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Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017-18 Premier League Sunday Dec 31,2017

Crystal Palace Vs Manchester City
The Match ended in a goalless draw

WBA Vs Arsenal
The Match ended in a 1-1 draw 

2017-18 Premier League Saturday Dec 30,2017

AFC Bournemouth Vs Everton
AFC Bournemouth beat Everton 2-1

Chelsea Vs Stoke City
Chelsea beat Stoke City 5-0

Huddersfield Town Vs Burnley
The Match ended in a goalless draw

Liverpool Vs Leicester City
Liverpool  beat Leicester City 2-1

New Castle United Vs Brighton & Hove Albion
The Match ended in a goalless draw 

Watford Vs Swansea City
Swansea City beat Watford 2-1

Manchester United Vs Southampton 
The Match ended in a goalless draw 

Alastair Cook 244* on Day 3 Thursday Dec 28,2017 became the highest score ever by a batsman carrying his bat in Test history

Alastair Cook broke yet another record as the Englishman's score of 244 not out became the highest score ever by a batsman carrying his bat in Test history - on Day 3 Thursday Dec 28,2017 in the 4th Test @ MCG

Alastair Cook broke New Zealand's Glenn Turner's (223 not) record set in 1972 against the West Indies in Kingston.

The last Englishman to carry his bat through a Test innings was Mike Atherton's 94 in New Zealand in 1997 while Geoff Boycott last carried his bat through an Ashes innings with an unbeaten 99 in Perth in 1979.

Goods And Service Tax (GST) - GST revenue slips further; Rs 80,808 crore tax collected for November 2017

Revenue collection from Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the month of November 2017 slipped further to Rs 80,808 crore, lowest since the implementation of the indirect tax system from July01,2017

The dip in revenue collection was mainly due to a decline in overall incidence of taxes on most commodities, especially after the apex decision making body of the new tax system — GST Council — cut rates of more than 200 items in its 23rd meeting in Guwahati.

The revenue numbers for November indicate tax collection as on December 25. Till now, 99.01 lakh taxpayers have been registered under the new indirect tax system, out of which 53.06 lakh returns have been filed for November, while 16.60 lakh are composition dealers who file returns every quarter.

As per data available, government had garnered revenue worth Rs 83,364 crore in October (as on November 27), Rs 92,150 crore for the month of September (as on October 23), Rs 90,669 crore for August (as on September 27) and Rs 94,063 crore in July (as on September 25)

“Of the Rs 80,808 cr collected under GST for the month of November, 2017, Rs 13,089 cr have been collected as CGST (Central GST), Rs 18,650 cr has been collected as SGST (State GST), Rs 41,270 cr has been collected as IGST (Integrated GST) and Rs 7,798 cr has been collected as compensation cess,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

Former Zimbabwe army boss Constantino Chiwenga sworn in as vice president Thursday Dec 28,2017

Recently retired army chief Constantino Chiwenga, who led a de facto coup last month that ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule, was installed as Zimbabwe’s vice president in Harare on Thursday Dec 28,2017

Constantino Chiwenga, whose appearance on state television on November 15 ,2017  preceded armed soldiers taking to the streets, paving the way for Emmerson Mnangagwa to become president, is the latest in a string of military leaders to be elevated to government positions.

2018 Lok Sabha/Assembly By- Elections - ECI Announce Poll Dates For Alwar, Ajmer and Mandalgarh assembly seats of Rajasthan.

The Election Commission of India(ECI) Thursday Dec 28,2017 announced bypolls to the Lok Sabha constituencies of Alwar, Ajmer and Mandalgarh assembly seats of Rajasthan.

The polling for these seats will be held on January 29, 2018, and counting has been scheduled on February 1.

The last date of filing nominations is January 10 and date for scrutiny is January 11. The last date of withdrawing candidatures is January 15,2018

Public Provident Fund(PPF) Interest Rates On A Falling Spree ,but PPF still gets you more

On December 27, 2017 the NDA Government slashed Interest Rates for small-savings schemes for period ranging from January to March period by 0.2 percentage.

The interest rates also stand reduced for one of the most popular small saving schemes- Public Provident Fund(PPF)

So, does PPF still make for a good investment option?

Why PPF is still a good option for small investors-Infographic-TOI2

Why PPF is still a good option for small investors-Infographic-TOI3

Why PPF is still a good option for small investors-Infographic-TOI4

NDA Government Witdraws Monthly Hike Of LPG Prices by Rs 4 Every Month

NDA Govt withdraws monthly LPG price hike order

The NDA Government has withdrawn its decision to raise LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) prices by ₹4 per cylinder every month as the move was seen contrary to its Ujjwala scheme of providing free cooking gas connections to the poor.

