Latest LIVE: ED summons Gehlot's elder brother for questioning today

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot speaks to media outisde Raj Bhawan in Jaipur. File Photo
Latest news today live updates: AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's possible attendance to the 'Bhoomi pujan' ceremony of the Ram temple at Ayodhya on August 5 would mean violation of his constitutional oath, even as VHP called for celebrations on that day.

The Rajasthan Cabinet on Tuesday discussed the points raised by Governor Kalraj Mishra for calling a state assembly session and said it is sticking to its demand for holding the session from July 31.  Transport Minister Pratap Singh said that a discussion was held for the reply to be sent regarding the three points raised by the governor.

In another major development, the Supreme Court today dismissed the pleas seeking removal of former high court judge, Justice (retd) Shashi Kant Agarwal and retired Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) K L Gupta, from the three-member inquiry commission set up to probe into the encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day


2:40 AM IST A Malaysia court sentenced former prime minister Najib Razak to 12 years imprisonment after ruling him guilty in the first of a series of trials linked to 1MDB.   Najib was guilty Tuesday of all seven charges in the case involving 42 million ringgit ($10 million) of funds deposited in his personal accounts from a former unit of 1MDB. His lawyer has said an appeal against the ruling is a certainty, while seeking to keep him out of jail during the appeal process.

2:39 AM IST Alphabet’s Google has commissioned a new subsea cable, which it says will be one of the first new fiber lines linking the US and the UK since 2003 and further entrenches the tech giant in global internet infrastructure.   The cable, named Grace Hopper after the computer scientist, will also connect to Spain, becoming the first Google fiber line to land there, the company said in a statement. It joins existing Google subsea cables including Google’s Curie, which runs from the US to Chile, and Dunant, which links the US to France, and Equi­ano.The Mountain View, California-based company expects to complete the project in 2022. A steady stream of trans-ocean cables is being announced by tech giants; Facebook joined forces with telecom carriers to better connect Africa in May.

1:16 AM IST The South African economy will take at least two years to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, a leading business forum said on Tuesday.   The coronavirus has claimed 7,067 lives with 4,52,529 confirmed cases in the African nation. Around 2,75,000 people have recovered from the disease. The pandemic has also seriously hurt the business sector with thousands of job losses and enterprises shutting shop.   Head of Business for South Africa (B4SA), economic workgroup, Martin Kingston said, "Against our latest modelling scenarios we expect that it will take a minimum of two years for the South African economy to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels, keeping in mind that South Africa's economy was already weak at the start of 2020.

11:57 PM IST The Congress in Manipur submitted a notice for a no-confidence motion against the BJP-led coalition government in the state on Tuesday. Congress legislators K Meghachandra and Th Lokeshwar submitted the notice to the Assembly secretary. Manipur Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei said the party was confident that the House will take up the no-confidence motion during the Monsoon Session on August 10. The Congress has been targeting the Manipur government over what the party called its failure to hand over a 2018 drug haul case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

11:35 PM IST They command corporations with gold-plated brands, millions or even billions of customers, and a combined value greater than the entire German economy.   One of them is the world's richest individual; another is the fourth-ranked billionaire. Their industry has transformed society, linked people around the globe, mined and commercialised users' personal data, and infuriated critics on both the left and right over speech.   Now Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook of Apple will answer for their companies' practices before Congress for the first time as a group.   Summoned for a House hearing, they'll raise a hand (remotely) and swear to tell the truth, in the manner of tycoons of Wall Street or the tobacco industry in earlier high-octane televised shamings. It will be Bezos' first-ever appearance before Congress.

11:10 PM IST The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's elder brother for questioning in a money-laundering case linked to alleged financial irregularities in exporting fertiliser, officials said Tuesday.   Agrasain Gehlot has been asked to depose before the investigating officer on Wednesday in Delhi under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.   On July 22, the central agency raided Agrasain Gehlot's premises in Jodhpur and a few other places in connection with the case filed under the criminal charges of PMLA.

10:42 PM IST President Donald Trump's reelection effort allegedly hid nearly $170 million in spending from mandatory public disclosure by routing payments through companies tied to his former campaign manager, a government oversight group said Tuesday.   The use of firms linked to former campaign manager Brad Parscale masked the ultimate recipients of the money, which the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center described as a "laundering" effort that violates election law, according to a complaint the group filed with the Federal Elections Commission.   Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh disputed the allegations and said the "campaign complies with all campaign finance laws and FEC regulations.   Most of the payments by Trump's campaign committees were made to American Made Media Consultants, which has received at least $177 million since 2018, according to FEC records.   The other firm, Parscale Strategy, has collected at least $32 million during that period, the records show.

