Category Archives: India News

First Severe Smog Episode Hits Delhi, Could Be Longest In 4 Years

Green think-tank Centre for Science and Environment said the average daily contribution of smoke from farm fires from the middle of October to November 8 has been the lowest in last four years.

The first severe smog episode has hit Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) and is expected to last for another two days, green think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said on Wednesday.

Even though the seasonal smog in Delhi is intense, the average daily contribution of smoke from farm fires from the middle of October to November 8 has been the lowest in last four years, it said.

“Predictably, the season’s first episode has been triggered by the combined effect of unfavourable weather conditions (cool and calm winds and inversion), stubble burning and firecrackers,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy, CSE.

Compared to the first smog episode of previous four years, the current smog has matched the duration of the first smog of 2018 and 2020 season — both lasted six days. If conditions don’t improve, it might overtake the 2019 smog that lasted eight days, the CSE said.

The average intensity of the smog this year so far is 329 microgram per cubic metre per day, which is lower than that of the 2020 smog (by 7 per cent) and 2019 smog (by 3 per cent). It is more intense than the 2018 smog (about 9 per cent).

Lingering on of this year’s smog for longer duration despite relatively windier local conditions might be due to the lack of pollution control measures in the city, the green think tank said.

“While very high concentrations of PM2.5 have hogged attention, the levels of gases – ozone, CO or NO2 — have remained elevated during this smog episode. Also, the ratio of SO2 to NO2 increased on Diwali night indicating increased pollution load from firecrackers. The PM2.5 concentration on Diwali night (8 pm to 8 am) has been the most intense since 2017,” said Avikal Somvanshi, programme manager, Urban Lab, CSE.

This analysis is based on the real time data available from the current working air quality monitoring stations in Delhi-NCR and the larger Indo-Gangetic Plain.

On an average, contribution of smoke to Delhi’s daily PM2.5 during middle of October to November 8 has been the lowest in the last four years. So far, it has recorded on an average 12 per cent per day in contrast to 17 per cent per day in 2020, 14 per cent per day in 2019, and 16 per cent per day in 2018 (as reported by SAFAR),” the CSE said.

“If converted to absolute concentrations, the per day contribution of smoke stood at 26 microgram per cubic metre this year so far compared to 35 microgram per cubic metre in 2020, 40 microgram per cubic metre in 2019, and 31 microgram per cubic metre in 2018,” it said.

However, the peak contribution of smoke to Delhi’s PM level was recorded on 7th November when it hit 48 per cent.

This the second highest daily contribution percentage recorded since such estimation was started by SAFAR in 2018.

The highest single day contribution percentage has been 58 per cent recorded on November 5, 2018.

Reference: NDTV

Game-Changing Made-In-India Anti-Covid Pills Could Be Cleared For Use In Days

The medicine is meant for adults who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 or hospitalization.

Emergency Use Authorisation for the Merck drug Molnupiravir — an oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 — is likely “within days”, Dr Ram Vishwakarma, Chairman of the Covid Strategy Group, CSIR, told NDTV on Wednesday. The medicine is meant for adults who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 or hospitalization. Another pill from Pfizer, Paxlovid, may take some more time, he added.  

The two drugs, he said, will make a difference and “as we move from pandemic to endemic, these are the ones which are going to be more important than vaccination”.

Calling the drugs the “final nail in the coffin of the virus by science”, he said, “I think Molnupiravir will be already available to us. Five companies are sitting with the drug manufacturer… I think any day we will have approval of Molnupiravir”.

Data for Molnupiravir has been “sitting with the regulator” here before the UK regulator’s approval, he said. “So already SECs are looking at it. And I think they will they will get faster approval now. And therefore, it would it be safe to say that within the next one month, there would be a decision on approval for the Merck drug”.

Pfizer has said according to clinical trial, its Paxlovid cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89 per cent in vulnerable adults.

Merck has already contracted five companies “and the way Merck has given this license to several companies, Pfizer will also do because Pfizer will have to utilise the Indian capacity to manufacture the drugs that are required for the global use”.

