JAMMU: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday discussed the overall political and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with the party’s state leadership and asked them to launch an offensive against the BJP for its “failure” on various fronts. Gandhi chaired a meeting of top leaders of J&K in Delhi and discussed the overall political and security situation of the state, a Congress spokesman said. Also Read – National Herald case: Officer bearers of Congress were cheats, Subramanian Swamy tells court Advertise With Us The meeting was attended by top Congress leaders like Gulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, KC Venugopal, AICC secretary in-charge J&K, Dr Shakeel Ahmed, and JKPCC chief G A Mir. The meeting deliberated upon the latest political situation in the wake of the results of the recent Lok Sabha elections and the preparations for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state, which are otherwise due to be held any time, but the state is under President’s rule, which has been extended for another spell of six months, the spokesman said. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us Gandhi asked the party leaders from the state to activate the cadre at various levels to highlight issues of the people and expose the “failures and falsehood” of the BJP. He said the leadership should highlight the issues of people in all three regions of the state with a view to launching an offensive against the BJP for its “failure” on various fronts. Advertise With Us Gandhi also asked to highlight the “failures” of the centre government and the erstwhile coalition government in the state to come up to the expectations of the people on various vital commitments, the spokesman said. The meeting had detailed deliberations on various aspects of the security and political situation and the measures to be taken for the strengthening of the party base in all three regions of the state, he said. The spokesman said the leaders also deliberated on the chain of activities to be undertaken to increase the mass-contact programme of the party in the state.
Rajamahendravaram: Vijaya Dairy lost its sheen and glory om the last 15 years owing to the lethargy of the government as well as tough competition from private dairies. The dairy, which was the highest milk producer in undivided state, is now desperate for funds and support from the government. Farmers supplying milk to the dairy are expressing concern over the pathetic condition of the cooperative. Also Read – Astrologer refutes charges against him Advertise With Us The main reason for the dairy’s downfall is the less rate being paid to the farmers who are supplying milk compared with private dairies. The private dairies are paying higher amount per a litre of milk and the government is not increasing the for Vijaya Dairy. Because of this, many farmers are supplying the milk to private dairies though they are interested to supply to Vijaya Dairy. Also Read – Jasti bags 16th rank in NEET Super Specialty Entrance Advertise With Us Another reason is after the division of the state, the milk supply to Telangana state was stopped, dealing a major blow to the dairy. Speaking to The Hans India here on Monday, Vijaya Dairy deputy director P Uma Devi said that they were paying Rs 54.60 per litre to the farmers as against the private dairies which are paying Rs 60 to Rs 62 per litre, which is hampering the development of the dairy. Advertise With Us Currently, the dairy is collecting 3,000 litres milk from 900 farmers in East Godavari district and producing only 2,000 litre milk though the dairy has the capacity to produce 25,000 litre a day, along with doodpeda and butter milk. Former chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy sanctioned Rs 65 lakh and started two units in 2005 which sustained the dairy to some extent. Bulk milk chilling centres are working at Kadiyam, Ravulapalem, Ainavalli, Rayavaram, Pedapudi, Karapa and Sankhavaram in the district. The dairy is supplying milk to some residential schools. A farmer M Lakshman of Kadiyam, underlined the need to develop the dairy to its full capacity and the present unit is running because of former Rajasekhar Reddy’s grant of funds. He said the district has three ministers, whom he urged to take steps to bring past glory to the prestigious dairy.
Nalgonda: The protest by RTC employees in front of the RTC depots under the leadership of Telangana Mazdoor Union has reached second day on Thursday in erstwhile Nalgonda district.Speaking on the occasion, TMU leaders demanded the government to merge the state road transport corporation with government and clear all dues pending dues besides filling up all vacant posts in all sections of the corporation for its effective functioning. They further demanded the government to release CCS and Provident Fund money which were saved by the employees of the Corporation.
