Pictures by Prem SinghNew Delhi: As the next big battle draws closer, an emphatic riposte to the "Congress- mukt Bharat" came from Sonia Gandhi. An India free of the fear of the rulers. An India free of discrimination. An India free of vengeance. While the focus is on youth in a time of transition for the party, Rahul tried to assuage any fears the elders might harbour.
March 17, 2018 20:58 UTC
This year, too, these two provisions will come into play if the positive-marks formula fails to break the tie. The new tiebreaker formula is better than the earlier one and will reward examinees who answer "more confidently", an IIT Delhi teacher said. Since students involved in a tie with more positive marks will necessarily also have more negative marks, the new formula will reward risk-taking rather than playing it safe. IIT Kharagpur teacher and former JEE Advanced chairperson M. Panigrahi said the JEE Main had long been following a tiebreaker formula based on positive marks. With an additional tiebreaker formula this year, the need to create extra seats may be reduced.
March 17, 2018 20:50 UTC
PTIA Nirav Modi store. Image: ShutterstockMumbai: Farmers have "reclaimed" 125 acres in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district, claiming that bank fraud accused Nirav Modi had acquired their plots at prices below the market rate. A group of over 200 farmers, who arrived in bullock carts at Khandala in Karjat tehsil, symbolically reoccupied the land, ploughing a part of it using a tractor. The land is among properties attached by the Enforcement Directorate as part of a probe against Modi, who has fled the country, said an activist. "The land was acquired from the farmers for around Rs 15,000 per acre whereas the government rate for land compensation in the area is around Rs 20 lakh per acre now," lawyer and activist Karbhari Gawli, who was part of the protest, said over the phone from Ahmednagar.
March 17, 2018 20:50 UTC
Monalisa ChaudhuriCalcutta: A purported AC mechanic who was allegedly portrayed as a doctor has told police that he gave a prescription tablet to Madhyamik examinee Arijit Das in the ambulance hours before the boy died while being bought to Calcutta from Burdwan, sources said. Decadron, the medicine cited by Sheikh Sarfarazuddin, is sometimes administered in a life-threatening situation but only under a doctor's prescription, a pharmacologist said. There is no suggestion yet that the consumption of the drug played any role in the teenager's death. Sarfarazuddin, a 25-year-old in Burdwan, had enrolled in a graduation course in humanities but did not complete it, the sources said. When I saw the boy was getting destabilised, I gave him the medicine in the ambulance," an officer quoted Sarfarazuddin as saying.
March 17, 2018 20:48 UTC
KOUSIK SENRaiganj: The life science question paper of Madhyamik was allegedly leaked around 15 minutes ahead of the exam on Saturday in Malda district. Sources said though the exam was scheduled to start at 12pm, photos of the question paper circulated in social media, including Whatsapp in the district. "We checked the photos of the question papers circulated in the social media with the question paper distributed among students. It is surprising that the question paper got leaked ahead of the exams," said a teacher. "As the question paper has been leaked, most students will score good marks.
Pranesh SarkarCalcutta: The Mamata Banerjee government is set to order an inquiry into allegations that some rice mills from Nadia supplied inferior rice for the chief minister's pet project Khadyasathi, but units in Birbhum facing similar charges have been spared. But there is no such plan in case of Birbhum where 12-odd rice mills supplied 26,000 tonnes of poor quality rice," said a senior official. In Nadia, the figure for such poor-quality rice is about 1,000 tonnes. Unlike Nadia, the government has decided to give a chance to the mills in Birbhum to replace the poor-quality rice. "The allegation is more serious in Birbhum as the allegations have been levelled against several rice mills and it appears a pre-planned conspiracy," said an official.
The meeting between Mamata and Rao is likely to take place between 3pm and 5pm on Monday. "Rao is coming with the express purpose of meeting her (Mamata). The NCP is clear that there can be no viable and workable alternative without the Congress. Pawar has called a meeting of Opposition parties again this month-end, and the Bengal chief minister is expected to attend it. During this visit, she is also likely to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the first time after he took over the reins of the party.
Binay Tamang in his first reaction after the Supreme Court's order on Friday was more direct. "After the Supreme Court's order, the political existence of Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri has been wiped off." "We welcome the court's order. Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri tried to portray us as anti-people, anti-community and anti-Gorkhaland, which is untrue." Perhaps rattled by the rapid development in the hills, Gurung today circulated a video message on social group.