The NDA Government had previously ordered public sector oil marketing companies to raise domestic cooking gas prices by ₹4 per cylinder every month, beginning June 2016, with a view to eliminating subsidies.

The order was, however, withdrawn in October 2017, a top source said.

Subsequently, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) have not raised LPG prices from October 2017

Previously, oil firms were authorised to increase the price of the subsidised domestic LPG cylinder by ₹2 per 14.2-kg cylinder per month (excluding Value Added Tax or VAT) with effect from July 1, 2016. Oil companies had hiked LPG rates on ten occasions since that go-ahead.

Every household is entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rates in a year. Any requirement beyond that is to be purchased at market price.

The quantum of hike was doubled through an order dated May 30, 2017. That order authorised state-owned firms to continue to increase the effective price of subsidised domestic LPG by ₹4 per cylinder effective June 1, 2017, per month (excluding VAT), till the reduction of government subsidy to ‘nil’ or March 2018 or further orders, whichever was earlier

Best Tamil films of 2017

The irony is cruel. Even as India looks up to the skies for a rocket launch, a child falls deep into a borewell and awaits rescue. Yet, this new superpower has no technology good enough to pull her out. A wonderful Nayanthara plays a Collector as helpless as the little girl who is stuck inside, in a powerful film that conveys a heavy message with absolute conviction.
How many films on a subject as serious as Aruvi’s can manage to make you laugh out loud? That long stretch set inside a reality show would have come across as preachy in the hands of a lesser filmmaker, but debutant Arun Prabhu weaves it into a tragicomedy that will stand the test of time.

Kurangu Bommai

A film that could have so easily ended up confused, but ends up checking all the right boxes. Director Nithilan creates a solid storyline around a bag containing an expensive statue that many people have an eye on. Watch out for fine performances from Bharathiraja and Elango Kumaravel.

It’s hard to believe that this fine film was made by a team of debutants. They didn’t even need to name the characters, but still managed to create a multi-narrative plotline in which everyone has a part to play.
It’s a plot revolving around a newly-married woman and her mother-in-law. But it’s not one of those sob stories as you would imagine. Director Bramma takes this ‘odd’ couple, twists their relationship on its head and gives us one of the most sensitive films of the year.
One of the funniest films of the year. A director who is wacky enough to use Kaali Venkat’s voice for Nikki Galrani surely knows what it takes to make us laugh out loud.

A story from a goat’s perspective? How clever is that! This year’s best rural drama is an assortment of quirky characters and great sub-plots.

Pa Paandi

Who knew that the debut directorial of an actor as intense as Dhanush would have the pillowy warmth of a Pixar film? If ‘most lovable’ was an award category, Rajkiran would be top choice. It had one of the year’s best albums as well.
Kollywood usually obsesses about cop subjects and glorifies the police force. But this year’s Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru proved how a real-life incident featuring a cop can be converted into a highly entertaining film, that gave us a menacing villain who still gives us the shivers.

When news was out that Mysskin was making another big-budget action film, we remembered Mugamoodi and shuddered. But thankfully, this time, he delivered... and wrapped up the film with a stunning climax

A textbook for aspiring filmmakers on how to treat a multi-starrer with the intelligence it deserves. As Vedha, Vijay Sethupathi delivered the performance of the year. His line, ‘Oru Kadha Sollatuma’ is instant pop-culture.

Are you an aspiring filmmaker with budget constraints? Get yourself a DVD of this murder mystery that kept us engaged due to its wonderful writing.

2017 Liberian Presidential Election - Soccer star George Weah wins Liberian Presidential Election Thursday Dec 28,2017

Former soccer star George Weah has defeated Vice President Joseph Boakai to win Liberia’s presidential run-off election with 61.5 % of the vote based on 98.1 % of ballots cast, the election commission said on Thursday Dec 28,2017

George Weah will succeed incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf next month in what will be Liberia’s first democratic transition since 1944.

Liberia is Africa’s oldest modern republic and was founded by freed U.S. slaves in 1847. Its last democratic transfer of power occurred in 1944 and was followed by a military coup in 1980 and a 14-year civil war that ended only in 2003

National Waterways In India

Of the 106 new National Waterways notified in April 2016 under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 19 are in the north-east region.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) plans to initiate regular cargo movement through inland waterways under the Sagarmala programme on the same route. Transporting cargo through NW-2 will help lighten the load on roads and reduce logistics costs.

According to a shipping ministry statement, one horsepower can move 150kg on roads, 500kg on rail and as much as 4,000kg on waterways. Similarly, one litre of fuel can move 24 tonnes per km on roads, 85 tonnes on rail and 105 tonnes per km on waterways.

Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari to flag off first cargo vessels on Brahmaputra Friday Dec 29,2017

Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal will on FridayDec 29,2017  flag off the first vessels to carry cargo through National Waterways 2 (NW-2) on the river Brahmaputra.

