“Very heavy” rainfall likely in Mumbai in next 24 hrs: IMD

News4u-News Desk- An alert of “very heavy” rainfall in Mumbai has been issued by the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) regional centre, with the rains expected to intensify in the next 24 hours.

“There is low pressure formed over the Bay of Bengal and there is an outshore trough running from the Maharashtra coast to the coastline of Karnataka.

This has strengthened the winds along the coastline and have further activated the monsoons,” IMD, Mumbai director V K Rajeev said.

The IMD expects “very heavy” rainfall in Mumbai and the Konkan region over the next 24 hours, he added.

“We expect that the rainfall in Mumbai will exceed 7 cms and will remain in a range of 7-14 cms. There are, however, a couple of areas in Thane district and the Konkan region which might witness showers upto 24 cms,” Rajeev informed.

According to IMD records, in the 24-hour period till July 29 from 8.30 am on Monday, Santa Cruz recorded 48.3 mm rainfall and Colaba had 26.6 mm.

Meanwhile, the Tulsi lake, one of the six major reservoirs from which Mumbai receives its water requirements, has started overflowing since Monday.

It had begun overflowing last year from July 12, a civic official said. As on Tuesday, water in seven major lakes which supply water to the city - is 4.99 lakh million litres (enough to last for about four months) compared to 11.48 lakh million litres last year, according to MCGM records.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) had announced a 20 percent water cut earlier this month to cope up with water crisis arising due to “poor rainfall” in the city last month.

The civic body is expected to assess the latest situation of the availability of water on July 31, and further action will be taken based on the assessment report, a municipal official had earlier said.


“Very heavy” rainfall likely in Mumbai

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BJP chief Amit Shah to visit Hyderabad next month

News4u-News Desk- BJP president Amit Shah will visit Hyderabad during the second week of August and hold consultations with party leaders from Telangana on strengthening the organisation.

Shah would directly interact with the heads of village units of the party during his two-day visit; dates of which will be finalised in a couple of days, Telangana unit BJP president G Kishan Reddy told reporters on Monday.

“BJP in Telangana would get a proper direction and guidance during the visit,” Reddy said.

Reddy said that he recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi with a request to set up an AIIMS-like institution in Telangana and got positive response on the demand.

Reddy further said that TRS government in Telangana should immediately look into problems of various sections like farmers, unemployed youth, beneficiaries of LPG cylinders disbursal scheme and applicants for Chief Minister’s relief fund.


BJP chief Amit Shah

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PM to agri scientists: Focus on increasing crop productivity

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked agri scientists to work towards increasing crop productivity at fast pace without compromising on quality.

Prime Minister said that Scientific knowledge in laboratories should reach farmers in fields.

He said Agri universities should set up their own radio stations to create awareness among farmers.

PM Modi added that there is a Need to boost production of oilseeds and pulses to reduce import dependence.

He called for Blue Revolution to boost fisheries trade.


PM Modi

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Lankan Navy arrests 50 fishermen

News4u-News Desk- Fifty fishermen from Nagapattinam and Karaikal have been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy personnel for allegedly fishing near the Lankan coast.

This is the second time this week that Indian fishermen have been arrested by the Lankan navy.

The fishermen, who were arrested around midnight last night, have been taken to Kankesanthurai along with their five mechanised boats and two country boats, ‘Q’ branch Inspector Kennedy and fishermen’s association secretary S Emirit told PTI.

The fishermen were arrested when they were fishing almost close to the Lankan coast, officials here said. Joint Director of Fisheries Subburaj said they have also received information about the arrest.

On July 22, 38 fishermen from Kottaipattinam and Rameswaram were arrested by the Lankan Navy on charges of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line.

Fishermen of Ramanathapuram district have been boycotting fishing since July 24 highlighting their demands including putting an end to frequent “arrests and harassment” by Sri Lankan Navy personnel.

Reiterating her government’s ‘firm commitment’ to restore traditional fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the Palk Bay and retrieval of Katchatheevu,” Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had last week written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the Centre’s intervention in securing the release of the fishermen.


Lankan Navy arrests 50 fishermen

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Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated across Nation, PM greets people

News4u-News Desk- Ed-ul-Fitr, which marks the culmination of the fasting month of Ramzan, is being celebrated across the country on Tuesday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted people on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and hoped that the festival strengthens the bond of peace, unity and brotherhood in the country.