The cost, he said, will be far lower than the 700 dollars that’s being considered in the US for the Merck vaccine “because in America it is costly for various other reasons and not for the manufacturing cost”.

“I think here when the government of India comes into play, they will buy in bulk from these companies and of course, they will have a dual pricing system and a staggered pricing system,” he said.  

He said it might initially cost “2000 to 3000 or 4000 rupees per cycle of treatment, then it will come down to 500 to 600 or 1,000 rupees”.

Resourcses: NDTV

Money laundering case: Ex-Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh arrested by ED after over 12 hours of questioning

Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate late Monday night after over 12 hours of questioning at its office at Ballard Estate.

He had appeared before the agency to record his statement around noon three days after the Bombay HC rejected his plea to cancel the agency’s summons in the laundering case filed against him.

He had been evading questioning by the ED for months and had exhausted his legal remedies. In the last few months, ED had raided several places to trace Deshmukh, but in vain.

ED officials were also surprised with Deshmukh’s move as he appeared before them around noon along with his advocate. The investigating officer started questioning Deshmukh just after his arrival, and the agency’s additional director flew in from Delhi in the evening to supervise the process.

Earlier, the ED had arrested Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde for allegedly helping Deshmukh and his son Hrishikesh with money laundering. The ED said Deshmukh, through Shinde, had collected Rs 4.7 crore from (now-dismissed) assistant police inspector Sachin Waze in cash. Waze was then heading the CIU branch of Mumbai police and had collected the money from orchestra bar owners of Mumbai illegally for Deshmukh.

After Deshmukh appeared before the ED, his team released a pre-recorded video message. In it, Deshmukh said ex-Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh made false allegations against him and had now fled the country. In the video, Deshmukh said, “I received ED summons, and the media wrongly reported that I wasn’t cooperating with the probe. Each time after ED summons, I replied to them stating my petition was pending before the HC and SC, after its outcome I would present myself before the ED. Me, my family and our staff cooperated with ED during the probe.”

Deshmukh also released an unsigned statement that ED should act in a fair manner. “I’m today appearing before the ED, let the truth prevail, Satyamev Jayate,” he said. He said on account of a “witch-hunt campaign” launched at the instance of vested interests, false allegations have been levelled by persons who have “no credibility, honour or pride.”

He said a false narrative has been created that he is evading or avoiding appearing before ED.

National Film Awards 2021: Kangana Ranaut receives her 4th award; Manoj Bajpayee, Dhanush are Best Actors

The 67th National Film Awards ceremony took place on Monday. Kangana Ranaut and Manoj Bajpayee, among other winners, recieved their awards. 

The 67th National Film Awards ceremony took place on Monday, October 25. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu presented the awards to those who won this year. The awardees include Kangana Ranaut and Manoj Bajpayee.

Kangana was awarded the Best Actress Award for her performances in Manikarnika: Queen of Jhansi and Panga. The actor, dressed in a traditional saree, walked up to the stage and received her award. This is her fourth National Award. She previously won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fashion and Best Actress Awards for Queen and Tanu Weds Manu Returns. 

Ad featuring Aamir Khan hurts Hindu sentiments, claims BJP leader

Reacting to an ad on noise pollution caused by crackers on Diwali, BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde sought the company to take cognisance of the problems caused “in the name of Namaz”.

In yet another backlash on religious grounds, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Anantkumar Hegde has raised objection against an advertisement by tyres major Ceat Ltd featuring actor Aamir Khan. Hedge, who applauded the ad for raising awareness against bursting crackers on the streets, sought the company to also address the “problem blocking roads in the name of Namaz and noise emitted from mosques during Azan.”

In a letter to the company’s MD and CEO Anant Vardhan Goenka, the BJP MP requested him to take cognisance of the recent advertisement claiming that it created an “unrest among the Hindus”, and expressed hope that in future the organisation will respect the “Hindu sentiment”. 

