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Indian Women Hockey Team Bagged 2016 Rio Pass

Written By Kvartha People on Saturday, August 29, 2015 | 9:27 AM

NEW DELHI: Indian women hockey team on Saturday booked their tickets to the 2016 Rio Games, only their second qualifications ever for the Olympics. India's only previous qualification for the Games was in 1980, where they finished a commendable fourth.

The fifth-place finish at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in July was enough for India to clinch the historic berth as a place opened up after Netherlands and England reached the final of the Euro Hockey Championships in London.

The Indian women's team was waiting for the confirmation since July as they needed two of the already-qualified teams to reach the final of the European Championships for their qualification.

"India qualified after England defeated Spain in the semi-finals of the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in London, which ensured that the only teams who can now win the event have already qualified for Rio through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals - Netherlands and England (as Great Britain)," the FIH said on its website.
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Lotus will not bloom in Gujarat: Patel Community Leader

Written By Kvartha People on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 | 9:57 PM

In a stern message to the Gujarat government, the Patel community today held a massive rally here to press for their demand for OBC status and warned that BJP will not be able to return to power in 2017 if they are not given reservation.

Campaign leader Hardik Patel, in a hard-hitting speech, said if the government ignored the demand of the community, the BJP in Gujarat will face consequences in the polls and "lotus will not bloom".

Patel, who has imparted momentum and virulence to the struggle as leader of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, also threatened to go on hunger strike at the venue till Chief Minister Anandiben Patel turns up and takes the memorandum from the outfit.
As members of the numerically strong and economically influential community of Gujarat poured in large numbers for the "Maha Kranti" rally, the city to came to a grinding halt for hours.
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Indian statement to Pak not to talk to hurriyath

Written By Kvartha People on Sunday, August 23, 2015 | 8:50 PM

After the heat and dust over the India-Pakistan NSA talks is over, it is time to mull over who gained and who lost and what lies in store for the south Asian rivals’ bilateral engagement in near future.
The slugfest over NSA talks has left a lot of bitterness between India and Pakistan, not to talk of the trust deficit which has already touched its lowest depths. This will make another India-Pakistan meeting at any level well nigh impossible in the next few months.

Firstpost understands that the two prime ministers, Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif, will not be meeting in New York in September even if their itineraries were to match. The Modi government does not have the appetite for the next summit meeting after the way bilateral relations have panned out post Ufa summit on 10 July.

The sense this writer has got today from a top official is that the Modi government is in no hurry to reach out to Pakistan and any substantive bilateral meeting is ruled out for 2015.
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Pak to ignore India's advice and to meet Hurriyat leaders before talks Indian counterpart

Written By Kvartha People on Friday, August 21, 2015 | 3:38 PM

Pakistan on Friday appeared set to ignore India's advice that Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz should not meet separatist Hurriyat leaders before talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, putting the meeting of the NSAs scheduled for Monday in danger of being called off.

Pakistan responded to India's advisory by saying Aziz’s meeting with the Hurriyat would go ahead. The hardening of positions could jeopardise efforts to put the stalled bilateral peace process on an even keel.

Aziz's meeting with the Hurriyat is still on, Pakistani government sources were quoted as saying by PTI. The sources further said Pakistan will “not take dictation” from India and talks cannot be based on “conditional diplomacy”.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup spelt out India’s position in a series of tweets on Friday morning. He also said India has sought confirmation of the proposed agenda for the meeting of the NSAs, which India has insisted should be confined to “terrorism-related issues”.
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Three Kashmiri separatists been freed

Written By Kvartha People on Thursday, August 20, 2015 | 12:45 PM

New Delhi: Indicating utter confusion on a crucial issue, the three Kashmiri separatists who were placed under house arrest just two hours ago have now been freed. Their confinement was ordered just days before they are to travel to Delhi to meet with Pakistan's Sartaj Aziz, who will arrive in India on Sunday to hold talks on terror with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

The separatists, Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, have been invited to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on Sunday - when Mr Aziz is meant to begin talks with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

The invite is a significant irritant for India, but the government has said it will not cancel the talks, which is what it alleges as Pakistan's intent. Indian officials told NDTV on Wednesday that a "surprise" awaits Pakistan in the dialogue, but did not elaborate.
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Late Night Action of Police at FTII campus

Written By Kvartha People on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 | 6:13 AM

PUNE: In an unprecedented crackdown, police entered the campus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) here late on Tuesday night with a list of names of 17 students and took four of them into custody around 1.15am on Wednesday on charges of rioting and unlawful assembly, among others. There was confusion over some of the other names while the remaining students were not on the campus.

