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Monday, February 29, 2016

Now, locate toilets in Chennai with Android app

 Chennai Mayor Saidai Duraisamy on Monday  launched an Android app that has mapped 183 e-toilet units in the city.
Chennai Corporation Mayor Saidai Duraisamy on Monday Feb 29,2016 launched an Android app that has mapped 183 e-toilet units in the city. Later, Duraisamy said that he hoped the app would make people think twice before urinating in public.
Developed by Thiruvananthapuram-based Eram Scientific Solutions, who also installed the toilet units, the app will help locate the nearest e-toilet via map and address listing, and will also allow users to enter feedback and rate the toilet.

A second app, made available exclusively for Greater Chennai Corporation officials, will help the latter collect usage statistics and monitor water availability and hygiene of the toilets.

K Anvar Sadath, CEO, Eram Scientific Solutions, said that out of the 183 units, around 40 were dedicated for women (she-toilets) and another five for the differently-abled. “The key is that public can use these toilets completely free of cost. In other states, where we have installed, these are coin-operated,” he said.

The she-toilets will also have facilities like sanitary napkin generator and incinerator fitted to it. Eram executives added that the key attraction about the e-toilets is that it will have no odour and that its automatic floor flushing concept will add to the toilet’s hygiene value.

“The floor will flush automatically after 10 uses. The structure is strong and it can withstand impact without suffering damage,” Sadath said.

The cost of each unit, including taxes, comes to around Rs 4.8 lakh. “We are looking at a user patronage of at least 100 per day for each of our toilet unit,” he added.

However, only 110 of the 183 installed units are functional because water supply, drainage and power connections have not been made, according to Eram executives

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's ‘Sarbjit’- First official poster unveiled Monday Feb 29,2016


The first official poster of the much-awaited biographical drama '' Sarabjit '' has been unveiled. The film’s director Omung Kumar and lead actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan along with BJP leaders Amit Shah and Nitin  Gadkari  launched the poster on Monday Feb 29,2016
The poster features a bespectacled Aishwarya in a de-glam avatar. Her expression is an amalgamation of sorrow, anxiety and stress.

Actors Richa Chadda, Darshan Kumar and the film’s producers Bhushan Kumar, Vashu Bhagnani and Sandeep Singh were also present at the launch event at AmitShah’s residence in New Delhi.
Sarabjit Singh was an Indian farmer in a Punjab village bordering Pakistan. In 1990, the farmer inadvertently crossed over to the neighbouring nation in an inebriated condition. He was convicted of spying and terrorism and imprisoned at Lahore Jail where he remained for 23 years before being killed by his inmates. His elder sister Dalbir Kaur who treated Sarabjit like her son, fought tooth and nail to get him released, but in vain. The movie depicts the determination and struggles of Dalbir to bring her brother back home.

Aishwarya plays the role of Dalbir Kaur while Randeep Hooda essays Sarabjit’s character. Richa plays Sarabjit’s wife Sukhpreet, while Darshan plays Pakistani lawyer Awais Sheik who fought to get justice for Sarabjit

2016 LPG Price Revision - Non-subsidised LPG cylinder price slashed by Rs 61.50 Tuesday March 01,2016

A day after budget Tuesday March 01,2016, oil marketing companies (OMCs) have slashed the price of non-subsidised domestic LPG cylinder by Rs 61.50.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) announced that a 14.2 kg LPG cooking cylinder will now be available at Rs 513.50 against Rs 575 earlier since 1st March in New Delhi.

The price of subsidised cylinder has been cut by 9 paise.

It was on 1st February earlier this year that prices of non-subsidised LPG cooking cylinder were cut by Rs 118

2016-17 Union Budget Feb 29,2016 - Cars set to become costly as FM Arun Jaitley proposes infra cess of upto 4%

Car prices, including those of mass market small ones, are set to go up as Finance Minister  Arun Jaitley proposed to levy an infrastructure cess of up to 4 % on various kinds of vehicles

Diesel vehicles would see the highest increase in prices

The Finance Minister proposed a cess of  -

  • 1 % on small petrol, LPG and CNG cars
petrol/LPG/CNG driven motor vehicles of length not exceeding 4 meter and engine capacity not exceeding 1200cc would attract a cess of 1 %

  • 2.5 % on diesel cars of certain capacity
2.5 percent on diesel driven motor vehicles of length not exceeding 4 meter and engine capacity not exceeding 1500cc and

  • 4 % on other high-powered vehicles and SUVs.
higher engine capacity and SUVs and bigger sedans would attract a cess of 4 %

No credit of this cess will be allowed, and credit of no other duty can be allowed to pay this cess, he added.

