been honoured with exclusive stamps. Hyderabadi cuisine was also enriched by Sufi saints. Those in the 'Khanqah' of Sufi saints brought with them their own recipes.........Read more

40 per cent increase in tax payers post demonetisation: Former SBI chairman

Spelling out some of the advantages of demonetisation, she said there has been a 40 per cent increase in the number of tax payers, lower reliance on high value currency and greater digitisation.........Read more

Karnataka Shock: 300 Gold Biscuits to be gifted to MLAs

Karnataka State assembly is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year so the state assembly (Vidhana Souda) decided to gift 300 gold biscuits (13 grams each worth 55,000) to the lawmakers which will cost 3 Crores.........Read more

Andhra Pradesh soon to set up ‘Anna Village Malls’- One umbrella for all to sell their products

With a move to set up ‘Anna Village Malls’, Andhra Pradesh government tied up with both Reliance and Future groups that aims to convert fair price shops under the Public Distribution System into 'Village Malls'. These ‘Village Malls’ would enable anyone to sell their products.........Read more

Toyota Has No Plans To Launch Electric Vehicles In India. Here's Why

Toyota has no plans to introduce electric vehicles in the indian market as of now and will consider it once the infrastructure for electric vehicles is in place in the country.........Read more

Pakistan vs World XI: I played my part in bringing cricket back to Pakistan, says Faf du Plessis

Pakistan hosting a World XI tour is more than just cricket and though it is a short, it is worth very big, captain of the visiting World XI team Faf du Plessis said on Monday. He also expressed his happiness that Pakistan fans will be able to witness international cricket at home after a long time.........Read more

No talks without ‘independence of Assam’ on agenda, says ULFA (I) leader Paresh Barua

41 paramilitary companies, 4 army columns, police of 4 districts, 1 SWAT team and one dog squad have been deployed for the search operation. Curfew has been imposed in the areas surrounding the Dera headquarters. The curfew reportedly will not be relaxed till the search operation is completed.........Read more

‘No Fly List’ Rules to be Issued on Friday; Aadhaar, Other IDs Compulsory to Book Flights Soon

Identity documents like Aadhaar card, driving licence, passport or pan card will be mandatory to book ticket of a domestic flight after the Centre comes with the final rules for “no fly list” on Friday. The government is yet to take the final call on Election Commission voter ID card to be acceptable for booking domestic tickets. ........Read more

Bihar road rage case: Ex-JD(U) leader’s son Rocky Yadav gets life sentence for murder of Class 12 student

Rakesh Ranjan Yadav alias Rocky Yadav, son of a suspended Janata Dal(United) lawmaker Manorama Devi, and two others were sentenced on Wednesday to life imprisonment by a court in Bihar’s Gaya in connection with the murder case of Class 12 student Aditya Sachdeva in May 2016.........Read more

Arundhati Roy among Man Booker Prize contenders

Arundhati Roy, who won the prize in 1997 for "The God of Small Things," is in the running again with her long-awaited second novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness." The 13 books announced Thursday were chosen from 144 novels submitted by publishers.........Read more

What is the Weather Like on Mercury?

Mercury’s temperature variations are also attributed to its orbital eccentricity of 0.2056, which is the most extreme of any planet in the Solar System. Essentially, its distance from the Sun ranges from 46 million km (29 million mi) at its closest (perihelion) to 70 million km (43 million mi) at its farthest (aphelion). As a result, the side facing the Sun reaches temperatures of up to 700 K (427° C), the side in shadow dips down to 100 K (-173° C). ........Read more

American Airlines will end partnerships with Qatar, Etihad

American Airlines is dropping partnerships with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, which American accuses of receiving illegal subsidies from their governments.........Read more

Google Launching New ‘Triangle App’ To Control Android Apps’ Data Usage

Google is testing an app called ‘Triangle’ which will allow a user to compartmentalize the amount data that can be used an application. The app is currently in an experimental phase in Philippines only.........Read more

7th-gen BMW 5-Series launched at Rs. 49.90 lakh | Team-BHP

BMW has launched the seventh-gen 5-Series in India at prices starting from Rs. 49.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Deliveries of the new car will commence from July 1 2017, post the GST implementation.........Read more

