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Telangana Polls: Rohingyas Warned Against Voting Using Fake ID Cards December 06, 2018 18:28

Rohingyas who appear at polling stations to vote by getting voter id card fraudulently would be arrested and imprisoned, the police warned on Thursday. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has identified 105 Rohingyas under its limits who have obtained Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) by enrolling themselves as voters by giving a false declaration stating that they are citizens of India, a civic body official said. "If any Rohingya is found to have obtained EPIC and turns up at the polling booth on December 7, we will arrest that person without any hesitation," Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar told PTI. Earlier, a GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) official had said about 190 names of people suspected to be Rohingyas, the ethnic minority community in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar, have figured in the voter's list of Hyderabad and neighboring districts and the officials were in the process of deleting them. According to a GHMC press release, the community has been migrating to India as refugees since 2012 and the influx into Hyderabad started in 2013. About 5,025 Rohingyas were taking shelter in Hyderabad and its surrounding areas either in refugee camps or in privately rented accommodations and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees is providing UNHCR ID cards to these refugees in the city, it said. Enrolling in voters list by submitting false information is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be extended to one year, or with fine, or with both, as per Section 31 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (RP Act, 1950). "A copy of the list containing details of Rohingya voters has been made available with the officers. In case it is found that Rohingya, who are marked in the ASD (Absent, Shifted, Dead) list, come to vote then he will be immediately taken into custody and a case will be registered," the GHMC added. By Sowmya Sangam

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ISRO Launches GSAT-11 Satellite That Boosts Net Connectivity December 05, 2018 11:15

The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has successfully launched its GSAT-11 satellite, also called the "Big Bird" into space today from the French spaceport of Kourou in South America. The satellite,weighing 5,854 kg, launched at 2.07 a.m. (IST), will help in providing satellite-based internet to remote places where cable-based internet cannot reach. It is the heaviest Indian-made equipment that the agency put into its orbit. This launch was the second attempt after ISRO's first bid failed in May earlier this year and was placed into space on its 102nd flight, the Ariane 5 rocket. According to ISRO, the satellite is healthy after the launch. "GSAT-11 is the next generation high throughput communication satellite that will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country. It will also provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications," Dr. K Sivan, ISRO chief said. The "Big Bird" has cost about Rs. 600 crore. The Ariane-5 heavyweight rocket was hired from Arianespace by ISRO. The satellite is expected to have a lifespan of 15 years. The satellite internet, which the GSAT-11 will help to provide, will aid in giving internet connectivity in flights in India. The GSAT-11 is equivalent to the combined power of almost all communications satellites sent into orbit by India. A communications specialist told NDTV that the satellite is like a constellation of 30 classical orbiting satellites. India has hired the French Ariane-5 rocket as it can heavy payload into orbit. India's own geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle MK iii or GSLV MK iii can haul satellites that weigh up to 4 tons. Along with its three siblings, GSAT-19, GSAT-29, and GSAT-20, the satellite will be a "game changer for providing internet access and data communications for India and will aid the digital India program," Dr. Sivan adds. -Sowmya Sangam

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Over 4,000 Criminal Cases Pending Against MPs, MLAs: SC December 04, 2018 17:31

The Supreme Court was on Tuesday informed that there were about 4,122 criminal cases pending, some for more than three decades, against former and present members of Parliament and legislative assemblies. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will take up the issue on Tuesday relating to the criminal lawsuits against the former and present legislators on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). The top court had sought detailed data on the pending criminal cases against the present and former legislators from the State and various high courts so as to enable the setting up of a decent number of special courts for expedited trial in these cases. Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria who is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter together with advocate Sneha Kalita filed the data received from States and high courts and submitted it to the top court. The data put together stated that in 264 cases, the trial has been stayed by high courts. Further, the report said in several cases which have been pending since 1991, charges have not yet been framed. The court will hear the PIL (Public interest litigation) filed by lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Aswhini Upadhyay seeking a lifetime ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases besides setting up of special courts to with speed and efficiency try such cases involving elected representatives. -Sowmya Sangam