"The pollution and traffic situation in Indian cities is a matter of concern. I propose to levy an infrastructure cess of 1 percent on small petrol, LPG and CNG cars, 2.5 percent on diesel cars of certain capacity and 4 percent on other high engine capacity vehicles and SUVs," Jaitley said while unveiling the Budget 2016-17 in Lok Sabha

Mikhail Gorbachev Presents New Book About His Life And Times Monday, Feb. 29, 2016

(AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev). The book "Gorbachev in Life" is on display at the launch ceremony for a book about former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. Mikhail Gorbachev turns 85 on Wednesday, March 3, 2016.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, has presented a new book about his life and times ahead of his 85th birthday.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, center, attends the launch ceremony for a book about him entitled "Gorbachev in Life", seen on screen behind, in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016
 (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev). Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, center, attends the launch ceremony for a book about him entitled "Gorbachev in Life", seen on screen behind, in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. Mikhail Gorbachev turns 85 on...

The 700-page book called "Gorbachev in Life" is a collection of memoirs, interviews, letters, documents and articles by him and others.

In presenting the book today, Gorbachev said: "The more I think about my life, the more I see that the biggest and most important events took place unexpectedly. Absolutely."

After assuming the Soviet leadership in 1985, he introduced the policies of glasnost and perestroika aimed at allowing greater openness and reform in the communist country. Instead, he oversaw the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Gorbachev said he hopes the book will help Russians understand their current history.

Mikhail Gorbachev turns 85 on Wednesday March 02,2016

2016 Iranian Parliament Election Results

Final results showed seats being shared three ways between Rouhani's reformist and moderate allies, conservatives and independents.

No single group had a decisive share of parliament's 290 seats from Friday's voting, but tallies suggested the president would be able to muster support from key backers and create a working majority.

The returns were shaping up as a strong signal of public support for last year's nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, an agreement steered by Rouhani which saw the lifting of crippling sanctions in January 2016

The main conservative list secured 103 MPs, reformists and moderates from the List of Hope 95, and Independents 14.

Some 69 constituencies had no clear winner, meaning a second round run-off will be needed in a field that has more conservatives than reformists and moderates.

Migrant Crisis - Migrants Try To Storm Greece-Macedonia Border Fence Monday February 29,2016

Hundreds of refugees on Monday February 29,2016 tried to break through a border fence into Macedonia from Greece, where more than 7,000 people are stranded, as anger mounted over barriers to entry imposed on migrants.
On the frontier, Macedonian police fired tear gas as some 300 migrants forced their way through a Greek police cordon and raced towards a railway track between the two countries.

Migrants chanted 'Open the border' and threw stones and the Macedonian police after they were forced back

"Open the borders!" they shouted as a group of men used a metal signpost to bring down a section of barbed wire fencing, prompting police to fire volleys of tear gas and prevent them from crossing.

At least 30 people, many of them children, requested first aid in the stampede that ensued, the charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said.

Skopje said one of its policemen had been hurt and required hospitalisation.

The protest occurred several hours after Macedonia allowed just 300 Syrians and Iraqis to cross.

With Austria and Balkan states capping the numbers of migrants entering their soil, there has been a swift build-up along the Greece-Macedonia border with Athens warning that the number of people "trapped" could reach up to 70,000 by next month.

2016 US Presidential Election - Republican Presidential Front Runner Donald Trump 'Misquotes' Mahatma Gandhi Monday February 29,2016

Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump on Monday February 29,2016 posted a quote on Instagram attributing it to Mahatma Gandhi, but the American media said there is no evidence that the Indian leader had ever used these words.
Republican Presidential Front Runner Donald Trump 'Misquotes' Mahatma Gandhi
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win - Mahatma Gandhi," Trump wrote on social networking site Instagram as part of his effort to rally supporters.

The Instagram post included a picture of hordes of supporters rallying at a Trump campaign stop in Alabama. Soon, the anti-Trump lobby was up in flames on the social media.

The Hill, a top US political website, said, "There's no record that Gandhi ever used the phrase, which has been widely attributed to him."