Bitcoin rivals like Monero, and Dash ready to displace it as preferable currency of cybercriminals

But with a total value of around $425 million – a little over 1 percent of that of bitcoin – converting that currency into spendable cash might not be so easy, and it is also much harder for victims to access, alternative payments experts said. That is why the Monero attack did not demand a ransom, but rather used the infected computers’ computing power to create new currency.........Read more

Over 100,000 Chinese spent $24 billion on US, other 'golden visas'

Nowhere is Chinese demand greater than in the US, which has taken in at least $7.7bn and issued more than 40,000 visas to Chinese investors and their families in the past decade. The flood of investors reflects how China's rise has catapulted tens of millions of families into the middle class.........Read more

'Ashamed of being born in India', says Mamata Banerjee

"The tactics of threat and intimidation cannot silence me. Other states like Bihar, Maharashtra may be silent but Bengal will not stop its fight and protest, whatever be the situation. Only West Bengal can fight against this communal politics and intolerance and save the country," she said while speaking at a meeting here on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. ........Read more

YouTube begins roll-out of new website design including a dark theme mode

YouTube is getting a design refresh. The video streaming platform has updated its website that now offers a cleaner look. The change in design is more aligned to its mobile app and also includes a special dark theme that makes it suitable for use during night time.........Read more

Humans must leave Earth in 100 years to survive: Stephen Hawking

Humans will need to colonise another planet within the next 100 years to survive climate change, asteroid strikes and overpopulation, according to renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking. In a documentary, Expedition New Earth – part of the BBC’s new science season Tomorrow’s World – Hawking and his former student Christophe Galfard will travel the world to find out how humans could survive in outer space.........Read more

The RSS idea of India is not just being spread in colleges but among defence forces too

The RSS version of Bharat Mata made its way to a government event where senior military officers paid homage to it.........Read more

This Guy Transforms Blocks Of Wood Into Colorful Masterpieces

A woodworker is creating (and selling) these beautiful bricks of wood blended with dyed Epoxy Resin on Instagram. He fills the wood with a low viscosity resin and places it in a small vacuum chamber to suck all the air out. This gets the wood really soaked with resin. Then he artfully mixes colors into the resin. This is the result..........Read more

Uber used a secret program called 'Hell' to track Lyft drivers says report

A new report says Uber used a secret programe dubbed “Hell’ to track Lyft drivers to see if they were driving for both ride-hailing services and otherwise stifle competition. It’s the latest in a series of troubles for Uber, which is also dealing with executive departures and accusations of sexism and sexual harassment.........Read more

18 lakh cases where income & account profiles don't match: FM

Authorities have detected 18 lakh cases after demonetisation where the income profiles of people do not match their account profile, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.Preliminary information has been sought from such people and many have responded. Those who have not given details would be issued with notices as per procedure, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said during Question Hour.........Read more

Get paid Rs 11.2 Lakh for only ‘sleeping in bed’

Researchers at France’s Institute of Space Medicine and Physiology are looking for volunteers who can spend three months sleeping in bed while they can study the effects of microgravity. The job offers a good amount of money, to the tune of 16,000 euros.........Read more

Somalian pirates hijack Indian vessel with 11 crew members on board

Somalian pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial ship carrying 11 crew members, Reuters reported on Monday, quoting a former government anti-piracy official. The vessel, which was believed to be going to Bossaso from Dubai, was hijacked off the coast of Somalia and is being taken towards Eyl in Puntland now.........Read more

GST in last lap: What's in it for businesses, firms and most importantly, you?