For the maiden trip, two barges of 200-metric tonne capacity carrying 400 tonnes of cement will travel a distance of 255 kilometres from Pandu to Dhubri in Assam.

NW-2 has differential global positioning system (DGPS) stations at four locations—Dhubri, Jogighopa, Biswanthghat and Dibrugarh —for safe navigation by vessels with electronic charts. Floating terminal facilities have been provided at 12 locations.

Of the 106 new National Waterways notified in April 2016 under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 19 are in the north-east region.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) plans to initiate regular cargo movement through inland waterways under the Sagarmala programme on the same route. Transporting cargo through NW-2 will help lighten the load on roads and reduce logistics costs.

According to a shipping ministry statement, one horsepower can move 150kg on roads, 500kg on rail and as much as 4,000kg on waterways. Similarly, one litre of fuel can move 24 tonnes per km on roads, 85 tonnes on rail and 105 tonnes per km on waterways.

The IWAI will charge only Rs318 per tonne as waterway transportation charges from Pandu to Dhubri/Hatsingimari to encourage entrepreneurs and logistics operators to shift to the cost-effective and eco-friendly mode of transportation, which will also reduce road congestion

Italian President Sergio Mattarella Dissolves Parliament Ahead of Election

Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday Dec 28,2017 dissolved parliament ahead of an election which is expected to produce a period of instability in the euro zone's third largest economy.

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's cabinet began meeting to fix the date of the vote, which political sources have said will probably be March 04,2018

Earlier on Thursday Gentiloni defended the record of his year-old government and said he would remain in office and ensure continuity until a new government is in place.

With opinion polls pointing to a hung parliament, he told reporters Italy should be prepared to deal with instability but should not fear it, noting that it was now common to many European countries.

"We mustn't dramatise the risk of instability, we are quite inoculated against it," he said, in reference to Italy's frequent changes of government, adding that elsewhere in Europe there has been "an Italianisation of political systems".

All Italy's main parties are promising to raise the budget deficit and slash taxes despite record high public debt, and immigration is set to be a central theme of the election, with right-wing parties frequently warning of a migrant "invasion".

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement leads opinion polls with about 28 percent of the vote, followed by the ruling Democratic Party (PD), of which Gentiloni is a member, on around 23 percent.

However, most seats in parliament are seen going to a conservative alliance made up of Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (Go Italy!) on around 16 percent and the right-wing Northern League and Brothers of Italy, with 13 and 5 percent respectively

2017 World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh,Suadi Arabia - Viswanathan Anand Remains Unbeaten to Win World Rapid Chess Championship Thursday Dec 28,2017

India’s Viswanathan Anand has given a fitting reply to all his critics by regaining the World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh and staying unbeaten all through. A win against his arch-rival Magnus Carlsen in the ninth round seemed to have spurred him on as he demolished Russia’s Vladimir Fedoseev in the final in a tie breaker.

Anand, who last won this title in 2003, was placed joint second at the start of the final five rounds (11 to 15) on Thursday, but fought back strongly to bag the title on tie-break after a three-way tie with Russians Vladimir Fedoseev and Ian Nepomniachtchi at 10.5 points from a possible 15

Anand then defeated Fedoseev 2-0 in a two-game tie-break to win the championship.

On Thursday Dec 28,2017, Anand played a couple of draws before defeating Russia’s Alexander Grischuk in the 14th and penultimate round of the tournament with white pieces. Once leader Carlsen was held to a draw by Vladislav Artemiev of Russia, Anand joined the Norwegian at the top of the standings. In the final round, Anand drew against Bu Xiangzhi of China while Carlsen was stunned by Grishchuk.

At the end of fifteen rounds, Anand remained unbeaten in the competition with six wins and nine draws. The former World No 1, who had lost his crown to Carlsen in 2013, reclaimed the title he had won in 2003 beating Vladimir Kramnik in the final. Anand, who had an indifferent season so far thus finished an underwhelming year on a rousing note.

The title came as a big relief for Anand, as he took to social media after winning the title and wrote, “Thanks all!! Feeling is like floating. My head keeps playing the song… we are the champions! The words ring so true. More on this moment after the blitz!”

Thanks all!! Feeling is like floating. My head keeps playing the song... we are the champions! The words ring so true. More on this moment after the blitz!

Congratulations to the man from the sixties, @vishy64theking, on his World Rapid title! I hope you dedicated this latest victory to everyone who has asked you when you were going to retire!
Congratulations Viswanathan Anand for winning the World Rapid Chess Championship. Such determined pursuit of excellence across decades makes you an inspiration for all of us. India is proud of you

2017-18 Winter Session Of Parliament Dec 15,2017 - Jan 05,2018 - Lok Sabha Passes Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill Thursday Dec 28,2017

Moving closer to making instant triple talaq a criminal offence, the Lok Sabha on Thursday Dec 28,2017 passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill.