The quotation appears to be similar to words used in a 1918 trade union address by socialist leader Nicholas Klein, it said.

Christian Science Monitor has put this among the top 10 political misquotes.

There was no immediate response from the Trump's campaign on the issue.

2016 US Presidential Election - "Super Tuesday," March 01,2016


Millions of Americans were preparing to vote in a dozen states on "Super Tuesday," March 01,2016 with presidential frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump poised for a big day that could leave rivals scrambling to stay in the race.

With just hours to go before polls open, the Republican and Democratic frontrunners fended off rivals and made last-ditch appeals to supporters ahead of what may be the most consequential day of voting in the 2016 primaries.

If they win big, it could spell doom for their challengers.

Rival Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were trying frantically to halt Trump's march toward the nomination, seeking to unite the party against the man they see as a non-conservative political interloper.

How many states are voting?

Map: Super Tuesday states 

HIGH STAKES: Five GOP candidates and two Democratic candidates sparred over delegates on March 1, also known as Super Tuesday. Here's how they were distributed – according to population


  • Republican race: 11 States in all will vote. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will hold primaries to select the Republican nominee. Meanwhile, Alaska and Minnesota will hold caucuses. 

  • Democratic race:11 States in all will vote. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will hold primaries to select the Democratic nominee. Meanwhile, Colorado, Minnesota and the US territory of American Samoa will hold a caucus and Democrats abroad will also submit their votes.

  • Other events: Republican party officials will hold election-related events in Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming and in the US territories of American Samoa and Guam, but no votes will be cast. Party leaders in those states will eventually assign delegates to candidates with input from party members.

  Super Tuesday is the biggest single day for presidential candidates to receive delegates and can serve as the turning point in the race for the White House as they look to rack up delegates to secure their party's nominations.

In all, 595 Republican delegates- about 25 percent of the total number – are available on Super Tuesday. Republicans need 1,237 delegates to win the party's nomination

Democrats need 2,383. There are 1,004 Democrat delegates available on March 01,2016

 Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton dominate 'Super Tuesday' primaries

Map: Super Tuesday states 

HIGH STAKES: Five GOP candidates and two Democratic candidates sparred over delegates on March 1, also known as Super Tuesday. Here's how they were distributed – according to population

Super Tuesday saw 11 states voting, from Massachusetts in the east to Alaska in the north-west. A 12th state, Colorado, held a caucus

Donald Trump (Republican): Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas, Vermont  






Ted Cruz (Republican): Texas, Oklahoma
• Marco Rubio (Republican): Minnesota

Clinton had already secured three wins in the first four early-voting states, polling significantly among blocs of black voters.
 Bernie Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist, has put up an unexpectedly strong challenge against her since his sweeping victory in New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton (Democrat): Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas, Texas, Massachusetts
Bernie Sanders (Democrat): Vermont, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Colorado
*Results from the Republican caucuses in Alaska have yet to come in


With 595 Republican delegates at stake on Super Tuesday, here is how day's series of votes broke down:
  • Trump: at least 186 delegates
  • Cruz: 125
  • Rubio: 62
  • Kasich: 18
  • Carson: 3
Overall in the race so far, Donald Trump leads with 268 delegates, Cruz has 142, Rubio has 78. Kasich has 24 and Carson has eight.
Republican candidates need 1,237 delegates to secure the nomination




President Pranab Mukherjee Selects 7 Innovators To Stay At Rashtrapati Bhavan Monday February 29,2016


President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday February 29,2016 selected 7 innovators for a two-week stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan under a Scholars-In-Residence programme starting from March 12.

The 7 selected innovators are -
  • GK Ratnakar (Karnataka) for his mini hydro turbine invention; 
  • Mushtaq Ahmed Dar (Jammu and Kashmir) for an innovative walnut cracker;
  • Lal Biakzuala Ralte (Mizoram) for a bamboo splint-making machine; 
  • Mallesham Laxminarayana Chinthakindi (Andhra Pradesh) for "Laxmi" Asu-making machine;
  • Amrut Lal Bawandas Agrawat (Gujarat) for developing an Aaruni Bullock Cart and Innovative Pulley; 
  • Anuradha Pal (Andhra Pradesh) for developing an antibiotic medicine; and 
  • Swapnanil Debajit Talukdar (Assam) for a foot-operated page-turning machine for the specially-abled.
The Innovation Scholars In-Residence Scheme was launched by the President on December 11, 2013 with a view to promoting the spirit of innovation and giving further impetus to grassroots innovation activities.