“Your company’s recent advertisement in which Aamir Khan advising people not to fire crackers on the streets is giving a very good message. Your concern to public issues needs applause. In this regard, I request you to address one more problem faced by people on roads, i.e., blocking roads in the name of Namaz on Fridays and other important festive days by Muslims,” Hegde wrote in the letter dated October 14.

The MP from Uttara Kannada went on to claim that during the Namaz, when the roads are blocked, vehicles like ambulances and firefighter vehicles are struck in traffic causing “grave losses”, and added that the “loud noise… emitted from mikes arranged on the top of mosques in our country” during Azan is “beyond the permissible limits”.

“On Fridays, it is prolonged for some more time. It is causing great inconvenience to people suffering from different ailments and taking rest, people working in different establishments and teachers teaching in classrooms,” he said. 

“I am sure you can feel the discrimination done to the Hindus since centuries,” Hedge wrote, adding that some “anti-Hindu actors” always try to hurt the Hindu sentiments.

The objection also comes in the backdrop of the latest backlash received by a Fabindia ad campaign that used the Urdu phrase “Jashn-e-Riwaaz” to describe the festival of Diwali. Fabindia subsequently withdrew its advertisement and clarified that the phrase was meant to celebrate Indian traditions and not exclusively the festival of Diwali.

Fabindia further stated that its Diwali collection is now called “Jhilmil si Diwali” which is yet to be launched.

26 arrested for raping minor in Mumbai

In a shocking crime, a minor girl was sexually assaulted over a period of nine months. The Manpada police in Dombivli, a town neighbouring Mumbai, have booked 29 accused and arrested 26, including two minors, under the Indian Penal Code as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

The arrested have been remanded to police custody till September 29. The minor offenders have been sent to a juvenile remand home. Police teams are searching for three others.

The 15-year-old victim approached the police on Wednesday night.

Her statement said her boyfriend recorded a video of them in an intimate act in January 2021, which he later used to blackmail her. Her boyfriend used the video to and force her into physical relations with some of his friends. “The victim reached the police station on Wednesday night. According to her statement, the accused sexually assaulted her repeatedly at various locations from January to September this year,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (east region) Datta Karale.

A Special Investigation Team, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (Administration) Sonali Dhole, has been formed to probe the case further.

According to the victim’s statement, sexual assault was committed repeatedly in various locations, including Dombivli, Murbad and Badlapur in the Thane district, and Rabale in Navi Mumbai.

According to police sources, the video used to coerce the victim is not yet in the police’s possession. “We checked the mobile phone of the girl and also of the 20-year-old boy with whom she was in a relationship previously. In both the phones, no such video as claimed was found. We will be sending the mobile phones for forensic analysis,” Senior Police Inspector Dadahari Choure, Manpada Police Station, said.

The police are also looking into the delay in reporting the crime, an official said. “All the accused are between the ages of 16 to 23 years and most of them are students. After the case was registered, our focus has been on arresting the accused,” Mr. Karale said.

Sources in the police said that, a few days ago, the victim and her maternal aunt went to a birthday party. The aunt noticed that the girl was not interested in the event, and was busy with calls and messages. Someone at the gathering hinted to the aunt that the girl was facing some issues. The aunt took her home, kept a watch on her for a week, and then took the girl into her confidence.

“In the conversation that followed, the girl narrated the ordeal that had started from January. The aunt got in touch with a social worker in the area, who then suggested that a trap be laid to nab the accused red-handed,” a police official said. The girl made a call to the accused and arranged a meeting. Some of the accused picked her up in an auto rickshaw while the social worker and victim’s aunt and uncle followed them in another auto rickshaw. The auto rickshaw in which the relatives and social worker were travelling had a punctured tyre, as a result of which they lost track of the vehicle in which the victim was travelling. They called the police. The girl, meanwhile, sent her aunt her location by GPS. The police, with the help of the aunt’s mobile phone, reached the location and began looking for the room in which the girl was. By then, the girl had been gang-raped by six men, who ran when they learnt of the police presence. The police nabbed two of them; the rest were caught on Thursday.