10:34 PM IST English brewer Diageo-controlled United Spirits, which has reported a massive loss in the June quarter, expects at least 40 per cent decline in its franchise income this year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is focusing on direct home delivery to shore up margins.   As a way to help the franchisees, the maker of McDowell's whisky will jointly develop business plans to help them build more profitable business, the management told analysts.

10:29 PM IST Two Russian military aircraft are suspected of having violated Finland's airspace close to its capital city of Helsinki, Finland's defense ministry said Tuesday.   The ministry said in a brief statement that two Russian Su-27 fighter jets allegedly violated Finland's airspace over the Gulf of Finland, near Helsinki, at around 2 p.m. local time (1100 GMT), Tuesday afternoon.   The Finnish Border Guard is investigating the incident.

10:24 PM IST State-owned Bank of Baroda on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 981 crore by issuing additional tier-1 bonds under Basel III norms.   The bank had on July 24 issued and allotted the "unsecured rated listed subordinated non-convertible fully paid up Basel III additional tier-1 perpetual bonds" for an issue size of Rs 981 crore, it said in a regulatory filing.   As many as 18 allottees were issued the bonds, carrying coupon of 8.50 per cent, on private placement basis.   Perpetual bonds carry no maturity date and hence are often treated as equity, not debt.

LIVE UPDATES

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak gets 12-year jail term in 1MDB case

A Malaysia court sentenced former prime minister Najib Razak to 12 years imprisonment after ruling him guilty in the first of a series of trials linked to 1MDB.
 
Najib was guilty Tuesday of all seven charges in the case involving 42 million ringgit ($10 million) of funds deposited in his personal accounts from a former unit of 1MDB. His lawyer has said an appeal against the ruling is a certainty, while seeking to keep him out of jail during the appeal process.

Google's new subsea cable to link US, United Kingdom and Spain

Alphabet’s Google has commissioned a new subsea cable, which it says will be one of the first new fiber lines linking the US and the UK since 2003 and further entrenches the tech giant in global internet infrastructure.
 
The cable, named Grace Hopper after the computer scientist, will also connect to Spain, becoming the first Google fiber line to land there, the company said in a statement. It joins existing Google subsea cables including Google’s Curie, which runs from the US to Chile, and Dunant, which links the US to France, and Equi­ano.The Mountain View, California-based company expects to complete the project in 2022. A steady stream of trans-ocean cables is being announced by tech giants; Facebook joined forces with telecom carriers to better connect Africa in May.

South Africa's economic recovery may take two years

The South African economy will take at least two years to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, a leading business forum said on Tuesday.
 
The coronavirus has claimed 7,067 lives with 4,52,529 confirmed cases in the African nation. Around 2,75,000 people have recovered from the disease. The pandemic has also seriously hurt the business sector with thousands of job losses and enterprises shutting shop.
 
Head of Business for South Africa (B4SA), economic workgroup, Martin Kingston said, "Against our latest modelling scenarios we expect that it will take a minimum of two years for the South African economy to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels, keeping in mind that South Africa's economy was already weak at the start of 2020.

Congress to move no-confidence motion against BJP-led Manipur govt

The Congress in Manipur submitted a notice for a no-confidence motion against the BJP-led coalition government in the state on Tuesday.

Congress legislators K Meghachandra and Th Lokeshwar submitted the notice to the Assembly secretary.

Manipur Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei said the party was confident that the House will take up the no-confidence motion during the Monsoon Session on August 10.

The Congress has been targeting the Manipur government over what the party called its failure to hand over a 2018 drug haul case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Spotlight on 4 Big Tech CEOs testifying in competition probe

They command corporations with gold-plated brands, millions or even billions of customers, and a combined value greater than the entire German economy.
 
One of them is the world's richest individual; another is the fourth-ranked billionaire. Their industry has transformed society, linked people around the globe, mined and commercialised users' personal data, and infuriated critics on both the left and right over speech.
 
Now Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook of Apple will answer for their companies' practices before Congress for the first time as a group.
 