The development will boost confidence that the implementation of the wide-ranging tax reform will meet the government's latest target of July 1. The Centre believes it will lead to revenue buoyancy. Here's what this crucial tax reform means for the industry and most importantly, you. ........Read more

‘Garadi manes’ muscle their way back to popularity

According to the people running these traditional gyms, their clientele has increased after the success of Bollywood films like Sultan and Dangal. “Many have now started opting for the garadi manes as the training techniques we teach them have been passed down from one generation to another,” said Ansar Pehalwan.........Read more

Tamil Nadu: EC refuses to accept Dinakaran's response on Sasikala being made AIADMK chief

The Election Commission on Friday refused to accept a response by the All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazhagam’s deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran on various complaints by the party’s rebel faction that challenged his aunt VK Sasikala’s elevation to party chief. The response by Dinakaran had claimed Sasikala was the legitimate choice as the party’s general council had made the appointment.........Read more

India to attend Lahore meet on Indus Waters Treaty

Signalling a major shift in its position on talks with Pakistan on the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), India has accepted an invitation to attend the next meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) to be held in Lahore, the move came after two months of diplomatic negotiations, with World Bank officials playing mediator in encouraging Pakistan to extend the invitation and for India to accept.........Read more

Embraer deal: CBI quizzes Vipin Khanna over ‘kickbacks’

CBI had registered a case against Khanna and two companies based abroad in a case of alleged kickbacks worth over USD 5.70 million in connection with the much-talked about Embraer deal. CBI sources had said that Khanna, whose name had figured earlier also in defence deals probed by the agency, has been booked along with two companies–Brazil-based Embraer and Singapore based Interdev Pte Ltd–in conenction with the deals totalling USD 208 million.........Read more

OnePlus 5 Said to Pack 256GB Storage, Dual-Edge Curved Display

 A report from South Korea further adds that the new OnePlus smartphone will take cues from Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge and will sport dual-edge curved display. The rumoured dual-edge screen is said to be a highlight of the handset, apart from a 16-megapixel selfie camera. Other rumoured details claimed for the OnePlus 5 include a 23-megapixel rear camera while the handset is said to come with 6GB or 8GB of RAM. The Chinese company is also widely expected to bump the storage on the next flagship to 256GB. ........Read more

Earthquake magnitude of 4.0 hits northern Tripura

A slight earthquake measuring 4.0 on the richter scale, jolted the country’s northeastern state Tripura on Saturday, However, no casualties have been reported so far.........Read more

Telecom mergers: Hello & goodbye: Multi-billion dollar telecom mergers could see 25,000 pink slips and counting

"There is no doubt that staff at the head office and circle (offices) are on shaky ground," said an HR head, putting 10,000-25,000 jobs at risk, he said. Add those indirectly employed and the number could rise to as much as 1 lakh. ........Read more

Project "Minority Cyber Gram" has been shelved by Government

In February 2014, the government launched a “minority cyber-gram” project in Chandoli village, where more than 70% of people are Meo Muslims. The project was aimed at training the villagers to become Internet savvy. But three years on, the Congress-led UPA government’s project has been shelved. No official reason has been given.........Read more

Kamal Haasan want his co-stars to take a stand on the current political crisis

After caretaker Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam's outburst+ that he had been forced to resign from the post by party general secretary V K Sasikala who wants to be the CM, Kamal turned to Twitter to exhort his co-stars to take a stand.........Read more

'Indian IT Firms Should Stop Using H1-B Visas'

"Indian software companies must truly become multi-cultural. They must recruit American residents in the US, Canadians in Canada, British people in Britain etc. That's the only way we can become a true multi-national company and in order to do that, we should stop using H1-B visas and sending a large number of Indians to those countries to deliver services," Mr Murthy said.........Read more

Britain’s Brexit bill clears first legislative hurdle

Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to take Britain out of the European Union easily cleared its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday, paving the way for the government to launch divorce talks by the end of March.........Read more

Agitation in the age of Google: Parallels between jallikattu and anti-Hindi protests

The student movement in Tamil Nadu for jallikattu which just ended has many parallels with the 1965 agitation against imposition of Hindi. The 1965 agitation was the culmination of a long struggle against making Hindi the sole official language that, students, felt would give an inherent advantage to native speakers of Hindi over others in all-India competitive examinations like the UPSC.........Read more

Samsung to disclose the reason behind Galaxy Note 7 fire on January 23

Samsung Electronics said it will announce on January 23 the results of a probe on what caused some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire, as the firm seeks to recover from one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history.........Read more

'Zaira, we're all with you', says Aamir Khan about Dangal co-star, adding, 'Leave her alone'

Bollywood's Aamir Khan today told his Dangal co-star, Kashmiri teen Zaira Wasim, that he's "with her", a day after she was trolled on Facebook because J&K's chief minister called her "a Kashmiri role model".........Read more

