The many probes over the Hathras crime

  • CBI’s case: The CBI on Sunday took over the investigation into the alleged gang rape and assault that led to the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. It registered an FIR against main accused Sandeep under sections 376D (gang rape), 307 (attempt to murder) and 302 (murder) of the IPC and Section 3 of the SC/ST Act (offences of atrocities), reports TOI. But it later removed a press statement it had issued and the link to the FIR from its website.

  • UP Police’s case: The Uttar Pradesh police continues to probe the cases that it had registered alleging a conspiracy to malign the state government. Several police teams from Mathura have been dispatched to Malappuram district in Kerala and elsewhere to investigate the journalist and three others booked under the anti-terror law UAPA and charged with sedition for allegedly conspiring to cause caste riots in the state. The four accused — Siddiqui Kappan, a journalist with a Malayalam-language news site in Delhi, Atikur Rahman of Muzaffarnagar, Masood Ahmad from Bahraich and Aalam from Rampur — were detained on October 5 while on their way to Hathras.

  • The court’s case: The family of the victim is to give their statement at the Allahabad High Court on Monday. The court had taken suo motu cognisance of the case after the UP Police conducted the girl’s cremation in the dead of the night allegedly without the family’s consent.

  • More probes: Madhya Pradesh’s Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College has initiated an enquiry into the conduct of Dr Rajkumari Bansal, a forensic specialist from the institute who according to some media outlets was living with the victim’s family “posing as a relative”. The reports alleged she had links with Naxalism. The college said she “went on leave without information”.

Top 10 India news today

Today: Fourth and last phase of panchayat elections in Rajasthan; IPL — KXIP vs KKR, CSK vs RCB; French Open women’s singles final; 

Tomorrow: IPL — SRH vs RR, MI vs DC; French Open men’s singles final

1. RBI does the heavy lifting, again

The Reserve Bank of India left key interest rates unchanged on Friday but signalled more easing ahead to support an economy.

2. Now, NIA has an 83-year-old ‘conspirator’

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a chargesheet against eight people, including activists Gautam Navlakha and 83-year-old social and tribal rights activist Stan Swamy (he was arrested only a few hours before chargesheet was filed), for their alleged involvement in inciting a mob to violence in Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1, 2018.

3. A Covid ‘revelation’ from China

China on Friday claimed that the coronavirus broke out in the various parts of the world last year but it was the only one to have reported and acted first. That refutes the widely-held view that the deadly contagion originated in Wuhan before turning out to be a pandemic.

Friday’s count:

Cases: 73,357; Overall: 6,975,380

Recoveries: 5,978,381; Recovery rate: 85.7%.

Deaths: 934, below 1000-mark for 7th consecutive day; Overall: 107,388

4. World Food Programme wins Peace Nobel

The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the United Nations agency for its efforts to combat hunger and improve conditions for peace in areas affected by conflict. The Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) estimates it helps about 97 million people a year in 88 countries and that one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat.

5. Is this the best time to send these kids home?

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) the rationale behind its letter which directed eight states, accounting for over 70% of children in care homes, to ensure their return to their families.

In the letter issued on September 24, NCPCR had said that it is the right of every child to grow up in a familial environment. It said the decision to send children home was taken keeping in view the concerns over their safety and security in these institutions. Those who could not be sent back to their families, preferably within a 100-day period, must be placed for adoption or in foster homes, it had said.

6. India gets a ‘stealth’ missile

India successfully test-fired its New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile (NGARM), Rudram-1, on Friday, which can allow it to take down enemy radars and surveillance systems, allowing IAF fighter jets to penetrate deep into enemy territory unhindered.

7. Big 2 confirm French Open summit clash

Defending champion Rafael Nadal (left in pic) swept into the 2020 French Open final, beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-0) on Friday. Gaining revenge for his Rome quarter-final loss to the Argentine, Nadal landed 38 winners and converted six of nine breakpoints, while saving three breakpoints in a tense 11th game (lasting 12 minutes) in the third set.