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Telangana Assembly Polls: Over 1,800 Candidates in Fray November 23, 2018 17:06

More than 1,800 candidates remained in the battle for the next month's Assembly elections in Telangana as the deadline to withdraw nominations ended Thursday, officials said. A total of 1,824 candidates in 119 constituencies will test their political fortunes in December 7 polls. Many rebels withdrew their nominations on the last day as the major parties succeeded in their efforts and several independents too withdrew their names. This remarkably brought down the total number of contestants. As the last day of retreating nominations concluded on Thursday, as many as 367 out of 2,653 candidates withdrew their nominations for the approaching Telangana elections. Many of the candidates who withdrew their nominations were rebel candidates from Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, who were not given party tickets to contest the elections. However, 13 candidates - seven candidates from Congress led Mahakutami alliance and six from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) - did not withdraw their nominations. The TPCC Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee) and TRS both in the last 48 hours had made efforts to pacify the rebel candidates. A total of 3,584 candidates had filed their papers when the deadline to file nominations ended on Monday. Nominations of about 500 candidates were rejected during scrutiny on Tuesday. Elections to 119-member Assembly are scheduled to be held in a single phase while counting would happen on December 11. The Assembly was dissolved on September 6, eight months before its term was to expire, as the ruling TRS opted for early elections. TRS is contesting all seats on its own while Congress is leading 'Mahakutami' or grand alliance of opposition, which also includes Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI). Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is also going it alone in the polls. According to Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar, the total number of voters in the state is 2,80,64,680 including 7,46,077 new voters. In the meantime, Chief Election Commissioner O. P Rawat along with two election commissioners and some other senior officials reached Hyderabad Thursday evening to review the poll arrangements. The poll panel team will hold meetings with district election officers, superintendents of police and other senior officials to review the arrangements. On Friday, it will as well meet representatives of political parties. -Sowmya Sangam

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Modi Govt. to Build Kartapur Corridor, Urges Pak to Follow Suit November 22, 2018 15:40

The union cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the development of the Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab's Gurdaspur district to the International Border. The significant decision will give Indian pilgrims effortless access to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the banks of the Ravi river, in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years. The government has also urged Pakistan to recognize the sentiments of the Sikh community and develop a corridor with appropriate facilities in its territory as well. "The Kartarpur corridor will be implemented as an integrated development project with Government of India funding, to provide smooth and easy passage, with all the modern amenities. The government of India will put in place suitable facilities for smooth passage of pilgrims," a press release said. "The government of Pakistan will be urged to recognize the sentiments of the Sikh community and to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in their territory as well," it added. The Kartarpur corridor will provide smooth and easy passage to pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib throughout the year. Government of Pakistan will be urged to reciprocate and develop a corridor with suitable facilities in their territory. — राजनाथ सिंह (@rajnathsingh) November 22, 2018 Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu welcomed the move and appealed to the Centre to write to the Pakistan government. "I hope the draft for the letter is ready as promised by Hon'ble EAM Sushma Ji", he said. He also urged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to take reciprocal steps in opening the corridor in his country. Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, which is three kilometers from the India-Pakistan border, is an ultimate resting place of Guru Nanak. There have been persistent calls from the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and political leaders to construct a "corridor" for pilgrims to cross over into Pakistan to visit the Kartarpur Sahib shrine and come back the same day. -Sowmya Sangam

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Man Throws Chilli Powder at Kejriwal Inside Delhi Secretariat November 20, 2018 18:00

In what was alleged as a politically motivated attack, a man threw chili powder at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inside the Delhi secretariat, the official said. The officials said, the man identified as Anil Kumar has been detained. The attack took place outside the chief minister's chamber on the third floor when he was leaving for lunch. The man bowed before the chief minister that he has some grievances and said 'AAP hi se umeed hai,' but soon threw chili powder at Kejriwal, according to media reports. "Even the chief minister is not safe in Delhi," condemning the attack, the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) said in a tweet and called it a "serious security lapse" from the part of Delhi Police. The party claimed that the attack was politically motivated. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the attack. "The BJP is behind the attack and the accused are being aided by the Modi government," Bhardwaj alleged. Reacting to the incident, another AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha tweeted, "Was right behind CM @ArvindKejriwal at the Secretariat when he was suddenly attacked, on the 3rd floor right outside his office. Shocking lapse of security. Is this Delhi Police's incompetent effort to protect an elected CM?" "While today just the CM's glasses fell to the floor and broke, an unacceptable security lapse nonetheless. Imagine if an attacker were to be wielding a more dangerous weapon. Who were to have prevented a tragedy from occurring?" he said in another tweet. -Sowmya Sangam

