Ceasefire violation in Samba, 1 BSF jawan dead, 4 Pak troopers killed in retaliation

In the second ceasefire violation in the past 24 hours, Pakistani Rangers on Wednesday fired on a BSF patrol party along the International Border in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, killing a jawan and injuring another.

There was heavy firing by Pakistan on a patrolling party of BSF along IB in Suchtegarh forward belt in Samba sector, Inspector General, BSF, Jammu Frontier, Rakesh Sharma was quoted as saying by the PTI.

‘PM’s Silence on Conversions Will Upset Social Equilibrium’

Alleging “connivance” between the Sangh Parivar and the BJP-led government at the Centre, Congress on Wednesday said the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of re-conversions will upset the social equilibrium in the country.

The spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese said people behind such programmes, including ‘ghar wapsi’ were trying to break up the unity of the country.

PM Modi meets Nirbhaya’s parents

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Nirbhaya’s parents on Tuesday and assured them that his government was doing its utmost for safety and security of women.

As per reports, he also condoled the loss of their daughter.

At the same time he appreciated the efforts of Nirbhaya’s mother, who runs the Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust for welfare of women.

Later talking to the media, Nirbhaya’s father said that they had given a letter to the PM demanding amendment in juvenile act and death sentence for culprits.

Land pooling process for new Andhra Pradesh capital starts today

The land pooling process for the proposed new capital city of Andhra Pradesh coming up here will get underway from Wednesday.

This was stated here on Tuesday by N Srikanth, Special Commissioner, Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA). The Authority, chaired by the Chief Minister, has been formed to oversee construction of the new capital and develop necessary infrastructure in the region.

Srikanth interacted with revenue officers at a meeting, where they were trained to handle paper work related to the pooling process with farmers.

Ready to be accommodative on conducting EAMCET: Andhra Minister

Amid the ongoing row between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over the issue of conducting the common entrance test for engineering and other professional courses, Andhra Pradesh government Wednesday said it would be “accommodative” in its approach on the matter.

The row between the two states is over conducting the Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine Common Entrance Test (EAMCET) this year.

Citing legal provisions, Andhra Pradesh State Higher Education Council had earlier said it had the power to conduct the test in both states as per Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

Hyderabad police to launch mobile app for women’s safety

Hyderabad police will launch a new mobile application from new year, which will ensure women’s safety during travel, and enable people to access help in emergencies by pressing SOS button.

‘Hawk eye’ will also empower people to become citizen police by reporting crimes and traffic violations. They can also report violations by police personnel, make suggestions for improved policing and report good work done by police.

Modi government’s latest: Mission Empowerment for minorities

In order to take his development agenda to the minorities, the Narendra Modi government has launched ‘Mission Sashaktikaran’, as per reports on Wednesday.

The highlights of the scheme are economic empowerment and security for the minorities.

Earlier too the BJP-led NDA government had come up with certain schemes for the minorities like the ‘Nai Roshni’ which they rediscovered. This was the leadership-initiation programme for young Muslim women, which was a scheme of the previous UPA government but had not seen the light of the day.

Nitish gives full marks to ‘PK’

Former Bihar chief minster Nitish Kumar Wednesday gave “full 10 marks out of 10” to Aamir Khan’s film “PK”, saying it is not only entertaining but also creates awareness.

“Aamir Khan’s ‘PK’ deserves full 10 marks because it is giving a positive message to the society,” the Janata-Dal United leader told the media here.

Criticising those opposing and protesting “PK”, Nitish Kumar said the film was already a hit across the country and was helping people gain knowledge.

Ghaziabad police launch door-to-door search for terrorists

Police here Wednesday launched a door-to-door cordon and search operation following an intelligence tip-off that terrorists might sneak and hide in towns in the National Capital region (NCR).

Senior Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Yadav said a team of five sub-inspectors and five constables would conduct the searches.

Twenty patrolling vehicles have also been put in service for this job.

The entire operation would be headed by Superintendent of Police (City) Shiv Hari Meena, Yadav said.

Homecoming of Hindus is not conversion, Togadia

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today said ‘ghar wapsi’ (homecoming) of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism could not be termed as conversion and claimed the practise had been prevailing for several centuries.

Speaking about VHP’s ‘ghar wapsi’ agenda, International President of the organisation, Praveenbhai Togadia said untouchability would be removed, Brahmins and Scheduled Castes would lunch together in their kitchen and share sorrow and happiness.

“SC/ST will be considered as friend of Hindu parivar (family),” Togadia told reporters here.

Tirupati Temple hundi collections cross Rs 831 Cr in 2014

A whopping Rs 831.90 crore cash was dropped in ‘hundi’ by lakhs of devotees who visited the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam for the darshan of Lord Venkateshwara in the year 2014.

According to TTD officials, as many as 2,26,12,628 (2.26 Crore) devotees had the darshan of Lord Venkateshwara in 2014. Of them, 1.15 crore offered their hairs to the Lord. The temple authorities have sold about nine crore Laddus to the devotees. (INN)

Boxer Amir Khan joins Pak cricket legend Imran Khan in fight against terrorism

In a bid to show solidarity against terrorism, British two-time world champion boxer Amir Khan has been accompanied by Pakistan cricket legend Imran Khan and veteran batsman Younus Khan during a visit to the recently attacked Peshawar school in Pakistan. The Peshawar school recently came under the attack, where 141 children and teachers were mercilessly massacred by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants. Imran and Younus joined Pakistani origin boxer to meet survivors and distribute gifts to victims’ relatives.

