Railway collects Rs50mn from ticketless travellers

The Northern Railway collected Rs50mn as fines from 1.2mn passengers for travelling without tickets between April and November this year, an official said. Also, 425 passengers were caught travelling with others’ tickets. “We had launched a special drive from April to November but seeing the response, we will continue it during the winter vacations also,” said Northern Railway spokesman A S Negi.

Onion prices in the UAE hit record high.

Dubai: Onion prices in the UAE have reached a record high as the supply of the highest in demand Indian variety has come to a halt. The cost of one kilogramme of onions was approximately Dh 1.65 in the month of July. The same now costs up to Dh 4.95. The Indian government on Monday banned the export of onions after the price of them in Indian cities more than doubled in two weeks time. The export ban was put in place to overcome the domestic shortfall of onions due to unusually heavy rains in areas where they are cultivated, officials had announced.

Protest against ‘happy farmer’ ad in Karnataka

The advertisement, published in some Kannada newspapers on December 19, shows a ‘happy’ farmer harvesting sugarcane and another driving a tractor. It claims that the “doors of his fortune opened after the BJP came to power.” This has enraged the farmers of Baburayanakopplu village in Srirangapatna taluk, Mandya district. The reason — the ‘happy farmer’ committed suicide 18 months ago because of his inability to repay his debts.

Hindutvas Attack Mumbai’s New Life Carol Singers

The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) strongly protests police inaction against some miscreants, allegedly from the Hindu Rashtra Sena, who brutally beat up carol singing Christians on Worli Seaface yesterday. The police took notice of the abduction & thrashing only on the intervention of Dr. Abraham Mathai, Maharashtra Minorities Commission, but merely warned the attackers & let them off scot free. The CSF is meeting RR Patil, the state home minister seeking action against the errant police officials and urging action against the ringleader Dhananjay Desai, who can be heard spitting venom on Utube and spreading hatred among communities:

Bahrain plans to raise retirement age to 65

Bahrain is seriously studying raising the retirement age to 65 instead of the current 60 for the public and private sectors. The rules for those opting for an early retirement such as in case of sickness will not be affected in the new proposed draft law. According to the Bahrain-based Al Wattan newspaper, a daft law in this regard will be referred soon to the parliament to be approved within the first year of this legislative term.

Maruti’s fully made in India car to hit roads by 2012

New Delhi, Dec 20 (PTI) The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India’s ’’completely made in India car’’ will hit the roads by 2012 and the company is likely to finalise the design within the next six months. According to people in the know of the project for the car, the company will finalise the design, engine size and how to position it in the market within the next six months. "It is likely that the made in India car will be positioned along with MSI’’s its best selling model Alto," a source said.

Soon, you can apply for a ration card online

Very soon, ration cards (APL cards) can be obtained at just the click of a mouse. The State Food and Civil Supplies department is working on introducing an online system of issuing ration cards across the State. Under the system, people need not run from pillar to post to locate the local department office to submit an application seeking the card. Applicants need to just fill in a prescribed application form online and attach a passport-sized photograph. They also have to disclose the Revenue Register (RR) number issued by the respective electricity supply company, like Bescom, while submitting the online application. Online application form will be made available on the department website, officials said.

The simple housewife who hit the jackpot

Rahat Taslim, a simple housewife from Jharkhand who did not have a bank account till recently, was the first woman to win Rs 1 crore on the reality game show Kaun Banega Crorepati this season. She tells Savera R Someshwar about the financial difficulties of her past and the jackpot that will change that forever.

Export ban brings onion prices down sharply

NEW DELHI - Onion prices fell more than 30 percent after the government banned exports to rein in the cost of the vegetable, a staple and sometimes a trigger for voter protests over inflation. Prices had more than doubled in the past week due to a shortage caused by unusually heavy rain in growing areas. Discontent about food price inflation is another headache for a coalition government struggling with a slew of corruption allegations and an emboldened opposition. The agriculture ministry on Monday banned exports until Jan. 15, and will import onions from neighbouring Pakistan, as retail prices jumped to 80 rupees ($1.77) per kg from 35 rupees per kg last week, local media reported. "The situation will be normal in two to three weeks. Onion prices rose because of rains in Nasik and other onion growing areas," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters on Tuesday

Sachin still remains an ambassador of cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar made his Test debut at 16 and played 20 of his first 21 Tests on foreign soil. If his 50 Test hundreds lends a new dimension to his stature as a grown-up, the above piece of information gives an idea why he was referred to as a Boy Wonder. Sachin averaged 38 in those 21 Tests with four hundreds and five half-centuries. And the tours included Pakistan, New Zealand, England, Australia and South Africa. If there ever was a single statistic indicating a players promise, it was this.What we are watching now is fulfillment of that promise in abundance - such a rarity in a quirky world. There are some compelling arguments in favour of Sachin being the most complete batsman. Giving marks to each type of shotmaking (from the straight drive to paddle sweep; and from defensive dot to a cheeky single), the sum of Sachin will be greater than any other batsman of the TV era.

Canada universities woo Indian students

India is back on the radar of Canadian universities and colleges which are looking to ramp up enrolment of Indian students, says the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). According to AUCC president Paul Davidson, who led a huge educational mission to India last month, the Asian country is now becoming the favourite destination for Canadian universities seeking to woo foreign students.