The main objective of the Scheme is to provide an environment to grassroots innovators in Rashtrapati Bhavan to work on a project in hand and take their innovative ideas forward. 

Former Chief Justice of India HL Dattu Takes Cgarge as the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)Monday February 29,2016


Former Chief Justice of India HL Dattu Monday February 29,2016 took charge as the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
He is the seventh Chairperson of the Commission.

Justice KG Balakrishnan completed his tenure on May 11, 2015 following which member of the Commission Justice Cyriac Joseph held charge as the acting Chairperson.

Justice Dattu has been associated with several significant judgments. He was on the bench that expanded the Indian jurisprudence on death sentence cases by commuting the death penalty of terror convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar to life term over mental illness and an inordinate delay in deciding his mercy plea by the government.

Justice Dattu also headed the bench that acquitted 11 persons charged under terror laws telling the Gujarat police that no innocent person should be branded a terrorist and put behind bars simply because he belongs to a minority community.

He pronounced a landmark ruling with the observation that "bail is the rule and jail an exception" while granting bail to five big corporate in the 2G case.

He was on the Constitution Bench that declared as "unconstitutional" a law enacted by Kerala to restrict water level in the Mullaperiyar dam to 136 feet, while protecting the legal right of Tamil Nadu.

Born on December 3, 1950 in Chikamagaluru district of Karnataka, Justice Dattu, after completing his early education in Kadur, Tarikere and Birur, moved to Bengaluru to pursue his higher studies.

He completed his LLB from Bengaluru and enrolled at the Karnataka Bar Council on October 23, 1975 as an advocate and pleaded in civil, criminal, constitutional and taxation matters.

He was appointed as a Judge of the Karnataka High Court on December 18, 1995 and elevated as the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court on February 12, 2007.

On May 18, 2007, he was transferred to head the Kerala High Court. He was elevated as the Judge of the Supreme Court December 17, 2008 and was appointed as the Chief Justice of India on September 28, 2014. He retired on December 2, 2015.

Visa On Arrival in India For Japanese Citizens From Tuesday March 01,2016

Visa on arrival facility will be rolled out to Japanese citizens beginning Tuesday March 01,2016, in a move that is expected to boost inflow of tourists and business visitors.

The facility being given to Japanese will be an upgradation of e-Tourist Visa currently offered to citizens of 150 countries.

While e-Tourist Visa requires to submit an online visa application followed by its approval before arrival in India, Japanese citizens would not be required to go through the process.

Japanese will be given visa on arrival in India in any of the six designated airports -- Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad

The visa-on-arrival for Japanese citizens will be issued in business, tourist, medical and conference categories.

It will have a validity of 30 days.

Though visa on arrival facility was earlier offered to citizens of 12 countries -- Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Republic of Korea -- it was discontinued in November 2014 after the launch of e-Tourist Visa scheme.

As of now, the visa on arrival facility will be given only to Japanese nationals, it may extended to more countries like Republic of Korea in later stages

Abeba Aregawi ,1500 metres champion banned for dope offence Monday February 29,2016


World indoor 1500 metres champion Abeba Aregawi has been suspended from Swedish athletics after she tested positive for a banned substance, the national federation said on Monday February 29,2016
The decision means the Ethiopian-born runner's place in the Swedish team for the 2016 Rio Olympics in August 2016 is now in doubt.

"It is with dismay and extreme disappointment we have to make this statement," said national federation general secretary Stefan Olsson, without confirming the banned substance.
"We are totally opposed to all forms of cheating, doping and illicit substances. We have zero tolerance and this is totally unacceptable," added Olsson who two days ago stood by the athlete despite a storm over her Swedish citizenship and unpaid taxes.

A medical expert at the Swedish Anti-Doping commission told that Abeba Aregawi tested positive for meldonium.
A drug that increases endurance, meldonium was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances this year

The Swedish Olympic Committee (SOC) moved swiftly to withdraw their financial support for Aregawi and she is highly unlikely to be part of the Rio Games team.
"We have withdrawn the activity support we gave her with immediate effect and the situation regarding her place on the Olympic team is in quarantine as we wait for the result of the B test," SOC chief executive Peter Reinebo told

Having run for Ethiopia at the 2012 London Games, Aregawi began competing for Sweden later that year after being granted citizenship.
She won the world outdoor 1500m title in 2013.