The list of 17 names in the FIR included three girls, who were not arrested. The FIR also mentions " 30 others" .

The arrested students were taken to the Deccan Gymkhana police station in a police jeep. A large group of students and some faculty members also reached the police station soon after. When asked to explain the late night swoop, a police officer told the students that they had been " instructed" to make the arrests.

The police action came following a complaint lodged by the institute's director, Prashant Pathrabe, who was gheraoed by the students for around six hours on Monday for his resolve to go ahead with the assessment of diploma films made by the 2008 batch students despite opposition from both students and faculty members.

The arrests came hours after it was learnt that officials from the I&B ministry would visit the institute anytime this week to resolve the imbroglio between the students and the institute' s authorities. The students have been on strike at the institute for the past 69 days over the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairperson of the FTII society and four other nominees.
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Onion price highest of the year, Rupee at 23 months low, PM charms Dubai

Written By Kvartha People on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 | 6:22 AM

New Delhi: Onion price at Lasalgoan in Maharashtra—Asia’s biggest wholesale market for onions—on Monday rose to Rs.43 per kg, the highest so far this year, due to sluggish supply of the crop.

The current wholesale price is higher than the average rate of Rs.36.94 per kg andRs.16.10 per kg that prevailed in August 2013 and 2014, respectively.

As per the data maintained by the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), onion prices on Monday increased to Rs.43 per kg at Lasalgaon due to sharp decline in arrival of the crop.

About 3,500 quintals arrived in the mandi on Monday, as against over 10,000 quintals in the year-ago period.

Traders said prices are under pressure due to production fall and sluggish supply of stored onions meant for meeting the demand during the lean period of July-September.

Anticipating further rise in prices, farmers and traders are also withholding stocks in Maharashtra, the country’s top onion producing state and are releasing limited quantities for sale in the wholesale market, they added.

As of now, less than 30 lakh tonnes of stored onion is left in the domestic market to cater the demand till September.

Total onion production is estimated to be at 189 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July-June), slightly lower than 194 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.

Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are the top three onion producing states in the country.

The rupee weakened 32 paise against the US dollar on Monday to close at an almost two-year low of 65.31, amid strong demand for the greenback from foreign banks and importers coupled with a strengthening dollar overseas.

After gaining 10 paise to close at 65 on Friday, the rupee opened weak on Monday at 65.16 and slipped further to 65.38, before closing at 65.32, a level last seen in September 2013.

The Chinese central bank devalued the yuan by more than 4% last week putting pressure on other global currencies, including India.
Meantime, PM Narendra Modi charmed diaspora in Dubai. Monday’s event was a big show of strength by the Indian community in Dubai.
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UAE a paradise built in a desert with "unmatched vision": PM Modi in Abu Dhabi

Written By Kvartha People on Monday, August 17, 2015 | 6:32 AM

PM Narendra Modi on Sunday said he wanted to see UAE emerge as India's foremost partner in trade and counterterror measures, describing the country as a paradise built in a desert with "unmatched vision".

Hours after he arrived in UAE on what is the first visit to the country by an Indian PM in 34 years, Modi also visited the Sheikh Sayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Known as the third largest mosque in the world, the grand mosque is the most significant place of worship in the UAE.

While Modi is going to focus on trade and counterterror measures in his official engagements, he will also seek to promote India as an attractive investment destination for the UAE, a country with a sovereign wealth fund of close to $800 billion. The UAE is already the 10th biggest investor in India with FDI worth over $3 billion.

"Hello UAE. I am very optimistic about this visit. I am confident the outcomes of the visit will boost India-UAE ties," Modi said on his arrival. He also tweeted the message in Arabic. Modi was received by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and his five brothers at the airport, in a departure from protocol. The last dignitary to be received by him was the king of Morocco in May.
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"If the unity of India is destroyed then the dreams of the people are also destroyed." PM on I-Day speech

Written By Kvartha People on Saturday, August 15, 2015 | 8:41 AM

There is no place for casteism or communalism in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address to the nation on Saturday from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort on the occasion of the country's 69th Independence Day.

