New Delhi

It's an honour to contest from Varanasi: Modi

NARENDRA MODiNew Delhi, March 16 - BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi late Saturday thanked the party for announcing his candidature for the Lok Sabha polls from the temple town of Varanasi.

"Grateful to the Party for giving me opportunity to contest the election from the holy city of Varanasi! An honour to contest from Varanasi," Modi tweeted minutes after the announcement.

"With blessings of Ganga Mata & Kashi Vishwanath, let us work towards success of Mission 272+ & create a strong, vibrant & prosperous India," he said in another tweet.


After victory over polio, measles the next target: Experts

measlesNew Delhi, March 15 : After India was declared polio free earlier this year, health experts stress that eradication of measles is the next "achievable target" among childhood illnesses.

"After the victory over polio and officially being declared polio-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO), measles becomes our next achievable target among

the killer diseases of childhood illness," Himanshi Kashyap, pediatric consultant, Rockland Hospital, Manesar, told IANS.


60 percent quota for bureaucrats' kids in Delhi school defended

najeeb JungNew Delhi, March 14 - Delhi's lt. governor, defending the decision allowing the city's Sanskriti school to reserve 60 percent seats for children of bureaucrats, has told the Delhi High Court that it was required as such parents find it extremely difficult to have their children admitted in other public schools.

In a response filed before Justice Manmohan, Lt. Gov Najeeb Jung said that the reservation was structured to cater to the specific needs of children of such serving employees as in case of transfer.


Nokia's Chennai plant would remain attached as SC junks its plea

Nokia's Chennai plant would remain attached as SC junks its pleaNew Delhi, March 14 : Mobile handset manufacturer Nokia's plans to transfer its Chennai plant to Microsoft suffered a setback as the Supreme Court Friday dismissing its plea against the Delhi High Court order asking its parent company Nokia Finland to undertake to meet any future tax liability for its India operations which are being folded up.


Air passenger traffic grows 1.10 percent in February

Air-passenger-trafficNew Delhi, March 14 : Domestic air passenger traffic rose 1.10 percent in February to 49.46 lakh passengers -- up from 48.92 lakh ferried during the corresponding month last year, data showed Friday.

According to data furnished by the civil aviation ministry, passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-February, 2014 was up 0.69 percent at 100.93 lakh from 100.24 lakh passengers in the corresponding period of last year.


Rani's 'Mardaani' brings Delhi neighbourhood to standstill

rani-mukherjeeNew Delhi, March 14 : A quiet, leafy South Delhi neighbourhood was abuzz Friday morning as news trickled into homes and busy markets that Bollywood star Rani Mukerji was shooting in one of the houses.

"Did you know that Rani is in Chittaranjan Park," squealed Manushi, a 20-year-old househelp, as she excitedly passed on the news on the phone to her friends in the neighbourhood - and beyond.

Rani is in the capital to shoot for "Mardaani".  Being directed by Pradeep Sarkar and produced by Aditya Chopra, the film will see the actress in khakis.


No evidence against me in the 2G scam: A. Raja

A-RajaNew Delhi, March 14 : DMK leader A. Raja said Friday he is innocent and there is no evidence against him in the alleged irregularities in allocating 2G spectrum, adding the government did not defend the accusations well enough.

"Two things are very clear... there is no exchequer loss and there is no illegal wealth with me. Despite of that, people are saying there is a big scam," he said.

"No evidence has come out against me," he said.

He said government did not argue the case well enough at any of the forums.


India's 4.68 percent inflation at 9-month low

India's 4.68 percent inflation at 9-month lowNew Delhi, March 14 - India's wholesale price based inflation fell to 4.68 percent in February, the lowest level in nine months, on slower increase in food articles prices, government data showed here Friday.

The main inflation indicator of India measured in terms of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was at 5.05 percent during January and 7.28 percent during the corresponding month of the previous year.


Will Rahul's combative stance help Congress?

Rahul-GandhiNew Delhi, March 13 : Rahul Gandhi's new-found combativeness in taking on Narendra Modi on his home turf has raised the pitch of the Congress campaign for the Lok Sabha elections with some political observers saying the ruling party needs to be more assertive against its rivals to keep alive diminishing hopes in the electoral contest ahead.

Rahul Gandhi compared the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler at a rally in Gujarat earlier this week. Gandhi's remarks on Modi were preceded by a sharp attack on the RSS over the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.


Google's Nikesh Arora resigns from Bharti Airtel board

Nikesh-AroraNew Delhi, March 13 : Google's Chief Business Officer and senior vice president Nikesh Arora has resigned as independent director from the board of telecom service provider Bharti Airtel and he was replaced by Dinesh Kumar Mittal, a former bureaucrat, a company statement said here Thursday.