HONG KONG: As a tear gas canister clatters onto a street in Hong Kong, a pro-democracy protester wearing heat-proof gloves and carrying a traffic cone sprints from the crowd to put it out. Police have ramped up their use of the crowd control measure as two months of rallies in the global financial hub have turned increasingly violent, peaking with 800 rounds fired on Monday in what protesters called a “tear gas buffet”. Also Read – US judge dismissed criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein Advertise With Us Hardcore demonstrators are responding with ever more creative methods to neutralise the threat, harnessing everything from traffic cones to kitchenware. Their arsenal includes several must-haves: heat-resistant gloves, so they can pick up searingly hot canisters, and respirators that have been dubbed “pig snouts” in Cantonese. Online forums host discussions on which models of 3M respirator filters work best against tear gas, and which local hardware stores still have the preferred models in stock. Also Read – Watch: Donald Trump says Florida faces absolute monster hurricane Advertise With Us “I really need to get one! The good masks are already very hard to find on the street,” wrote one commenter. On the streets, protesters compare notes on their equipment and offer tips. After police fired tear gas at protesters hurling bottles and bricks on Monday, one bystander gasped and rubbed his eyes, attracting the attention of a passing demonstrator who handed him a mask. Advertise With Us “This one’s not the good one but it will work,” he said. “You’ve always got to carry one!” Demonstrators have formed special “units” in charge of tackling tear gas, which leap into action as soon as a canister is fired. Some wrap their arms and legs in cling wrap to prevent the painful skin irritations that the gas and pepper spray can cause, and they carry saline to rinse the eyes of anyone affected. Canisters are sometimes picked up and lobbed back at police or extinguished straight away with water bottles. Some carry traffic cones, which can be popped on top of canisters to contain the gas before protesters douse them with water. Months of street battles against police have allowed protesters to develop a sophisticated response to crowd control techniques, said Tony Davis, a Bangkok-based security analyst with IHS Jane’s. “What’s happening in Hong Kong allows the protesters to learn and they’re developing skills,” he said. “They’re becoming in a sense, an organised army, which they certainly weren’t in the first phase.” They might be an “army”, but their equipment is mostly improvised, with one recent tool of choice coming straight from the kitchen. When police fired tear gas at residents in the working-class neighbourhood of Wong Tai Sin, a local grabbed a cheap aluminium wok lid to snuff out the gas. The cooking lids have now become standard issue for some protesters — part of an arsenal that also includes umbrellas and even swimming goggles to protect against pepper spray. While tear gas is a common crowd control method worldwide, it had rarely been seen in Hong Kong before the latest protest movement. Its use during the Occupy Central blockade of city streets in 2014, the city’s last period of civil unrest, caused widespread outrage.
Kolkata: In an indirect attack on the Central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that “we don’t have to learn from others how to be patriotic”. While talking about West Bengal culture at an event here ahead of the 73rd Independence Day, Banerjee said, “I believe we don’t have to learn from others how to be patriotic. We got freedom; today our country has progressed.” Banerjee said that independence for her means “to allow the people to speak”.
Share prices of utility vehicles and agricultural tractors manufacturer Force Motors (formerly Bajaj Tempo) have surged by 36% in the past seven trading sessions, even as the benchmark S&P Sensex index was up only 4.7% in the same period.Force Motors shares ended 7.67% higher at Rs 3,041 on Thursday, reaching the highest level since 5 August 2015.The rally in the stock is largely led by growing optimism among investors about the company’s earning potential.Overall, the share price of the company went up by a whopping 435% in the past 14 months, compared to a closing price of Rs 569.70 on 4 August 2014. The stock hit a life-time high of Rs 3,288 on 5 August this year.”It is net debt-free company, sitting on cash and cash equivalents of around Rs 290 crore (Rs 220/share) as on 31st March 2015,” Business Standard quoted analysts at IndiaNivesh Securities as saying in a recent report.”The company’s net sale is expected to grow at the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 21% while the company’s profit is expected to grow at CAGR of 43% for FY15/FY17E,” analysts said.Force Motors had opened a new engine manufacturing and testing facility near Chennai on 21 July last. The plant is expected to receive an order to make engines for BMW India. Analysts also expect the company to set up another manufacturing facility in Pune.The company has recorded a robust increase in net profit by 84.33% to Rs 35.76 crore in the June quarter, compared to Rs 19.40 crore in the same quarter last year. Besides, it also posted more than 30% rise in net profit for the fiscal year ending March 2015.