Summoned for a House hearing, they'll raise a hand (remotely) and swear to tell the truth, in the manner of tycoons of Wall Street or the tobacco industry in earlier high-octane televised shamings. It will be Bezos' first-ever appearance before Congress.

ED summons Raj CM's elder brother for questioning in PMLA case

The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's elder brother for questioning in a money-laundering case linked to alleged financial irregularities in exporting fertiliser, officials said Tuesday.
 
Agrasain Gehlot has been asked to depose before the investigating officer on Wednesday in Delhi under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.
 
On July 22, the central agency raided Agrasain Gehlot's premises in Jodhpur and a few other places in connection with the case filed under the criminal charges of PMLA.

Watchdog Group: Trump campaign improperly masking payments

President Donald Trump's reelection effort allegedly hid nearly $170 million in spending from mandatory public disclosure by routing payments through companies tied to his former campaign manager, a government oversight group said Tuesday.
 
The use of firms linked to former campaign manager Brad Parscale masked the ultimate recipients of the money, which the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center described as a "laundering" effort that violates election law, according to a complaint the group filed with the Federal Elections Commission.
 
Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh disputed the allegations and said the "campaign complies with all campaign finance laws and FEC regulations.
 
Most of the payments by Trump's campaign committees were made to American Made Media Consultants, which has received at least $177 million since 2018, according to FEC records.
 
The other firm, Parscale Strategy, has collected at least $32 million during that period, the records show.

United Spirits sees franchise income plunge 40 per cent this year

English brewer Diageo-controlled United Spirits, which has reported a massive loss in the June quarter, expects at least 40 per cent decline in its franchise income this year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is focusing on direct home delivery to shore up margins.
 

As a way to help the franchisees, the maker of McDowell's whisky will jointly develop business plans to help them build more profitable business, the management told analysts.

2 Russian aircraft suspected of violating Finland's airspace

Two Russian military aircraft are suspected of having violated Finland's airspace close to its capital city of Helsinki, Finland's defense ministry said Tuesday.
 
The ministry said in a brief statement that two Russian Su-27 fighter jets allegedly violated Finland's airspace over the Gulf of Finland, near Helsinki, at around 2 p.m. local time (1100 GMT), Tuesday afternoon.
 
The Finnish Border Guard is investigating the incident.

Bank of Baroda raises Rs 981 cr through bonds

State-owned Bank of Baroda on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 981 crore by issuing additional tier-1 bonds under Basel III norms.
 

The bank had on July 24 issued and allotted the "unsecured rated listed subordinated non-convertible fully paid up Basel III additional tier-1 perpetual bonds" for an issue size of Rs 981 crore, it said in a regulatory filing.
 

As many as 18 allottees were issued the bonds, carrying coupon of 8.50 per cent, on private placement basis.
 

Perpetual bonds carry no maturity date and hence are often treated as equity, not debt.

Welspun Corp Q1 net profit falls 54 per cent

Welspun Corp on Tuesday reported a 54.54 per cent declined in consolidated net profit at Rs 53.92 crore during the quarter ended June 30, 2020 on account of fall in income.
 

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 118.63 crore during the same quarter a year ago, Welspun Corp said in a BSE filing.
 

Total income fell marginally to Rs 2,085.42 crore during April-June as compared with Rs 2,088.87 crore in the year-ago period.
 

The firm's total expenses rose to Rs 1,970.16 crore during the quarter under review from Rs 1,941.23 crore a year ago.

Caterpillar results likely to shed light on economic recovery

When Caterpillar Inc reports earnings on Friday, investors will look for clues about the strength of economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Since the heavy equipment maker is considered a bellwether for global economic activity, signals such as an earnings guidance or resumption of share repurchases should reassure Wall Street about underlying business conditions.
 
Caterpillar's profit is expected to plunge 77 per cent year-on-year to 64 cents a share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Revenue is estimated to decline 35 per cent to $9.38 billion.
 
The Deerfield, Illinois-based company has not yet provided new earnings guidance after it withdrew the 2020 outlook in late March citing uncertainty about the pandemic. To preserve cash, share repurchases have been suspended.

Govt relaxes export norms for face shields, surgical masks, medical goggles

The government on Tuesday relaxed norms for the export of face shields, certain kind of surgical masks and medical goggles which are in demand due to coronavirus pandemic.
 