"If the unity of India is destroyed then the dreams of the people are also destroyed." In no way casteism or communalism can be tolerated, Modi said.

Laying stress on the power of 'Team India', Modi said: "This is the team that makes the nation and takes our nation to new heights." , which He defined the concept of a team of 125 crore Indians.

Underlining the achievements of his government in implementing several welfare schemes, Modi said: "There is a new atmosphere of trust."

A considerable part of his speech was focused on the welfare of the poor and the middle-class, at a time the opposition Congress party has accused his government of being pro-corporate.

Modi reached Red Fort around 7:20am, after paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat. Top Union ministers such as Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ravi Shankar Prasad were also present at the venue.

The Prime Minister also waged a war against corruption, saying: "Corruption has to be removed fully from the system."

"There's no corruption allegation against the governmnent you have voted to power in Delhi," Modi said, making his point after the Congress dirsupted the recently concluded monsoon session over the Lalit Modi controversy and the Vyapam scandal in Madhya Pradesh.

A speech to look out for

This will be Modi’s second speech from the Red Fort, the customary I-Day address, in a stately ceremony. A leader who utilises his public speeches to connect powerfully with the masses, Modi had set a precedent to become the first prime minister to “crowd-source” ideas for the signature address. This year, a government website for the purpose received over 12,000 ideas, some of which officials have picked for a possible mention by the PM.
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Bombay HC struck down the Maggi-Ban order

Written By Kvartha People on Friday, August 14, 2015 | 6:29 AM

Mumbai: Two months after the food safety regulator imposed a nationwide ban on Nestle's Maggi noodles, the Bombay high court on Thursday struck down the order as "arbitrary" and "in violation of the principles of natural justice".

The decision, which questioned the quality of the laboratories where samples were tested, is a welcome relief for the company, but it will be some time before Maggi can hit the shelves. A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Burgess Colabawalla directed a series of tests at three premier accredited laboratories in India to check Maggi's lead content before it can be sold again. "We are still concerned about public health and public interest," said the judges.

The Food Safety Standard Association of India (FSSAI) had ordered recall of the popular 2-minute noodles on June 5 over lead content in excess of permissible limits and presence of MSG (monosodium glutamate, a flavour enhancer).

A plea by the authorities to stay the verdict was rejected by the HC. Outside the court, officers were non-committal whether the order would be challenged.
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Massive Explosions hit Tianjin City of China

Written By Kvartha People on Thursday, August 13, 2015 | 5:54 AM

Two massive explosions caused by flammable goods ripped through an industrial area in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin late on Wednesday, killing 17 people and injuring around 400, official Chinese media reported.

President Xi Jinping demanded that authorities quickly extinguish the fire caused by the blasts and "make full effort to rescue and treat the injured and ensure the safety of people and their property", China Central Television (CCTV) said on its official microblog.

CCTV said the blasts erupted in a shipment of explosives at around 11:30 p.m. local time (11.30 a.m. EDT), triggering a blast wave that was felt kilometers (miles) away. The second blast came roughly 30 seconds after the first, state media said.

The official People's Daily newspaper said the death toll was 17 while other state media said three firefighters were among the dead. The official Xinhua news agency said around 400 were hurt.

Video posted on YouTube from what appeared to be an apartment building some distance from the scene showed fire shooting into the night sky from the initial blast when the second, much bigger, explosion rocked the area, sending a huge fireball into the air.

Seconds later, shockwaves hit the apartment building, causing panic among the occupants inside.

Pictures posted on Chinese media websites showed a cloud of dust towering above buildings near the scene. Residents and workers, some bleeding, could be seen fleeing.

Canadian teacher Monica Andrews told the BBC that she awoke in panic after what she thought was an earthquake.

"I ... looked out the window and the sky was red ... I just watched a second explosion go off and (it was) just pure chaos, everyone leaving their apartment buildings thinking it's an earthquake, cars trying to leave the complex and ... it was crazy the amount of light that this explosion and fire lit up," she said.
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