Tiger Shroff and Varun DhawanVarinder ChawlaVarun Dhawan’s recently released Kalank was one of the most anticipated films of 2019 as it has not just have an amazing ensemble cast including Alia Bhatt, Madhuri Dixit, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt and Kunal Khemu, but also it had two of the biggest banners in the Hindi Film Industry backing it, namely Dharma Productions and Nadiadwala Grandsons Entertainment. But the Varun Dhawan starrer failed to cross the opening day collection of Tiger Shroff’s Baaghi 2.Kalank’s opening day collection is whooping Rs 21.60 crore making it the highest opener of 2019 till day, but this score could not cross the mark of Tiger Shroff’s Baaghi 2 first day collection which was Rs 25.10 crore. Thus, making Tiger one of the youngest superstars to have such huge first day box office collection.Kalank did not fare well even with the stark features which included great visuals through VFX and the genre of a period drama and yet failed to cross the benchmark set by Tiger.Baaghi 2 was an action-thriller film which is one of the highest openers of 2018 with a collection of almost Rs 25 crore on the first day itself. It had also left behind Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor which was one of the highest openers in the first quarter of 2018.Interestingly Student of the year had Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, and Sidharth Malhotra making their big Bollywood debut. Student of the year 2 has Tara Sutaria and Ananya Panday making their Bollywood debuts opposite Tiger Shroff who is already an established star.Post Kalank’s release, Varun Dhawan has got Street Dancer with Shraddha Kapoor. On the other side, Tiger Shroff has got Student of the Year 2 releasing in a few days, untitled next with Hrithik Roshan, post which he has got Baaghi 3 and an official remake of Rambo.
Chris Hemsworth and Taika WaititiInstagramChris Hemsworth credits Thor: Ragnarok’s success and the revival of Thor as a pivotal MCU superhero to director Taika Waititi. He is not the only one who is extending his gratitude to the Australian filmmaker. We are also quite happy and thankful to the director for presenting a much cooler version of Thor. During an interview with Yahoo Movies UK, Hemsworth stated how he had fallen out of love with the character before his third solo movie came along. Having been the serious God of Thunder, Waititi’s version of the Norwegian god has been much better. “When we came into Ragnarok, I was sort of exhausted of what I’d been doing and a little sort of underwhelmed by what I was putting out there, you know?” the 35-year-old actor quoted.The actor continued, “That was no fault of any director or writer, that was me personally. It felt like I’d put myself in a box with what the character could do. So on Ragnarok, it was about breaking all the rules, and kinda going ‘as soon as it feels familiar, do something different’, and Taika [Waititi] – the director – had the same vision, and the same, I guess, guts to just roll the dice and [do the] ‘anything goes’ kind of thing. That was so liberating and freeing, you know, to sort of breakaway who the character was prior.”Taika Waititi’s version of Thor in Ragnarok sure hit jackpot at the box office. The film garnered £656 million at the global box office. The comic script with its unexpected twists and phenomenal visuals won very fan’s hearts and created a strong fandom for him. Since then, Thor’s character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films has been appreciated. In fact, as part of a video for Jimmy Kimmel’s show, the Avengers gathered to recite a PG-13 version of Infinity War for kids.Amid the promotion of the upcoming Marvel film, Avengers: Endgame, Hemsworth chose to take a short break and head to Disneyland Shanghai. He shared a video of the same on his Instagram. The film is set to release on April 26. Endgame also stars Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd and more as part of the ensemble cast.
7. Fani, pronounced “foni”, is expected to move into West Bengal next. Earlier, a red alert was sounded in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam after heavy rain and gusty winds uprooted trees and electricity poles. Around 20,000 people were shifted to 126 relief camps in Srikakulam. But, now de-warning has been issued in Andhra Pradesh as cyclone Fani moves towards Bengal. Mrityunjay Mohapatra, IMD, Delhi stated, “Cyclone Fani has moved away from Andhra Pradesh, so we have issued a de-warning. Three districts in the state were impacted by heavy rainfall.”8. The next stop of cyclone Fani is West Bengal. It will affect East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram districts and state capital Kolkata. The tropical cyclonic storm Fani is very likely to move further north-northwestwards and emerge into Bangladesh by Saturday evening.9. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has operationalised helpline number 1938 for cyclone Fani.10. Back in 1999, a super-cyclone battered Odisha’s coast for 30 hours which claimed around 10,000 lives. Cyclone Fani is the strongest storm in India in 20 years. Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:03/1:10Loaded: 0%0:03Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:07?