All amendments to the bill were defeated.

The bill would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or 'talaq-e-biddat'. It gives power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking "subsistence allowance" for herself and minor children. A victim can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate.

Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form -- spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp -- would be illegal and void.

The Congress said it supported the bill but wanted it to be scrutinised by the Standing Committee of Parliament, a demand that was rejected by the chair.

The RJD and Samajwadi Party also backed the demand of referring the bill to the Standing Committee.

Asaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM alleged that through the bill the government was trying to bring in a Uniform Civil Code. Owaisi said Parliament lacks the legislative competence to pass the law as it violated fundamental rights.

Owaisi said through the law the government was trying to demonise Muslim men and claimed "vested interests" were behind the legislation.

The bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday Jan 02,2018 for passage before it is forwarded to the President for signing it into law.


The Supreme Court of India (SCI)on August 22,2017 declared the practice of instant triple talaq unconstitutional in a 3-2 majority verdict.

Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton F. Nariman and U.U. Lalit ruled for scrapping the practice; the minority judgement by then chief justice J.S. Khehar and justice S. Abdul Nazeer upheld the validity of the practice and wanted Parliament to bring in legislation governing Muslim marriages and divorce within six months.

Soon after the SCI’s ruling, the government set up a ministerial panel to frame the legislation.

Islamic law recognises two kinds of talaqs –  

Talaq al-sunna (which works according to the dictates of the Prophet) and Talaq al-bidat (which was an innovation, born out of inconvenience of the strict dictates of the Prophet).

 The latter was divided into two forms – one was the declaration of ‘talaq’ three times (that is, triple talaq) and the other was divorce done through writing.

Countries That Have Banned Triple Talaq 

6)Sri Lanka

2017-18 Ranji Trophy Final: Delhi vs Vidarbha @ Holkar Stadium,Indore

Out of the 28 teams that participated, it is now just down to the final two. 

The teams that will be fighting for the top honours are seven-time winners Delhi, and the first time finalists Vidarbha



Faiz Fazal (captain), Sanjay Ramaswamy, Wasim Jaffer, Ganesh Sathish, Apoorv Wankhede, Vinod Wadkar (wk), Aditya Sarwate, Akshay Wakhare, SiddeshNeral, Rajneesh Gurbani, Karn Sharma, Shalabh Srivastava, Siddhesh Wath (wk), Akshay Karnewar, Suniket Bingewar, Ravikumar Thakur, Aditya Thakare


Rishabh Pant (captain and wk), Gautam Gambhir, Kunal Chandela, Dhruv Shorey, Nitish Rana, Himmat Singh, Manan Sharma, Vikas Mishra, Vikas Tokas, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Akash Sudan, Shivam Sharma, Unmukt Chand, Milind Kumar

Day One Friday Dec 29,2017

Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal first won the toss and elected to field first.

2017-18 Premier League - Swansea City Appoints Carlos Carvalhal as the new Manager to succeed sacked Paul Clement

Swansea City have appointed former Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal (52)as their new permanent boss. 

Player-coach Leon Britton had been in temporary charge of Swansea since the Premier League's bottom side sacked Paul Clement  on  December 20,2017

Carlos Carvalhal was dismissed by Sheffield Wednesday on Christmas Eve, with the Owls 15th in the Championship table.

The Portuguese joins Swansea initially until the end of the season with the option of an extension.
Carvalhal, the Swans' fifth permanent manager in two years, led Wednesday to the Championship play-offs in the past two seasons.

The former Besiktas, Sporting Lisbon and Maritimo boss, who succeeded Stuart Gray at Hillsborough in June 2015, had a win ratio of 42.7% from his 131 games in charge.

"We are very pleased with the appointment," said Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins.

"We felt we needed to get the managerial situation resolved as soon as possible and while the timing is not always perfect, we can look forward to the second half of the campaign with renewed optimism."

Carvalhal's first game in charge of Swansea will be at Watford in the Premier League on Saturday Dec 30,2017

2017-18 Premier League Thursday Dec 28,2017

Crystal Palace Vs Arsenal
Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 3-2

2017-18 Premier League Wednesday Dec 27,2017

New Castle United Vs Manchester City
Manchester City beat New Castle United 1-0

2017-18 Premier League Tuesday Dec 26,2017

Tottenham Hotspur Vs Southampton
Tottenham Hotspur beat Southampton 5-2

AFC Bournemouth Vs West Ham United
The Match ended in a 3-3 draw

Chelsea Vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Chelsea beat  Brighton &  Hove Albion 2-0

Huddersfield Town Vs Stoke City
The Match ended in a 1-1  draw

Manchester United Vs Burnley
The Match ended in a 2-2  draw

Watford Vs Leicester City
Watford beat Leicester City 2-1

WBA Vs Everton
The Match ended in a Goalless draw

Liverpool Vs Swansea City
Liverpool beat Swansea City 5-0

Indian Parliament Proceedings in 2017

Parliament’s functioning in 2017 was different in some respects. The Houses had a productive Budget Session, and some work could be achieved in the Monsoon Session. State elections delayed the Winter Session.

