Sunday, 11 November 2018

11 Nov. ND: Amid RBI reluctance to name big loan defaulters, 4 banks lead the way/ Chidambaram: Why is govt in ‘tearing hurry’ to fix RBI’s capital framework with just 4 months left for end of term/ CVC finds nothing substantial against chief Alok Verma


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
11 Nov. 2018: 2 Rabiul-I 1440: Vol: 11, No:51
INDIA
Amid RBI reluctance to name big loan defaulters, 4 banks lead the way
Kolkata: In the wake of the Central Information Commission's notice to RBI and PMO over their reluctance to make the names of wilful defaulters public, NDTV found at least 4 of the top ten public sector banks have already made this information available on their websites.On Nov. 2, CIC sent a notice to RBI and PM Narendra Modi's office, asking why they should not face action for failing to provide information related to wilful defaulters to the public. Notice cited a previous Supreme Court order, and alleged that they were "dishonouring" the verdict.RBI guidelines ask Credit Information Agencies to make such information public, rather than individual banks.  An examination of the websites of the 10 biggest public and private sector banks, found none of the private sector banks had any information on wilful defaulters on their website. Only four public sector banks had uploaded the lists of wilful defaulters, with the amounts they owe.4 -- Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, IDBI and Syndicate bank -- had outstanding loans of approximately Rs. 42,000 crore against 1,815 wilful defaulters.Punjab National Bank had listed 1,124 defaulters as of September 2018, who owe a collective Rs. 23,470 crore. The list included Mehul Choksi-Nirav Modi companies, which collectively owe around Rs. 7,500 crore, and Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines, which owes almost Rs. 600 crore. Jatin Mehta's Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery and Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamonds owe Rs. 1,648 crore, and a company called Kudos Chemie Ltd owes the bank Rs. 1,302 crore. IDBI listed 162 defaulters, who owe Rs. 11,050 crore as of October 2018. Bank Of Baroda also named 309 wilful defaulters in their March 2018 list. It is owed Rs. 6,261 crore. As of June 2018, Syndicate bank had 220 wilful defaulters, who owe Rs. 1,159 crore.The names of defaulters listed by these banks included Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines, which owed Rs. 426 crore to Bank of Baroda and Rs. 696 crore to IDBI. Other defaulters at IDBI include Amtek Auto, EPC Constructions India and S Kumar's Nationwide, which owe Rs. 1,575 crore, Rs. 915 crore, and Rs. 834 crore respectively. Nitin Sandesara and Chetan Sandesara's Sterling Biotech also features in IDBI's wilful defaulter's list and is said to owe Rs. 33 crore. Rotomac Global owes Bank of Baroda Rs. 457 crore, while other wilful defaulters, ABC Cotspin and REI Agro owe Rs. 362 crore and Rs. 318 crore respectively. Syndicate bank is owed over Rs. 300 crore by their top defaulter. Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamonds owes Rs. 308 crore, Zylog systems owes Rs. 149.5 crore, Nakoda owes Rs. 116.5 and Zoom Developers owes Rs. 80 crore to Syndicate Bank.Other banks such as State Bank of India, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, Central Bank of India, and Oriental Bank of Commerce had no such information on their websites.NDTV
Chidambaram: Why is govt in ‘tearing hurry’ to fix RBI’s capital framework with just 4 months left for end of term
New Delhi :Continuing his tirade against Centre over its tussle with RBI on the transfer of surplus capital, former finance minister P Chidambaram on Sunday asked why the Modi government was in a rush to “fix” the capital framework of the central bank since only four months were left for completion of its term.“NDA government has completed 4 years and 6 months of its term. It has effectively 4 months left. What is the tearing hurry to “fix” the capital framework of RBI?” Congress leader tweeted. He had last week reasoned that the government wanted to step up expenditure ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Chidambaram’s reaction comes two days after Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the government was in discussion with RBI to “fix appropriate economic capital framework” for the central bank. The capital framework governs RBI’s capital requirements and terms for the transfer of its surplus to the govt. On Nov.6, the Indian Express reported that a proposal by the Finance Ministry seeking to transfer a surplus of Rs 3.6 lakh crore, more than a third of the total Rs 9.59 lakh crore reserves of the central bank, to the govt was not accepted by the RBI.indianexpress
Modi vs CBI: CVC finds nothing substantial against chief Alok Verma