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Cyclone Fani | The cyclonic storm completely moved into land With a wind speed of over 185 kmph, severe cyclonic storm Fani barrelled into the coast of Odisha’s Puri district on Friday (May 3) morning. Large areas in Odisha and other places have been affected and are submerged with water as cyclone Fani made landfall at around 8 am in the morning.Trees were uprooted, hoardings and windows panes were ransacked in Bhubaneswar and other places as the powerful tropical storm hit the entire eastern coastline, covering Bengal, Andhra Pradesh along with Odisha. Trees were uprooted, hoardings and windows panes were ransacked as cyclonic storm Fani barrelled into the coast of Odisha’s Puri. ReutersHere are the top 10 developments:1. All flight operations to and from Kolkata Airport have been cancelled from 3 pm today till 8 am on Saturday. The confirmation came from the Airports Authority of India. Flight operations from Bhubaneswar Airport have been cancelled from midnight. At least 140 trains including 83 passenger trains have been cancelled so far.#WATCH Rain and strong winds hit Bhubaneswar as #FANI cyclone hits Puri coast with wind speed of above 175km/per hour. pic.twitter.com/QZYkk1EALI— ANI (@ANI) May 3, 20192. The state government of Odisha has already evacuated over a million people from the coastal areas to camps on higher grounds. Around 14 districts in Odisha are in the path of the Cyclone Fani. People have been moved to safe zones from Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Naygarh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar which are expected to be badly impacted by the storm. Almost 11 lakh people have been evacuated in the past 24 hours. Ganjam and Puri evacuated more than 3 lakh and 1.3 lakh people respectively to safe shelters. About 5,000 kitchens started operating to serve food to people in the shelters.The sound and the fury : here’s what the landfall at Puri by #CycloneFani actually looked like..Video by @PIBBhubaneswar pic.twitter.com/4GpvKFkRQ3— PIB India (@PIB_India) May 3, 20193. A bulletin released by the IMD stated that winds in Puri are blowing at a maximum speed of 240-245 km per hour and heavy to very heavy rains are continuing over the coast of Odisha. Now, West Bengal and Assam braces for impact of Cyclone Fani. Cyclone Fani is moving in Northerly direction at a speed of 12 kmph. Eye diameter is 17.8 km.Twitter/PIB4. West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee have cancelled her political rallies for next 48 hours in view of the Cyclone Fani. Banerjee has requested people to cooperate and to stay safe and alert during the storm. She has stationed herself closer to the coastal belt in Kharagpur to detect the condition for consecutive two days.Taking to Twitter, Mamata Banerjee said, “Have cancelled my rallies for the next 48 hours because of what could be an impending disaster #CyclonicStormFANI We are monitoring the situation 24×7 and doing all it takes. I appeal to all people to cooperate. Be alert, take care and stay safe for the next two days.”5. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has warned people against the hazards of stepping out during Cyclone Fani. NDMA has tweeted from its official handle and shared a video showing two men on a bridge amid strong winds with the caption: “This is exactly what one should NOT do during a cyclone. Request you to please go to a safe place. #CycloneFani”.This is exactly what one should NOT do during a cyclone. Request you to please go to a safe place. #CycloneFani https://t.co/jCXen8C6ql— NDMA India (@ndmaindia) May 3, 20196. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has sent dozens of teams to flood-prone coastal regions, as well as the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard have been put on high alert. To tackle an emergency situation, six teams of the NDRF have been deployed in Jhargram district’s Sankrail, West Medinipur’s Narayangarh Block, in Ramnagar of East Medinipur district, Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas, Dhamakhali and Hasnabad of North 24 Parganas district.A visual showing NDRF team trying to move the uprooted trees and branches:
Eoin Morgan suffered a fracture in his fingerReutersEngland’s hopes of finally ending their World Cup drought in 2019 may have suffered a major jolt with their captain and key middle order batsman Eoin Morgan sustaining an injury. The skipper of arguably the strongest English team to compete in a World Cup has something described as “small flake fracture.”The authorities though, are very optimistic and have suggested that the Irish-turned-English cricketer will fully recover from the injury before the tournament begins. England play the opening match of the World Cup against South Africa on May 30 at The Oval in London.The left-handed batsman sustained the injury while practicing slip catching during a team training session at the Ageas Bowl – the venue for the home team’s first practice game against Australia, in the run-up to the World Cup. England are the favourites to win the World CupReutersNot only is Morgan a central figure in the new batting style that England have adopted since the 2015 World Cup, where they look to be aggressive throughout the innings and not let bowlers settle down, his captaincy has been cited as the major reason for the turnaround that England have experienced in their performances since the last edition of ICC’s biggest ODI event four years ago. When some people complained about the three lions batting recklessly and not showing enough intelligence, Morgan defended the approach as a step to get his team in the mind-set for scoring at high run-rates.Though the England ODI captain has been projected to fully recover from the injury to play in the opening match of the ICC event, he will be kept out of the first warm-up game. The new format of the World Cup sees each team from among the 10 playing against every other side. The top four teams in the points table will proceed to the semis and then the Final. England are regarded as the hot favourites. Haiving lost in three World Cup Finals, they are keen to finally get their hands on the trophy.