This year, Parliament worked for fewer days than the annual average since 2000. By the end of this month, Parliament would have worked for 57 days, short of the average 70 days during this period.

The last time Parliament met for fewer days (in a non-general election year) was in 2008, when it met for 46 days during the 14th Lok Sabha.

In 2017, Parliament discussed 34% of the government’s expenditure — this was the second highest proportion of total expenditure discussed by Parliament over the last decade. There were three key changes in the Budget process: it was presented on February 1 instead of the usual last day of February; the Railway Budget was merged with the Union Budget, discontinuing a 92-year-old practice; and the Plan and non-Plan classifications of expenditure were removed.

The NDA Government was successful in getting some key Bills approved by Parliament. Four bills passed in April operationalised the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. In February, a Bill removing the guarantee of the government to honour demonetised currency notes was passed by Lok Sabha. In August, the government was successful in pushing through a Bill empowering the Reserve Bank to give directions to banks for the resolution of their non-performing assets.

In March, Parliament passed a Bill increasing maternity leave for women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. It also passed a Bill in the same month to protect the rights of persons with mental illness, and promote their access to mental healthcare. In April, a legislative proposal pending since 2014, prohibiting discrimination against HIV positive individuals, was passed by both Houses. In the ongoing Winter Session, a bill giving 20 Indian Institutes of Management the power to grant degrees was approved by Parliament

However, it was not all smooth sailing for the government in Parliament. The Opposition in Rajya Sabha scored a legislative victory in July when it forced the amendment of a key provision of a Bill giving constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

A key takeaway from the functioning of Parliament this year was the reduced role of Parliamentary Committees in scrutinising legislation. All the four GST-related Bills, the Bill related to demonetisation, the powers of the RBI, maternity benefits and the IIMs were passed without being examined by a Committee of Parliament. In the 16th Lok Sabha, less than 30% of Bills have been scrutinised by departmentally-related Standing Committees, compared to approximately 70% in the 15th and 60% in the 14th Lok Sabha.

In addition to debating legislation, the two Houses deliberated on national issues. These ranged from electoral reforms to lynching and mob violence, the Quit India Movement (which completed 75 years), sustainable development goals, the crisis in the farm sector, and floods. But the time for deliberation on both national and legislative issues was curtailed by disruption of proceedings in the Houses. While the Budget Session functioned smoothly, this momentum was not carried forward to the Monsoon Session and the ongoing Winter Session. During the Monsoon Session, six Opposition MPs were suspended for lowering the dignity of the Speaker of Lok Sabha.

A casualty of the disruptions was Question Hour. During the Budget Session, Lok Sabha worked for 108% of its scheduled time, and Rajya Sabha for 86%. During the Monsoon Session, this fell to 67% for Lok Sabha and 72% for Rajya Sabha. In the first week of the Winter Session, this number fell further to approximately 50% and 36% for the two Houses respectively.

2017 saw the elections of a new President and Vice-President of India.

There was some churn in the memberships of both Houses; eight sitting MPs passed away during the year.

Lok Sabha members Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya resigned to assume the offices of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively of Uttar Pradesh after the BJP’s massive electoral victory in the state.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar resigned from Rajya Sabha after assuming the office of the Chief Minister of Goa.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s second term in Rajya Sabha came to an end this year

 Congress leader Ahmed Patel was re-elected after a keenly contested vote.

 BJP president Amit Shah was elected for his first term in the Rajya Sabha.

JD(U) MPs Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar lost their Rajya Sabha seats after they were disqualified under the anti-defection law.

And, in a first for Lok Sabha, Snehlata Shrivastava became the first woman to be appointed the Secretary General of the Lower House.

Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan wins National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the year 2017

He was a point-and-shoot photographer for 10 years. Four years ago, his wife got him a DSLR and today Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan is the National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year 2017 for his photograph of an orangutan crossing a river in the wilds of Borneo.

Excitement ripples through his voice as he talks about his award-winning shot. “In August, I was in Kalimantan on the Indonesian side of Borneo and heard about this orangutan that crossed the river. I found this amazing because orangutans normally avoid water. They’re arboreal creatures. And, there were crocodiles in the river.”