In what can be termed as an embarrassing development for the Modi government, Central Vigilance Commission inquiry team probing the ₹2 crore bribe allegations against CBI Director Alok Verma has not found anything “substantial”. According to sources, preliminary inquiry report in the case pertaining to Verma was completed on Friday and will be submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday. The report contains a review of the documents submitted by CBI special director Asthana against the CBI chief in his complaint dated August 24.Verma was sent on leave on Oct. 23, along with CBI special director Rakesh Asthana who is also facing corruption charges. Investigation against Verma was supervised by former Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik. Justice Patnaik was asked by the Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi to supervise the government-ordered CVC inquiry against Verma after the infighting between the two top CBI officers became public knowledge as the two levelled corruption charges against each other.One of the reasons cited by the government to justify its leave order for Verma was that there were corruption allegations against the CBI director.While Asthana had written to the cabinet secretary against his boss on August 24, the CBI had filed an FIR against Asthana on October 15. Asthana has alleged that a ₹2 crore bribe was paid to Verma by Hyderabad-based businessman, Sathish Babu Sana, who is also a co-accused in several cases under probe against meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Almost 2 months after Asthana's complaint, an FIR was registered against Asthana, CBI DSP Devender Kumar and Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad. FIR was filed on Oct.15 based on a complaint by Sana, registered on October 4, that the Prasad had asked him to pay ₹3 crore bribe "in the name of Rakesh Asthana" to stop his "harassment" in Qureshi cases.nationalheraldindia
SC to hear on Monday version of CVC which probed CBI director Verma
New Delhi:The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday the version of the Central Vigilance Commission, which was directed to complete within two weeks its preliminary inquiry against CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma, who has been divested of his duties and sent on leave by Centre.The hearing assumes significance as Verma, who has a running feud with Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana, has been appearing before 3-member CVC headed by KV Chowdary and is understood to have given point-wise refusal to all the allegations levelled against him by his deputy.Verma’s plea, which had been heard by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on previous occasions, is now listed for hearing on November 12 before a 2-judge bench comprising the CJI and Justice S K Kaul.The decision that a smaller bench would hear the case has come after the CJI, in his recent informal interaction with journalists, said that on Mondays and Fridays, when the apex court hears miscellaneous cases, only two-judge benches would sit. The court had appointed former apex court judge A K Patnaik to supervise the ongoing inquiry of CVC against Verma.Besides issuing notices to the Centre and CVC on the plea of Verma, the apex court, on Oct. 26, had also set a deadline of two weeks for CVC to complete the preliminary inquiry against CBI director.PTI
Adanis, Ambanis already knew about currency ban: BJP MLA caught on camera
There has been talk about Adanis and Ambanis having known about the currency demonetisation in WhatsApp groups. Now it appears that it’s not just talk among the common men but even among the ruling party’s own. Video footage has emerged on the internet in which a BJP MLA from Rajasthan has been taped in an “off-the-record” conversation saying Adanis and Ambanis, who are seen as being close to the ruling dispensation at the Centre, knew about the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes before it was implemented on ninth of this month.Bhawani Singh Rajawat, BJP MLA from Rajasthan’s Kota in conversation says, “Adani, Ambani and others knew about it (demonetisation) beforehand. They were given a hint and they had made arrangements accordingly.You (govt) should have printed the new currency as per requirement.”He went on to add that the currency ban was an unplanned one and stated that this step could have been implemented in a step-by-step process.newindianexpress
Indian officials attend Afghan peace meet in Russia
New Delhi: Taliban listed 4 conditions for beginning peace talks at a meeting hosted by the Russian government even as the opposition criticised India’s perceived shift from a policy of not engaging directly with the Afghan insurgent group.India participated in the second meeting under the “Moscow format” on Friday at a “non-official level” – its representatives were retired ambassadors TCA Raghavan and Amar Sinha – and the Taliban sent a 5-member delegation, led by Muhammad Abbas Stanikzai, from its “political office” in Qatar. According to a transcript of the speech delivered by the Taliban delegation, the group raised four conditions to begin peace talks – removal from sanctions, release of all detained Taliban cadres, formal opening of an office and the stopping of what it described as “poisonous propaganda” against the group, including allegations of its involvement in attacks on students and civilians.The panel said the group does “not allow anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against other countries”, including neighbours. It contended that “establishing an Islamic system in conformity with the faith of its people can’t be considered terrorism”.India and Afghanistan, working in close coordination, decided to participate in Friday’s meeting at a “non-official” level. The external affairs ministry said its participation was “consistent” with its policy of backing Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process for peace. “Where did we say there will be talks with the Taliban?..We just said we will be participating in a meeting on Afghanistan, hosted by Russia,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. Congress said Centre’s decision amounted to a reversal of India’s stated policy of not engaging the Taliban.HT 