The announcement came following a meeting of Qadeem Royat Hilal Committee headed by Maulana Mufti Mohammed Mukkaram, Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid on Monday.

“The Eid moon has been sighted today. The Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated across the country tomorrow,” Maulana Mufti Mohammed Mukkaram said.

Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is observed as a fasting period by Muslims who abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset and it culminates in Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations.

“Greetings on Eid-ul-Fitr. May this auspicious day strengthen the bond of peace, unity & brotherhood across our Nation,” the Prime Minister said in his message.

Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the culmination of the fasting month of Ramzan, is being celebrated across the country.

Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is observed as a fasting period by Muslims who abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset and it culminates in Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations.


Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated across Nation

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Calcutta HC orders CID probe against Tapas Pal

News4u-News Desk- Terming Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal’s remarks against women as “outrageous” which surpass “all bounds of civility”, the Calcutta High Court ordered filing of an FIR against him and directed that the CID to investigate the matter under the court’s monitoring.

Justice Dipankar Dutta, giving his verdict on a petition seeking CID investigation into Pal’s comments against women and other opposition party supporters at election rallies, also came down heavily on West Bengal police for their failure to act against the MP immediately saying it “points to the depths of lawlessness that the state has touched”.

He said the high court would monitor the probe in view of West Bengal government’s stand that the complaint did not disclose any cognisable offence and that the state tried to back the MP.

Justice Dutta directed Inspector in-charge of Nakashipara police station in Nadia district to treat the July one complaint by petitioner Biplab Chowdhury, a resident of Pal’s constituency Krishnagar in Nadia district, as an FIR.

The judge noted that Tapas Pal had threatened women with rape and opposition party supporters with death and destruction of their lineage if they dared to take on supporters of his party and said the “speech delivered by Mr Pal is outrageous and surpasses all bounds of civility”.

“It seems that the constitutional ethos has had little effect on Mr Paul or else he would not have disrespected the Constitution in such vulgar manner,” Justice Dutta said.

“If a law-maker becomes a law-breaker and the law enforcing agency despite being informed turns a blind eye to it, can a civilised nation tolerate it? “There is a feeling of fear and insecurity in the air.

Much of these crimes go unpunished because of political patronage,” Justice Dutta observed.

He said “the apathy and indifference of the police not to swing into action immediately points to the depths of lawlessness that the State has touched”.

The high court directed West Bengal DGP to transfer the case to the DIG, CID, within 72 hours of the order being uploaded in the high court’s website.

Justice Dutta directed the CID authorities to file a status report on progress of investigation on September one.

He said “immediately after India attained independence and the erudite and eminent founding-fathers of the Constitution were engrossed in its making, they might have thought that scheming, mentally corrupt, vile, perverted, vicious and wicked people would have no room in a sacred place like the Parliament and that could be reason as to why only certain basic qualifications for membership of Parliament were provided in the Constitution, leaving it to the Parliament to prescribe other qualifications by law made in that behalf, and no provision for disqualification was incorporated.”

“It seems that the rich political culture of striving to uphold, maintain and advance the preambular promise for the peoples welfare and the progress for making a better India, with which one would associate the Parliament, has taken a toss,” he said.

Justice Dutta said “a very small segment of people who, being absolutely unworthy of realizing the high and respectable positions as parliamentarians and having no sense of what morals are, by their utterly irresponsible and blameful conduct, have disgraced the entire Parliament, so much so that the people of the nation are heard to exclaim in despair that the Parliament has failed them”.

“Howsoever sincere the responsible, dedicated and caring lot of parliamentarians may be in their efforts to promote that, for which they have been elected, a sense of ill-will towards politicians as a class seems to be developing which, if not addressed immediately, is likely to assume alarming proportions in future,” he observed in the 43-page order.

Tapas Pal

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Modi’s ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ is great vision: Kerry

News4u-News Desk- The developmental plan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflected in his poll slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” is a great vision, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday on the eve of his departure to India.

Kerry will be in New Delhi to co-chair the fifth annual IndiaUS Strategic Dialogue with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

In fulsome praise of the developmental agenda encompassing inclusive growth of Modi, Kerry in a major foreign policy speech on India said that the US is ready to be partner with the new Indian government in its endeavour.

“The new Indian government’s plan, ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, together with all, development for all that’s a concept, a vision that we want to support. We believe it’s a great vision, and our private sector is eager to be a catalyst in India’s economic revitalisation,” Kerry said in his address to a Washington audience at an event held by the Center for American Progress, a top US think tank.