Top 5 Malayalam Films in 2017

1. Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum
The film that proved that last year’s ‘Maheshinte Prathikaram’ was no flash-in-the-pan. Dileesh Pothan delivers a stunning piece of cinema, aided by some exquisite writing by Sajeev Pazhoor.

2. Angamaly Diaries
Lijo Jose Pellissery puts aside his famed fantasy glasses to give us a realistic tale, an ode to Angamaly town, told through the rivalry between two gangs. The film also introduced 86 promising newcomers.

3. Mayaanadhi
A late addition to the list, arriving in the last week of the year, but to sure to appear on many year-ender lists. After a few forgettable outings, Aashiq Abu makes a come back with a story of two strugglers and their troubled love story.

4. Take off
A memorable debut from Mahesh Narayanan, portraying the personal and professional struggles of a nurse, with the real-life rescue of 46 Indian nurses from war-torn Iraq in 2014 as the background.

5. S Durga
The most talked about film of the year, which has been prevented from reaching a wider audience, thanks to the intervention of the censors. In his third film, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan brought on screen the travails of a couple who end up with some strangers inside a car. The film won accolades at various film festivals, most notably the Hivos Tiger Award in the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Top 10 Telugu films of 2017

1) Baahubali - The Conclusion

Baahubali – The Conclusion is a game changer. Years from now, filmmakers who dream big but shy away from taking that leap of faith will probably draw strength from the work of this team. With part one, this team broke the barriers of what otherwise gets boxed into a ‘regional film’ and took it to a pan-Indian audience, ending with a cliff hanger and the raging question ‘why Kattappa killed Baahubali?’

2) Arjun Reddy

Hours after watching Arjun Reddy, it’s hard to shake off its effect. It’s like a hangover, albeit in a good way. It’s been years since Telugu cinema witnessed something this radical, maybe after Ram Gopal Varma’s Shiva.


Romantic musicals are becoming a rare breed. Tougher to come by are on-screen romances that seem so real. Watching Fidaa is like taking a stroll on the countryside in a drizzle. It’s beautiful, dreamy and yet not escapist. Nothing is overtly romanticised. At the heart of this drama are powerful characters drawn to each other and find that their own misgivings are standing in the way of taking their relationship forward.

4)PSV Garuda Vega

Half way through PSV Garuda Vega, I felt like double checking if the high of watching a big budget, well-knit thriller, in Telugu is indeed true. Dhruva that came last year was a remake of a Tamil film. Barring the shoestring-budgeted Kshanam, we haven’t had any good thrillers in the recent past.

5)Gautamiputra Satakarni

Director Krish Jagarlamudi couldn’t have envisaged a firmer foundation than this to establish Gautamiputra Satakarni’s part in the historical feature. The filmmaker humanises historical characters to ring in contemporary relevance in a dialogue-fest that’s crisply packaged for Balakrishna’s 100th film.

6)Shatamanam Bhavati

An idyllic Atreyapuram, a grandfather who says farming isn’t a job but a way of life, a large joint family, estranged sons and daughters returning to their native town where Sankranti is around the corner, you can only marvel at the timing of Shatamanam Bhavati’s release for the festive season. A rather saccharine and fragile conflict aside, the film’s heart lies in its rural setting dosed with flavour. The storyline is not of the material to tug our heart strings, yet the mood the director Satish Vegesna and cinematographer Sameer create and how they pepper it to appeal this generation makes it an ideal family watch.

7)The Ghazi Attack

Debut director Sankalp Reddy’s film is pitched as India’s first war-at-sea, underwater film. A large part of it unfolds within a submarine. That is its USP and risk. If there isn’t a convincing story to tell within the confines of those compact cabins, it could get really boring. The hydraulic set looks authentic and the actors befit their parts. There’s also some good storytelling, even if it follows a somewhat predictable arc.


Some premises are hard to believe and harder to execute; but this is a trait that has ensured the exclusivity of a director like Vikram Kumar, be it 13B, Manam24 or his latest outing Hello. His ability to intertwine intelligence and soul within the mainstream format comes to the fore in the Akhil-Kalyani Priyadarshan starrer, a tale of childhood bonhomie, longing and romance spanning over a 15-year timeline.

9)Ninnu Kori

Ninnu Kori is helped by Karthik Ghattamaneni’s cinematography and Gopi Sundar’s music; Adiga Adiga by Sid Sriram and Unnattundi Gundey are melodious earworms. Aadhi’s is a restrained, mature performance. Of the three, this is a character that could have been explored a little more.

10)Mental Madhilo

A good one hour into Mental Madhilo, amid hearty chuckles and smiles, one wonders how writers Vivek Athreya and Jonathan Cristillo fleshed out a thin storyline into a slice-of-life story and eventually a coming-of-age romance. The everydayness of life is told beautifully by sharply observing people.