Karnataka ex-BJP minster Reddy arrested in bribery case, sent to 14 days judicial custody
New Delhi:Central Crime Branch (CCB) unit of Bengaluru police on Sunday arrested former Karnataka minister G Janardhana Reddy and his close aide Ali Khan in connection with a bribery case, ANI reported. The mining baron spent the night at the crime branch office on Saturday after being questioned for several hours in the alleged Ambident Group bribery case.Reddy was produced before a court later today. He was sent to judicial custody till November 24 after the court rejected the CCB’s plea for custody. Reddy’s counsel is likely to move for bail tomorrow, according to reports.Alok Kumar Additional CP, Central Crime Branch, was quoted as saying by ANI, “We have taken the decision to arrest him on the basis of credible evidence and witnesses statements. We will produce him before the magistrate. We are going to recover the money and give it to the investors.”Reddy, who was a minister in the erstwhile BJP government in Karnataka, is alleged to have received an amount of Rs 20 crore – in the form of gold – to allegedly help a private firm, Ambident Pvt Ltd, dodge a money laundering case being pursued by the ED.Reddy came on CCB’s radar when the agency was probing cheating cases filed against Ambident for defrauding over 15,000 people to the tune of over Rs 600 crore through Ponzi schemes. According to CCB, Ambident’s founder,Syed Ahmed Fareed, had approached Reddy for help in dodging investigations launched by ED in the aftermath of cases registered by Bengaluru police this year. In return, the former minister had asked for Rs 20 crore in the form of gold from Fareed, police said.indianexpress
Ram temple issue should be resolved at the earliest; Muslims want amicable settlement: Naqvi
New Delhi :Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Sunday pitched for a resolution of the contentious Ram temple issue at the earliest and asserted that a common Muslim does not have an “attitude of conflict” that may harm social unity.He, however, advocated a “wait and watch” approach amid demands from many of his BJP colleagues for a law to construct a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and said the Narendra Modi government has not spoken on the matter yet.“Whatever stand the government takes will be my stand as well. The government has not spoken on the matter so far,” Naqvi told PTI.The issue should be resolved at the earliest, he said.To a question on how Muslims view the thorny issue as, the Minority Affairs Minister said, “A common Muslim wants peace, and an amicable settlement. A common Muslim does not have an attitude of conflict which may harm social unity.”Asked about no adverse statement coming from Muslims on the temple issue, he said, “Muslim community is a very peaceful community. They don’t want to involve themselves in any destructive agenda.“Some individuals, some political parties for their own interest can try to incite people. So people feel that there should be a peaceful solution and it (the matter) should be ended.”PTI
With Cong, regional parties no longer taking Mandir bait, competitive minority politics gets quiet burial
New Delhi: VHP organised the first meeting of saints and seers at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan in early 80s to drum up support for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Indira Gandhi was the PM in power and not many paid heed to VHP campaign. Few years later, BJP formally brought Ram Mandir on its political agenda at the Palampur conclave of the party in Himachal Pradesh. Both RSS and BJP leaders have since expressed their commitment to the construction of the temple at the disputed site.Contingent upon prevailing circumstances, the intensity of the campaign has had its crests and troughs. RSS and BJP leaders are again anxious about the ‘inordinate delay’ in the hearing of the title suit by the Supreme Court. The opposition has linked the upping of the ante to the upcoming elections. It is, however, not sure if this is a build-up to ongoing Assembly polls or the Lok Sabha polls next year. In a marked departure from their instant and vociferous reactions to any developments on Ayodhya, almost all opposition parties have decided not to join issues with the BJP anymore. At least, not on Ram Temple. Prodded by reporters, former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupendra Singh Hooda recently said he would light a lamp if the temple is built.SC leader and its Muslim face Azam Khan has been at his oratorical best in the last few weeks. The former minister has pledged support if a statue of ‘maryada pushottam Ram’ built in his hometown Rampur in western UP. A statue that he says should be taller than Sardar Patel’s Statue of Unity.news18