Mahindra and Mahindra Limited (M&M) on Friday announced that Pawan Goenka, currently executive director of the company, has been elevated to managing director while Anand Mahindra, currently the chairman and managing director, will be executive chairman.Goenka will continue to report to Anand Mahindra and the company’s board.”This is in line with the practice followed by companies across the Mahindra Group, where the position of Managing Director or CEO is distinct from that of the Chairman,” M&M said in a statement.Anand Mahindra described Goenka’s elevation as a “fitting recognition” of his experience and domain knowledge.Goenka joined M&M in 1993, after working for General Motors Corp in Detroit, US, for 14 years, and was instrumental in growing the R&D capability of Mahindra and launch of the Scorpio SUV.The company posted a standalone net profit of Rs 1,163 crore for the September quarter (Q2), up 27 percent from Rs 915.3 crore in the corresponding period last year. Sales rose 15 percent to Rs 11,363 crore from Rs 9,838.41 crore, YoY.M&M said that good rainfall this monsoon and pay bonanza to government employees and pensioners augur well for the economy in general and the auto industry in particular.”After two years of sub-par rainfall, this year’s monsoon has been abundant and well spread which will help revive farm income and push up private consumption. The Seventh Pay Commission and the OROP scheme award has put money in the pockets of government employees and pensioners which will further help demand,” it said in another statement.”The lag effects of interest rate cuts by the RBI along with the increased transmission of lower interest rates will also be supportive of consumption. All of these bode well for broad-based consumption led growth in the coming quarters,” the company added.The share price of M&M closed 6.02 percent lower at Rs 1,241.85 on the BSE on Friday. The BSE Sensex ended 2.54 percent lower at 26,818.
An oil refinery of Essar Oil, which runs India’s second biggest private sector refinery, is pictured in Vadinar of Gujarat in this October 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Amit DaveThe mega $13-billion deal between Essar Oil and a consortium led by Russian oil giant has been red-flagged by the Home Ministry and its Intelligence Bureau in national security, according to media reports at the weekend.Government sources told The Times of India that the Home Ministry and IB had raised concerns about Kremlin-owned company Rosneft being in control of Essar’s Vadinar Port. The deal has been hailed as India’s largest foreign direct investment (FDI) deal and was signed last year in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladamir Putin in Goa on the sidelines of the BRICs Summit.The government’s objections are primarily based on the Vadinar Port’s proximity to the border with Pakistan, and the presence of 3-4 defence installations in the vicinity.ET Now said that it had learnt that the Prime Minister’s Office will take the final call on whether the Vadinar Port should be a part of the transaction.In response to ET Now’s comprehensive questionnaire, an Essar spokesperson wrote, “All requisite approvals from Govt of india for the Essar Oil transaction to proceed are available. Your query pertaining to seeking Ministry of Home approval for the port has nothing to do with the present Essar-Roseneft-Trafigura-UCP deal. Hope this clarifies the matter adequately.”Rosneft and Trafigura, a Russian bank UCP & a Swiss commodity trading firm, are paying $13 billion to buy a 98 percent stake in Essar Oil that includes India’s second largest refinery at Vadinar and nearly 3,000 fuel retail outlets. Out of the $13 billion, nearly $2 billion is for the 58-million tonne deep draft port in Vadinar that helps import crude and export finished products.Earlier on Saturday, nearly 23 banks which form part of Essar Oil’s Joint Lenders Forum, had approved the transaction with the Rosneft-led consortium. It was the lenders that had earlier not given their no-objection certificate, leading to the deal missing its closing deadline of March 31, 2017.The deal, first announced in October last year, was held up after a few state-owned banks and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) sought clearance of their dues in order to sign a no-objection certificate (NOC). It is learnt that LIC, to which the company owes around Rs 800 crore, still has some reservations.A source close to the development told Indian Express that the company has proposed to prepay the due amount to LIC. “Essar Oil has given a prepayment letter to LIC for paying Rs 800 crore against Essar Oil, Vadinar Power and Vadinar Port,” the source said.The total debt of the Essar Group is estimated at Rs 1.17 lakh crore, with Essar Oil owing lenders approximately Rs 30,000 crore and Essar Steel having debt of around Rs 44,000 crore. Essar Power has borrowings of Rs 20,000 crore while Essar Global Fund has close to Rs 23,500 crore.