2017-18 Winter Session Of Parliament Dec 15,2017 - Jan 05,2018 - Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 Introduced in Lok Sabha Thursday Dec 28,2017

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday Dec 28,2017 and will be taken up for consideration and passing.

This Bill, which makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a punishable offence, follows the Supreme Court judgment on August 22, 2017 in the case of Shayara Bano vs. Union of India.

In a majority 3:2 judgment the Supreme Court of India(SCI) set aside instant talaq as a "manifestly arbitrary" practice.

 It also said, "Given the fact that Triple Talaq is instant and irrevocable, it is obvious that any attempt at reconciliation between the husband and wife by two arbiters from their families, which is essential to save the marital tie, cannot ever take place."

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017  makes the pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat "void and illegal." According to clause 3 of the Bill, "Any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal."

A man who pronounces talaq on his wife will be punished with a jail term and a fine. This Bill also makes the pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat a non-bailable offence.

Clause 4 of the Bill states, "Whoever pronounces talaq referred to in section 3 upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine."

Clause 7 says, "an offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable and non-bailable within the meaning of the Code." (The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973)

The woman upon whom talaq is pronounced will have to receive an allowance from her husband, and she retains custody of her children.

Clauses 5 and 6 of the Bill say, " a married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced, shall be entitled to receive from her husband such amount of subsistence allowance for her and dependent children," and "shall be entitled to custody of her minor children in the event of pronouncement of talaq by her husband."

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2017 provides for:

— Under proposed bill, a Muslim man who resorts to Talaq-e-Biddat or instant talaq would be jailed for three years

— The custody of any minor children from the marriage would be granted to the affected woman

— The makes instant divorce a non-bailable offence which can lead to an imprisonment of up to three years upon conviction.

— It also makes it mandatory for the husband to pay maintenance to his wife and child support towards any children.


The Supreme Court of India (SCI)on August 22,2017 declared the practice of instant triple talaq unconstitutional in a 3-2 majority verdict.

Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton F. Nariman and U.U. Lalit ruled for scrapping the practice; the minority judgement by then chief justice J.S. Khehar and justice S. Abdul Nazeer upheld the validity of the practice and wanted Parliament to bring in legislation governing Muslim marriages and divorce within six months.

Soon after the SCI’s ruling, the government set up a ministerial panel to frame the legislation.

Islamic law recognises two kinds of talaqs –  

Talaq al-sunna (which works according to the dictates of the Prophet) and Talaq al-bidat (which was an innovation, born out of inconvenience of the strict dictates of the Prophet).

 The latter was divided into two forms – one was the declaration of ‘talaq’ three times (that is, triple talaq) and the other was divorce done through writing.

Countries That Have Banned Triple Talaq 

6)Sri Lanka

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley celebrates his 65th birthday today Thursday Dec 28,2017

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley celebrates his 65th birthday with his fellow morning walkers, in New Delhi on Thursday Dec 28,2017

History of the Indian National Congress(INC) - Indian National Congress(INC) marks its 133rd foundation day on Thursday Dec 28,2017

From its foundation on  December 28,1885 by 72 individuals with the active help by A.O Hume, a retired British officer, until the time of independence of India on  August 15, 1947, the Indian National Congress(INC)was considered to be the largest and most prominent Indian public organization, and central and defining influence of theIndian Independence Movement

Allan  Octavian Hume founded the Indian National Congress (A political party of India (British India to Free India)) to form a platform for civic and political dialogue of educated Indians with theBritish Raj

On  December 28 1885, the Indian National Congress was founded at Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay, with 72 delegates in attendance.

A O  Hume assumed office as the General Secretary and Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee of Calcutta was elected President

Besides Hume, two additional British members (both Scottish civil servants) were members of the founding group, William Wedderburn and Justice(Late Sir) John Jardine

The other members were mostly Hindus from the Bombay and Madras Presidencies

The last three years have probably been the toughest since the formation of the party on December 28, 1885.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have been on a mission to wipe out the Congress.

Ever since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when the then Sonia Gandhi-led party was reduced to just 44 seats, the BJP has been trying to completely shunt the party.

The Congress is currently in power only in Puducherry, Punjab and poll-bound Karnataka, Meghalaya, Mizoram.

Together, these states account for just 45 of the 543 elective seats in the Lok Sabha.

On the other hand, the BJP has emerged as the dominant pole of Indian politics with 14 Chief Ministers and governments in 19 of the 29 states, including five with allies in J&K, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Nagaland.

The first glimmer of a fightback came early in 2017 when the Congress won Punjab. The success, however, was not attributed to the party, rather the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh. The victory too was not over the BJP but the Akali Dal, which was heading the coalition with the former playing a junior party.