Watch: ‘Will rename a mosque after Lord Vishnu,’ BJP leader Sambit Patra says during TV debate
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra was in the eye of a storm after an appearance on a television panel with a member of AIMIM on Friday. Patra and Syed Asim Waqar, the national spokesperson of the AIMIM, were part of a panel on Aaj Tak about the renaming of cities in Uttar Pradesh. During the debate, Patra claimed Hindus had been oppressed by Muslims for centuries and names of the cities were first changed by invaders as a part of the exercise. When Waqar asked why the BJP had changed the name of Ekana International Stadium to Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium in that case, Patra asked him to keep quiet, saying, “warna kisi masjid ka naam main rakh dunga bhagwaan Vishnu ke naam pe, phir chillate rahoge” (Or else I will rename a mosque after Lord Vishnu, then you’ll keep shouting).The comment drew the ire of several people on social media.scroll.in/
Muzaffarnagar Riots Accused Ram Das Found Dead
Muzaffarnagar: An accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots was found dead in his home in Kutba village, police said on Saturday. The body of Ram Das alias Kala (30), bearing a bullet injury, was sent for a post-mortem examination, they said, adding that the matter was being probed.Police are yet to ascertain whether Das committed suicide or was murdered.Meanwhile, security was beefed up in and around the communally sensitive village where eight people had reportedly died and several left injured during the 2013 riots.Extra police personnel were deployed as a precautionary measure to prevent any untoward incident, officials said.news18
Opposition parties will meet on Nov. 22 to discuss alliance: Chandrababu Naidu
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday said Opposition parties looking to defeat the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections will meet in New Delhi on November 22 to chalk out their future course of action, PTI reported. The announcement came after the Telugu Desam Party chief wrapped up a series of meetings with Opposition leaders in different parts of the country.Naidu was speaking at a joint press conference after meeting Congress General Secretary Ashok Gehlot in Amaravati. “This is broadly an anti-BJP platform. This is in the interest of the nation,” said Naidu. “Save democracy, save the nation and save the institutions... that is the agenda.”scroll.in
Congress not to allow govt employees to attend RSS shakhas in MP
Bhopal :Over 12 years after the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government allowed its employees to take part in activities of RSS, Congress has promised to revoke the order.In its manifesto released on Saturday, the Opposition party said it will ban holding of RSS shakhas in government premises and cancel the order that allowed officers and employees to participate in shakhas. “RSS is a political organisation. If the Congress party in MP has said it will put an end to this practice, I see nothing wrong with that. Governments servants, as long as they are working with the government, shouldn’t openly associate with a political party,” senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said.indianexpress
India won’t be superpower until Muslims are included in Modi’s vision: Akbaruddin Owaisi
Hyderabad: Slamming PM Narendra Modi for creating “an atmosphere of fear for Muslims in the last four years”, former Chandrayangutta MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi said India won’t be the superpower that PM aspires it to be until Muslims are included in his vision. Addressing a public meeting at Badabazar in Yakutpura on Friday, Akbaruddin said: “Modi is dreaming that the country will become a superpower, will have exemplary industrial growth, will score high in the happiness index. If you want to do that, you will have to include me (sic) in your vision.” Former Chandrayangutta Assembly MLA said: “If I want to develop Chandrayangutta, I keep in mind the sentiments of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and as well as atheists.”During his speech, he also highlighted the developmental works that AIMIM had taken up in the last 4 years.Criticising the ‘gau rakshaks’ (cow vigilantes), he said: “Gau rakshaks are not here to save cows. They are Modi rakshaks. They are here to save Prime Minister Modi. The lynchings, injustices happen when Modi fails.”  Akbaruddin also accused Congress of “oppressing Muslims for the last 70 years” and at the same time “seeking Muslim votes”. Newindianexpress
In poll-bound Chhattisgarh, BSF jawan killed in IED explosions triggered by Naxals