“After learning about the crime from the girl, had the family approached the police, at least the incident of Wednesday could have been avoided,” the officer added.

Source: TheHindu


Sidharth Shukla was an Indian actor, host and model who appeared in Hindi television and films.

Early Life

Shukla was born on 12 December 1980 into a Hindu family in Bombay to Ashok Shukla, a civil engineer employed at the Reserve Bank of India and Rita Shukla, a homemaker. He lost his father because of a lung disorder during his modelling days. He has two elder sisters. Siddharth attended St. Xavier’s High School, Fort, Mumbai and holds a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Rachana Sansad School of Interior Design.

In 2005, he represented India at the World’s Best Model contest held in Turkey, and became the first Indian, as well as the first Asian, to win the title beating 40 contestants from across Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

His Journey

From 2008 to 2011, he made his acting debut with a lead role in the television show Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na on Sony TV. He appeared as Veer Vardhan Singh in Jaane Pehchaane Se… Ye Ajnabbi on Star One opposite Sanjeeda Sheikh and Aditi Tailang. After that, he appeared as Rahul Kashyap in Love U Zindagi opposite Pavitra Punia on StarPlus. The show was inspired by the Bollywood movie Jab We Met. He also appeared in an episode of CID.

In 2012, Shukla appeared as District Collector Shivraj Shekhar, opposite Pratyusha Banerjee and Toral Rasputra in Balika Vadhu.

In 2013, Shukla participated in the celebrity dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6, and was eliminated in the 11th week. It was reported that Shukla had signed a 3-film-deal with Dharma Productions.

In 2014, Shukla made his Bollywood debut in the romantic comedy Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania in a supporting role playing the character of Angad Bedi, an NRI doctor and fiancé of the female protagonist played by Alia Bhatt.

In 2014, Siddharth was named the host of Savdhaan India. He introduced stories of common people who fought against crime.

In 2015, after exiting from Balika Vadhu, he hosted India’s Got Talent 6, with Bharti Singh, and the season finale was aired in June 2015.

In 2016, Siddharth Shukla won the stunt reality show Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 7. The same year, he hosted India’s Got Talent 7 with Bharti Singh, and the season finale was aired in July 2016.

In 2017, he appeared as Parth Bhanushali in Dil Se Dil Tak with co-stars Rashami Desai and Jasmin Bhasin. The series was inspired by the Bollywood movie, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke.

In 2019, he participated in the reality show Bigg Boss 13, and was declared the winner in February 2020.

In 2020, after winning Bigg Boss 13, Shukla’s massive popularity helped him bag appearances in two music videos, “Bhula Dunga”, and “Dil Ko Karaar Aaya”.

In January 2021, Shukla hosted 16th week’s “Weekend Ka Vaar” of Bigg Boss 14, as Shukla was filling in for Salman Khan, who was missing from the show due to other work commitments.

Siddharth Shukla died of a heart attack in the morning of 2 September 2021. He was taken to Cooper Hospital where he was declared dead by hospital officials.

CISF personnel in trouble over stopping Salman Khan at airport

CISF has seized the mobile phone of ASI Somnath Mohanty of Rayagada for talking to a media organization based out of Odisha after stopping Salman while he was entering the airport.

An ASI of CISF from Odisha, who recently hogged headlines for stopping Bollywood actor Salman Khan at Mumbai Airport asking him to complete the mandatory security check, has landed in trouble for speaking with the media about the incident.

CISF has seized the mobile phone of ASI Somnath Mohanty of Rayagada for talking to a media organization based out of Odisha after stopping Salman while he was entering the airport. “The mobile phone of Mohanty has been seized as he interacted with the media and it is a breach of protocol. His mobile phone was seized to ensure he is not able to speak with the media further about the incident,” a CISF personnel told TNIE.