Onion exports suspended till Jan 15

A worried government on Monday decided to suspend onion exports till January 15 in the wake of skyrocketing prices of the commodity which is selling between Rs 60-70 a kg. Agriculture cooperative major Nafed, a regulating agency, has been asked to stop giving fresh clearance to exporters. The government has also made exports almost impossible for those who are already in possession of ’no objection certificate’ (NOC) given by the Nafed and 12 other agencies. It has more than doubled the minimum export price (MEP) to $1,200 per tonne from $525, meaning no shipment can take place below this price. "We have decided to voluntarily suspend issuing NOC to onion exporters till January 15 and have also raised the MEP to $1,200 dollars per tonne for those NOCs which is yet to be executed," an official said.

Konkani groups promised ‘special attention’

MANGALORE: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has said that he will pay “special attention” to two demand for assistance for Konkani cultural organisations and withdrawal of cases filed against Konkani people during the 2008 church attacks, after zilla panchayat elections. The Chief Minister said his Government was committed to the protection of the Konkani language, especially as half the country’s Konkani-speaking people were in Karnataka.

Helpline for Indian workers taking 800 calls a week

DUBAI // Polamma Govindan thought she had no one to turn to when her employer refused to return her passport. "I left my sponsor’s house after he threatened to hurt me," the domestic worker from Mangalore in south India said. Then she found out about the free, 24-hour helpline run by the Indian Workers Resource Centre in Dubai. "I called the centre and they helped to recover my passport," she said. "I am now waiting to return to my country." Suffering from depression caused by her experience, she received personal counselling from the centre. She is now raising the money to go home. Barely a month after the centre in Dubai was opened by the Indian president Pratibha Patil, staff say they have been inundated with calls from unpaid labourers, runaway domestic staff, duped employees and abandoned housewives.

Prime Minister’s security claims life again?

New Delhi: A man allegedly died of a heart attack after being stuck in traffic in the national Capital. His family says Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s convoy delayed his reaching hospital at Rajghat. Security for politicians claimed another life in the National Capital.

Tendulkar becomes first batsman to score 50 Test centuries

NEW DELHI: Indian batting maestro Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar on Sunday became the first batsman to score a monumental 50 centuries in Test cricket history. 1st Test Scorecard The little master reached the coveted landmark when he completed his ton in 197 balls on the fourth day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park, Centurion.

UAE rolls out world’s massive home safety drive

Major General Rashid Thani Almatrooshi, UAE’s Civil Defence Acting Commander-in- chief announced that Civil Defence GHQ launched the first widespread drive for Families Safety at Homes. The first of its kind worldwide drive comes in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, the President of the State, and under the direct follow-up of his H.H Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime and Minister of Interior. The campaign aims at spreading the preventive behavior amongst all members of the family through regular visits that carried out by Civil Defence teams to different houses, deliver its awareness message, and distribute campaign guidelines and publications to the family members. While casting light on the causes and timing of the campaign, he added :’According to the outcome of statistical data analysis regarding the size and numbers of fire accidents seen in UAE during the recent five years performed by Civil Defence and other specialized laboratories, which has revealed that percentage of home fires, is the highest among other types of fires and resulting in remarkable increase in the size of losses, especially in human lives. Based on the above result and on the directives of our wise leadership, a committee consisting of specialists, Civil Defence field commanders and other concerned bodies was formed to investigate the causes of these fires, ways to prevent them and setting up appropriate remedies.

16-year-old girl found murdered

A 16-year-old girl was found murdered in a flat in New Delhi yesterday, police said. Juhee Jha’s body was found in a flat in Sector 16 of Dwarka sub-city in southwest Delhi, a police official said. She went missing on Thursday when she left her home for attending her classes at a coaching institute, her uncle Sanjay Jha said. She was a student of the Kendriya Vidyalaya and a resident of Vikas Nagar area in west Delhi. Juhee’s brother Navneet Jha said: “We went to Uttam Nagar police station but they refused to file a missing complaint, saying that the area was not under their jurisdiction and told us to go to Janakpuri police station.

Commandos being sent to guard Indian Mission in Yemen

India has decided to send over 100 specially trained commandos to protect its mission in Yemen amid rising threats from terror groups including Al Qaeda in that country. The deployment of Indian securitymen in the Middle Eastern country comes at a time when the government has ordered "maximum security" for Indian Missions and other assets in Afghanistan in the wake of a heightened threat from Taliban and other Pakistan-based terror groups which could carry out a wave of attacks, including car bomb blasts. The Indian Embassy in Yemen and its Chancery are located in the southern part of the country at Sana. The elite contingent, drawn from paramilitary force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), will be deployed soon at the Embassy after necessary clearances from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), official sources said. The personnel have been trained in VIP, mobile and static security duties and would also deliver technical support responsibilities, they said. An assessment report on the present security situation in context of the Embassy and the deployment of the commandos has already been forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the sources said. The almost 40000-personnel strong SSB guards the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders and is a vital intelligence gathering force at these ’open’ borders. A decision was taken on the deployment of Indian guards to Yemen after a need was felt to protect the Embassy from any possible terror or militant strike, they said. The contingent has also been trained in vehicle driving, unarmed combat and providing proximate security to the officials and staff of the Indian Embassy. The Yemeni government has been fighting against Houthi rebels in the North of the country since 2004 and the fighting, which originated in Saada, has spread to the neighbouring areas of Al-Jawf, Amran, and Hajja. The US State Department has been regularly warning of threats from terror groups like Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed responsibility for many attacks in that country. Indian commandos mainly drawn from CISF are already posted to guard the Indian Mission in Afghanistan which is facing high threat from terror groups.

Two Dalit sisters burnt alive by mob

MORADABAD: Two sisters belonging to the Dalit community were allegedly burnt alive in Kothiwal Nagar here by a mob protesting a double murder for which their brother was accused, police said on Sunday. "An FIR has been registered in which the victim girls’ mother has identified 12 people who were part of the mob," SP (City) Rahul Yadavendra told PTI.

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