Azhar Mahmood backs Younus Khan to play crucial role in Pak’s WC campaign

Former Pakistan’s all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has backed veteran batsman Younus Khan to play a crucial role in the team’s one day side in the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Mahmood, who played 21 Tests and 143 one-day international, said that he would back Azhar all the way as his experience in Australia and New Zealand would be invaluable, PakPassion reported. Mahmood added that the approach from the Pakistan top and middle order is to look to block and survive rather than to be proactive and put pressure on the fielding side.


Apple patents `smart pen` capable of detecting hand movements

Tech giant Apple has been granted a patent for a stylus design of a smart pen capable of detecting hand movements that enables translation into digital line drawings and text, adding into the list of their new innovations. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has patented Apple’s communicating stylus that employs accelerometers, wireless communication hardware and onboard storage to transfer hand-written notes and drawings on to the display of a digital device, the AppleInsider reported.

IIT Director attributes decision to quit to “unforseen situation”

IIT Director R Shevgaonkar, whose resignation last week had triggered a controversy, on Wednesday attributed his decision to quit to some “unforeseen situations”.

“Towards the end of the year, however, some unforeseen situations developed and I had to decide to step down from my position. Nevertheless, this is a small transient in the long illustrious history of IIT Delhi.

“IIT Delhi is on constant rising path and I am sure the New Year will bring many unprecedented achievements to the institute,” Shevgaonkar said in his farewell mail sent to the faculty, staff and students.

India will give fitting reply to Pakistan: Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has warned Pakistan that India will retaliate with “double the force” whenever the Pakistani military fires at Indian positions.

Parrikar also said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), presently controlled by both the road transport and defence ministries, will be brought solely under his ministry.

The defence ministry was also thinking of reviewing all cases of blacklisted defence firms and may give conditioned and limited approval to dealing with some based on merit, he told the media late Tuesday.

Israeli leaders hail failed Palestinian UN bid

Israeli officials Wednesday hailed the UN Security Council’s rejection of a Palestinian statehood bid the night before, thanking countries for voting against it and saying unilateral moves only push peace further away.

The Palestinians needed nine votes in order for the Security Council to adopt the resolution. Eight member states voted in favour of the resolution, two voted against it, while five others abstained.

PAHAL on LPG to cover entire country from Jan 1

The direct benefit transfer of LPG (DBTL) scheme – Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh (PAHAL) – which was re-launched in 54 districts Nov 15, will be started in the rest of the 622 districts of the country from Jan 1, 2015.

The scheme will cover over 15.3 crore consumers across 676 districts of the country. Over 6.5 crore consumers, i.e. 43 percent, have already joined the scheme and will receive subsidy in their bank account, an official release said.

Bangalore blast investigation: Reddi says excellent coordination with central agencies

Bengaluru Police Commissioner M.N. Reddi on Wednesday said there had been excellent coordination and cooperation with the central agencies in the investigation of the Church Street blast.

“There has been excellent coordination and cooperation with the central agencies and they have been camping here all the time and we have been sharing all the available information and intelligence with each other to gain better understanding of the incident and the case,” said Reddi.

The Police Commissioner added that security arrangements had been beefed up in the city on New Year’s Eve.

Delhi man held for killing property dealer

A man has been arrested for allegedly killing a 73-year-old central Delhi-based property dealer to whom he owed some money, police said Wednesday.

Sanjay, 34, a resident of east Delhi’s Geeta Colony, was arrested early Wednesday.

Sanjay killed Naresh Kumar Bansal and dumped his body near Shanti Van. The body was recovered by a police patrol around 1 a.m. Tuesday from Daryaganj.

Bansal, who stayed in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar area and ran a property related business from Chandni Chowk in central Delhi, had come to Daryaganj Monday evening with his son and approached the accused.

Amit Shah hasn’t got clean chit yet: Congress

The CBI special court’s decision to discharge BJP president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati case was not akin to a “clean chit”, the Congress said Wednesday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “self-congratulatory pats” were misplaced, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media here.

“The charges were dropped for lack of enough evidence to move a higher court,” he said.

AirAsia crash: Seven bodies recovered so far

Seven bodies have been recovered from the Java Sea site, where the crashed AirAsia flight is believed to have gone down, at the end of the search operations Wednesday.

While four of the bodies were recovered Wednesday, three were recovered Tuesday. Four of them are males and three females.

Two of the bodies were taken to the Indonesian city of Surabaya from where the ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 took off Sunday morning for Singapore before going missing 42 minutes later.

Ranji: Himachal, Delhi, Odisha register victories

Medium-pacer Rishi Dhawan’s five for 53 helped Himachal Pradesh dismiss Assam for 198 in the second innings and win the Ranji Trophy match by an innings and 133 runs in Guwahati Wednesday while Delhi and Odisha completed their victories over Gujarat and Haryna, respectively.

Assam trailed Himachal by 331 in the first innings Tuesday and Wednesday they needed to bat throughout the day to salvage a draw at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium.

Zimbabwe appoint Whatmore new coach, eye 2015 World Cup

Newly appointed Zimbabwe national cricket team coach Dave Whatmore has said he is targeting the Super Eight stage of the 2015 World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand from Feb 14.

Whatmore was officially unveiled as Zimbabwe’s coach Tuesday following the sacking of Steve Mangongo who only lasted seven months on the job, reports Xinhua.

Mangongo was fired at the back of whitewash defeats in both the Tests and the One-Day Internationals (ODI) against Bangladesh in October and November.

Urrutia to seek re-election as Athletic Bilbao president

Josu Urrutia confirmed Wednesday that he will stand for re-election March 27 as the president of Athletic Club Bilbao.

The former player will be looking for a second term at the head of the famous Basque club, which along with FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is the only club never to have been relegated from the Spanish La Liga, reports Xinhua.

Urrutia is in the fourth and final year of his four-year term, which given the idiosyncrasies of the club, which only signs players born or raised in the Basque region, has been highly successful.