In a video that went viral on social media, Salman can be seen arriving at the airport to leave the country for the shoot of his upcoming film Tiger 3. Mohanty stopped him and requested to get his documents checked at the gate. The photographers present at the airport were yelling out Salman’s name begging him to pose for a photograph. Mohanty also asked the photographers to step back. He was lauded by netizens.

Indians at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics: All the Athletes who qualified for Summer Para Games

The Tokyo Paralympic Games, postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will start on August 24 and run till September 5.

India will field their biggest contingent at the Paralympics with 54 athletes to compete in nine disciplines at the Tokyo Paralympics. Only 19 Indians competed in the Paralympics at Rio 2016.

Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia and high jump ace Mariyappan Thangavelu are the two Paralympic champions in the current Indian contingent.

Jhajharia broke the world record with his gold medal effort at Rio 2016. Thangavelu also struck gold at Rio. He was the first Indian Paralympian to win gold since 2004.

Badminton and taekwondo, meanwhile, are set to make their Paralympics debut in Tokyo. India’s challenge in badminton will be led by two-time world champion Pramod Bhagat and the world No. 3 Suhas Yathiraj, while in taekwondo, the onus will be on Aruna Tanwar.

Harvinder Singh and Vivek Chikara are the first men archers from the country to qualify for the Games.

Prachi Yadav is set to become India’s first paracanoe at the Tokyo Para Games while Avani Lekhera will be the first Indian woman para shooter to compete at the Paralympics.

Indian athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

  1. Harvinder Singh, archery, recurve men’s open individual
  2. Vivek Chikara, archery, recurve men’s open individual
  3. Rakesh Kumar, archery, compound men’s open individual/ mixed
  4. Shyam Sundar Swami, archery, compound, men’s open individual/ mixed
  5. Jyoti Baliyan, archery, compound women’s open individual/ mixed
  6. Amit Kumar Saroha, athletics, men’s club throw F51
  7. Dharambir Nain, athletics, men’s club throw F51
  8. Vinod Kumar, athletics, men’s discus throw F52
  9. Yogesh Kathuniya, athletics, men’s discus throw F56
  10. Nishad Kumar, athletics, men’s high jump T47
  11. Ram Pal, athletics, men’s high jump T47
  12. Mariyappan Thangavelu, athletics, men’s high jump T63
  13. Sharad Kumar, athletics, men’s high jump T63
  14. Varun Singh Bhati, athletics, men’s high jump T63
  15. Praveen Kumar, athletics, men’s high jump T64
  16. Navdeep Singh, athletics, men’s javelin throw F41
  17. Sudar Singh Gurjar, athletics, men’s javelin throw F46
  18. Ajeet Singh, athletics, men’s javelin throw F46
  19. Devendra Jhajharia, athletics, men’s javelin throw F46
  20. Tek Chand, athletics, men’s javelin throw F54
  21. Ranjeet Bhati, athletics, men’s javelin throw F57
  22. Sandeep Choudhary, athletics, men’s javelin throw F64
  23. Sumit Antil, athletics, men’s javelin throw F64
  24. Arvind Malik, athletics, men’s shot put F35
  25. Soman Rana, athletics, men’s shot put F57
  26. Simran Sharma, athletics, women’s 100m T13
  27. Kashish Lakra, athletics, women’s club throw F51
  28. Ekta Bhyan, athletics, women’s club throw F51
  29. Bhagyashri Jadhav, athletics, women’s shot put F34
  30. Pramod Bhagat, badminton, men’s singles SL3 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5
  31. Manoj Sarkar, badminton, men’s singles SL3
  32. Tarun Dhillon, badminton, men’s singles SL4
  33. Suhas Yathiraj, badminton, men’s singles SL4
  34. Krishna Nagar, badminton, men’s singles SL4
  35. Parul Parmar, badminton, women’s singles SL4
  36. Palak Kohli, badminton, women’s singles, SU5 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5
  37. Prachi Yadav, para canoeing, women’s 200m VL2
  38. Jaideep Deswal, powerlifting, men’s 65kg
  39. Sakina Khatun, powerlifting, women’s 50kg
  40. Akash, shooting, men’s 25m pistol (P3) and 50m pistol (P4)
  41. Manish Narwal, shooting, men’s 10m air pistol (P1) and men’s 50m pistol (P4)
  42. Deepender Singh, shooting, men’s 10m air pistol (P1)
  43. Rahul Jakhar, shooting, men’s 25m pistol mixed (P3)
  44. Singhraj, shooting, men’s P1 – 10m air pistol (P1) and men’s 50m Pistol (P4)
  45. Sidhartha Babu, shooting, 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3) and 50m rifle prone mixed (R6).
  46. Swaroop Unhalkar, shooting, men’s 10m air rifle standing (R1)
  47. Deepak Saini, shooting, men’s 10m air rifle standing (R1), 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3), 50m rifle prone mixed (R6) and 50m rifle 3P (R7).
  48. Rubina Francis, shooting, women’s 10m air pistol (P2)
  49. Avani Lekhara, shooting, women’s 10m air rifle standing (R2), 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3), 50m rifle prone mixed (R6) and 50m rifle 3-P (R8).
  50. Niranjan Mukundan, swimming, men’s 50m butterfly S7
  51. Suyash Jadhav, swimming, men’s 50m butterfly S7 and 200m individual medley SM7.
  52. Sonalben Patel, table tennis, women’s singles – Class 3
  53. Bhavina Patel, table tennis, women’s singles – Class 4
  54. Aruna Tanwar, taekwondo, women’s K44-49 kg.