New Delhi :One Naxal was killed and another detained in an encounter with security forces in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, PTI reported. A search operation is underway. This comes a day before the state is slated to go to the polls for the first phase to elect a new Assembly.In a separate incident, one assistant sub-inspector (SI) belonging to the Border Security Force was injured in an IED blast in Kanker’s Koyali Beda. IEDs were planted in a series and were set off in one go between Gome and Gattakal villages. The SI later succumbed to his injuries. Speaking to ANI, DIG (anti-Naxals operation) P Sundaraj had earlier said, “BSF personnel Mahinder Singh was injured in the IED blast in Kanker’s Koyali Beda. He has been airlifted to Raipur. The situation is normal. Security forces are conducting a search operation in the area.”According to a senior police official, the Bijapur encounter took place when an exchange of fire broke out at a forest in Bedre area after a team of STF was out on an anti-Naxal operation. The body of a Naxal clad in ‘uniform’ and a rifle were recovered from the spot.indianexpress
NIA to probe 3 Kashmiri students arrested in Punjab for alleged links with militant outfit
NIA will now probe the 3 Kashmiri students who were arrested in Punjab last month for alleged links to a militant outfit, PTI reported on Saturday. The state government decided to hand over the case to the agency after discussions with the Union Home Ministry and to ensure a quicker and more effective investigation, said Punjab DGP Suresh Arora.“Given the inter-state and international ramifications of the case, the central and Punjab governments have decided to hand over the investigations to NIA,” he said.The students – Zahid Gulzar, Mohd Idriss Shah and Yusuf Rafiq Bhatt – were arrested in October from the hostel of CT Institute of Engineering Management and Technology on the outskirts of Jalandhar.scroll.in
Funds collected outside Pune mosques help rebuild 74 Dalit homes in Pune
In a heart-warming story of Dalit-Muslim unity from Maharashtra, an NGO managed to rebuild homes of 74 Dalit families who lost their homes to a fire with the help of generous contributions from the Muslim community in and around Pune.On April 24, the slum near Ambedkar Nagar in Pune caught fire due to a short circuit and gutted around 74 homes in just a few minutes. Thankfully, due to the help of locals and fire personnel, no lives were lost but the residents lost all their possessions. Bandhubhau Bhaichara Foundation (BBF), an organisation set up in 2014, was one of the first to come to the help of the victims, says Swati, a resident who lost all her belongings in the fire. “It was a horrible day…we were on roads with kids with nothing to eat…Members of BBF came to help and provided us with food,” she said.Shabbir Sheikh, the president of BBF, says that this effort is in line with the teachings of Islam. “Our religion teaches us humanity, and to help the poor. After visiting Ambedkar Nagar slums post-fire, we decided to build homes. We announced our intentions in some of the mosques in Pune City and stood outside the mosques to collect charity. Alhamdulillah, we received a very good response. Our community donated cash and cement, sand and other construction material. Seeing our efforts, many people volunteered as labour also while others made several anonymous contributions. Within a very short period, we met our target and it is because of the community’s efforts that we managed to hand over the keys of all the 74 homes within seven months of the fire,” Sheikh adds.TwoCircles
Deoband issues fatwa against jewellery with images, uncles carrying brides:TOI
Meerut: Darul Uloom Deoband, world-renowned Islamic seminary, has issued fatwa (edict) against what it said “un-Islamic practices” prevalent in Muslim weddings, which included use of ‘lal khat’, a decorated invitation card that a girl’s family sends to the groom’s side inviting them for ‘nikah’ at a pre-decided venue. The seminary also said that the widespread practice of maternal uncle lifting and carrying bride to the ‘doli’ should not be followed as it “may lead to the birth of lust in either of the two”. In reply to a man, a bench of high-ranking clerics said that the ‘lal khat’ was a foreign concept borrowed from “non-Islamic belief”. The bench further said: “Instead, it should be a normal letter or postcard or intimation by phone call.This activity must be abandoned completely.”Seminary’s fatwa department took a strong exception to yet another ceremony in which maternal uncle lifts and carries newlywed niece to the ‘doli’. “Relations between a woman and her maternal uncle are very sacred. A man cannot lift his fully-grown niece, it is certainly not acceptable in the eyes of Muslim law. There is always a danger of destruction of such relationship if this activity leads to the birth of lust in either of the 2,”bench said.It recommended, “It is always better that the young woman walks towards ‘doli’ or her mother escorts her.” Besides, the department also said that jewellery which has images embossed on them is un-Islamic. “If the jewellery a bride is wearing does not have any image embossed on it, it is acceptable,” seminary said. Clerics have welcomed the fatwa and appealed to all Muslims to follow it religiously.A Deoband-based Mehadi Hasan Qazmi said:“I don’t think there is anything controversial in the fatwa issued by the seminary. We fully subscribe to seminary’s point of view in which it asks Muslims to stay away from wasting money in weddings. Regarding uncle-niece tradition, this is one practice that must be stopped with immediate effect.”