Mittal retired as secretary, department of financial services, in 2013. The company said Mittal, a 1977 batch UP cadre IAS officer, has been appointed as an additional director in the category of independent director.(IANS)


Hero MotoCorp launches new variant of Splendor

Splendor-iSmartNew Delhi, March 13 : Two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp Thursday launched a new variant of its entry-level motorcycle Splendor priced at Rs. 47,250 (ex-showroom Delhi).

The new variant -- Splendor iSmart -- comes with idle stop and start system technology (i3S) which helps in conserving fuel.

"Our customers will love the new i3S technology which makes this motorcycle truly smart, giving them more for every drop of fuel. We have applied for a patent for this technology which may be later extended to several other models," said Anil Dua, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Hero MotoCorp.


Media should correct aberrations: PM

Manmohan-SinghNew Delhi, March 12 : Some aberrations have crept into journalism in India and the media should itself find ways to remove them, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday.

"Vibrant and fiercely independent media in our country is an asset for all of us. It has served us well in disseminating information, educating the public and keeping a critical eye on the work of the government," he said at a function to mark 125 years of the Malayala Manorama group.

Manmohan Singh said that while the media had evolved and grown in size, some "aberrations" have crept in.


Anna skipped meeting as he is unwell: Mamata

Mamata-BanerjeeNew Delhi, March 12 : An embarrassed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Wednesday that social activist Anna Hazare skipped her rally here because he was unwell.

The much publicised joint rally of Hazare and the Trinamool chief ended with the former keeping away and organisers admitting that the crowd turnout was poor.

"Anna is not keeping well. He has congestion...," a visibly disappointed Banerjee told the media later.

Banerjee, who was the only speaker, appealed to the people to radically change the country's political system.


Priyanka Chopra to endorse silver coated cardamom seeds

Priyanka-ChopraNew Delhi, March 12 : Bollywood's 'desi girl' Priyanka Chopra's talent and popularity has landed her a new endorsement. She has been named the brand ambassador of Rajnigandha Silver Pearls - saffron blended, silver coated cardamom seeds from the house of DS Group.

Actress-singer Priyanka features in a new 60-second television commercial announcing the new launch.


Hyundai launches entry-level compact sedan Xcent

Hyundai launches entry-level compact sedan XcentNew Delhi, March 12 : Automobile manufacturer Hyundai Wednesday launched its entry-level compact sedan Xcent priced between Rs. 4.66 lakh and Rs. 7.38 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi).

“The Xcent is developed for the Indian families. Developed with the best of Hyundai Motor’s world class technologies, Xcent will create a new benchmark in terms of quality, design, space, features and driving pleasure in the compact sedan segment," said B. S. Seo, managing director and chief executive, Hyundai Motor India.


February retail inflation slows to 8.10 percent

retail-inflationNew Delhi, March 12 : The consumer price index-based inflation or retail inflation for February slowed to 8.10 percent as compared to 8.79 percent in the previous month, government data showed Wednesday.

The corresponding provisional inflation rates for rural and urban areas for February 2014 are 8.51 percent and 7.55 percent respectively.

Inflation rates for rural and urban areas for January 2014 were 9.35 percent and 8.09 percent respectively, the data stated.

Food inflation for February 2014 stood at 8.57 percent compared to 9.9 percent in January 2014. (IANS)


India's industrial output up 0.1 percent in January

industrial-outputNew Delhi, March 12 : India's industrial output was higher by 0.1 percent during January, as mining and electricity sectors performed marginally better, government data showed Wednesday.

The cumulative growth of the industrial production for the April-January period year-on-year was at a standstill from a growth of one percent in the corresponding period of last fiscal, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) here.

Factory output measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had dropped by 0.6 percent in December, registering a contraction for the third straight month.


Coal India officers' three-day strike from Thursday

Coal-India-Officers-StrikeNew Delhi, March 12 : State miner Coal India Limited's (CIL) officers will go on a three-day strike from Thursday over their demands, that include performance-related pay and a new pension scheme.

"Coal Mines officers' Association of India has served a strike notice against non-finalisation of performance-related pay, new pension scheme and other demands," the company said in a filing Wednesday to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).


RSS was not involved in Mahatma's killing: Advani

L-K-AdvaniNew Delhi, March 12 : The RSS was not involved in the killing of Mahatma Gandhi, BJP patriarch L. K. Advani said in a blog, quoting Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi Wednesday.

Advani's blog 'Mahatma was perhaps not right' Wednesday also said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's contributions have not been acknowledged.

"This book by Rajmohan Gandhi has effectively nailed the Congress party's slanderous campaign against the RSS in respect of Mahatmaji's assassination," Advani wrote.


Monica Dogra opens up about 'Dhobi Ghat' role

Monica DograNew Delhi, March 12 : Monica Dogra has said that she initially refused the role in Dhobi Ghat, and it was only when she read the script that she changed her mind.

She said that the story of the film was not run of the mill stories that objectified women and presented them as dumb dodos men could leach on, FHM-India magazine reported.

Dogra said that when ' Dhobi Ghat' released a lot of people told her that she looked too intelligent for a debutant.


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