Tamil Nadu budget 2021-22: Maternity leave for govt staff increased to 12 months

The state finance minister Palanivel Thiagarajan presented its revised budget for 2021-22 on Friday. Former deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam presented the interim budget for the year 2021-22 on February 23, ahead of the assembly elections. A four-day long session was held beginning June 21, with governor Banwarilal Purohit making a customary address to the newly elected members of the 16th assembly.

Here are the top highlights from Tamil Nadu Finance Minister PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan’s budget speech today. 

  1. Govt allocates Rs 3,954 crore to Tamil Nadu slum clearance board.
  2. About Rs 20,000 crore loan aide will be given for women self-help groups (SHGs).
  3. Allocated Rs 2,000 crore for underground drainage plan.
  4. Rs 703 crore for the free ride for TN women in public buses.
  5. Metro railway projects will be expedited and completed by December 2026.
  6. Diesel subsidy of Rs 750 crore given to state public transport. Allocate Rs 623 crore for 100 new public buses. Detailed project report would be prepared for Madurai Metro Rail project.
  7. About 17,800 MW of electricity production capacity will be added in the next four years.
  8. Tamil Nadu govt allocates Rs 32,599.54 crore to school education department.
  9. Inspection had started to set up metro train in Madurai.
  10. The vacancies in higher educational institutions will be filled on priority basis.
  11. Ten new arts and science colleges will be established in the state.
  12. Tamil Nadu will start smart classes in 25 colleges this year.
  13. The budget allocates Rs 5,369 crore for higher education department for 2021-22.
  14. Tamil Nadu govt allocates Rs 959 crore for Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity benefit scheme.
  15. Rs 18,933 crore allocated for health and family welfare in Tamil Nadu.
  16. TN skill development corporation would be revived. Rs 215.64 crore allocated to unorganized workers welfare board. TN would create 45,000 hectares of land bank.
  17. Nandambakkam to get a FinTech city at the cost of Rs 165 crore.
  18. SIPCOT to come up in nine districts, including Tiruvannamalai and Dharmapuri; Rs 1,500 crore has been allocated for the same as first instalment.
  19. Rs 409 crore has been st aside for free school uniforms scheme.
  20. 300 tourists destinations to be developed under tourism master plan. Rs 187.50 crore has been allocated for the same.
  21. Tamil Nadu allocates Rs 409 crore for free school uniforms scheme.
  22. Rs 1.50 crore allocated for transgenders pension scheme.
  23. Rs 6 cr allocated to renovate mosques and churches.
  24. MLAs woukd be encouraged to utilize a portion of constituency development fund to improve the facilities in their constituency.
  25. Tamil Nadu sets aside Rs 4,142 crore for Adi Dravidar and ST welfare.
  26. Tamil Nadu allocates Rs 225.62 crore for sports and youth development.
  27. Maternity leave for govt staff increased to 12 months. It will come into effect from July 1, 2021.
  28. Loans to the tune of Rs 2,756 crore given to women SHGs would be waived.
  29. CM has ordered to reduce petrol price by Rs 3 per litre.
  30. Tamil Nadu govt would incur loss of Rs 1,160 crore by reducing the petrol price.