The government has made export of face shields free and permitted outward shipments of 2/3 ply surgical masks and medical goggles with certain conditions.
 

Earlier export of 2/3 Ply surgical masks, medical goggles and face shields were banned in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

Biden says post-pandemic economy can fight racial inequality

Joe Biden unveiled a plan Tuesday to ensure that the nation's post-pandemic economic recovery is built around promoting racial equality, promising to dramatically spur investment in Black-owned small businesses and encourage home ownership while closing wealth gaps among minority communities.
 
Much of the 26-page proposal and the billions in federal spending needed to pay for it had already been promised as part of previous, larger Biden plans to jumpstart the economy when the coronavirus outbreak begins to recede.
 
But as protests against institutional racism and police brutality have swept the country in recent months, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is attempting to show voters that he's committed to implementing specific remedies that can promote racial and economic equality should he win the White House in November.

Air travel expected to not recover before 2024

Global air travel is recovering more slowly than expected and will take until until 2024 to return to pre-pandemic levels, the trade association for the airline industry said Tuesday.
 

The International Air Transport Association pushed back its prediction by one year due to the slow containment of the outbreak in the US and developing countries.
 

The industry is seeing a rebound from the depths of the shutdowns in April, but the bad new is that any increase is barely visible, IATA chief economist Brian Pearce said Tuesday during an online briefing for journalists.

Wall Street slips in early trading; gold hovers near record

Stocks are drifting lower in early trading on Wall Street Tuesday following a mixed set of earnings reports from big US companies, news agency AP reported.
 
The S&P 500 was down 0.4% after the first 20 minutes of trading, while Treasury yields were holding relatively steady and gold inched a bit further into record heights.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 164 points, or 0.6%, at 25,430, as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.5%. 3M was a particularly heavy weight pulling the Dow lower after dropping 4.8%.

Karnataka Congress chief slams state govt for curtailing chapters on Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali

Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar on Tuesday criticised BJP-led Karnataka government for limiting or omitting various topics including chapters on 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan and his father Haider Ali, according to an ANI report.
 
Speaking to media here at Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office, Shivakumar said Congress will not allow BJP government in Karnataka to "divert history".
 
"Tipu Sultan does not belong to one caste or a class. He is part of the history of this country. BJP government has removed chapters related to him for its political advantage. It is their decision whether they celebrate Tipu Sultan Jayanti or not, but he is part of our history. The President of this country Ramnath Kovind came to the Vidhan Sabha and praised Tipu's patriotism during a joint session," Shivakumar said.
 
"The BJP government has come to power today. Our history should not change. We will not let these people to covert or dilute history. This is the stand of the Congress party. Our experts will study the pros and cons of this decision," he added.

Rajasthan MLA files petition in High Court seeking NIA probe in alleged horse-trading case

Air pollution shortened average Indian life expectancy by 5.2 years: Report

Air pollution has shortened the average Indian life expectancy by 5.2 years and residents of Delhi could see 9.4 years added to their lives if pollution were reduced to meet the WHO guideline, according to a new report.
 
The World Health Organisation guideline stipulates that PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter) not exceed 10 micron per cubic metre and that PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter) not exceed 20 micron per cubic metre.
 
In India, average PM2.5 concentration in 2018 was 63 micron per cubic metre. READ MORE...

Vikas Dubey encounter: SC rejects pleas seeking removal of ex-DGP from inquiry commission

The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed the pleas seeking removal of former Director General of Police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh K L Gupta from the 3-member inquiry commission set up to probe the killing of gangster Vikas Dubey in police encounter.
 
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it would not allow the petitioners, who had referred to statements given by Gupta to the media for seeking his removal, to cast aspersions on the member of inquiry commission.
 
The commission will also probe the killing of eight policemen allegedly by Dubey's gang and the subsequent encounter of the gangster and five of his purported associates by the cops.

Latest News LIVE: Sultry weather in Delhi; rain forecast for Wednesday, Thursday

The national capital reeled under sultry weather on Tuesday, with no rain recorded in the city. However, the weatherman has forecast moderate to heavy rains for Wednesday and Thursday, according to a PTI report.
 
 
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded a maximum temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal.
 
The maximum temperature oscillated between 37 and 39 degrees Celsius in most parts of the city. Humidity levels shot up to 95 percent, causing inconvenience to residents.