Don't Use Mahatma Gandhi's Photos In 'Dirty' Places, Centre Asks States

Days after the Khadi icon row, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi 'replaced' Mahatama Gandhi in the iconic picture of spinning the charkha, the Centre has decided that no one's sentiment should be hurt. So, the central government has asked the state governments to avoid using sketches, photos or logos of Mahatma Gandhi on places that could be considered dirty,........Read more

Microsoft veteran will help run Chinese search giant Baidu

Qi Lu, an architect of chief executive officer (CEO) Satya Nadella’s strategy for artificial intelligence and bots at Microsoft, will take up his new post with immediate effect, Baidu said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. Every Baidu business unit head will report to Lu, a respected technologist who ran the Office and search groups during his tenure at Microsoft.........Read more

Privacy protection: India seems to be going the NSA-PRISM way, when it comes to surveillance

In India we seem to be going the NSA-PRISM way with respect to surveillance by setting up the Central Monitoring System (CMS). The consequences of a CMS in terms of privacy can be chilling.........Read more

Amazon halts sales of Indian flag doormat after Sushma Swaraj's visa warning

Amazon.com removed doormats resembling the Indian tri-colour flag from its Canadian website on Wednesday, after an Indian government threat to rescind visas of the US company's employees if they did not stop selling the product........Read more

Nokia's first Android smartphone is an all-metal mid-ranger

The Nokia 6 is an all-metal smartphone - boasting of 6000 series aluminium - with chamfered edges and curved 2.5D Gorilla glass on the front. It has a physical home button on the front that also houses a fingerprint scanner, and is flanked by touch-based capacitive keys which are backlit. The power button and the volume rocker lie on the right, while the SIM card slot rests on the left. It comes with a standard Micro USB 2.0 port (and no USB C-Type) and also supports USB OTG.........Read more

I-T raids Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary's residence in Chennai

Income Tax department has raided Tamil Nadu government Chief Secretary Ram Mohan Rao's residence at Anna Nagar in Chennai on Wednesday.........Read more

Cristiano Ronaldo wins fourth Ballon d'Or in a one-sided affair

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat arch-rival Lionel Messi to claim the prestigious Ballon d'Or for the fourth time in his career. The Portuguese captain is now just one behind the Argentine, and it is the ninth consecutive year that either of the two have won the award.........Read more

Vietnam dredging on disputed South China Sea Reef, shows satellite images

Vietnam has started dredging work on a reef in the South China Sea, fresh satellite images appear to show, a move that could provoke Beijing which claims most of the disputed waterway. An image of Ladd Reef in the Spratly Islands, where Vietnam has a lighthouse, shows several vessels in a carved out embankment.........Read more

Cho Ramaswamy passes away

Cho Ramaswamy, political commentator, theatre personality and editor of Tamil magazine Thuglak, breathed his last around 4 a.m. on Wednesday at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. The body has been shifted to his residence. He was 82 and is survived by his wife, son and daughter. The funeral will be held at 3 p.m. at the Besant Nagar crematorium.........Read more

PM Narendra Modi 'Bravely Riding A Tiger', Says Nitish Kumar On Notes Ban

Nitish Kumar is resolute about standing apart from the rest of the Opposition about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to outlaw 500 and 1000-rupee notes. "Prime Minister Modi is now riding a tiger which could damage his alliances, but there's great sentiment in favour of his move and we should respect that," said Mr Kumar, who is the Bihar Chief Minister, to his party leaders.........Read more

Quikr Now Worth $1.47 Bn, Recieves 13% Valuation Hike By Investor Kinnevik

Online classifieds portal Quikr has got a 13% hike in its valuation from one of its investors, Kinnevik AB. In its latest quarterly report, the Swedish Investment firm valued its 18% stake in Qui...........Read more

Leander Paes confirms presence at first ATP Challenger in India in nearly 20 years

Veteran Leander Paes will compete in an ATP Challenger event in India for the first time in almost two decades as he teams up with young Ramkumar Ramanathan for the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger starting on Monday while Saketh Myneni will lead the country's singles challenge.........Read more