“American companies lead in exactly the key sectors where India wants to grow: in high-end manufacturing, in infrastructure, in healthcare, information technology, all of them vital to sort of leapfrogging stages of development so you can provide more faster to more people,” he said.

India also wants to build a more competitive workforce, and already 100,000 Indians study each year in American universities, he said, adding US community colleges actually set a remarkable standard for 21st century skills training.

“We should be expanding our educational ties across the board, increasing opportunities for young people in both of our nations. I know Prime Minister Modi drew from that energy of India’s youth during his campaign. He repeatedly pointed out that while India’s one of the world’s oldest civilisations, it has the world’s youngest population.

“Prime Minister Modi has said that young people have a natural instinct to rise like a flame. And he has spoken about India’s duty to nurture that instinct, and we believe, frankly, that’s a duty for both of our nations,” he said.

“And that means strengthening the exchange in technical education, in vocational programs for high-skilled trades, and especially in areas where we can build on the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of both of our nations,” he said, adding that everyone knows about the extraordinary work ethic that people in India have and the capacity to be able to do this and seize this opportunity,” Kerry said.

“One of the marked contrasts of this moment is this juxtaposition to parts of the world where young people demanded a participation in this world they see around them, and rose up against leadership that had stultified over the course of years, decades even Tunisia, Egypt, Syria.

“They all began without one flake of religious extremism involved in the revolutions that brought change. It was all about young people gathering and forcing the notion that they wanted something more to life. They wanted opportunity, education, respect, dignity, jobs, a future,” Kerry noted.

“So this possibility I’ve just defined between India and the United States, which fits very neatly into Prime Minister Modi’s vision that he expressed in a campaign which was ratified overwhelmingly by the people of his country is exactly the vision that we need to embrace now, and that’s why this opportunity is actually so ripe,” Kerry said.

“This area of cooperation is particularly exciting, I think, and I’m particularly confident about these opportunities, because only countries that reward creativity the way the US and India do could have possibly launched Hollywood and Bollywood.

“Only countries that celebrate the entrepreneur the way we do could have launched Silicon Valley and Bangalore as global epicentres for innovation,” he said.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are in both of our DNA, and they not only make us natural partners; they give us natural advantages in a world that demands adaptability and resilience. The US and India cannot afford to just sort of sit back and rest on these currently existing advantages. We have to build on them and we have to build on them by investing more in one another,” he said.

“If India’s government delivers on its plans to support greater space for private initiative, if it creates greater openness for capital flows, if it limits subsidies that stifle competition, if it provides strong intellectual property rights, believe me, even more American companies will come to India. They may even race to India. And with a clear and ambitious agenda, we can absolutely help create those conditions,” he said.

“So as we work with our trading partners around the world to advance trade and investment liberalisation, India has a decision to make about where it fits in the global trading system.

India’s willingness to support a rules-based trading order and fulfill its obligations will help to welcome greater investment from the US and from elsewhere around the world.

“The greater transparency and accountability that Prime Minister Modi put in place during his time as chief minister tells us he has already provided a model of how raising standards can actually increase economic growth,” Kerry said.

The US and India should continue to reach for the ambitious target that Vice President (Joe) Biden laid out last summer in India, to push from USD 100 billion to USD 500 billion a year in trade.

“And whatever impediments we may face along the way, we need to always be mindful of the opportunities and the bigger picture around this.

“It is completely in our mutual interest to address those obstacles that kind of raise their head here and there as you go along the way and to remember that a lot bigger opportunities will come from more robust ties, so we need to keep our eye on the prize out there and not get dragged down by one small or lesser particular aspect of a restraint. The bigger picture has to guide us and the end game has to guide us,” Kerry said.

Deepening ties with India is strategic imperative: Kerry

Noting that deepening America’s ties with India is a strategic imperative, US Secretary of State John Kerry said time has come to transform bilateral relationship into a historic partnership that can create a more prosperous future for the world.

Laying out a roadmap for a long-term strategic partnership between the largest and oldest democratic countries, Kerry said, “This is a potentially transformative moment in our relationship with India.”

Kerry was referring to the post-election scenario and the formation of the new government in India.