Over 6,800 people evacuated from flood-hit areas of Bihar: NDRF

More than 6,800 people have been evacuated by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from the flood-hit areas of Bihar till now, a spokesperson of the federal force said on Tuesday. The NDRF has deployed 21 teams for flood rescue and relief work in Bihar which is "the most flood affected state of the country", he said.
 
"Water flow in several rivers such as Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Bagmati, Kamlabalan, Parman, Adhwara and Koshi has disrupted normal life in several areas. "NDRF rescuers are relentlessly engaged to provide immediate succour to the stranded persons," the spokesperson said. So far, he said, the NDRF has evacuated more than 6,800 people in the state.

Indian, Chinese troops completed disengagement at most locations, says China

Indian and Chinese frontline troops have completed disengagement at most locations, the Chinese government said on Tuesday, adding that the preparation is underway to hold the next round of military-level talks to resolve the border issues, according to an ANI report.
 
"Chinese and Indian border troops on the frontline have disengaged in most locations. The 5th round of commander-level talks is currently under preparation to resolve the remaining issues," Chinese state media Global Times quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin as saying.
 
On Friday, India and China had held the 17th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) and agreed that early and complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), de-escalation from India-China border areas and full restoration of peace and tranquillity was essential for the smooth overall development of bilateral relations.
 
The meeting came after it was reported that Chinese troops People's Liberation Army (PLA) were reluctant to de-escalate the situation on LAC as it has a continued deployment of around 40,000 troops in its front and depth areas for the Eastern Ladakh sector.
 

Rajasthan govt sticks to July 31 as Assembly session date, informs governor

Sticking to its guns, the Rajasthan government told Governor Kalraj Mishra it wanted the legislative Assembly to meet on July 31 (which is Eid, a national holiday) and promised to meet all other conditions laid out by the governor in relation to Covid-19.
 
Chief Minister (CM) Ashok Gehlot called a meeting of his Cabinet and discussed the matter internally before drafting a reply to the governor.
 
“The Cabinet wants the Assembly session from July 31. The proposal is being sent to the governor,” Transport Minister Pratap Singh told reporters in Jaipur after the meeting. READ MORE...

 

Latest News LIVE update: 2.5 million people displaced by Bihar floods

Torrential rain in the catchment areas of Bihar and Nepal has aggravated the flood situation in the state with almost all major rivers flowing above the danger mark. Nearly 2.5 million people have been displaced in the state. Despite relief and rescue operations by the Bihar government people are in dire straits. Traffic has been affected in many areas.
 
According to a report by the water resources department on Tuesday, the water level of the Kosi, near Veerpur barrage, was at a dangerous level at 8 a.m. Similarly, the water level in the Gandak river has crossed the danger mark near Balmikinagar barrage.
 
Rivers such as the Bagmati, Budhi Gandak, Kamla Balan and Ganga are flowing above the danger mark in many areas. People have left their homes and taken refuge in higher areas.

French Ambassador hands over medical supplies to Secretary-General of Indian Red Cross Society

News channels must take permission to hold programmes in Ayodhya on August 5: Administration

The Ayodhya district administration has told news channels that litigants in the Ayodhya land dispute case should not be part of any discussions that they broadcast from here during the 'Bhumi Pujan' for the Ram temple on August 5, according to a PTI report.
 
In an advisory, it also said that if channels are broadcasting a debate or programme from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh during the ground breaking ceremony, there should be no comments against any person or religion.
 
News channels have to take prior permission to hold any programme and also submit an undertaking to authorities, according to the advisory.
 
"We have issued an advisory to news channels as they have to take prior permission from the magistrate for holding programmes, they will be allowed limited numbers of panelists and no public or viewers will be allowed to attend the broadcast or recording," Deputy Director, Information, Murli Dhar Singh told PTI.

Indian Army's bomb disposal squad neutralises two live Pakistani bombs in Jammu and Kashmir

Reliance to pay up to Rs 27,000 crore for Future Group retail chains: Report

Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd will pay between Rs 24,000 crore and Rs 27,000 crore ($3.2-$3.6 billion) to buy the Indian retail chains owned by Future Group, Mint newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing two sources familiar with details of the deal.
 