8. That’s most un-Sharjahlike!

The story: The pitch at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium has been a batting paradise this IPL, what with short boundaries. The top six innings totals have come at the ground, with all teams (barring Sunrisers Hyderabad) having touched the 200-run landmark. The average first innings total in Sharjah this IPL, before Friday, was 219.

And so, Rajasthan Royals (RR) — who had won both their matches here — would have been confident keeping Delhi Capitals (DC) to a below-par score, thanks to Messrs Archer and Tewatia and some crucial run-outs. In fact, the target was 32 fewer than what RR chased down emphatically the other night against Kings XI Punjab.

The scorecard: DC 184/8 (Hetmyer 45, Archer 3-24) beat RR 138 (Rabada 3-35, Ashwin 2-22) by 46 runs.

9. A bail for Lalu but he’ll still miss polls

The Jharkhand High Court on Friday granted bail to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.67 crore from the Chaibasa treasury when he was the chief minister of undivided Bihar.

However, Lalu will continue to remain in jail at least until November 9, when his bail plea in another case related to the Dumka treasury comes up for hearing. He has been convicted and jailed in the case for 14 years.

10. Manipulation of Television Rating Points: How TRPs work, the scam

Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said on Thursday that police are looking into a scam about manipulation of TRPs (Television Rating Points) by rigging the devices used by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, which has the mandate to measure television audience in India.

Reference: TOI

India’s food minister Ram Vilas Paswan dies at 74

In his long political career, Paswan worked with many Indian prime ministers and served several portfolios.

Veteran Indian politician Ram Vilas Paswan, a federal minister and an ally of Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s ruling coalition, died on Thursday after weeks in hospital, his son Chirag Pawsan said in a tweet. He was 74.

Paswan, India’s Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, was admitted to a hospital in New Delhi on September 11 and underwent heart surgery on October 4.

In his role as food minister, Paswan oversaw the world’s biggest food welfare programme, under which the government gives cheap rice and wheat to India’s millions of poor people.

“I am saddened beyond words,” Modi said in a tweet reacting to news of his death. “There is a void in our nation that will perhaps never be filled.”

In his long political career, Paswan worked with many prime ministers and served as India’s mines, steel, and telecommunication and information minister among other portfolios.

As the chief of the Lok Janshakti (People’s Power) Party (LJP), Paswan joined Modi’s right-wing National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that swept India’s general election in 2014. The NDA was voted back to power with a bigger majority in 2019.

Paswan and his party represented India’s Dalits (formerly referred to as the “untouchables”), a socially disadvantaged community at the bottom of the country’s complex caste hierarchy.

Dalits make up about three-quarters of the majority Hindu population, that is about 80 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people.

Paswan’s LJP enjoys considerable support in his home state of Bihar in the east, where assembly elections will begin later this month.

His son, Chirag Paswan, a member of parliament, is leading the LJP in the three-phase vote for the state legislature.

Reference: Aljazeera

5 Best Mobile Apps to Tackle the Pandemic Weight Gain

When the COVID-19 pandemic prompted social distancing and stay-at-home orders, people were left stressed, anxious, sedentary, and snacking most of the time.

According to research, more than 20% of adults reported weight gain during this time. Lack of proper sleep, erratic sleep cycles, binge eating, stress eating, and inadequate physical activities were the primary reasons behind the weight gain.

Since going outdoors and gyms is not a feasible option amidst the pandemic, the importance of self-awareness, and self-monitoring your daily habits at home becomes paramount.  

The good news is, technology can definitely help you get back on track. To show you how, in this article, you will learn about the five best mobile apps proven highly beneficial in tracking and modifying your lifestyle. These can provide specific support based on your habits and preferences to help you reach your weight loss goals. 

As you read, you will also get answers to the key questions for health and fitness.

So, let us explore the apps.