A man inserts his card to withdraw money from a mobile bank ATM machine in New Delhi on November 15, 2016.CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty ImagesIn a weekend meeting of public sector bankers called by the Department of Financial Services (DFS), state-run banks suggested tweaking of lending structure, said bankers aware of the development.”Large banks will do corporate banking and smaller banks will do retail. Smaller banks will focus on their niche strengths and geographies,” bankers who attended the meeting told Mint on condition of anonymity.The bankers also made a presentation to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with such suggestions, sources further stated. In the meeting the bankers also stressed on issues such as capital allocation, asset quality and credit growth.One of the bankers told the business daily that DFS will evaluate all the suggestions made and will soon come out with a blueprint to strengthen public sector banks (PSBs).The finance minster October 24 announced a Rs 2.11 lakh crore mega capital recapitalisation plan for public sector banks for the next two years. This move came when all most all PSBs are reeling under pressure of huge non-performing assets (NPAs).Bankers bet on the idea of differential lending and said that it would ensure banks’ focus on their strengths — from having regional advantage or for understanding of a particular sector. They suggested that this will also ensure lending to small and medium enterprises go up, the business daily reported.”Larger banks suggested that there should be segmented banking. However the decision has to be taken by individual banks and their boards. The larger banks also suggested asset swapping, where smaller banks can sell or swap assets of large companies to larger banks,” the bankers who attended the meeting said.”Conceptually, it’s a good idea. Earlier, even RBI had spoken about differentiated licences. But one needs to see the regulations around segmented banking. However, I don’t think asking weak banks to do retail banking and the large ones to focus on corporate banking will lead to efficient use of capital,” Mint quoted Karthik Srinivasan, group head of financial sector ratings at Icra, as saying.
Bangladesh has denounced the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, banning the Friday prayer and imposition of other restrictions around Haram Al Sharif by the Israeli authorities.Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, in a message to his Palestinian counterpart, has conveyed Bangladesh’s stand in this regard, said the ministry on Tuesday.The foreign minister also called upon the international community to revive the peace process in Middle East at the earliest and work towards a two-state solution.Minister Ali also expressed profound sympathy to the victims.In his message, the foreign minister reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment in realising the inalienable rights of the brotherly people of Palestine for an independent homeland.
Tufan Sarker, Marzia Hasan RumkiA Bogra court on Friday placed Sramik League leader Tufan Sarker and Bogra municipality female councillor Marzia Hasan Rumki on a two-day fresh remand over the shaving of the heads of a female student and her mother after the rape of the girl allegedly by Tufan, reports UNB.Additional chief judicial magistrate Shyam Sundar Roy passed the order after police produced them before the court seeking five days’ remand for each of them.Besides, Tufan’s close associate Munna gave a confessional statement before the court under section 164 of the penal code.On 17 July, Tufan took the girl to his house at Badurtala in the district town promising to arrange her admission into a local college and raped her there.When Tufan’s wife Asha and her elder sister Rumki came to know the incident, they along with some associates picked up the girl and her mother from their house.They allegedly beat the girl and her mother with sticks and cut down the hair of their heads. At one stage, the offenders got their heads shaved done by a barber.Later, two cases were filed against 10 accused, including Tufan, his wife and Rumki, in this connection.