2016 Asia Cup in Bangladesh - Mustafizur Rahman(Bangladesh) out of Asia Cup with side strain, Tamim Iqbal called Monday February 29,2016

Hosts Bangladesh were on Monday February 29,2016 dealt a telling blow as their strike bowler Mustafizur Rahman was ruled out of the Asia Cup due to a Grade I side strain sustained during the home team's win against Sri Lanka

"Bangladesh pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman has suffered a side strain and will not play any further part in the Micromax Asia Cup T20," a BCB release stated.

Team physio Bayjedul Islam Khan: "Mustafiz complained of discomfort after Sunday's match against Sri Lanka. An MRI scan was done today and the report from the radiologist confirmed a Grade-1 side strain on the right. He is under conservative treatment and rest for next 48 hours. Following that the rehab will begin. We are expecting that he will make a quick recovery and resume bowling soon."

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal will replace Mustafiz in the Asia Cup squad. Tamim was not in the original squad as he took leave because of the birth of his first child.

2016 Petrol Price Revision Monday February 29,2016


Petrol Price Cut by Rs. 3.02/Litre, Diesel Hiked by Rs. 1.47/Litre

In good news for consumers, price of petrol was lowered by Rs. 3.02 per litre on Monday February 29,2016. Diesel rate, however, was raised by Rs. 1.47 per litre. Revised prices will take effect from the midnight of February 29 and March 1.

The revision in fuel prices comes on a day when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented a rural-focused Budget in Parliament.

The fuel price revision was in line with global trends

After this revision, a litre of petrol in Delhi will cost Rs. 56.61 as against Rs. 59.63 at present, whereas a litre of diesel will cost Rs. 46.43 instead of Rs. 44.96 per litre, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said.

This is the seventh straight reduction in the price of petrol and the second price increase this month in case of diesel. Petrol price was last lowered by 32 paise per litre on February 18 when diesel rate was hiked by 28 paise a litre.

Prior to that revision, fuel rates were revised on February 1 when the price of petrol was cut by a marginal 4 paise a litre while that of diesel was lowered by 3 paise a litre, after the government raised excise duty to take away most of the benefit arising from the fall in international oil prices.

The NDA Government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs. 1 a litre and that on diesel by Rs. 1.50 to mop up an additional Rs.3,200 crore during the remainder of the current fiscal year.

This was the fifth hike in excise duty since November that cumulatively gave the government Rs. 17,000 crore in additional revenue. The five levy hikes total to Rs. 4.02 per litre on petrol and Rs. 6.97 on diesel.

"The current level of international product prices of petrol and diesel and Rupee-US Dollar exchange rate warrant decrease in price of petrol and increase in price of diesel, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price revision," IOC, the country's largest fuel retailer, said in a statement.

Petrol and diesel prices are de-regulated in India, which means they are linked to market rates.

State-owned fuel retailers IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) revise rates of the fuels on the 1st and 16th of every month based on average oil price and foreign exchange rate in the preceding fortnight.

Vietnam's Bikini-Clad Carrier Seeks IPO To Be 'Emirates Of Asia'

 VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Co., the Vietnamese carrier known for its bikini-clad flight attendants, may hold its initial public offering as early as the second quarter as it plans to build global routes and become a top budget airline in Asia.
Vietnam's Bikini-Clad Carrier Seeks IPO To Be 'Emirates Of Asia'
The IPO's exact timing will depend on market developments domestically and globally, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, chief executive officer of Vietnam's only privately-owned airline, said in an interview on Friday February 26,2016
The company hasn't finalized how much it wants to raise and could offer as much as a 30 percent stake, the regulatory limit for foreign holdings, she said

VietJet, which featured dancing flight attendants clad in bikinis on an inaugural route and bikini models on its airplanes for a desktop calendar, carried 9.3 million passengers in 2015, an increase of 66 percent from 2014
Revenue soared 205 percent last year to 10.9 trillion dong ($488 million) while net income rose to almost 1 trillion dong, according to the company.

The airline expects revenue to double this year and passenger capacity to reach 15 million this year

VietJet will probably surpass national carrier Vietnam Airlines as the nation's biggest domestic carrier this year, according to CAPA Centre for Aviation.

Vietnam is expected to rank among the world's 10 fastest-growing aviation markets in the next two decades, according to the International Air Transport Association