1. MyFitnessPal


MyFitnessPal is a top-rated health and fitness app that offers you a convenient way to lose weight. With this app, you can track your calorie intake, customize daily goals, and learn about healthy foods and recipes.

Logging what you eat and drink in a day in this app can take less than 10 minutes. In return, you get valuable insights by experts on what lifestyle and exercise regime you should follow to achieve your weight loss goals. 

Always remember that losing weight is not the ultimate goal, but maintaining good health is. When you begin this journey, naturally, there are a lot of health-related concepts to understand. 

The best way to understand them is to discuss important health questions and answers on the most talked-about discussion forums and Q & A platforms. Here you get to learn from experts and peers the importance of good night sleep, stress-free life, and more related to your overall health.

2. Step Tracker

Research has shown that 10,000 steps are an excellent daily goal to keep yourself fit and in the best health. In the wake of the pandemic, most of us have lost the motivation to keep moving in a day.  We are looking for external factors and reasons to do so.

In such cases, a pedometer app like Step Tracker becomes a must-have. Here’s why:

  • You can auto track your daily steps (even inside the house, in your garden, or nearby park.)
  • You can also check the duration and distance walked, pace, calories burned, etc.
  • You can analyze your visual progress by looking at clear graphical representations.

When you see the number of steps go up in the app, you’ll be tempted to reach that 10,000 step-goal by the end of the day and challenge yourself by building new step goals.

3. Sworkit


No gym and equipment access?

Home workout is probably the only way to lose weight, gain muscle, improve flexibility, and more.

With the best apps like Sworkit, your workout at home or on the go can be just as effective as a gym workout. 

In this app, you get access to a variety of exercises that you can do anywhere, which includes:

  • Cardio workouts 
  • Bodyweight workouts
  • Stretching exercise
  • Yoga poses and asanas

The app comes with a timer and tracker to help you measure your progress. Here are some ways Sworkit makes the workout fun and convenient for you:

  • Hundreds of workouts and exercises to choose from and do at your convenience. 
  • Workout recommendation and customization option as per your preferences, time availability, and goals.
  • Consistent support for fitness and nutrition by certified trainers.

    4. Lose it!

On any given day, it is hard to note how much food you are eating, which can make you gain excess weight without realizing it.

Lose It! is one of the most common calorie counting apps by those looking forward to shedding extra weight in a short period. The app helps track your calorie intake and enables you to make healthy food choices in your daily life.

lose it

All you need to do is

  • Download the app
  • Enter your calorie goals
  • Start tracking the food that you consume

The best aspect of Lose It! is that it connects you with people also paving their way to their best selves.

5. Yummly


What will happen when you do not have adequate knowledge about food and cooking delectable cuisines using natural ingredients? You can end up making unhealthy food choices. 

Having a food recipe mobile app like Yummly helps you generate a list of delicious and easy recipes in a click. Asian, American, Mexican, Indian, Chinese- you name the cuisine, the app has it all. 

The app allows you to enter your dietary restrictions and food preferences, like Keto, Paleo, vegetarian, pescetarian, no daily, low fat, to offer you recipes that are healthy yet suit your taste buds.

Create the Right Environment to Stay Fit

When you have decided to lose the unwanted pounds and change the way you eat and exercise, it is essential to clear off any distractions other than using these apps.

With timely notifications, reminders, and goal-based weight management activities, you can say bye-bye to extra calories and shape yourself into a healthier and active person in no time!

Bringing quality healthcare in hinterlands of UP, Niira Radia among key change-makers in Indian healthcare

While there have been some positive indications in the healthcare sector of India, it also faces serious shortcomings. From tackling major epidemics, to finding solutions for life threatening diseases which were otherwise deemed incurable, the country has made extraordinary feats. Despite that, lack of accessibility of quality healthcare and unaffordability are some of the major challenges that the common man has long been and is still facing.