Home Ministry cancels licence of Jaising’s NGO
New Delhi:Licence of an NGO run by noted lawyer Indira Jaising has been permanently cancelled by the government for alleged violation of FCRA, an action termed by the organisation as “preposterous” and an attack on “right to free speech” guaranteed under the Constitution.In its order, the Home Ministry claimed that there were discrepancies in foreign contributions cited by Lawyers’ Collective in its returns filed with the govt.Ms. Jaising, who was the Additional Solicitor General of India under the previous UPA government, had violated Foreign Contribution Regulation Act norms by receiving foreign funds between 2006-07 and 2013-14 when she was a government servant, the order said.Reacting to the government’s move, the NGO issued a statement expressing wonder how an order could be issued on Sunday when all the govt offices are closed. “Lawyers Collective has received an order dated November 27, 2016 cancelling its registration to receive foreign contribution... at its registered office at Mumbai.PTI
Upset Faizabad Residents Say Renaming Will Erase City's Identity
Faizabad: The decision to rename Faizabad district as Ayodhya has not gone down well with many of its residents, who believe it is an "unnecessary step" taken for "political" reasons and will eventually "erase the identity" of the historical town.Another section, however, welcomed the UP Govt's move, saying it endorses the legacy of ancient Ayodhya and will enhance its "glory". PK Maurya, a 74-year-old Ayurvedic doctor, gets visibly upset when asked about the renaming move."What was the need for it? It was unnecessary and done with politics in mind. It is the common man who will suffer due to confusion now," he told PTI. Maurya runs a dispensary in a run-down colonial-era building near the 19th century 'Ghanta Ghar' (Clock Tower), with an old board on its facade displaying the address as "Chowk-Faizabad" in Hindi.Many other shops and commercial establishments in the area carry boards with district name labelled as 'Zilla Faizabad'.PTI
Centre approves renaming of 25 places in past a yr
New Delhi:Centre has given consent to the renaming of at least 25 towns and villages across India in the past one year and among the pending proposals is one for the State of West Bengal, according to officials. Allahabad and Faizabad are the latest additions to the growing list of places that have been renamed.Several proposals, including the renaming of West Bengal as ‘Bangla’, are pending with the Central government. The process is a long-drawn one with the involvement of multiple Central Ministries and departments.Union Home Ministry has given consent to the proposals of name change in 25 villages and towns in different parts of the country in last one year, a senior Ministry official told PTI. The proposals to change the names of Allahabad to Prayagraj and Faizabad to Ayodhya are yet to be received by the Ministry from UP govt, official said.PTI
Hyderabad:Mosque turns health hub for 1.5 lakh people
Hyderabad: In a first, a mosque in the city has opened its doors for health services. Located at NS Kunta, Masjid-e-Ishaq will facilitate as a community health centre serving about 1.5 lakh people, mostly the poor.It will provide information and guidance for admission to 30-plus government hospitals. It will also serve as a referral link for health services for people across religious lines. Mosque committee collaborated with a city-based NGO Helping Hand Foundation (HHF) to open a health centre at the mosque premises earlier this month.“Community health centre at the mosque will serve as a referral link to about 30 state-run hospitals providing primary to tertiary health care,”said HHF managing trustee Mujtaba Hasan Askari. He said with abysmally low attendance at govt hospitals from slums, the mosque will work towards increasing footfall of economically backward sections in state hospitals by way of facilitation.“It will assure patients of prompt, ethical and free treatment with a network of 100 volunteers,”Askari added.TOI

WORLD
Bangladesh general election on Dec. 23 despite Zia's arrest
Authorities in Bangladesh have said they will hold a "free and fair" national election on Dec.23 despite bitter wrangling between the government and the opposition. Bangladesh's Election Commission announced on Thursday that the election will take place despite the imprisonment of the leader of the main opposition party and the banning of its chief partner, Jamaat-e-Islami."A favourable situation prevails in the country to hold a free and fair election," Chief Election Commissioner Nurul Huda said in an address aired by state-run TV.Huda said he hoped all parties will participate in the election, in which PM Sheikh Hasina is seeking re-election.The opposition has expressed fears that the election will not be democratic and has threatened protests.Hasina's archrival and opposition leader Khaleda Zia, who is in jail on corruption charges, is likely to be banned from contesting. Election Commission announced that the candidates must file nominations by Nov. 19, leaving Zia virtually no time to appeal.On Wednesday, the ruling Awami League party rejected an opposition demand for a caretaker government ahead of the election, saying it was "unconstitutional".BNP says a caretaker government is essential for free and fair polls.aljazeera
US-led coalition strikes 'kill 26 including 14 kids, 9 women in east Syria'