The tally will further dip if the party loses any of the three poll-bound states next year or is not able to make a mark in Nagaland, Tripura or BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

Top 5 Wicket Takers in Test Match History

1)Muthiah Muralitharan(Sri Lanka)   - 800

2)Shane Warne (Australia)                 - 708

3) Anil Kumble (India)                      - 619

4)Glenn McGrath (Australia)            - 563

5)James Anderson (England)            - 521

Top 10 Run Scorers in Test Matches

Top 10 Run Scorers in Test Matches

1)Sachin Tendulkar (India)
15,921 — Sachin Tendulkar, India (200 tests)
2)Ricky Ponting (Australia)
13,378 — Ricky Ponting, Australia (168)
3)Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
13,289 — Jacques Kallis, South Africa (166)
4)Rahul Dravid (India)
13,288 — Rahul Dravid, India (164)
5)Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
12,400 — Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka (134)
6)Alastair Cook (England)
11,956 — Alastair Cook, England (151) (still playing as on Thursday Dec 28,2017)

7)Brian Lara (West Indies)
11,953 — Brian Lara, West Indies (131)
8)Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies)
11,867 — Shivnarine Chanderpaul, West Indies (164)
9)Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka)
11,814 — Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka (149)
10)Allan Border (Australia)
11,174 — Allan Border, Australia (156)

11)Steve Waugh(Australia)
10,927 — Steve Waugh, Australia (168)

12)Sunil Gavaskar(India)
10,122 — Sunil Gavaskar, India (125)

13)Younis Khan(Pakistan)
10,099 — Younis Khan, Pakistan (118) (still playing)

Alastair Cook becomes the sixth highest run scorer in Test Match History Thursday Dec 28,2017

2017-18 Ashes Series Australia Vs England Fourth Test @ MCG - Day 3 Thursday Dec 28,2017

Alastair Cook moved past another two West Indies greats to be sixth on the all-time Test runs list, eclipsing Shivnarine Chanderpaul (11,867) and then Brian Lara (11,953) with a sumptuous off-drive for four from the penultimate ball of the day Thursday Dec 28,2017

"I can't really explain that. I just feel sorry for Brian Lara," Alastair Cook, who now has 11,956 Test runs in 151 Test Matches

Through 10 hours of hard graft and 409 deliveries, the former England skipper mowed down Viv Richards's 208 to set the highest score by a touring batsman at the MCG.

Alastair Cook's unbeaten 244 drove England to 491/9 at stumps on day three at the MCG

Alastair Cook completes his fifth double hundred to give England a lead of 164 runs

Alastair Cook became the first Englishman since Wally Hammond to score a double hundred at the MCG (in 1928) 

Alastair Cook's 244 not out is now the highest score made by any player against Australia in Melbourne, breaking the 208 Viv Richards made for the West Indies in 1984. 

  • During his innings, Cook moved from ninth to sixth in the all-time list of leading Test run-scorers, surpassing Mahela Jayawardene, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brian Lara
  • Cook has made 11 scores of 150-plus in Tests, an England record
  • Nathan Lyon has dismissed Moeen Ali six times in seven innings in this series
  • Stuart Broad's 56 is the first half-century by an England number 10 since Chris Lewis' 65 in 1991
  • This was only the second time Cook has batted with Broad, in their 113th Test together
  • Alastair Cook's 244* was his fifth double hundred - only Wally Hammond (seven) has scored more for England
  • Cook equal Mathew Hayden's record of 30 Tons as opener in Tests
  • It was Cook's second double ton of 2017 - only Hammond had scored two or more in a calendar year before today

  • Cook's innings also passed Hammond's record score for an Englishman at the MCG and the highest by an overseas player in Melbourne, overtaking Viv Richards' 208 in 1984

  • The innings beats his previous record vs Australia (235* at Brisbane in 2010)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ulkuthu - Tamil Film

Cast -Dinesh,Nandita Swetha,Bala Saravanan,John Vijay,Chaya Singh

Directed by Caarthick Raju

Produced by J. Selvakumar

Music Composed by Justin Prabhakaran

Cinematography by P. K. Varma

scheduled to be released on Friday Dec 29,2017

Kalavaadiya Pozhuthugal (English: Stolen Moments) - Tamil Film

Cast -Prabhu Deva,Bhumila Chawla,Sathyaraj,Prakash Raj,Ganja Karuppu,Sathyan
Directed by Thangar Bachan

Produced by K Karnamoorthy and C Arunpandian

Music Composed by Bharadwaj

Cinematography by

scheduled to be released on Friday Dec 29,2017

Balloon - Tamil Film

Cast -Jai,Anjali,Janani Iyer,Yogi Babu

Directed by Sinish

Produced by Dhillip Subbarayan,Arun Balaji and Nandakumar

Music Composed by Yuvan Shanka Raja
Cinematography by R. Saravanan
scheduled to be released on Friday Dec 29,2017