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Sushma Swaraj Says Won't Contest in 2019 Citing Poor Health November 20, 2018 16:20

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday proclaimed she would not be contesting the next Lok Sabha elections, due by May 2019. Swaraj made the statement while talking to media persons in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Noting that while the final decision on contesting elections was with the Bharatiya Janata Party, Swaraj said she had "made up her mind", citing her poor health as a being a factor behind her decision. Swaraj was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996 and held various positions in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee governments of the late 1990s in addition to briefly serving as chief minister of Delhi. Swaraj attracted appreciable media attention as an effective leader of opposition in the second UPA United Progressive Alliance) government. Though considered an "acolyte" of L.K. Advani, Swaraj was given the position of external affairs minister by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Swaraj had made a mark in the ministry of external affairs with her punctual responses to appeals for help on social media. In 2016, Swaraj underwent a kidney transplant and reduced her public meetings. -Sowmya Sangam

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Hero of Longewala Battle Brigadier Chandpuri Dies at 78 November 17, 2018 14:31

Brigadier (retired) Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, a decorated war veteran died in a private hospital in Mohali of Punjab on Saturday, family sources said.He was 78.Chandpuri, who was an Army Major during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, had held his post through the night in the notable battle of Longewala in Rajasthan with just 120 men against a full-fledged attack by advancing Pakistani Patton tanks.He was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for the heroic stand-off against the tanks and forcing the enemy to retreat.The feat of Brig Chandpuri and his men was later featured in the Bollywood blockbuster movie "Border" which was released in 1997.His role was played by actor Sunny Deol.-Sowmya Sangam

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Cyclone Gaja to Cross Tamil Nadu Coast Later on Thursday November 15, 2018 14:53

Cyclone Gaja centered over the Bay of Bengal is probably to intensify into an acute cyclonic storm and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore on Thursday evening or night, the Met said. The wind speed would be about 80-90 kmph gusting at 100 kmph, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. In its Thursday bulletin, the IMD said the cyclone moved at 14 kmph and lay centered over east-northeast of Nagapattinam at 5.30 a.m. Gaja is likely to move west-southwestwards and cross between Pamban and Cuddalore. The sea condition is very likely to be rough to very rough along and off Tamil Nadu-south Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry coasts Thursday afternoon onwards, the IMD said. It advised total suspension of fishing operations along Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 24 hours till Friday. Schools and colleges have been closed in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai districts in Tamil Nadu and in Karaikal district in Puducherry. According to the AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) government, telecommunication companies have assured they would have oil stocked for a minimum of five days in the cyclone-expected zone and for 15 days at their headquarters. The mobile telephone companies as well assured the government of moving their mobile telecom towers or cell on wheels to Nagapattinam and Cuddalore. According to a statement from the state government, arrangements have been made to send bulk SMSes to mobile subscribers cautioning about the weather issued by the emergency control centers. By Sowmya

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India's Heaviest Rocket Lifts off with Communication Satellite GSAT-29 November 14, 2018 17:51