US-led coalition air strikes have killed 26 civilians, including 14 children, in a holdout of the Islamic State group in eastern Syria, a UK-based activist group has said."26 IS family members, including 14 children and 9 women, were killed in coalition air strikes on Friday morning on the town of Hajin," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.On Thursday, coalition raids killed another seven civilians in the nearby village of al-Shaafa, Observatory chief Rami Abdurrahman said.Both Hajin and al-Shaafa are in a last pocket under IS control in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor near the border with Iraq.A coalition spokesman did not immediately reply for a request for comment, the AFP news agency reported.The coalition has been backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance fighting IS in the area. Middleeasteye
Battle for Hodeidah over 40 Houthis killed in a day
At least 43 Houthis have been killed in Yemen's flashpoint city of Hodeidah over the past 24 hours as pro-government forces close in on rebel-held areas in the east of the city.Medics at a hospital in Hodeidah said on Sunday Houthi fighters had been killed in overnight ground fighting and air attacks by a Saudi-UAE alliance supporting Yemeni troops.A source at Hodeidah's military hospital told the AFP that dozens of wounded rebels were transferred to hospitals in the provinces of Sanaa and Ibb, further inland.Meanwhile, a source at a hospital in the government-held town of Mocha, about 170km south of Hodeidah city, said that nine Yemeni soldiers had been killed in clashes there.Hodeidah, a large city on Yemen's Red Sea coast, is the latest battleground between the Houthis and the Saudi-UAE alliance which has been fighting for control over the country for the past three and a half years.aljazeera 
16 killed in Taliban attack on army base in Baghlan
At least 12 army soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on Saturday on a small military base in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province, officials said.Taliban left behind explosives that then killed four tribal elders who had come to help collect the soldiers' bodies, according to Afghan officials.Safder Mohsini, head of the provincial council in Baghlan, said the group also abducted 2 soldiers and wounded 3 others in the attack.He said Taliban fighters burned down the base before planting bombs around it.Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault and said they seized ammunition from the base. The group carry out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting Afghan security forces. Taliban fighters have ramped up attacks on Afghan security forces and government facilities in recent months, leaving troops thinly stretched throughout the country.aljazeera           
Turkey slams Israeli violation in E. Jerusalem
Turkey slammed Israel over the approval of building nearly 800 new housing units in the illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem early Sunday."Israeli authorities disregarded international law once again by approving the construction of 792 new housing units in the illegal settlements of Ramat Shlomo and Ramot in East Jerusalem,"Turkish Foreign Ministry said on its website.The ministry added that Turkey is rejecting these illegal steps of Israel, which irreversibly damage the vision of a 2-state solution. This week the Israeli authorities approved construction of hundreds of new Jewish-only housing units in occupied East Jerusalem, according to Israeli media reports.Roughly.Anadolu
Erdogan,Trump meet in Paris amid Khashoggi crisis
US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met during a dinner in Paris, as international pressure grows on Washington to put pressure on Saudi Arabia over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.Erdogan arrived in Paris on Saturday at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron to attend the Armistice Day commemorations, along with other world leaders.The dinner, where Trump and Erdogan met each other, was hosted by Macron in the honour of world leaders and their spouses who came to Paris to attend the event.  aljazeera
'I'm suffocating': Khashoggi's last words, says Turkish reporter
The head of investigations at the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper has said that Jamal Khashoggi's last words were "I'm suffocating...Take this bag off my head, I'm claustrophobic", according to an audio recording from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.  Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, suffocated to death while a plastic bag covered his head, Nazif Karaman said. Karaman said the murder lasted for about seven minutes, according to the recordings.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that audio related to Khashoggi's murder was shared with Saudi Arabia, US, Germany, France and Britain.He said Saudi knows Khashoggi's killer is among a group of 15 people who flew into Istanbul hours before Oct.2 incident. According to Karaman, the Saudi entourage covered the floor with plastic bags before dismembering Khashoggi's body - a 15-minute process that was led by Salah al-Tubaigy, head of Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics. Karaman's remarks come as Turkish police are ending the search for the body, but the criminal investigation into Khashoggi's murder will continue, sources said.Al Jazeera

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