Asia's richest man, Ambani has been buoyed by investments close to $20 billion from backers including Google and Facebook in his oil-to-telecoms conglomerate, and is seeking to strengthen his hand in India's huge retail sector.
 
Reliance's existing retail operation already runs close to 12,000 stores, including a cash-and-carry wholesale business, in over 6,700 Indian towns and cities. READ MORE...

Owaisi opposes Modi's participation in 'Bhoomi pujan' event of Ram temple

AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's possible attendance to the 'Bhoomi pujan' ceremony of the Ram temple at Ayodhya on August 5 would mean violation of his constitutional oath, even as VHP called for celebrations on that day.
 
In a tweet, Owaisi said, "Attending Bhoomi Pujan in official capacity will be a violation of @PMOIndia's constitutional oath. Secularism is part of the Basic Structure of Constitution."
 
According to members of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Ayodhya on August 5 for the "bhoomi pujan" (ground breaking ceremony) to begin the construction of the Ram temple. READ MORE...

Results of SSC (10th standard) of Maharashtra state board to be declared tomorrow

Bhoomi pujan: Asaduddin Owaisi opposes PM Modi's 'participation'; VHP calls for celebrations

Govt taking steps to attract FDI in Infra to address liquidity crunch: Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said the government is making efforts to attract FDI in infrastructure sector to address liquidity crunch faced by the COVID-19-hit economy.
 
The Road Transport, Highways and MSME minister also said that talks are on with various pension funds, insurance funds and financial institutions.
 
"Infrastructure is the most economically viable industry. The internal rate of return of projects is very good.

Third petition in Rajasthan HC against Congress, BSP MLAs' merger

BJP leader Madan Dilawar on Tuesday filed another petition before the Rajasthan High Court against the merger of six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs in the state with Congress party. This is the third petition against the merger.
 
Earlier today, Dilawar had filed a second petition in the Rajasthan High Court challenging the merger of MLAs. Speaking to ANI, Dilawar said that the petition seeks cancellation of the membership of the six BSP MLAs from the state legislative Assembly.
 
"Rajasthan High Court had dismissed my petition observing that it did not include a copy of the Legislative Assembly Speaker's order for the merger of the BSP MLAs. He (Speaker) deliberately did not give me a copy of the order," Dilawar said. He said that the Speaker has refused to give a copy of the order for the merger.

179 professional colleges shut down this year, highest in last 9 years

Nearly 180 professional colleges, including engineering institutes and business schools, have shut down during the academic year 2020-21, the highest number of closure of technical institutions in the last nine years, according to All India Council of Technical Eduction (AICTE) data.
 
Besides the closure of 179 institutes, at least 134 institutes did not seek approval this year in view of large number of seats lying vacant over the last 5 years thus making it unviable for continuing the institution, according to a PTI report. Also, at least 44 institutes could not get approval or their approvals were withdrawn due to punitive action by the technical education regulator.
 
While 92 technical institutes had to close down in the 2019-20 academic session, the figures were 89 (2018-19), 134 (2017-18), 163 (2016-17), 126 (2015-16) and 77 (2014-15).

BSP to file plea in Rajasthan HC tomorrow against merger of six BSP MLAs in the state with Congress

Vikas Dubey encounter: SC dismisses pleas seeking removal of members of inquiry commission

The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed the pleas seeking removal of former high court judge, Justice (retd) Shashi Kant Agarwal and retired Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) K L Gupta, from the three-member inquiry commission set up to probe into the encounter killing of gangster Vikas Dubey.
 
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it would not allow the petitioners to cast aspersion on the members of the inquiry commission, which would probe into the killing of eight policemen and the subsequent encounters of Dubey and five of his alleged associates.
 
The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, perused the media reports pertaining to interviews by Gupta and said the inquiry would not be vitiated as there are former judges of the apex court and the high court as part of the commission.
 
The top court was hearing two applications filed by petitioners Ghanshyam Upadhyay and Anoop Prakash Awasthi seeking removal of members of the commission.

Rajasthan Cabinet sticks to its demand for holding state assembly session

The Rajasthan Cabinet on Tuesday discussed the points raised by Governor Kalraj Mishra for calling a state assembly session and said it is sticking to its demand for holding the session from July 31. Transport Minister Pratap Singh said that a discussion was held for the reply to be sent regarding the three points raised by the governor.
 
"The Cabinet wants the assembly session from July 31. The proposal is being sent to the governor," he told reporters.