The BJP plans to bring in leaders and elected representatives from the Northeast to campaign in the rural polls later this year. Added to it, if her party leaders succeed in getting some leaders of BJP and other parties of Assam into Trinamul, it can help Trinamul during the rural poll campaign, particularly in districts closer to Assam," said an observer. Among them include a relative of a BJP MLA in Assam, a prominent woman leader of Asom Gana Parishad, and 12 leaders of BJP from different parts of the state. We will visit Assam next month and have planned to hold a meeting with such leaders at Bongaigaon," he said. The woman leader from AGP said: "In the next panchayat elections in Assam, we want Trinamul to become stronger.
Vivek ChhetriDarjeeling: Darjeeling police has set the stage to host the most prized talent contest with the police announcing a prize money of Rs 22.44 lakhs for a singing and dance competition. The amount announced for the winners of the Darjeeling Rising Star-Pahari Pratibha Ko Khoj makes it the biggest contest in terms of monetary awards in the region's history. "The amount has been increased to Rs 2.5 lakhs, Rs 2 lakhs and 1.5 lakhs for three top position in the senior category," said Dorji. The winner in the junior categories were to get Rs 51,000, while the second and third participants will get Rs 31,000 and 11,000. "In the junior categories the top three will get Rs 1.5 lakh, Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000," said Dorji.
OUR CORRESPONDENTStudents demonstrate at the entrance of the Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College on Saturday. Picture by Biplab BasakJalpaiguri: The impasse at the Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College continued for the second day on Saturday, with second-year students demonstrating to demand the sacking of a teacher whom they accused of assault during a ragging row. Dipak Kumar Kole is accused of thrashing two second-year students on Thursday when they had an altercation with some first-year students over the ragging claims. Some first-year students have complained to police that second-year students have resorted to demonstrations to conceal the fact that they had ragged some freshers. The trouble started when a first-year student, hailing from Asansol, was allegedly beaten up by some second-year students.
A city teenager, born out of a live-in relationship, can’t use the name and caste of his biological father. The Bombay high court (HC) last week rejected the plea of a 17-year-old boy who sought an order declaring his mother’s live-in partner was his biological father, so he could claim the benefits of reservation that are extended to the caste of his biological father. On that basis, the 17-year-old sought a declaration to the effect that the doctor was his biological father. His mother had filed an affidavit in support of the petition stating the child was born out of a live-in relationship. The high court rejected the plea on the grounds that the declaration sought by the 17-year-old cannot be granted on a writ petition.
March 17, 2018 20:26 UTC
A hoarding featuring BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav outside the SP office in Lucknow, following the bypoll results. (Source: PTI) A hoarding featuring BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav outside the SP office in Lucknow, following the bypoll results. Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav talked over the phone, followed by the announcement that the BSP would support the SP in the by-polls. This is not like 1993 (when the SP, BSP last had an alliance), when both parties had leaders from ordinary backgrounds,” the SP leader says. Admitting the tough math ahead, an SP office-bearer says if the BSP had begun its 2019 countdown, so had they.
March 17, 2018 20:20 UTC
Sinha, a BJP veteran, is leading a non-governmental initiative under the group's banner to help resolve the Kashmir issue. The CCG said it was disconcerted to find that while the "situation in the Kashmir Valley had deteriorated further", peace in Jammu had "become fragile". "It was concerned that Jammu was being communalised for narrow political gains by certain political groups and forces," the report said. "Increasingly the perception is that there is a 'Hindu Jammu' ruled by the BJP and then there is 'Muslim Kashmir' ruled by the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) - i.e. Yes, the situation was difficult in the Valley and militancy surged but the situation is being handled (well)."
March 17, 2018 20:15 UTC
Picture by Anup BhattacharyaCalcutta: The sun scorched Calcutta on Saturday as the clouds that had kept the sky overcast and the city cool a day earlier cleared. The maximum temperature shot up to 34.6 degrees, up by over four notches from Friday. The temperature dropped and brought some relief to Calcuttans who had sweltered in the heat for most of the day. The first system pulled moisture towards land while the second pushed it towards land. Tourist spots like Alipore zoo and Science City recorded low footfall.
March 17, 2018 20:14 UTC