Pakistan denies BSF claim of killing seven of its soldiers in cross-border firing

BSF officials, who were not identified, had told news agencies that it had killed the Pakistani soldiers in retaliatory firing along the border in Kathua on Thursday night. They said one BSF constable was in a critical condition after suffering a bullet injury in the cross-border firing. Pakistan, however, denied any loss of life at their side.........Read more

Kerala man is key Islamic State ‘recruiter’ luring Indian volunteers to Afghanistan

Ever since the National Investigation Agency arrested six Kerala men earlier this month on allegations of planning terrorist attacks, the intelligence services of India, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates have been hunting Abdullah — a man now believed to occupy a key position in a shadowy network of recruiters routing Indian jihad volunteers to the Islamic State in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province which has its capital in Jalalabad........Read more

After 32 years, Bhopal gas tragedy victims to get memorial worth Rs 180 crores

Nearly thirty-two years after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in which thousands of people were killed, Madhya Pradesh government on Sunday announced that it would build a memorial of one of the world's worst industrial disaster.........Read more

Effigy burning row: NSUI warns of nationwide protests if action is taken after JNU probe

The student wing of the Congress party, NSUI, on Thursday warned of country-wide protests if any action was taken against it for burning an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11 October.........Read more

Bengaluru protests steel flyover connecting with airport; project to cost 800 trees & Rs 1800 cr!

The 6.72 km steel structure is to be built between Bengaluru's Basaveshwara circle and Hebbal making travelling to airport easier.........Read more

SAAB to co-produce Carl-Gustaf M4 under Make in India project

"We had very good and positive feedback from the Indian Army because of reduction in weight and the ammunition loaded. We tried to generate interest for the weapon. They are producing the old ones and they need to update the old ones," Christer Gordon, Vice President, FFV Ordnance AB, Saab, told BusinessLine.........Read more

Reliance Jio has acquired 269.9 MHz of spectrum for Rs 13,672 crore

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has made a commitment of Rs13,672 crore for 269.2 MHz of airwaves in the spectrum auction that ended on Thursday. The company acquired spectrum in 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz bands across all the 22 service areas in the country, said Jio, which launched its 4G services last month.........Read more

Capillary Technologies Acquires SellerworX To Strengthen Omnichannel Product Portfolio

Bengaluru-based omni-channel engagement and commerce platform Capillary Technologies has acquired ecommerce platform SellerworX. Speaking on the acquisition, Venkat, CEO and co-founder, Seller...........Read more

'Partnership on AI' formed by Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft

Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft are joining forces to create a new AI partnership dedicated to advancing public understanding of the sector, as well as coming up with standards for future researchers to abide by.........Read more

Rahul to appear before Guwahati court in defamation case

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will appear before a Guwahati court on Thursday in connection with a criminal defamation suit filed against him by the RSS.........Read more

Several injured in Houston mall shooting, suspect shot: police

Houston police say several people have been shot at a strip mall in the southwest of the city and that officers shot the gunman. Police said via Twitter Monday that an "active shooter at Weslayan & Bissonnet has been shot by our officers" and that there are no reports of other suspects "at this time."........Read more

Hurriyat Leader Asks UN, OIC to Prevail Upon India for Talks

Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has appealed to the UN and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to press India for an "unconditional and transparent" dialogue with all stakeholders for the resolution of Kashmir issue. "Hurriyat Conference believes that an alternative path to work out the modalities of a resolution is through dialogue. "It (Hurriyat) fervently appeals to the OIC to support this demand and urges the UN and the international community to prevail upon India to enable a genuine, unconditional and transparent dialogue with all stakeholders i.e. India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir," he said in a letter to the OIC. The separatist leader, who is under arrest at Cheshma Shahi sub jail for the past 24 days, has been invited by the OIC to attend its annual Foreign Ministers' meet to be held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York later this month. He reiterated that certain steps need to be taken for creating a conducive atmosphere for the dialogue over the Kashmir issue. "Immediately stop killing, torture and arbitrary arrests of Kashmiri civilians and release all political prisoners. Remove arbitrary and draconian laws and conditions such as the Disturbed Areas act, Public Safety Act and others," he said. The Hurriyat chairman said there should be "no reprisal or intimidation" of the people of Kashmir so that they can discuss and express their political aspirations in public spaces. "The use of firearms and pellet guns on unarmed protesters should be stopped. Start demilitarising all of Kashmir and revoke impunity laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)," he said. "Most importantly, recognise the right of Kashmiri people to determine their own political future," he added.........Read more