India's heaviest rocket - Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) - carrying 3,423 kg communication satellite GSAT-29 blasted off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Wednesday evening.Exactly at 5.08 p.m., the GSLV-Mk III rocket on its second developmental flight began its ascent with a strong deep growl that reverberated like a thunder roll breaking free from the second launch pad here at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC).The 43.4-meter rocket weighing about 640 tonnes rushed to the blue skies with a thick orange flame at its rear. The GSLV-Mk III with a capacity to carry a four-tonne satellite is a three-stage/engine rocket with two strap-on motors powered by solid fuel. The second stage is a core liquid fuel booster and the third is the cryogenic engine.The Indian space agency had flown a similar rocket on June 5, 2017, with GSAT-19 satellite. Prior to that ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) had flown another rocket with 3.7-tonne dummy payload in 2014 to test its in-flight structural stability and aerodynamics. On Wednesday, just over 16 minutes into its flight the rocket will sling the GSAT-29 at its intended orbit at an altitude of around 207 km.According to ISRO, GSAT-29 with a lifespan of 10 years is a multi-beam satellite that carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders intended to meet the communication necessitates of users as well as those in distant areas.Additionally, several new technologies such as Q/V-band payload, data transmission through optical communication link will be demonstrated. This will help in realizing future advanced satellites, ISRO said.The satellite also carries a geo-high resolution camera. India presently has two fully operational rockets - the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and GSLV-Mk II - with a lift-off mass of 415 tonnes and a standing capability of 2.5 tonnes.-Sowmya Sangam

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Vehicle Owners Can Now Carry Only E-Form of Documents While Driving November 14, 2018 12:27

The Union ministry of road transport and highways has put forward some amendments to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules.Under the new rules, renewal of fitness certificates for transport vehicles, which are as far as eight years old, would be done biannually while for vehicles older than eight years, the renewal time period would be one year."Further, no fitness certification shall be required at the time of registration for new transport vehicle sold as fully built vehicle and such vehicle shall be deemed to be having a certificate of fitness for a period of two years from the date of registration," the draft notification stated.According to ministry officials, these measures would simplify the transport sector of the regulatory necessitates, help reduce corruption and increase the efficiency of the sector. In an amendment pertaining to rule 138B, goods carriage vehicles will not be permitted to carry cargo openly. They will now be authorized to carry the goods in a closed body or within covers such as tarpaulin. "This (carrying goods openly) was a cause of nuisance when vehicles, laden with construction material, garbage etc were moving without covers. The amendment will solve this problem," a ministry official said.The revised rules also make it effortless for drivers to produce documents related to the vehicle. "Production of registration, insurance, fitness, permit, driving license to the enforcement authorities can be now done in electronic form also," the amended rule 139 stated."The citizens are now not required to carry documents in physical form while driving. Although under the IT Act, the document in electronic form was prescribed, enforcement authorities had still been pressing for physical documents. This practice will be done away with," the official said.-Sowmya Sangam

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Sabarimala: SC Agrees to Hear Review Petitions on Jan 22 November 13, 2018 17:06

The Supreme Court on Tuesday has set January 22 as the date to hear Sabarimala review petitions on its September 28 verdict of allowing the women of all ages to enter the shrine. A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices R.F. Nariman, CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Indu Malhotra, A.M. Khanwilkar, and D.Y. Chandrachud decided to hear the review petitions in open court. However, there is no stay on the entry of women of all the age groups till January 22.The five-judge bench was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking review of the verdict given on September 28 permitting entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. On Tuesday, forty-eight petitions seeking review of the judgment were taken up for consideration. Except for CJI Gogoi, all the other judges were part of the constitutional bench that advocated entry of women in menstrual age to Sabarimala temple. Relying to a great extent on the judgment of Justice Indu Malhotra, the dissenting voice in the 4:1 split verdict, the review petitions contended that constitutional parameters of rationality cannot be blindly applied to matters of faith. The apex court's judgment led to violence at the hill-top shrine in Kerala in October. A plea filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association (NADA), which has sought review of the verdict, had said: "The notion that the judgment under review is revolutionary, one which removes the stigma or the concept of dirt or pollution associated with menstruation, is unfounded. It is a judgment welcomed by hypocrites who were aspiring for media headlines. On the merits of the case, as well, the said judgment is absolutely untenable and irrational, if not perverse".Including the Association, several other petitions comprising one by the Nair Service Society (NSS), have been filed against the apex court verdict.The NSS had said in the plea that as the deity is a 'Naistika Brahmachari', females below the age of 10 and after the age of 50 years are eligible to worship him and there is no practice of excluding worship by females.-Sowmya Sangam

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