India’s border forces have killed almost 1,000 Bangladeshis over the past 10 years — a figure that implies one shooting in every four days, according to Human Rights Watch.Civil society members say public outcry against the BSF’s shoot-to-kill policy in Bangladesh has been huge.Bangladesh’s politicians, they regret, may have played down such killings, but the public opinion against these border atrocities is rising sharply.The observations were made at a seminar on ‘Cross-Border Security: Challenges and Cooperation, Bangladesh Perspective’, organised by the Centre for Governance Studies (CGS) at the BIISS (Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies) in the capital city Dhaka on Sunday.Participants there highlighted issues of border killings, human trafficking, drug dealing, cattle trade and smuggling among the many challenges pertaining to border security between the two neighbors, Bangladesh and India, as well as between Bangladesh and Myanmar.They stressed the need for cooperation among all quarters concerned to tackle these challenges effectively.Associate Professor of International Relations at Jahangirnagar University, Shahab Enam Khan, presented the keynote on ‘Fixing the pins and needles in Bangladesh-India relations.’He said that cooperation has increased between the two neighbours, as reflected in the joint statement issued at the end of prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s April 2017 trip to India.The joint statement proclaimed their shared commitment to facilitate a “pragmatic, mature and practical approach” to Bangladesh-India relationship. Yet as cooperation has increased between these two neighbours, so has controversy.Much of the controversies between the two countries, Shahab said, revolved around border killings.Quoting various sources, the keynote said that between January 2000 and October 2014, approximately 1006 Bangladeshis were killed by BSF. And 21 people were killed at the border over the last eight months.Raising the economic aspects of border challenges, former chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) Muhammed Abdul Mazid said economic disparity was a determining factor. The disparity needed to be addressed with a strong sense of nationalism. He termed the prevalent informal trade and informal revenue between the two countries as a ‘black hole’.Also pointing to the need for economic solutions to border problems, former member of parliament Akhteruzzaman said that a Free Economic Zone should be set up. Referring to the booming informal border trade, he said that such a zone already existed in reality, albeit unofficially.Senior journalist and editor of Manabjamin, Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, asked, “Who is to blame for the problems on the border? India looks after its own interests, we don’t. Barbed wire fencing doesn’t solve this problem. On our part, we need unity among our political leaders.”Chowdhury pointed to problems along the border with Myanmar due to the Rohingya issue. He said this was a humanitarian problem which called for political dialogue. He said it was unfortunate that even after the democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi assumed a position of power in Myanmar, the problem had exacerbated rather than reduced.Former minister Dilip Barua said only changes in mindset could bring about tangible changes in the cross-border situation. There was a need to change the political mindset in Bangladesh, he said, adding, “Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has a mindset of bilateral relations with India on an equal footing, but does India respect that? That is the crux of the problem and will remain a problem until this question is resolved.”“India has nothing more to ask from Bangladesh,” said Barua, “We have given all, but received nothing. We have ensured that there are no ULFA insurgents on our soil and ensured India’s security, but we are not receiving our rightful dues.”Barua highlighted the role of China, saying, “We desperately need a deep sea port and China was interested in constructing this for us. They were even willing to keep the US and India on board in the consortium for this deep sea port. China’s Belt and Road proposition, BCIM, would bring about an economic boom to our country, but we succumbed to outside pressure. We need national consensus on the deep sea port.”Senior journalist Rezwan Siddique castigated subservient attitudes towards neighbours, saying that even Nepal and Bhutan have stood up staunchly against India now.Former member of parliament, Awami League leader Prof Abdul Mannan, refuted that Bangladesh was subservient, saying that India was a tried and tested friend.Former ambassador M Shafiullah said that despite Bangladesh resolving many issues in favor of India, India failed to reciprocate. “India’s northeastern states were rife with unrest and we have effectively addressed that. But India still blames Bangladesh for any insecurity. They even castigate us for buying two submarines from China. On the other hand, they haven’t even given us our fair share of water. We simply give all without even negotiating.”Jatiya Party leader Kazi Firoz Rashid alleged that the weakness was in Bangladesh’s foreign ministry and foreign policy.“Have our people in Kolkata and Delhi missions bothered to go to the borders to see the phensidyl factories from where the drugs are being smuggled into our country?” he asked. Kazi Firoz said the drug yaba coming in from Myanmar was also as cross border challenge which needed resolution.Chairman of Kalyan Party Syed Muhammed Ibrahim said it is high time we protest about killing for beef, India snatching our jamdani rights and border killings.Human rights activist Shahjahan said that the border killings of India were a human rights issue, referring to the tragic death of the young girl Felani whose body was left for long, draped over the barbed wire fencing.Guests of honour at the seminar, former DG of the Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) retired major general Mohammed Mainul Islam said strong political will was essential to meet the border challenges of killing, smuggling, trafficking and more. “The border forces of Bangladesh were prepared. All they needed was an order from the higher authorities.”Also guest of honour, former election commissioner M Sakhawat Hussain said that the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) was manned with non-Bengalis who looked down on Bengalis with contempt. With Myanmar, the only real problem on the borders was the Rohingya issue, Sakhawat Hussain said.”We have to step up our relationship with China. We want good relations with all, but not at the cost of our own interests,” he concluded.Presiding over the seminar, Prof Ataur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Political Science Association and chairman of CGS, summarised the challenges along the 4000 km border with India, emphasing the need for public debate in this regard.The seminar was moderated by TV anchor and CGS executive director Zillur Rahman.