“This is the moment to transform our strategic relationship into a historic partnership. This can be a moment where our destinies converge. US and India can create a more prosperous future for the world,” he said ahead of his visit to New Delhi tomorrow to co-chair the fifth India-US Strategic Dialogue with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on July 31.

Noting that the India-US ties is yet to “blossom” together, Kerry said, “The US and India can and should be indispensable partners for the 21st century.

The dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit of our relationship is needed to solve some of world’s greatest challenges.”

He said the two countries can work together to tackle global challenges from climate change to clean energy and others.

Kerry in his speech supported India’s vision of an integrated South and Central Asia and that with the South East Asia.

The Obama Administration is ready to help India in this regard, Kerry said as he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his initiatives to establish peace and improve relationship with the neighbouring countries.

By inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration, Kerry said Modi has taken the “first step” to establish peace and friendship with its South Asian neighbour. Supporting the move to increase India-Pak economic relationship, Kerry said improved trade is a win-win for both the countries.

Reiterating support for India’s place in the UN Security Council, Kerry in his speech said India is a global power.

The Secretary of State listed out the progress made between the two countries in various areas including economy, clean energy, and counter-terrorism.

The India-US collaboration on counter terrorism, in particular real-time information sharing, helps confront common threats and bring terrorists to justice, he said.

Describing climate change as a biggest challenge not only for the world, but also India, Kerry called for increased collaboration between the two countries on this issue.

Kerry said US President Barack Obama would welcome the Indian Prime Minister at the White House in November.

Kerry will be accompanied by the US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, as well as other members of the inter-agency, including Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security and NASA during his visit to New Delhi.

The trip will mark the first US cabinet-level visit to New Delhi since Modi took over office.


Joihn Kerry

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UN sanctions N Korea operator of ship with weapons

News4u-News Desk- The United Nations has imposed sanctions on the North Korean shipping company that operates a ship seized by Panama in July 2013, for carrying undeclared military equipment from Cuba and has ordered all countries to freeze its assets.

The Security Council committee monitoring sanctions on North Korea announced on Monday that it has added Ocean Maritime Management Company Ltd, which operates the vessel Chong Chon Gang, to its sanctions blacklist.

US Ambassador Samantha Power accused Cuba and North Korea of “a cynical, outrageous and illegal attempt … to circumvent United Nations sanctions prohibiting the export of weapons to North Korea.”

She said that imposing a global asset freeze on Ocean Maritime Management means that the company, which is headquartered in Pyongyang, will no longer be able to operate internationally.


UN sanctions N Korea operator of ship with weapons

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61 Indians arrive from Iraq

News4u-News Desk- Sixty-one Indian nationals hailing from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday arrived from Iraq following their evacuation from the strife-torn Gulf country.

The returnees, who were employed with various companies in Iraq, landed here on an Air India flight via Mumbai and were received by senior state government officials at the Anna International terminal, airport officials said.

About 36 of them hail from Andhra Pradesh while the rest are from Tamil Nadu, officials said, adding that all of them have left on the onward journey to their homes.


61 Indians arrive from Iraq - file photo

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Monsoon deficit narrows to 25%, good rains likely: Govt

News4u-Business Desk- Deficit in monsoon rains has come down and good rainfall is expected in the coming days that will help complete sowing operations, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Monday.

He also said that no state government has declared drought yet. However, the Centre is prepared to help those states which seek any help for drought-hit areas.

As per the Met Department, the overall rainfall deficit has come down to 25 per cent till July 23.

“The monsoon deficit has come down. As per the Met Department, monsoon rains are good so far and is likely to be good in the coming days,” Singh told reporters.

Asked if there is drought concern in some parts of the country, he said, “We give assistance to states only when they declare drought. So far, no state governments have written to us that they have declared drought in a particular region.”

“We are ready to help them. Even states have separate funds to utilise for this purpose,” he said, adding that the Centre is in regular touch with state governments.

On rising prices of tomato that have touched Rs 80 per kg in the national capital, the minister said, “The supply is sufficient. Production in 2013-14 was two per cent higher than the previous year.”

The revival of monsoon in northern and central parts of country has given a push to the sowing operations.

As per the official data, the total acreage covered under kharif crops like paddy remained lower by just about 27 per cent at 53.32 million hectares till last week, as against 72.91 million hectares in the year ago.

Sowing of kharif crop begins with the onset of southwest monsoon in June.


Monsoon deficit narrows to 25%, good rains likely: Govt

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