State revenue for the fiscal year is Rs 2,60,409.26 crore, expenditure estimated at Rs 2,61,88.57 crore and deficit Rs 58,692 crore.

  1. We are taking efforts to streamline the property tax and other taxes to revive the state economy: Tamil Nadu finance minister Palanivel Thiagarajan
  2. MLAs constituency development fund enhanced to Rs 3 crore.

Tamil Nadu will come up with a separate education policy for the state:Tamil Nadu finance minister Palanivel Thiagarajan.

Twitter ‘locks’ Congress’ official handle after accounts of several leaders were suspended for ‘violating rules’

Congress had earlier accused Twitter of acting against Rahul Gandhi’s account under pressure from the government.

The official Twitter handle of the Congress party has been locked for ‘violating rules’, party leaders said on August 12.

This comes a day after several party leaders said that their handles were suspended too and a week after senior leader Rahul Gandhi’s handle was temporarily suspended.

“Twitter acting under government pressure. It has already blocked 5000 accounts of our leader and workers across India. They need to understand that we cannot be pressurized by Twitter or the government,” said Rohan Gupta, social media head, Congress.

The party on August 11 said that Twitter suspended accounts of its media in-charge Randeep Surjewala, AICC general secretary and former minister Ajay Maken, party’s whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore, Assam in-charge, and former Union minister Jitendra Singh and Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev.

This comes after senior leader Rahul Gandhi’s handle was ‘temporarily’ locked by Twitter last week after the National Commission for Protection of Child Right issued a notice to the micro-blogging site and asked it to remove the tweet in question.

“So! After Shri @RahulGandhi, the Lord @narendramodi Ji and Vassal @Jack & @twitter have locked @rssurjewala, @ajaymaken & @sushmitadevinc. @INCIndia registers its protest and promises to continue the fight for each and all being wronged! We shall hold on @AshwiniVaishnaw Ji (sic),” tweeted Pranav Jha, AICC secretary in charge of Congress Communication Department.

Twitter on August 11 told the Delhi High Court that it had temporarily locked Rahul Gandhi’s account and removed his tweet that had a photograph of the parents of a nine-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly raped and killed at a crematorium in Southwest Delhi on August 01. The social media giant said that the action was taken as the tweet violated the platform’s policy.

In another tweet, Jha said, “The list goes on. @Twitter locks @JitendraSAlwar and @manickamtagore and many more. Doesn’t Modi Ji understand that we @INCindia’ns have a legacy of fighting even from behind the locks of kaala paani. He thinks the virtual locks of Twitter will deter us from fighting for India.”

Congress had earlier accused Twitter of acting against Gandhi’s account under pressure from the government.

Gandhi’s account was suspended after he tweeted pictures with the family of a nine-year-old victim of alleged rape and murder in Delhi last week.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) took cognisance of Gandhi’s tweet and directed Twitter to act against the Congress leader’s account for violating the privacy of a minor victim, mandated by the laws of the land.’Shri @RahulGandhi’s Twitter account has been temporarily suspended & due process is being followed for its restoration,’ the Congress had tweeted from its official handle.

Reference: Moneycontrol