.The Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) has suspended assistant education officer Abdul Mannan of Sadullapur upazila, Gaibandha, for the errors found in question-papers of a recently completed Primary Education Completion (PEC) exam.Prothom Alo’s investigation, however, revealed there is no assistant education officer named Abdul Mannan in the upazila.There was an assistant instructor named Abdul Mannan at the upazila resource centre, but he had been transferred somewhere else about a year ago, said the resource centre’s instructor Abu Sayeed Mohammd Ramzan Ali.Read more: Sorry state of public examsThere were a lot of errors in the English version question papers on Bangladesh and Global Studies which was held on Tuesday. The question papers, replete with mistakes, were distributed among the candidates of Sylhet and Narayanganj.Following severe criticism, DPE said the person responsible for the errors was Sadullapur upazila’s assistant education officer Abdul Mannan and suspended him.DPE director general Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal told Prothom Alo that departmental action will be taken against the official concerned.Read more: Question leaks now big businessThe officer was suspended based on information provided by National Academy for Primary Education (NAPE), said an official of primary and mass education ministry.Meanwhile, several guardians alleged that th question paper of Religious Studies: Islam was also available on Facebook the night before the exam on Thursday.Primary and mass education ministry additional secretary AFM Manjur Kadir said they would take immediate action against the persons responsible for the errors in questions to curb recurrence of such incidents in future.
Jhuma AkhterPolice recovered the hanging body of a schoolgirl from the house of Ibarat Hossain, brother of MP (Manikganj-2 constituency) and popular singer Momtaz Begum, at Joymandap village of Singair upazila in Manikganj on Thursday, reports UNB.The deceased is Jhuma Akhter, daughter of Riadul Islam of Medulia village in Singair upazila and also a JSC examinee.Jhuma had been living in Ibarat’s house and appeared in this year’s JSC examination from there.The residents of the house found Jhuma hanging at noon and informed police, said Khandaker Imam, officer-in-charge of Singair police station.Later, they recovered the body.
duThe Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police is looking for 25 persons allegedly involved in the question paper leaks at different institutions, said a senior CID official.Another 21, including seven Dhaka University (DU) students, were detained earlier. A few of them claimed in court that they were underage.Earlier, four arrested on charges of DU and other institution’s question paper leak, have been released on bail. Three of them are DU students. The accused gave confessional statement to the court.CID’s special superintendent of police Molla Mohammad Nazrul Islam told Prothom Alo, all 25 accused have given confessional statements in court. They also provided other names and the CID will soon arrest them.Police arrested BCL leader Mahiuddin Rana and Abdullah Al Mamun in a drive on 19 October from DU’s Shahidullah residential hall. CID inspector Md Ashrafuzzaman filed a case under the ICT act and public examination (offence) act the next day.According to the case statement, DU student Tanzil, former assistant director of BKSP, Olip Biswash, Olip’s brother Utpal and Zenith are involved in the crime. They work as a unified gang and provide electronic devices to the candidates to copy the question papers from the exam hall. They prepare an answer sheet and provide them as soon as the candidates send the question papers over phone.
Logo of BNPThe BNP on Wednesday alleged that the election commission’s (EC’s) move not to include the armed forces under the definition of law enforcement agencies in the draft amendment to Representation of the People Order (RPO) is a sign of another lopsided national election.”As per media reports, the draft of the RPO amendment has been finalised without including the Defence Forces under the definition of law enforcers. It has exposed the sign of holding a unilateral election,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.He came up with the remarks while speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.During the dialogue with the EC, the BNP leader said most political parties, including BNP, intellectuals and civil society members recommended deployment of army in the upcoming general election.”We demanded the deployment of army with magistracy power, but the government has now taken the step to shut down the way for it,” he said.Rizvi also termed politically motivated the EC’s move to overlook army in the definition of law enforcers. “It’s also an anti-constitutional initiative.”About the ongoing quota-reform movement, he alleged that the government is trying to malign the student’s spontaneous demonstration by making various unguarded remarks.”The movement for reform in quota system is purely by students. But efforts are on to mislead people by raising questions about who are inspiring the agitators and who are not doing it,” the BNP leader said.He came down hard on agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury for describing the agitators as Rajakars’ children, saying it is her tactic to confuse people.Rizvi also accused the Chhatra League activists of ‘brutally’ repressing the demonstrators at different residential halls of Dhaka Universality over the few last days. “We strongly protest and condemn it.”