Considering the magnitude of these challenges, it is impossible for government to solely resolve it. Therefore, it is imperative that healthcare providers, policy makers, leaders and healthcare companies collectively devise strategies to strengthen the overall healthcare system. Whether it is leveraging technology to maximise output, upgrading skilled workforce at areas in need or minimising the cost of treatment, there are several measures that can be taken. All these can in turn help in increasing the accessibility as well.

Uttar Pradesh for instance is one of the poorest states in India and its healthcare sector also faces a major demand-supply gap. Result? The need of people to travel for miles to nearby metro cities to acquire treatment with an added travel expense on their heads. “Day in and day out we see harrowing tales of people traveling great distances at great financial and emotional expense, just so that their loved ones receive the right medical treatment. Many times, they are too late in finding the right healthcare provider, and end up losing a family member or friend,” said Niira Radia, Chairperson of Nayati Healthcare. Witnessing the plights of these people, she took up the initiative of setting up Nayati Healthcare there which later turned out to be one of the fastest growing private chain of hospitals in India.

Ever since its inception, the healthcare chain has been making quality medical care accessible to the residents of Uttar Pradesh in and around Agra, Mathura and Braj, most of which are densely populated yet poorly provisioned. Niira Radia’s effort has significantly helped in bridging the lurking gap in healthcare sector of those regions and it is because of her that today, people no longer have to worry about availing treatments especially during emergency situations.

To bring change on a maximum scale, it is important for both the government and private sectors to develop partnerships and Nayati Healthcare has been collaborating with local state authorities and initiating awareness campaigns and organising medical camps across various communities. With India striving to bringing quality and affordable healthcare to all, leaders like Niira Radia are among the frontrunners in this revolution.

The Legendary Zohra Sehgal: Success Story

Zohra Segal has received honours like the Padma Shri (1998), the Kalidas Samman (2001), and the Padma Vibhushan (2010).  Bollywood’s favourite dadi who craved for attention as she thought she was ugly.

Sahibzadi Zohra Begum Mumtaz-ullah Khan was born in a progressive, aristocratic Muslim family in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in 1912. Brought up in the age of purdah, Sehgal was sent to Lahore to pursue her higher education at Queen Mary College. Sehgal ended up at Mary Wigman’s school in Dresden, Germany, where she trained in Eurythmics.

In 1935, Sehgal joined Uday Shankar’s dance troupe in Japan, and even though she was rarely cast as the lead because of her unconventional features, she deeply invested in her dancing.

In 1942, Sehgal fell for Kameshwar Sehgal, who was eight years younger than her, and married him in Allahabad, one of the few places in pre-Independent India where a Hindu could marry a Muslim without either having to convert. Sehgal had two children, Kiran and Pavan.

Life in UK

In 1945, Sehgal became a dance director at Prithvi Theatre. She stayed on in that position till 1959, and around that time Kameshwar passed away.

In 1962, she got a theatre scholarship to the United Kingdom. She wouldn’t return to India until 1987. Initially, she studied theatre while living at a students’ hostel “like an eighteen-year-old”, according to her daughter’s memoir of her. Eventually, when Kiran and Pavan moved to London, she took up two jobs — dressing actors in a theatre and working at a store to make ends meet.

Career and acomplishments

Aside from mastering dance and theatre, Sehgal also made a foray into movies. She is internationally known for her roles in television series Dr. Who (1964-65) and the movie The Jewel in the Crown.

In 1993, Sehgal and her sister Uzra Butt starred in Shahid Nadeem’s popular play Ek Thi Nani. This role marked the start of her career as the loving, displaced grandmother always clamouring for a return to tradition. She then went on to star in various movies and TV shows as the quintessential grandmother — Bhaji on the Beach (1992), The Mystic Masseur (2001), Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Dil Se (1998), Saawariya and Cheeni Kum (2007) and TV serials Tandoori Nights (1985–87) and Amma and Family (1996).

She was awarded the Padama Shri in 1998, Kalidas Samman in 2001 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement.

Death and tributes

In 2014, Sehgal was diagnosed with pneumonia and died due to a cardiac arrest on 10 July 2014.

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