BSP MLAs' merger with Congress: Rajasthan MLA files second plea in HC

A day after the Rajasthan High Court dismissed BJP MLA Madanlal Dilawar's plea over merger of Rajasthan BSP with the Congress, he filed a second petition in the High Court on Tuesday. Dilawar has challenged the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker's decision taken on July 24 to dismiss his plea demanding disqualification of BSP MLAs under anti-defection law, according to an IANS report.
 
Dilawar, in his first petition, alleged that despite his complaint being submitted to the Speaker C.P. Joshi in March regarding the BSP MLAs' defection, no action was taken by him in the last many months.
 
Six BSP MLAs had merged with the Congress in September 2019 and also supported it during the recent Rajya Sabha polls. Dilawar, in March this year, submitted a complaint to the Speaker in this context which was unattended till July 24.

Rajasthan political crisis: Will teach Ashok Gehlot a lesson for MLA theft, warns Mayawati

BSP leader Mayawati said she would go all the way to the Supreme Court to fight six MLAs of her party joining the Congress last year.

UP MLA fears threat to life by mining mafia lord

Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA Yogesh Dhama has written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the Director-General of state Police claiming he has been facing a threat to his life from notorious gangster Sunil Rathi, who is lodged in Delhi's Tihar jail in connection with the murder of another gangster Munna Bajrangi.
 
Dhama said the gangster openly threatened him when he came for a hearing of the Munna Bajrangi case at a Baghpat court.
 
"He holds me responsible for stopping his illegal mining activities in the region. Two of my acquaintances have been killed by his men in the last month which proves that there is a real threat to my life," he said.

UP: Mayawati claims Dalits prevented from cremating body, demands probe

BSP president Mayawati on Tuesday claimed that a Dalit woman's body was removed from the funeral pyre near Agra as the cremation ground on which the last rites were being performed belonged to upper castes and demanded an inquiry into it.
 
In a tweet, she said, "In UP near Agra, the body of a Dalit woman was removed from the funeral pyre by people of upper classes having casteist mentality because the cremation ghat belonged to upper castes which is most shameful and most condemnable.'

Suspended IAS official quizzed by NIA for third time in gold smuggling case

Suspended senior IAS officer M Sivasankar on Tuesday appeared before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) team probing the sensational gold smuggling case using diplomatic channel in Kerala.
 
This is the third time in the past one week that NIA is grilling the officer, removed as Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the state IT Secretary after allegations of his link with a key woman accused in the case surfaced.
 
Sivasankar, who was questioned for nearly nine hours on Monday, was directed by the NIA to appear before the team again this morning.

Telecom sector yet to emerge from woods; Govt support must to ensure viability: Sunil Mittal

The government must look at rationalising levies on the telecom sector and close long standing legal disputes that are a big drag on the performance of operators, in order to ensure industry viability with 3+1 player structure, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal has said.
 
Mittal in his message to shareholders in the company's latest annual report said, while it is clear that the "worst may be behind for India's telecom industry", it is yet to emerge from the woods.
 
"India still has some of the lowest data tariffs globally and the industry is barely able to cover the cost of capital. It requires much more support to repair the deep damage to its finances and make it viable for telecom operators to invest in future technologies," Mittal said in the company's FY20 annual report.

Today, law & order situation is worsening in UP, Yogi Adityanath must learn from BSP, says Mayawati

Today, law & order situation is worsening in the state, criminals are ruling Uttar Pradesh. If govt wants to improve the situation, then UP CM, without any hesitation, should learn from BSP. I governed UP for 4 terms, during which law & order situation was stable: Mayawati, BSP

Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi takes a swipe at PM Modi after govt bans 47 more Chinese apps, clones of 59 banned apps

J&K: A machine called 'Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (USA) Vitros ECI Immunoassay Analyzer' installed at Govt Medical College, Doda

J&K: A machine called 'Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (USA) Vitros ECI Immunoassay Analyzer' installed at Govt Medical College, Doda for detection of antibodies in samples.
 
Biochemistry Dept Head says,“Test cost to be b/w Rs700-900.This machine can perform around 300 tests/day."

Randeep Surejwala Says Democracy Under Attack

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that "if Institutions “cross the Laxman Rekha”, democracy will cease to have any meaning. Can the Constitution survive the ‘assault’?"

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