I, me, myself

Mumbai-based emcee and new MTV VJ Clince Varghese won't be too popular among flight attendants. Before the flight takes off, the 25-year-old has to take a wide-angle selfie with his GoPro camera. A few flyers have smiled, some have seemed bemused, and others, sleepy, in the over 55 pictures he now possesses. Only once has Varghese been threatened with eviction. He stayed on board and still got his groupie. "I am besharam that way," says Varghese, winner of MTV's show Great Selfie Challenge last year. "A selfie is about mastering the skill of being confident and spreading smiles." But Varghese's lofty photographic pursuits may suffer with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation recently announcing it will ban selfies for both passengers and crew. Varghese, though, will come up with another signature snapshot.........Read more

Money laundering case: ED attaches Mallya's assets worth Rs 6,630 crore

Money laundering case: ED attaches Mallya's assets worth Rs 6,630 crore - ED attaches assets worth Rs 6,630 crore of Vijay Mallya in connection with its money laundering probe.........Read more

'Alice' star Marvin Kaplan dies at 89

Marvan Kaplan, best known for playing Henry Beesmeyer on the sitcom "Alice" has passed away. He was 89. Theatre West, an organisation for artistes in Burbank, has confirmed that Kaplan died of natural causes on Wednesday, reported Variety.........Read more

Hardik Patel Became A 'Crorepati' Through His Protests, According To His Former Political Aides

'Normally, people find it difficult to make both ends meet after going to jail. You have become a crorepati...'........Read more

This tiny chip could be the future of robot vision

For robots to operate in the physical world, they need a decent pair of eyes. Usually, this job is taken care of using LIDAR — a technology that bounces light off nearby surfaces to create a 3D map...........Read more

Walmart is buying Jet.com for $3 billion

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, announced it will acquire two-year-old online retailer Jet.com for $3.3 billion in cash and stock in the largest-ever acquisition of an e-commerce company.........Read more

Islamic State calls on members to carry out jihad in Russia

Islamic State called on its group members to carry out jihad in Russia in a nine-minute YouTube video on Sunday.........Read more

Pilgrim nation: The lion on the hill -

Simhachalam is special for the worship of a composite image of ‘masculine’ avatars of Vishnu, Varaha and Narasimha.........Read more

Falling through the Earth would be a drag

Scientists study how friction affects a hypothetical jump through the center of the Earth.........Read more

Researchers break bandwidth record for data communication using laser-based visible light

(Phys.org)—Cell phones and Wi-Fi devices typically transmit data using radio waves, but as the demand for wireless data transfer increases, congestion in the radio spectrum is expected to become more of a problem. One way to solve this problem is with visible light communication (VLC), a technology that uses visible light rather than radio waves for data transmission.........Read more

Meet the Three Women Fighter Pilots of IAF Who Take Flight on June 18

Flight Cadets Bhawana Kanth of Bihar, Avani Chaturvedi of Madhya Pradesh and Mohana Singh of Rajasthan will write their names in the IAF history when they pass out after the successful completion of training at the Combined Graduation Parade Spring Term – 2016.........Read more

Stop shaming India abroad, Shiv Sena tells PM Modi

The Shiv Sena today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi -to stop maligning India on foreign shores- with his public utterances on corruption in the country.........Read more

In just 30 years, India has lost large forests to 23,716 industrial projects

Over the last 30 years, forests nearly two-thirds the size of Haryana have been lost to encroachments (15,000 sq km) and 23,716 industrial projects (14,000 sq km), according to government data, and artificial forests cannot be replacements, as the go........Read more

Delhi cabbie beaten up by African nationals for refusing extra passengers

The 51-year-old cab driver, Nuruddin, was allegedly thrashed by six people following an altercation in the wee hours of Monday near Mehrauli, police said.........Read more